Journal scan

Sugary drink levy boosts healthier choices

A levy on sugary drinks combined with other measures could persuade people to choose healthier alternatives, according to a study of a UK restaurant chain.

A levy on sugary drinks combined with other measures could persuade people to choose healthier alternatives, according to a study of a UK restaurant chain

levy
Jamie Oliver at his restaurant in Manchester. Picture: Alamy

A levy on sugary drinks combined with other measures could persuade people to choose healthier alternatives, a study shows.

A 10p levy was placed on non-alcoholic, sugar-sweetened drinks at 37 UK restaurants owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and the effects on sales assessed after 12 weeks and six months.

The beverage menu was also redesigned and the reason for the levy explained.

Multifaceted approach

Data was collected from an electronic sales tracking system.

After 12 weeks, sales of sugary drinks per customer fell 11% and after six months sales were 9.3% lower.

Researchers cautioned about firm conclusions but suggested a multifaceted approach could have a stronger impact on reducing sugar consumption than a simple levy.


Cornelsen L et al (2017) Change in non-alcoholic beverage sales following a 10-pence levy on sugar-sweetened beverages within a national chain of restaurants in the UK: interrupted time series analysis of a natural experiment. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. doi: 10.1136/jech-2017-209947

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs