Sugar-sweetened beverage tax indicators in Latin America and the Caribbean

The scientific evidence is robust on the link between specific dietary intake levels and patterns, and the development of obesity, overweight, and related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have been singled out as one of the most significant drivers of the obesity epidemic. SSB consumption is associated with weight gain in children and adults, increased incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dental caries, and osteoporosis. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the mortality rate attributable to SSBs is higher than in any other region.

WHO recommends reducing sugar consumption through effective taxation of SSBs as part of a menu of cost-effective, evidence-based policies in the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013–2020. Taxes on SSBs—as well as taxes on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages—represent a triple win for governments because they 1) improve population health, 2) generate revenue, and 3) have the potential to reduce long-term associated healthcare costs and productivity losses.