Berkeley Residents Buying Fewer Sugary Drinks and More Water Thanks to Soda Tax

Amount Of Sugar Packets In Glass Of Soda
Bye Bye Sugar Cover Image Nutrition News

Read The Perils Of Sugar

Click To Read

Largest-To-Date Evaluation Shows 9.6% Drop In Sugar Sweetened Beverage Purchases And Increase In Healthier Beverage Purchases. Overall Bererage Sales Rose; Grocery Bill Did Not.

April 18, 2017

Oakland, CA — A new study published today in PLOS Medicine by the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina showed that Berkeley’s sugar sweetened beverage tax is working as intended.

Top findings included:

  • Purchases of sugary drinks declined: Sales (in ounces per transaction) of taxed SSBs fell by 9.6% in Berkeley, while they rose by 6% in other Bay Area stores without a tax (compared to predicted sales based on pre-tax trends). Sales of diet soft drinks and diet energy drinks also fell significantly, by 9.2%.
  • Purchases of healthy beverages increased: Sales of untaxed healthier beverages, already far greater at baseline, rose significantly, by 3.5%, and overall beverage sales went up in Berkeley. Sales of water rose by 15.6% (more in ounces than the decline in SSBs); untaxed fruit, vegetable or tea drink sales increased by 4.37%; and sales of plain milk rose by 0.63% (all statistically significant).
  • No negative impact on store revenue or consumer grocery bills: Although overall store revenues per transaction in the studied chains dropped slightly across the Bay Area during the study period, store revenues in Berkeley fell by 18¢ less (-$0.36) compared to non-Berkeley stores (-$0.54). This same indicator—store revenue per transaction—is also what consumers spent on average for each checkout or “grocery bill” at the participating stores, indicating that their average grocery checkout bill did not increase at these stores—counter to claims by the soda industry that the policy would be a “grocery tax.”
  • Investments in health increased: In spite of low consumption of SSBs, the City’s revenue from the first year of the SSB tax was $1,416,973—or $12 per capita. Funds raised went to nutrition and obesity prevention activities in schools, childcare and other community settings.
  • The tax costs were passed through to taxed products in many, but not all, stores: In the 15.5 million transaction study, about two-thirds of the penny-per-ounce levy (0.67¢/oz) was passed through to consumers by pricing increases on the taxed drinks. For soda and energy drinks it was fully passed through (1.09¢/oz). In the 26 store study, it was fully passed on in large (1.07¢/oz) and small chain supermarkets and chain gas stations (1.31¢/oz), partially in pharmacies (0.45¢/oz), but not in smaller independent corner stores and independent gas stations. Prices on non-taxed beverages did not increase more in Berkeley than in comparison stores.

→  Read full article

Big Fat Lies Fifteen Years Later

Nutrition News Big Fat Lies Cover Fifteen Years Ago
Nearly fifteen years ago to the date, we published an interview with Ann Louise Gittleman. Back then Ann Louise was the one calling a flag on the play about cutting fat from our diets. There was a frenzy about high cholesterol rates and fat became the focus. Almost overnight, processed foods manufacturers took out coconut and palm oil, butter, all the saturated fats. They substituted less nutritionally dense oils (safflower) and increased the amount of sugar to make the new formulations palatable. We all know where that got us. This month we’re revisiting the Big Fat Lies  conversation with another interview with Ann Louise. Watch for details.

Get the latest from Nutrition News.

 

Subscribe and enjoy

compelling content about health,

nutrition and your well being.

 

It's called playing the

"Is It Healthy?" Game. 

 

Healthy Aspirations and the Disconnect From Health Actions

CONSUMER| 08-14-2014

Health and wellness is trending. At the start of year, U.S. consumers listed health among their top five concerns for 2014. Concurrently, the popularity of fitness bands, smartphone apps that track health and fresh food saleshave all risen dramatically.

Despite the recent explosion of the health and wellness industry, however, one-third of American adults remain clinically obese.* According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, we literally want to have our cake and carrot juice—and eat them, too. For example, while 75 percent of us say we feel we can manage health issues through proper nutrition, a whole 91 percent of us admit to snacking all day on candy, ice cream and chips. So why is there a disconnect between our what we know is healthy and what we actually do? What are the perceptions around “health foods” that prevent us from making better choices? And how can retailers help bridge the gap?

American consumers overwhelmingly aspire to lead healthy lives. For example, 89 percent say taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy, 75 percent say they feel they can manage health issues through nutrition, and 64 percent say they will take whatever means necessary to control their own health. However, when it comes down to putting those thoughts into action, only 70 percent say they’re actually “actively trying to be healthier,” 50 percent say it’s a challenge to eat healthy, and 66 percent say they don’t exercise enough.

When it comes to healthy habits, life appears to get in consumers’ way. Along with health, food prices were among consumers’ top five concerns for 2014. More than half of consumers cite “rising food prices” as a barrier to healthy eating§, and 54 percent of consumers agree that “healthy foods are too expensive to eat regularly.”† As a result, shoppers aren’t buying healthier options even when they’re available. In a Nielsen Global Survey, half of U.S. consumers said the availability of organic or nutritionally-enhanced products at grocery had no or next-to-no impact on their grocery purchases in the last year.

Beyond the practicalities of price, however, taste also influences consumers’ food shopping decisions. Half of consumers agreed that “…healthy food should taste good, and I am not willing to give up taste for health.” Given concerns with price and taste, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that when consumers are spending more—such as when dining out—their healthy habits are kicked to the curb. More than 50 percent of consumers say they “splurge” when dining out and give in to cravings.

Of course, another reason for this gap could be the broad nature of health and wellness. Consumers today face a wide range of concerns, problems and diseases—and not every person focuses on every issue. To help consumers balance their desires for healthier lives with their not-so-healthy lifestyles, retailers should consider introducing solutions designed to address specific conditions.

For example, two areas that all ages, but especially Baby Boomers and Matures, cite as the most important wellness aspirations are weight maintenance and heart health. These health-aware population segments recognize that achieving these goals requires taking personal responsibility for managing health through proper nutrition. This finding suggests that advertising and promotional campaigns emphasizing the personal responsibility angle of health and wellness could be highly effective with these groups, especially as satisfaction with America’s healthcare system continues to wane.

The message is clear—Americans are well intentioned when it comes to their health and wellness goals, but their aspirations are not yet reality. We want to be healthier, to eat better, to exercise, we know what we need to do to lead healthier lives, yet our busy lifestyles get in the way. We are looking for solutions, and manufacturers and retailers face a real opportunity to help bridge the gap. By understanding the need of consumers and the obstacles getting in the way of their healthy aspirations, the industry can solve for consumers’ needs and have a positive effect on their health and wellness.

*“Adult Obesity Facts,” Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 28, 2014. http://www.cdc. gov/obesity/data/adult.html
§Nielsen Global Online Survey—Q1 2012
†Natural Marketing Institute 2013 Health & Wellness Trends Database

Industrial Strength Six Sigma Health Care

 

Industrial Strength Healthcare

13 August 2014 Inderscience

Doctor Patient ConsultingI don’t know about you, but I’ve often been dismayed with how inefficient and time wasting our medical delivery system is. Maybe we should be taking a look at what research is telling us.

By adapting the “Lean Six Sigma” principle of manufacturing to rural hospitals, Indian researchers suggest that patient queues might be shortened by 91 percent while consultation time could be reduced to about a third of the time. Details of the approach are reported in the International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management.

The Six Sigma approach to manufacturing is a set of techniques and tools developed by electronics company Motorola in 1986 to improve its development and manufacturing processes. It improves quality and efficiency by identifying and treating the causes of errors and defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and in the associated business processes. It is widely used in many disparate areas of industry. Lean Six Sigma as the name suggests combines these efficiency principles with the concept of “lean manufacturing” in which expenditure that does not add value to the end product and consumer and therefore the company’s profits is minimized if not eradicated.

Now, Shreeranga Bhat of St Joseph Engineering College, in Karnataka, India and colleagues have applied the Lean Six Sigma principles, define, measure, analyze, improve and control process, to a rural Indian hospital to improve quality and care for patients.

Their work demonstrates that ergonomic improvements in the healthcare environment as well as improvements to the handling of patient records and the progression of patients from the hospital entrance to the treatment room to their ultimate discharge with relevant prescribed medication and advice. The approach was also able to uncover problems with staff morale, training and administrative issues.

The successful implementation of this approach in a local rural hospital by the team was an “eye opener” for management, they say and “ultimately brought about a cultural change within the organization by involving everyone in the push towards excellence.”

Given the large numbers of people that might enter a rural hospital in India each year and the potential for waste in the face of limited resources, the adoption of a Lean Six Sigma approach that has been successfully applied in manufacturing industries could be a significant step towards improved healthcare for rural communities in the developing world.

The Food Safety Fight Coming To Your Natural Products

The food safety issue has had an impact on your natural product manufacturers. I know, natural products, what’s to worry about, right? Well this interview by Shari Barbanel in Nutrition Industry Executive explains some of the ways your natural products manufactures are coming to terms with food safety. As always, it’s more complicated than you would expect, but it’s worth taking a look at the landscape of how natural products remain natural and safe. Read more.

Superfoods cover image

Play The Is It Healthy Game!

Read Nutrition News

Making Healthy Choices Easier Than You Think

You have Successfully Subscribed!