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Team to Evaluate Health Outcomes Following Philly Beverage Tax

Roberto Gibson

Congratulations to CHIBE Associate Director Christina Roberto, PhD, and CHIBE-affiliated faculty member Laura Gibson, PhD, who have received an NIH R01 to continue their research evaluating the Philadelphia beverage tax.

While there is evidence that taxes on sugary-sweetened beverages can lead to drops in purchases of these drinks, there is still a need to find out if this policy can lead to improvements in health outcomes, such as weight, type 2 diabetes status, and oral health.

Their specific aims, according to their project summary, are to:

  • “Evaluate the effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax on preventing weight gain among youth (Aim 1) and adults (Aim 2) by analyzing electronic health record data using a natural experiment design.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax on improving oral health among youth and adults in Philadelphia by analyzing electronic oral health records using a natural experiment design (Aim 3).”

Dr. Roberto, the Director of the Psychology of Eating and Consumer Health (PEACH) Lab, and Dr. Gibson, Deputy Director of the Lab, will serve as the principal investigators.

The co-investigators are:

  • Emily Gregory, MD, MHS (pediatric obesity expert), an Instructor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM)
  • Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD (oral health expert), the Dean of Penn Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Nandita Mitra, PhD (biostatistician), a Professor of Biostatistics at PSOM
  • Carolyn Cannuscio, ScM, ScD (social epidemiologist), an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at PSOM and a CHIBE-affiliated faculty member
  • Jason Block, MD (primary care physician and obesity policy expert), Associate Director and an Associate Professor in the Obesity Prevention Program of the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

For more on this topic, find several papers below:

Association of a Beverage Tax on Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages With Changes in Beverage Prices and Sales at Chain Retailers in a Large Urban Setting” (JAMA 2019)

The Association Of A Sweetened Beverage Tax With Changes In Beverage Prices And Purchases At Independent Stores” (Health Affairs 2020)

One-year changes in sugar-sweetened beverage consumers’ purchases following implementation of a beverage tax: a longitudinal quasi-experiment” (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2020)