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Philly residents defy the city’s controversial ‘soda tax’

Nearly two years on, the verdict is in on Philadelphia’s “soda tax.”

And it isn’t good.

Philadelphia’s soda tax, implemented in 2017, comes to 1.5 cents per ounce, equal to a hefty $1 tax on a typical $1.56, two-liter bottle. The city included artificially sweetened “diet” sodas in the tax, while excluding sugary fruit juices. The city government admitted the tax was about raising revenues, not just making people healthier.

The tax, justified as a kind of “sin tax” in the national war on obesity, did next to nothing for people’s health, new research has shown. Philadelphians didn’t cut calories as a result of the tax on sweetened drinks, nor did they shift towards drinking anything healthier.

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