SSB Taxes - Case studies

Public perception and characteristics related to acceptance of the sugar-sweetened beverage taxation launched in France in 2012

France has seen a rise in the rates of overweight and obesity, reaching 32.4% and 17.9% respectively in 2006. Two key factors were identified as the main predictors of obesity: poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been identified as a large contributor to the epidemic, and reducing their consumption among children and adults could contribute to a decrease of obesity prevalence in industrialised countries. Fiscal policies are becoming increasingly popular and in January 2012, France implemented a sugar-sweetened beverage tax. However, the effectiveness of the tax largely depends on the acceptance by the public as well as the perception of the real purpose and the impact it could have on health. This study investigates the acceptance and perception of the taxation scheme launched in France in January 2012.

This cross-sectional study looked at associations of tax perception with socio-demographic factors and actual sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Results showed that in France, the tax was supported by almost half of the participants, particularly with regards to its potential to improve the health status of the population. While the perception depended on socio-demographic variables, participants overall perceived this tax as a public health tool to target unhealthy dietary behaviours.