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Evaluation of the Healthy Berkeley Program: An Analysis of Grantee Activities Funded by the Berkeley Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax

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Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet and therefore a national public health concern. Efforts to reduce SSBs have become a priority because of strong evidence that SSBs increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and dental caries. Berkeley, California, was the first U.S. to successfully pass SSB tax legislation (Measure D).

Measure D was implemented starting March 1, 2015 and imposes a one-cent per-ounce tax on distributors of SSBs in the City of Berkeley. Revenue from the tax goes into the City’s General Fund. The Berkeley City Council with guidance from the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Panel of Experts Commission has allocated a total of $5 million from the General Fund for grants and City of Berkeley Public Health Division staffing to implement programs aiming to reduce consumption of SSBs and related health outcomes. In Spring 2017, the City of Berkeley Public Health Division engaged John Snow, Inc., Healthy Communities, to evaluate the Healthy Berkeley Program. The goal of the evaluation was to gather information about the activities of Healthy Berkeley grantees during “Year 1” (July 2016 – June 2017).

This report was compiled and completed in 2018.

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