Berkeley’s Soda Tax Cuts Soda Consumption


We all know that we should cut back, if not eliminate entirely, sugary drinks. Soda is usually at the top of the list, which has no nutritional value, but huge health and environmental side effects. Soda contains high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup, which is grown on massive, monoculture farms. These types of crops utilize large amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals that end up in our atmosphere and surrounding environments. If we drink less soda, our bodies and the planet will thank us.

That is why this news from Berkeley, California, is so welcome. There, a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages was enacted last year, and the effects have been astounding. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, sugary drinks consumption is down 20% in some neighborhoods!

While many experts expected some decline in sugary beverage consumption, no one thought we would see such a dramatic drop. And what did they replace their soda intake with? The purest, healthiest drink of all – water. Let’s hope it was from the tap or home-filtered water rather than bottled.

Nithin is an eecosphere Impact Mill and freelance writer who focuses on cultural, economic, and environmental issues in developing countries with an aim at building channels of communication and collaboration around common challenges. He alternates between a home in California and working on social projects in Africa and Asia.