The Potential Effects of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax on Obesity Prevalence in Tanzania
In recent times, the Government of Tanzania has shown a willingness to implement fiscal and policy interventions, such as taxation of Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs), for prevention of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The World Health Organization endorses such interventions as being highly-cost effective in reducing the burden of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related NCDs. Historically, the Government of Tanzania has implemented special tax regimens on SSBs. However, this has been with a view to generating revenue and promoting local industry (locally produced SSBs are taxed less than imported products), rather than with the intention of addressing diet-related NCDs. Nonetheless, this in itself provides an opportunity that researchers at an IDRC supported think-tank, the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), intend to explore. The main aim of the study will be to estimate the potential impact of SSBs tax on obesity prevalence in Tanzania, using a mathematical simulation model, as well as to estimate the government revenue that this tax may generate. The study also intends to estimate the monetary cost of inaction on obesity given the trends in NCD burden in Tanzania. Such scientific evidence will be of high value to policymakers and health programmers in their quest to address the burden of diet-related NCDs.