A potentially influential piece of research has demonstrated that consumers drink significantly fewer soft drinks when prices are increased.

Published in the US’s Archives of Internal Medicine this month, a 20-year study of 5,115 people assessed the impact of price swings on soft drinks and pizza consumption.

Participating scientists coordinated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill noted: “A 10% increase in the price of soda or pizza was associated with a –7.12% change in energy [fewer calories consumed] from these foods.”

The study comes as Romania is considering creating Europe’s first so-called junk food tax, and could tempt other governments into supporting soft drinks levies.

The report concluded: “Policies aimed at altering the price of soda … may be effective mechanisms to steer … adults toward a more healthful diet.”