Cheaper Sugar-sweetened Beverages Will Raise Obesity Concerns: ACS

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According to a recent study by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the prices of sugar-sweetened beverages are falling across the globe and the pattern is expected to continue in the near future. Preventing Chronic Disease, the journal that contains this study by the ACS, suggests that it is imperative to regulate the prices of these beverages, as they are at the backbone of growing concerns of obesity and diabetes.

Affordability Increased by 71 Per Cent

The ASC study has estimated that in comparison to the affordability of common consumers in 1990, 71 percent more can now afford these sugar-sweetened beverages, more so in developing countries wherein 2016’s income can now buy 89 percent more of these beverages. This effectively is only half the price in 1990. While economic progress is one reason for this shift, the lack of regulations is also failing to curtail the consumption, which in turn is hampering the global efforts to counter overweight and obesity epidemic.

Coca-Cola Used as Proxy

During the study, researchers compared the real prices of sugar-sweetened beverages with average income prices on the basis of annual per capita income in countries with 40 high-income and 42 low-income, during the period of 1990 to 2016. Coca-Cola, the global leader in sugar-sweetened beverage brand with 25.8% share of the overall market in 2014, more than double of the next leading brand, was used as proxy by the study.

The ASC study has detected that the prices of sugar-sweetened beverages has consistently fallen in 79 out of 82 countries between 1990 and 2016. Out of these, real prices dropped in 56 countries while increasing disposable income among urban population also contributed to the affordability.

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