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An Assessment of Food Store Compliance With the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax

El-Sayed, Osama M. BS; Pipito, Andrea A. MS; Leider, Julien MA; Chriqui, Jamie F. PhD, MHS; Powell, Lisa M. PhD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: June 04, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001017
Research Brief Report: PDF Only

To examine the correct application of the $0.01/ounce Cook County, Illinois, Sweetened Beverage Tax on sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages, a total of 111 beverage products were purchased from 28 food stores in September and November 2017. Purchases were categorized by taxable (sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soda and juice drinks) and nontaxable (100% fruit juice and sparkling water) beverage type, store type (limited service vs supermarket/grocery), and area median household income (lower vs higher). Two-sample tests of proportions were conducted to compare correctly taxed purchases. The tax was correctly applied in 91.0% of cases. Correct tax application was found in 87.8% of taxable beverage purchases versus 97.3% of nontaxable beverage purchases (P = .10), 71.4% of juice drink purchases versus 95.6% of nonjuice drink purchases (P < .001), and 85.5% of limited service store purchases versus 100% of supermarket/grocery purchases (P = .01). No significant differences were found by area income.

Institute for Health Research and Policy (Messrs El-Sayed and Leider, Ms Pipito, and Drs Chriqui and Powell) and Division of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health (Mr El-Sayed and Drs Chriqui and Powell), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence: Osama M. El-Sayed, BS, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1747 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608 (

The authors received research funding (PI: Dr Powell) from Bloomberg Philanthropies to support this study. The results presented in this brief were supported by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies' Obesity Prevention Initiative ( (grant no. 49255). The authors acknowledge and thank Anita Bontu, for her role in training the data collection team, and the data collection team, for auditing food stores and purchasing the beverages.

The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Bloomberg Philanthropies. The sponsor did not have any role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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