it might also prevent 490,000 cardiovascular deaths and 750,000 diabetes cases within the adult population in the U.S. over their lifetime.
Researchers and doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and NY City Department of Health and psychotherapy (NYC DOH) have created a model to simulate and quantify the health, economic, and equity impacts of a practical sugar-reduction policy proposed by the U.S. National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI).
The Sugar Reduction Initiative finalized the policy with the goal that the food industry will gradually reformulate the products that include added sugars.
Implementing a national policy, however, would require government support to watch companies as they work toward the targets and to publicly report on their progress.
“Decreasing the sugar content of foods and beverages that are commercially prepared will have a greater impact on the health of country’s citizens than other initiatives to cut down sugar, like imposing a sugar tax, labeling added sugar content, or banning sugary drinks in schools”, says Siyi Shangguan, MD, MPH, lead author and attending physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Ten years after implementing the NSSRI policy, the U.S Government could expect to save a sum of $4.28 billion in total net healthcare costs, and $118.04 billion over the lifetime of the present adult population, aged 35 to 79, consistent with the model.
The entire cost savings of the NSSRI policy rises to $160.88 billion over the adult population’s lifetime after adding all the prices that occurred thanks to lost productivity after developing diseases from excessive sugar consumption.
The study also showed that even compliance in the industries to a partial level with the policy could generate significant health and economic gains.
Consuming sugary foods and beverages is strongly linked to obesity and diseases like type 2 diabetes and disorder, the leading explanation for mortality within the U.S. quite two in five American adults are obese, one in two have diabetes or prediabetes, and nearly one in two have the disorder, with those from lower-income groups being disproportionately burdened.
Product reformulation has also shown promising results in achieving success in reducing other harmful nutrients, like Trans fats and sodium.
The U.S., however, lags other countries in implementing strong sugar-reduction policies, with countries like the United Kingdom, Norway, and Singapore taking the lead on sugar-reformulation efforts.
The microsimulation study has been funded by the National Institute of Health and has been published within the journal Circulation
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