California Senate Bill 622: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax

At a Glance:

Location: California

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Meaningful Work and Wealth

Determinants of Health: nutrition, food access, healthcare access, meaningful work and wealth, physical activity, nutrition

Affected Population: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, People Living in Poverty

Research Methods: Literature review, Focus Groups, Survey, stakeholder_interviews

Community Types: urban

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Community Health Councils Inc., along with other members of the Los Angeles County Healthy Community Collaborative, conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of California Senate Bill 622 (S.B. 622), which would impose a penny-per-ounce tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages manufactured in the state. All revenue (taxes, penalties, and interest) collected under S.B. 622 would be deposited in a Children’s Health Promotion Fund, created by the legislation to support statewide childhood obesity-prevention activities and programs.

The HIA focused on the potential impacts of S.B. 622 on low-income residents and communities of color in Los Angeles County and found that even with the tax, sugar-sweetened beverages probably still would be less expensive than healthier alternatives, such as fruit juice and water. The HIA recommended that the bill include incentives for distributors and retailers to increase access to healthier beverage options as well as culturally relevant interventions and education campaigns featuring clear labeling of sugar-sweetened beverages.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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