Study suggests sugar tax results in lower BMI increase in Seattle residents

A recent study of Seattle patients has suggested the Seattle sugar tax may be responsible for a decrease in the steady rise of lower body mass index (BMI) among adults in the Seattle area.

The study was released by Public Health - Seattle & King County, Univerity of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition, and Seattle Children’s on Monday.

Comparing BMI changes from nearly 100,000 people across Washington, aged 18 to 65, the sample suggests BMI was increasing overall, but in Seattle, the BMI was not rising as quickly, which has been attributed to the Seattle sugary beverage tax of 2017.

A second report released Monday also suggested that people are buying and drinking less sweetened soda over the last two years - mostly because of the extra cost.

The drop in consumption also means a drop in tax revenue, which is used for vulnerable communities and early childhood education.

The tax adds 1.73 cents per ounce of any beverage sweetened with sugar or corn syrup sold in Seattle.

Proponents of the tax say drinking one sugary drink increases a child’s chance of obesity by 55% and diabetes by 26%.

The reports can be found on the City of Seattle website.