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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Anton Sculean, Poul Erik Petersen, Avijit Banerjee

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Volume 19 , Issue 1

Pages: 189194
DOI: 10.3290/j.ohpd.b1075081
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Impact of Sugar Tax on Sugar-sweetened Beverage Consumption among Saudi Schoolchildren

Muhanad Alhareky / Sumit Bedi / Abdullah AlMulhim / Maha El Tantawi / Faraz A. Farooqi / Jehan AlHumaid

Purpose: In 2017, Saudi Arabia introduced a 120% tax on energy drinks and a 50% tax on soft drinks. The impact of this policy on the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) among schoolchildren is not known in this country. The present study evaluated the impact of the excise tax on SSB consumption in the tri-city metropolitan area of Dammam-Khobar-Dhahran, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: A repeated cross-sectional design was used to examine the difference between pre- and post-tax SSBs consumption among schoolchildren (1214 years old) in Dammam-Khobar-Dhahran cities. A beverage-consumption frequency questionnaire was completed by 453 participants before the tax implementation and 334 participants after the tax implementation. The tax on soft drinks was increased by 50% and on energy drinks by 120%. Pre-tax data were collected in May 2017 and post-tax data in April 2018. Results: The proportion of participants who consumed energy drinks was 46.1% (95% CI: 42-51) before tax implementation, decreasing to 38.4% (95% CI: 33-44) after tax implementation, a reduction of nearly 8%. 92.5% (95% CI: 90-95) of the participants consumed soft drinks before tax implementation and 94.6% (95% CI: 92-97) did so after tax implementation, an increase of about 2%. Conclusions: The study showed no statistically significant impact of tax implementation on the consumption of energy drinks and soft drinks in this sample of children.

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