Online Program

Estimating State-level Cost-effectiveness of a Sugar-sweetened Beverage Excise Tax

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:50 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.

Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS, School of Community and Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME

Zachary J. Ward, MPH, Center for Health Decision Science, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Michael W. Long, SD, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Catherine M. Giles, MPH, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, Department of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Steven Gortmaker, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Background: Implementing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) at the state and local levels remains high on the obesity prevention policy agenda.  Policymakers are seeking locally tailored estimates of the impact of SSB taxes on health and healthcare costs. 

Methods: This study provides Maine-specific estimates of the cost-effectiveness of a one-cent per ounce SSB excise tax using local data inputs for the national Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) microsimulation model.  Healthcare costs averted and cost-effectiveness of ten-year reductions in body mass index (BMI), childhood obesity prevalence and gains in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) will be estimated for the 2015 U.S. and Maine populations. Maine estimates of SSB prices will be collected in 2015 from a sample of stores and restaurants. Estimates of baseline SSB intake from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey will be adjusted for Maine using regional data. Costs of tax administration will be estimated based on interviews with local stakeholders.

Results: Nationally, a one cent per ounce SSB excise tax would decrease consumption by 20% and mean BMI by 0.16 (95% Uncertainty Interval (UI): 0.06; 0.37) units among youth.  The tax would generate $12.5 billion in annual revenue nationally (95% UI: $8.92; $14.1 billion).  Maine-specific results and national results on healthcare cost savings and cost-effectiveness to reduce childhood obesity and increase QALYs will be presented. 

Conclusions:  This study highlights the potential to adapt national simulation models of nutrition policy changes to a specific state context in order to inform the local nutrition policy-making process.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe aspects of the SSB excise tax microsimulation model that can be adapted for state level analysis Identify key modeling outcomes that will be useful for Maine stakeholders and SSB policy advocates

Keyword(s): Obesity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a faculty position as Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of New England and hold a master's degree in international health and doctoral degree in social and behavioral health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I have served as principal investigator on several studies related to childhood obesity and have worked as a researcher in this area for over 15 years.
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.