mapping definitive contingencies modeling calibrated forecasts predicting definitive insights crowdsourcing intelligent forecasts delivering probable wisdom mapping the future generating critical wisdom predicting probable estimations forecasting definitive insights composing contingent understanding composing quantitative estimations delivering calibrated insights computing intelligent forecasts modeling quantitative insights


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will any state impose a state-wide soda tax by 2025?

For decades, a brutal war has been raging in the world of nutrition science.

In the 1960s and 1970s, believers that dietary fat was the enemy--whose ranks included University of Minnesota's Ancel Keys and Harvard's Fred Stare--sparred aggressively with those like John Yudkin in England and Dr. Alfred Pennington (and his disciples, like Dr. Robert Atkins), who thought sugar was the far greater dietary evil.

The anti-fat crowd won that political battle and got enshrined the idea the "low fat is healthy" in monuments like the first U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Nearly 40 years since those guidelines radically shifted how Americans eat, the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way. Dietary fat's witnessing something of a renaissance. While dietary sugar is once again being seen as a malign force.

To that end, policymakers and politicians are beginning to take action to restrict sugar or at least make it less palatable to consumers.

In the UK, a recently passed sugar tax has big implications: "From now on, drinks with a sugar content of more than 5g per 100ml will be taxed 18p per litre and 24p for drinks with 8g or more."

In Mexico, one of the most obese nations in the world, activists managed to pass a soda tax a few years ago.

And in the U.S., cities like Berkeley have already passed similar measures. The Washington Post shares some key details:

Berkeley is the first city to impose a tax and the first U.S. experiment with a tax that’s probably high enough to put a dent in consumers’ soda habits. Depending on the product, a penny-per-ounce tax can be heavy; when Coke goes on sale at my supermarket, I can buy 24 cans — 288 ounces — for about $4. A $2.88 tax would mean a 72 percent price increase. For higher-priced energy and fruit drinks, the percentage increase would be smaller. According to Lisa Powell, a professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a penny-per-ounce tax would be about equal to a 17 percent price increase overall. She says that would result in about a 20 percent consumption decline.

And then there's this amazing research:

Almost immediately after the “soda tax” went into place, Philadelphians were 40 percent less likely to drink soda every day, a new Drexel University study found

Whether or not you approve of their nutritional philosophy or tactics, the anti-sugar forces are clearly on the move, and it seems likely that more sugar taxes are in the offing.

But will we see a whole state (e.g. California) pass into law a tax on soda – with the explicit, written intent to disincentivize soda consumption – by Jan 1, 2025?


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.