A tax on sugar sweetened beverages in Colombia: Estimating the impact on overweight and obesity prevalence across socio economic levels

Andres I. Vecino-Ortiz, Daniel Arroyo-Ariza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Colombia has a high prevalence of overweight (56%) and obesity (19%) among adults and is experiencing a growing trend in the prevalence of associated chronic conditions. Evidence suggests that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are associated to overweight/obesity, and that taxes on these beverages could reduce their associated health consequences. This paper assesses the potential effect of different levels of a SSB tax in Colombia on overweight and obesity prevalence. Using peer-reviewed local data on own-price elasticity of SSB, we applied a comparative risk assessment strategy to simulate the effect of the SSB tax on a nationally representative nutritional survey with 7140 adults in 2010 (ENSIN, 2010). Our results varied depending on the tax scenario, pass-through assumption and household socio economic strata (SES). We found that among individuals belonging to lower SES households, the SSB tax would reduce overweight and obesity between 1.5-4.9 and 1.1–2.4 percentage points (p < 0.05), respectively. Among individuals belonging to higher SES households, we found no statistically significant effects on obesity, and a reduction on overweight prevalence between 2.9 and 3.9 percentage points (p < 0.05). In the most conservative scenario (40% pass-through), a tax rate of at least 75 cents of Colombian peso (0.75 COP) per milliliter (24% of the average price) is needed to have statistically significant effects on both overweight and obesity prevalence among lower SES households. The results of this study suggest that a SSB tax could reduce the overweight and obesity prevalence in Colombia, especially among lower SES households. This study shows that SSB taxes have a particularly beneficial effect in the most vulnerable population. Additional social and individual benefits, or individual costs arising from the tax are not assessed in this research, implying that even larger health gains could be observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume209
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Fingerprint

Colombia
Beverages
taxes
Obesity
Economics
social stratum
economics
Taxes
scenario
price elasticity
health consequences
Tax
Nutrition Surveys
Elasticity
Health
Vulnerable Populations
risk assessment
Costs and Cost Analysis
Household
trend

Keywords

  • Colombia
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Sugar sweetened beverages
  • Taxes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

@article{24f0ca62b16d4aa092349c5ded2db5d3,
title = "A tax on sugar sweetened beverages in Colombia: Estimating the impact on overweight and obesity prevalence across socio economic levels",
abstract = "Colombia has a high prevalence of overweight (56{\%}) and obesity (19{\%}) among adults and is experiencing a growing trend in the prevalence of associated chronic conditions. Evidence suggests that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are associated to overweight/obesity, and that taxes on these beverages could reduce their associated health consequences. This paper assesses the potential effect of different levels of a SSB tax in Colombia on overweight and obesity prevalence. Using peer-reviewed local data on own-price elasticity of SSB, we applied a comparative risk assessment strategy to simulate the effect of the SSB tax on a nationally representative nutritional survey with 7140 adults in 2010 (ENSIN, 2010). Our results varied depending on the tax scenario, pass-through assumption and household socio economic strata (SES). We found that among individuals belonging to lower SES households, the SSB tax would reduce overweight and obesity between 1.5-4.9 and 1.1–2.4 percentage points (p < 0.05), respectively. Among individuals belonging to higher SES households, we found no statistically significant effects on obesity, and a reduction on overweight prevalence between 2.9 and 3.9 percentage points (p < 0.05). In the most conservative scenario (40{\%} pass-through), a tax rate of at least 75 cents of Colombian peso (0.75 COP) per milliliter (24{\%} of the average price) is needed to have statistically significant effects on both overweight and obesity prevalence among lower SES households. The results of this study suggest that a SSB tax could reduce the overweight and obesity prevalence in Colombia, especially among lower SES households. This study shows that SSB taxes have a particularly beneficial effect in the most vulnerable population. Additional social and individual benefits, or individual costs arising from the tax are not assessed in this research, implying that even larger health gains could be observed.",
keywords = "Colombia, Obesity, Overweight, Sugar sweetened beverages, Taxes",
author = "Vecino-Ortiz, {Andres I.} and Daniel Arroyo-Ariza",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.05.043",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "209",
pages = "111--116",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A tax on sugar sweetened beverages in Colombia

T2 - Estimating the impact on overweight and obesity prevalence across socio economic levels

AU - Vecino-Ortiz, Andres I.

AU - Arroyo-Ariza, Daniel

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Colombia has a high prevalence of overweight (56%) and obesity (19%) among adults and is experiencing a growing trend in the prevalence of associated chronic conditions. Evidence suggests that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are associated to overweight/obesity, and that taxes on these beverages could reduce their associated health consequences. This paper assesses the potential effect of different levels of a SSB tax in Colombia on overweight and obesity prevalence. Using peer-reviewed local data on own-price elasticity of SSB, we applied a comparative risk assessment strategy to simulate the effect of the SSB tax on a nationally representative nutritional survey with 7140 adults in 2010 (ENSIN, 2010). Our results varied depending on the tax scenario, pass-through assumption and household socio economic strata (SES). We found that among individuals belonging to lower SES households, the SSB tax would reduce overweight and obesity between 1.5-4.9 and 1.1–2.4 percentage points (p < 0.05), respectively. Among individuals belonging to higher SES households, we found no statistically significant effects on obesity, and a reduction on overweight prevalence between 2.9 and 3.9 percentage points (p < 0.05). In the most conservative scenario (40% pass-through), a tax rate of at least 75 cents of Colombian peso (0.75 COP) per milliliter (24% of the average price) is needed to have statistically significant effects on both overweight and obesity prevalence among lower SES households. The results of this study suggest that a SSB tax could reduce the overweight and obesity prevalence in Colombia, especially among lower SES households. This study shows that SSB taxes have a particularly beneficial effect in the most vulnerable population. Additional social and individual benefits, or individual costs arising from the tax are not assessed in this research, implying that even larger health gains could be observed.

AB - Colombia has a high prevalence of overweight (56%) and obesity (19%) among adults and is experiencing a growing trend in the prevalence of associated chronic conditions. Evidence suggests that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are associated to overweight/obesity, and that taxes on these beverages could reduce their associated health consequences. This paper assesses the potential effect of different levels of a SSB tax in Colombia on overweight and obesity prevalence. Using peer-reviewed local data on own-price elasticity of SSB, we applied a comparative risk assessment strategy to simulate the effect of the SSB tax on a nationally representative nutritional survey with 7140 adults in 2010 (ENSIN, 2010). Our results varied depending on the tax scenario, pass-through assumption and household socio economic strata (SES). We found that among individuals belonging to lower SES households, the SSB tax would reduce overweight and obesity between 1.5-4.9 and 1.1–2.4 percentage points (p < 0.05), respectively. Among individuals belonging to higher SES households, we found no statistically significant effects on obesity, and a reduction on overweight prevalence between 2.9 and 3.9 percentage points (p < 0.05). In the most conservative scenario (40% pass-through), a tax rate of at least 75 cents of Colombian peso (0.75 COP) per milliliter (24% of the average price) is needed to have statistically significant effects on both overweight and obesity prevalence among lower SES households. The results of this study suggest that a SSB tax could reduce the overweight and obesity prevalence in Colombia, especially among lower SES households. This study shows that SSB taxes have a particularly beneficial effect in the most vulnerable population. Additional social and individual benefits, or individual costs arising from the tax are not assessed in this research, implying that even larger health gains could be observed.

KW - Colombia

KW - Obesity

KW - Overweight

KW - Sugar sweetened beverages

KW - Taxes

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047630567&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047630567&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.05.043

DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.05.043

M3 - Article

C2 - 29857325

AN - SCOPUS:85047630567

VL - 209

SP - 111

EP - 116

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

ER -