Cost-effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax in the United States
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Background: Reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption through taxation is a promising public health response to the obesity epidemic. This study quantifies the expected health and economic benefits of a national SSB excise tax of 1 cent per ounce. Methods: We adapted the Assessing Cost Effectiveness modeling methodology to the US and used systematic reviews to estimate impact of the tax on body mass index (BMI) after one year of implementation. National health care costs were estimated from Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data; costs and DALYs averted were discounted at 3.5%. The model was developed in a compiled programming language, replicated from a spreadsheet version. Assuming maintenance of the BMI effect, lifetime disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from downstream disease and healthcare costs averted were estimated for the 2005 U.S. population of children and adults. Results: We estimate the tax would reduce SSB consumption by 27%, leading to a 0.17 (95% Uncertainty Interval (UI): 0.06; 0.32) BMI unit reduction among adults and a 0.33 (95% UI: 0.12; 0.63) reduction among children ages 2-19. Implementing the tax nationally would cost $38 million/year, avert 6.1 million DALYS (95% UI: 2.0-13.1 million), and result in $49.5 billion (95% UI: $17.2 100.0) in discounted cost offsets. The tax would save $1,289 for every dollar spent administering the tax over the lifetime of the cohort and in addition generate $12.6 billion in annual revenue (2005 dollars). Conclusions: The proposed tax could substantially reduce BMI and healthcare expenditures, and increase healthy life and revenue for health promotion.
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Assess the potential costs and health benefits of a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB).
Evaluate data and assumptions used to estimate cost-effectiveness of proposed nutrition policy.
Keyword(s): Cost-Effectiveness, Policy/Policy Development
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead author on previous research evaluating the nutrition environment in schools and have worked with local school districts to improve school meal participation and nutritional standards. I have experience evaluating school and neighborhood food environments and analyzing state and federal nutrition policy changes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.