The new ultra-conservative Israeli administration immediately canceled a soft drink tax (and a tax on disposable plasticware) without any public consultation and was criticized by domestic and international health experts.

Following a November 2022 vote, Colombia will be rolling out a tax in July 2023: 18 pesos (28 pesos in 2024) for beverages with 6g or more of sugar per 100ml, 35 pesos (55 pesos in 2024) for those with 10g or more per 100ml. After that, those with 5g to 9g will pay 38 pesos, and those above 9g will pay 65 pesos. Processed foods with high levels of sugar, salt, or fats will pay a tax of 10 percent starting in September 2023, rising to 15 percent and 20 percent in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Africa declined to raise its tax on sweetened beverages, instead announcing a two-year freeze at the current level of 11 percent (on beverages with more than 4g of sugar per 100ml). As elsewhere, S. African sugar and beverage companies predictably pleaded that a higher tax would lead to diminished sales and necessarily lost jobs. (In Portugal, a recent study did find that the sweetened beverage sales fell by 6.8 percent vs. bottled water, lowering bottler and importer income but not to reduced wages or other workforce changes.)

Another example: Pakistan’s beverage industry warned the government this month that a proposed 4 percent excise tax on carbonated beverages would both raise prices and could impact investment plans of major bottlers.

Epidemiology researcher Jean Adams found that the UK sugar tax was associated with an 8 percent relative reduction in obesity for preteen girls, with the highest impact observed in less-affluent areas. No significant changes were identified among boys.

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