A typology of beverage taxation: multiple approaches for obesity prevention and obesity prevention-related revenue generation

J Public Health Policy. 2013 Aug;34(3):403-23. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2013.17. Epub 2013 May 23.


Obesity is a global problem. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are a leading contributor of added sugars in individual diets and thus to obesity. Governments have considered taxing SSBs to prevent obesity and generate revenue, but no 'one-size-fits-all' taxation approach exists. We describes three key considerations for governments interested in exploring beverage taxation: (i) what type of tax to apply plus how and where the tax is collected and presented to consumers; (ii) what types of beverages to tax; and (iii) the amount of tax needed to affect consumption and/or obesity prevention-related revenue generation. We offer examples of existing beverage taxes in the United States and internationally. The information will be useful to policymakers at all levels of government, as they continue to consider beverage taxation policies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Carbonated Beverages / economics*
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Internationality*
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Taxes / classification*