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Berkeley 'Soda Tax' Leading To Reduced Sugary Drink Consumption, Study Finds

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – People in Berkeley cutting down on sugary drinks since the so-called "soda tax" went into effect, according to a new study.

Approved by voters in 2014, the city implemented a penny per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found lower income residents have consumed 21 percent less soda. During the same period, people in Oakland and San Francisco drank four percent more sugar-sweetened drinks.

The survey of almost 3,000 low-income Berkeley residents found they drank 36 percent fewer sports drinks, 29 percent fewer energy drinks and 26 percent less regular soda. Respondents cut their consumption of sweetened coffee and tea drinks and fruit drinks by 13 percent.

Those surveyed said they drank 63 percent more water.

Researchers focused on low-income and non-white residents for the survey, saying they are more likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages and end up with health consequences from it, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The results of the study come as voters in Albany, Oakland and San Francisco consider similar taxes on sugary beverages this November.

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