After adjusting for general trends in sales the researchers, who included Professor Martin White, Dr Jean Adams and Dr Oliver Mytton from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research in Cambridge, found that adding a 10 pence levy to SSBs sold in 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants, combined with activities such as re-designing menus, offering new lower sugar drinks and related publicity, was associated with an 11% decline in sales of SSBs per customer 12 weeks after the levy was introduced. A decline in sales of 9.3% per customer was still observed six months after the levy was introduced, and reductions were greatest in restaurants with higher SSB sales per customer.
The authors say further research with a longer follow-up is required to assess whether this is sustained.
The study was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with the University of Cambridge, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Read more on the MRC Epidemiology Unit blog.