Abstract 08: The Impact of Food Taxation and Subsidy Policies on Cardiometabolic Disparities in the US

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Abstract

Background: Food taxes and subsidies are promising strategies for improving diets and reducing cardiometabolic diseases (CMD). Both dietary habits and CMD burdens are unequally distributed in the US, with major disparities by socioeconomic status (SES). Information on impacts of national food price policies on disparities is lacking.

Aim: To estimate the impact on CMD deaths and health disparities in US adults of price interventions (taxes, subsidies) targeting 7 key dietary factors.

Methods: Using nationally representative data, we conducted comparative risk assessment analysis to estimate the impact of a 10% price subsidy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and a 10% tax on processed meat, unprocessed red meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages, on CMD deaths and disparities in SES subgroups. We evaluated 18% (based on global price elasticity data) and 50% (based on recent experience from soda taxes in Mexico) greater price responsiveness in lowest vs. highest SES groups.

Results: Each separate price intervention would reduce CMD deaths (Figure). Jointly subsidizing and taxing these 7 dietary factors (10% price change each) and assuming 18% greater price-responsiveness in lowest vs. highest SES, this intervention would prevent 5.27% of CMD deaths in those with

Conclusions: Introducing modest price changes on key dietary factors could reduce CMD burdens and improve disparities in the US. Policy-based strategies targeting disparities will require considering both baseline dietary habits as well as price responsiveness in specific population subgroups.

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