Associations between soda prices and intake: Evidence from 24-h dietary recall data

Roy Wada, Euna Han, Lisa M. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Although taxes on regular soda and other forms of sugar-sweetened beverages have been proposed as a disincentive to consumption, little is known about the association of soda price with soda intake status or the potential heterogeneity across sub-population groups based on age. Such estimates cannot be obtained from aggregated sales or household purchase data because they do not break down soda intake by individuals. To fill this gap in the literature, the 24-h dietary recall data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1999-2008) have been merged with soda prices from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). The variation in soda prices across zip codes and over the years were used to identify the associations of soda prices with the prevalence of sugar-sweetened regular soda intake and caloric intake from soda for children (N= 14,141), adolescents (N= 6501), and adults (N= 8032). The analyses were further stratified by gender, race/ethnicity and income-based socioeconomic status. A 10% higher soda price was associated with lower prevalence (i.e., probability) of regular soda intake by 3.4%, 4.6% and 4.0% for children, adolescents, and adults, respectively, and lower caloric intake from soda by 8.2%, 5.2%, and 6.6%, respectively. The strongest negative associations between soda prices and regular soda intake were found among children and adults; the weakest negative associations were found among minority children and adolescents. By using individual-level data from the 24-h dietary recall data, we identified substantial heterogeneity in the association of soda price with regular soda intake. Our results add to the growing literature suggesting that higher soda prices are associated with reduced regular soda intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalFood Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Peter S. Meyer, Stephanie Robinson, and Patricia Barnes at the Research Data Center at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and Frank M. Limehouse at the Chicago Census Research Data Center (Chicago RDC) for their assistance in working with the confidential NCHS data. Binh Nguyen assisted with data preparation. We gratefully acknowledge research support from award number R01HL096664 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Bridging the Gap project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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