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The health and economic impact of a tax on sugary drinks in Canada

TitleThe health and economic impact of a tax on sugary drinks in Canada
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJones, A. C., J. Veerman L., and Hammond D.
InstitutionCanadian Cancer Society, Diabetes Canada, Childhood Obesity Foundation, Chronic Disease Prevention A
CityWaterloo, ON

This research by the University of Waterloo commissioned by leading health organizations reveals an excise levy on companies that produce sugary drinks would go far in reducing death, disability, and health care costs. This adds to the growing body of international evidence that supports the health and economic benefits of a sugary drink levy. This new research expands on a recent analysis that projected sugary drink consumption among Canadians and the resulting health and economic impacts, by estimating the benefit of a levy on sugary drinks. According to the study, over the next 25 years, a 20 per cent excise levy on the manufacturers of sugary drinks will result in more than 13,000 lives saved and will prevent: More than 600,000 cases of obesity and almost 100,000 cases of overweight among Canadian adults; Up to 200,000 cases of type 2 diabetes; More than 60,000 cases of ischemic heart disease; More than 20,000 cases of cancer; and More than 8,000 strokes. In addition to reducing adverse health impacts, a 20 per cent levy over the next 25 years will account for $11.5 billion in health-care savings and government revenue of $43.6 billion ($1.7 billion per year). A direct benefit to Canadians' health is also projected -with almost 500,000 disability-adjusted life years (number of healthy life years lost due to ill health, disability or early death) being prevented if a 20 per cent sugary drink levy was implemented by the federal government.

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