4 April 2019

Reduced risk of obesity and diabetes is often used as an argument for introducing a ‘sugar tax’ on sweetened soft drinks. However, a sugar tax can also improve dental health. Researchers at Radboudumc have calculated that an additional 20% tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would result in one million fewer dental cavities (caries).

Soft drinks almost always contain a lot of sugar and therefore have many calories. Sooner or later, soft drink consumption increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. But sugar also promotes the occurrence of caries. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide suffer from dental decay of various levels of severity. This is accompanied by reduced quality of life, limitations on social functioning and significant health problems. Moreover, it creates a considerable economic burden for society.
 
Scenario
Researchers at Radboudumc calculated what would happen if the tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks was increased by 20%. To what extent would people switch to less sugary drinks or to drinks without any sugar? What effect would that behavior have on the number of caries? And would that lead to a reduction in healthcare costs? The researchers published the interesting results of their scenario calculations in the journal Public Health.
 
Teeth remain caries-free for longer
Milica Jevdjevic, researcher on Quality and Safety of Oral Healthcare: “Based on the situation in the Netherlands, we have calculated that such a tax increase would result in one million fewer caries. The average Dutch person would enjoy two additional caries-free years. We see the largest effect in children between the ages of 6 and 12. The teeth of girls would remain caries-free for six years as a result of this tax, and for boys that would be even longer: nine years.”
 
Cost reduction
According to the researchers, the benefits of such a tax measure would be considerable. Jevdjevic: “We estimated that the administrative cost for introducing and collecting the tax would be slightly more than 37 million euros, but it would generate tax revenue of almost 3.5 billion euros. Moreover, the measure would lead to a cost reduction in dental care because fewer interventions would be required.”
 

Publication in Public Health
The caries-related cost and effects of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages
M. Jevdjevic, A.L. Trescher, M. Rovers, S. Listl
 
Milica Jevdjevic and Stefan Listl are both members of theme Healthcare improvement science.
Maroeska Rovers is member of theme Urological cancers.

Related news items


ERC Consolidator Grant for Bousema and Sechopoulos

12 December 2019

Teun Bousema and Ioannis Sechopoulos are to receive an ERC Consolidator Grant of around two million euros each. This European research subsidy will enable them to carry out research for the next five years.

read more

New insights into the initiation of T cell responses in the spleen

11 December 2019

Carl Figdor and colleagues, theme Cancer development and immune defense, provide insights into the initiation of T cell responses in the spleen and their consequences for T cell differentiation. They have published their results in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

read more

Two teams of RIMLS-FNWI participate in Alpe d'HuZes

10 December 2019

Sixteen employees of the research institute RIMLS-FNWI have taken on the challenge to run, bike or hike up the mountain Alpe d’Huez as many times as possible 4 June 2020, to raise as much money as possible for cancer research.

read more

Dietrich-Knorr Prize for Hedi Claahsen-van der Grinten

10 December 2019

Hedi Claahsen-van der Grinten, theme Vascular damage, received the Dietrich-Knorr prize 2019 for the best published paper in the field of adrenal research, for her publication in the Journal of Clinical endocrinology & Metabolism.

read more

FIGHT-CNNM2 grant for Joost Hoenderop

9 December 2019

Joost Hoenderop, theme Renal disorders, received an European Joint Programme Rare Diseases grant for his project, entitled 'Improving diagnostics and grasping the disease mechanisms of rare Hypomagnesemia in patients with CNNM2 mutations'. 

read more

Response to treatment of Autoimmune Hepatitis

6 December 2019

In a study of patients with Autoimmune Hepatitis and published in Clinial Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Simon Pape and Joost Drenth, found that a rapid response to treatment, based on level of AST after 8 weeks, associates with normalization of transaminase levels in the following year.

read more