Opinion: Soda consumption is not declining in Berkeley, despite recent headlines
On Feb. 22, Berkeleyside reported the results of a UC Berkeley study. The headline read, “Sugary drink consumption in Berkeley down more than 50% since introduction of soda tax.”
There are two problems with this headline. First, it exaggerates the results of the study, which, as its authors pointed out, was confined to a particular subset of Berkeley’s population. Second, the results of the study are contradicted by the history of the soda tax revenue.
State legislators in Sacramento are considering several bills regulating sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. For the sake of crafting thoughtful policies, our legislators need accurate information about the effects of existing soda taxes. In this op/ed, I attempt to provide some of that information.