Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Nutrition Facts Added-Sugar Labeling and Obesity-Associated Cancer Rates in the US

The Food-PRICE Project

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IMPORTANCE Obesity-associated cancer burdens are increasing in the US. Nutrition policies, such as the Nutrition Facts added-sugar labeling, may reduce obesity-associated cancer rates. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Nutrition Facts added-sugar labeling and obesity-associated cancer rates in the US. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A probabilistic cohort state-transition model was used to conduct an economic evaluation of added-sugar labeling and 13 obesity-associated cancers among 235 million adults aged 20 years or older by age, sex, and race/ethnicity over a median follow-up of 34.4 years. Policy associations were considered in 2 scenarios: with consumer behaviors and with additional industry reformulation. The model integrated nationally representative population demographics, diet, and cancer statistics; associations of policy intervention with diet, diet change and body mass index, and body mass index with cancer risk; and policy and health-related costs from established sources. Data were analyzed from January 8, 2019, to May 6, 2020. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Net costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio were estimated from societal and health care perspectives. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses incorporated uncertainty in input parameters and generated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). RESULTS Based on consumer behaviors, the policy was associated with a reduction of 30 000 (95% UI, 21 600-39 300) new cancer cases and 17 100 (95% UI, 12 400-22 700) cancer deaths, a gain of 116 000 (95% UI, 83 800-153 000) quality-adjusted life-years, and a saving of $1600 million (95% UI, $1190 million-$2030 million) in medical costs associated with cancer care among US adults over a lifetime. The policy was associated with a savings of $704 million (95% UI, $44.5 million-$1450 million) from the societal perspective and $1590 million (95% UI, $1180 million-$2020 million) from the health care perspective. Additional industry reformulation to reduce added-sugar amounts in packaged foods and beverages would double the impact. Greater health gains and cost savings were expected among young adults, women, and non-Hispanic Black individuals than other population subgroups. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These findings suggest that the added-sugar labeling is associated with reduced costs and lower rates of obesity-associated cancers. Policymakers may consider and prioritize nutrition policies for cancer prevention in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E217501
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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