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The potential cost-effectiveness of mandatory restrictions on price promotions for sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia

© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. Background: Restricting price promotions on unhealthy foods and beverages has been identified by governments as a promising approach for improving population diets. Using a limited societal perspective, this study assessed the potential cost-effectiveness of mandatory restrictions on price promotions for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Australia. Methods: Australian dietary consumption data, together with UK data on the SSB sales uplift associated with price promotions, were used to estimate reductions in SSB purchases and consequent changes in body mass index following the intervention. A multi-state, multiple-cohort Markov model was used to estimate the obesity-related health and cost impacts over the lifetime of the 2010 Australian population. Costs included passing legislation, assisting retailer implementation, and compliance monitoring. Results: The intervention was estimated to result in a mean change in daily energy intake of −12.52 kJ (95% Uncertainty Interval, UI: −15.91 to −9.58) per person, which translated to a mean body weight change of −0.11 kg (95%UI: −0.14 to −0.08) per person. Total Health Adjusted Life Years gained were estimated at 34,260 (95%UI: 24,922–45,504). Estimated costs were AUD17.0 million, with estimated healthcare cost savings of AUD376.0 million. The intervention was considered dominant (cost-saving and health promoting). The intervention remained cost-effective if retailers reduced average non-discounted SSB prices in response to the intervention by less than 5.36%. Conclusions: Restricting price promotions on SSBs is likely to be highly cost-effective, although its impact would depend on how industry and shoppers respond. Although Australian data are used, these results are likely to be transferable and highly relevant to the UK context. Policies for restricting price promotions should be considered as part of a comprehensive obesity prevention strategy.



International Journal of Obesity






1011 - 1020




London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal