M.P.H. Student Wins Poster Award
Congratulations to Arnold Forlemu, UND M.P.H. student, on winning the best student poster award at the 37th Annual Frank N. Low Research Day at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Arnold and Drs. Yvonne Jonk and Laura Hand, Arnold's mentors, worked together on a successful project titled Diabetes prevention; effectiveness and efficiency of the national diabetes prevention policy versus the penny per ounce excise tax policy on Sugar-sweetened beverages.
Project Brief Description
Background: Diabetes has reached epidemic levels in the US. This study compared two nationwide diabetes prevention policies ; the national diabetes prevention program (DPP) and the penny per ounce excise (POE) tax policy on sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) based on their efficiency and efficacy at reducing the number of new cases of diabetes in the US.
Purpose: The aim of the study is to make a recommendation for implementation of one of these policies based on the comparison.
Policy description: The national DPP focuses on screening for prediabetes in overweight/obese individuals and having those found positive to participate in an insured one year weight loss program with CDC trained coaches. The POE tax on SSB on the other hand is based on taxing SSBs with the objective that it will reduce new cases of diabetes due to a lower consumption of these beverages, or a switch to healthier alternatives.
Method: A literature search was conducted to find studies that have predicted the impact of either policy at the national level. PREDICTIONS from each study found were used to compare both policies.
Result: The national DPP was projected to prevent 0.28% new cases of diabetes per year in the US. However, the POE tax on SSBs was projected to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 2.6% and by 0.49% per year in the US and in Mexico respectively. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated by dividing the difference in net costs saved by the difference in net effectiveness (diabetes cases prevented per year); thereby comparing both policies in terms of costs saved for each diabetes case prevented per year. Using only nationwide US predictions, the ICER was estimated at $338.13 dollars saved for each case of diabetes prevented by the POE tax per year compared to the national DPP ((1.7 billion – 228million)/(4,388,800 – 35,400).
Conclusion/significance: There is evidence that the POE tax on SSB will produce the most cost savings and have the greatest impact at reducing the number of cases of diabetes if implemented; therefore, this tax should be recommended.