Evaluating Policy to Reduce Sugar Intake

Headshots of Thomas Gaziano and Shafika Abrahams-Gessel with Decorative Squares

CHDS’ Thomas Gaziano and Shafika Abrahams-Gessel’s analysis on the health impact and cost-effectiveness of achieving the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI) voluntary sugar reduction targets in the United States was recently published in Circulation.

Using the validated microsimulation model designed by Dr. Gaziano, the Harvard CVD-PREDICT model, the investigators looked at averted diabetes cases, CVD events and CVD deaths, QALYs gained, and formal healthcare cost savings, stratified by age, race, income, and education over 10 years and lifetime. The model data sources included national demographic and dietary data from the 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, sugar-related diseases from meta-analyses, and policy costs and health-related costs from published sources. They created a simulated, nationally representative U.S. population of 1 million individuals and followed them from age 35 until age 100 years or death, with 2019 as the year of intervention start. The model incorporated the annual probability of each person’s transition between health status based on their risk factors. The investigators used a societal perspective in their analysis.

Achieving the NSSRI sugar reduction targets could achieve many positive outcomes to society: prevent 2.48 million CVD events, 0.49 million CVD deaths, and 0.75 million diabetes cases, while gaining 6.67 million QALYs and saving $160.88 billion in net costs. The study also found that the achievement of the intended targets could reduce health disparities, with the greatest estimated health gains per million adults among those who are Black or Hispanic, those with lower income, and those with less formal education.

Learn more: Read the publication.
Learn more: Publication press release in SciTechDaily.

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