Abstract for: Impact of sugar-sweetened beverage tax on dental caries: a simulation analysis

The tiered sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax was implemented in Thailand to encourage industries to reduce sugar content in beverages and consequently reduce sugar consumption in the population. The aim of the study is to explore the expected impact of the new SSB tax policy in Thailand, a middle-income country in Asia, and other alternative policies on oral health outcomes, as measured by the prevalence and severity of dental caries among the Thai population. A qualitative system dynamics model that captures the complex interrelationships among SSB tax, sugar consumption and dental caries, were elicited through participatory stakeholder engagement. Based on the qualitative model, a quantitative system dynamics model was developed to simulate the SSB tax policy and other alternative scenarios to evaluate their impact on dental caries among Thai adults from 2010 to 2040.Under the base-case scenario, the dental caries prevalence, among the Thai population 15 years and older, is projected to increase from 61.3% in 2010 to 74.9% by 2040. Implementation of SSB tax policy is expected to decrease the prevalence of dental caries by only 1% by 2040, whereas the aggressive policy is projected to decrease prevalence of dental caries by 21% by 2040.