Type 2 Diabetes-Related Health Economic Impact Associated with Increased Whole Grains Consumption among Adults in Finland

Nutrients. 2021 Oct 13;13(10):3583. doi: 10.3390/nu13103583.


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing rapidly worldwide. A healthy diet supporting the control of energy intake and body weight has major importance in the prevention of T2D. For example, a high intake of whole grain foods (WGF) has been shown to be inversely associated with risk for T2D. The objective of the study was to estimate the expected health economic impacts of increased WGF consumption to decrease the incidence of T2D in the Finnish adult population. A health economic model utilizing data from multiple national databases and published scientific literature was constructed to estimate these population-level health economic consequences. Among the adult Finnish population, increased WGF consumption could reduce T2D-related costs between 286€ and 989€ million during the next 10-year time horizon depending on the applied scenario (i.e., a 10%-unit increase in a proportion of daily WGF users, an increased number (i.e., two or more) of WGF servings a day, or alternatively a combination of these scenarios). Over the next 20-30 years, a population-wide increase in WGF consumption could lead to much higher benefits. Furthermore, depending on the applied scenario, between 1323 and 154,094 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) could be gained at the population level due to decreased T2D-related morbidity and mortality during the next 10 to 30 years. The results indicate that even when the current level of daily WGF consumption is already at a relatively high-level in a global context, increased WGF consumption could lead to important health gains and savings in the Finnish adult population.

Keywords: cost saving analysis; diabetes; healthcare costs; nutrition economics; quality-adjusted life years; whole grains.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / economics*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Finland
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Probability
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Whole Grains*