Cost-Effective Interventions to Fight Childhood Obesity

When evaluating the cost-effectiveness of 4 different interventions to prevent or reduce childhood obesity, researchers found that the benefit of these interventions surpassed the current clinical interventions to treat obesity.

As the obesity epidemic continues to hound healthcare providers, policy makers, and the government, scientists are working to develop alternate models to prevent, rather than treat, the condition. A paper published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine evaluated the impact of 4 childhood obesity interventions: sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax (SSB), eliminating tax subsidy of TV advertising to children (TV AD), early care and education policy change (ECE), and active physical education (active PE).

The simulation model used in the study created a representative US population for a 10-year period between 2015 and 2025. The results of the simulated study showed that 3 of the 4 interventions would yield net savings: SSB, TV AD, and active PE. While SSB and TV AD would create tax revenue, they'd also avert disability-adjusted life years while improving quality-adjusted life years. These intervention, the authors write, are more cost-effective than current clinical interventions to treat obesity.