The Potential Effect of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax on Obesity Prevalence in Tanzania

Peer Reviewed
4 December 2023

Chegere, M. J, Tunguhole, J., Songora, F., Masalu, E., Ngoma, T., Mayige, M., Lasway, J.


Background: Obesity and the associated non-communicable diseases contribute significantly to the disease burden in Tanzania. Obesity can be attributed to the consumption of Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) due to their high sugar content that leads to high caloric intakes. This study estimates the effect of SSB tax on the prevalence of obesity.

Methods: A  mathematical  model  that  compares  the  reference  population  which  is  unchanged  and  a  counterfactual  population in which tax intervention has been introduced is developed. Changes in price and consumption of SSBs, and subsequent changes in energy intake are applied to estimate the body mass change by age groups. The change in body mass by age groups is merged with the reference population to estimate changes in body mass index and obesity.

Results: Imposing a 20% SSB tax in Tanzania is estimated to reduce the average overall energy intake by 76.1 kJ per person per day. This change is associated with an overall reduction of prevalence of obesity by 6.6%; and by 12.9% and 5.2% in adult males and adult females, respectively. The number of obese people will potentially decrease by about 47,000 among adult males and about 85,000 among adult females from the current levels.

Conclusions: The SSB tax is a potential strategy to complement efforts to reduce obesity prevalence in Tanzania. The revenue generated from the tax should be channelled towards public health promotion programs

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication | 8 January 2024