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Research Project

Evaluation of Local-Level Sweetened Beverage Taxation in the United States

Principal Investigator
Powell, Lisa M.
Start Date
End Date


This research evaluates the impact of the implementation of two U.S. local-level sweetened beverage taxes on the consumption and sales of taxed and non-taxed beverages, consumption of food and estimated daily sugar intake,
This project proposes to evaluate the impact of a quasi-natural experiment of the implementation of two U.S. local-level (Cook County, IL and Oakland, CA) sweetened beverage taxes in 2017 on consumption and sales of taxed and non-taxed beverages, consumption of food, and estimated daily sugar intake using a pre-post intervention and matched comparison site difference-in-differences research design. We will assess substitution effects on consumption and net effects on sugar intake which have implications for impacts on body weight and health outcomes. We will evaluate unintended consequences of mechanisms such as pass-through to taxed and non-taxed beverage and food prices, cross-border shopping, and marketing and promotions that may underlie the extent of the observed impacts. We will examine how the tax is being implemented in practice and assess the amount of tax revenue raised and its allocation. Finally, we will assess the impact of the tax on local employment examining changes in total employment, private and public sector employment, and industry-level employment (Cook County only).

Funding Source

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Total Award


Related Publication(s)

Chaloupka FJ, Powell LM, Warner KE. The Use of Excise Taxes to Reduce Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugary Beverage Consumption. Annu Rev Public Health. 2019;40:187–201. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040218-043816.

Powell LM, Maciejewski ML. Taxes and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. JAMA. 2018;319(3):229–230. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19522.

Powell LM, Wada R, Khan T, Emery SL. Food and beverage television advertising exposure and youth consumption, body mass index and adiposity outcomes. Can J Econ. 2017;50(2):345–364. doi:10.1111/caje.12261.

News Release(s)

Sugar-sweetened Beverage Consumption among Adults in Cook County, Illinois, 2017 (IllinoisPRC Research Brief, December 2017)