Are intentions to change, policy awareness, or health knowledge related to changes in dietary intake following a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in South Africa? A before-and after study
Dillman Carpentier, Francesca
Swart, Elizabeth C.
Smith Taillie, Lindsey
MetadataShow full item record
Background In April 2018, South Africa implemented the Health Promotion Levy (HPL), one of the first sugarsweetened beverage (SSB) taxes to be based on each gram of sugar (beyond 4 g/100mL). The objectives of this study were to examine whether the psychological constructs tax awareness, SSB knowledge, SSB risk perception, and intentions to reduce SSB intake were associated with taxed beverage intake, whether they changed from pre- to posttax, and whether they modified the effect of the HPL. Methods We collected single day 24-hour dietary recalls surveyed from repeat cross-sectional surveys of adults aged 18–39 years in Langa, South Africa. Participants were recruited in February-March 2018 (pre-tax, N = 2,481) and February-March 2019 (post-tax, N = 2,507) using door-to-door sampling. Surveys measured tax awareness, SSB knowledge, SSB risk perception, and intention to reduce SSB intake. SSB intake was estimated using a two-part model. To examine changes over time, logistic regression models were used for binary outcomes (tax awareness and intention to reduce SSB consumption) and linear regression models for continuous outcomes (SSB knowledge SSB risk perceptions). Effect modification was tested using interaction terms for each psychological construct with time. Results No constructs were associated with SSB intake at baseline. At post-tax, the predicted probability to consume taxed beverages was 33.5% (95% CI 28.5–38.5%) for those who expressed an intention to reduce SSB intake compared to 45.9% (95% CI 43.7–48.1%) for those who did not. Among consumers, intending to reduce SSB intake was associated with 55 (95% CI 28 to 82) kcal/capita/day less SSBs consumed. Tax awareness, SSB knowledge, and SSB risk perception increased by a small amount from pre- to post-tax. Intentions to reduce SSB intake was lower in the post-tax period. The tax effect on SSB intake was modified by SSB knowledge and intention to reduce SSB intake, with higher levels of each associated with lower SSB intake.