Sugar-sweetened Beverage Tax Implementation Processes: Results of a Scoping Review

Sarah Forberger*, Lucia Reisch, Biljana Meshkovska, Karolina Lobczowska, Daniel Alexander Scheller, Janine Wendt, Lara Christianson, Jennifer Frense, Jürgen Michael Steinacker, Aleksandra Luszczynska, Hajo Zeeb, PEN Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is seen as a win–win situation for governments. It is argued that SSB taxes are relatively easy to implement from a practical perspective compared to for example other nutrition policies. However, the implementation of SSB taxation laws does not happen by itself. Therefore, this work examines implementation processes for SSB taxation in terms of (1) pre-implementation context, (2) taxation instruments used and (3) interactions in the implementation process. Ten databases and grey literature were systematically searched for studies reporting on SSB taxation implementation processes up to February 2020. All studies (N = 1248) were screened independently by two reviewers according to predefined criteria. The selection of variables to be extracted was based on the policy cycle heuristic and informed by intervention implementation research. Information on the process of implementing SSB taxation is limited. Only six cases based on three publications were identified, indicating a gap in this research area. SSB taxation implementation was accomplished by hiring a subcontractor for the implementation or using pre-existing tax collection structures. Political and public support within the implementation process seems to be supportive for the city of Berkeley and for Portugal but was not reported for the Pacific Islands. However, the existing data are very limited, and further research on SSB taxation implementation processes is needed to determine whether the aim of the policy and the envisaged outcome are linked in practice. Registration The protocol was registered with the Open Science Framework (OSF) (

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalHealth Research Policy and Systems
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • SSB taxation
  • Public policy
  • Implementation
  • Implementation process

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