Cost Effectiveness of Childhood Obesity Interventions

Posted by Harvard University on July 20, 2015

Summary: Cost Effectiveness of Childhood Obesity Interventions – Evidence and Methods for CHOICES

A published CHOICES overview paper discusses the rigorous methods behind four preventive childhood obesity strategies that were found to be more cost-effective than existing clinical interventions to treat obesity.

As the childhood obesity epidemic continues in the U.S., fiscal crises are leading policymakers to ask not only whether an intervention works, but also whether it offers good value for money spent. However, cost-effectiveness analyses have been limited, and currently practiced strategies such as individual clinical interventions are often an expensive burden on the healthcare system.

“Reversing the obesity epidemic will require a broad range of intervention strategies, and identifying the best strategies necessitates analysis of the costs, impact, healthcare cost savings, and broader context of each strategy,” says lead investigator of the CHOICES Project, Dr. Steven Gortmaker, who also serves as the Director of the Harvard Prevention Research Center and a Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The consideration of all these key metrics is crucial, yet currently absent from our national conversation on obesity prevention and control.”

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