The costs, effects and cost-effectiveness of counteracting overweight on a population level: A scientific base for policy targets for the Dutch national plan for action

Wanda Bemelmans, Pieter van Baal, Wanda Wendel-Vos, A.J. Schuit, Edith Feskens, Andre Ament, Rudolf Hoogenveen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives:

To gain insight in realistic policy targets for overweight at a population level and the accompanying costs. Therefore, the effect on overweight prevalence was estimated of large scale implementation of a community intervention (applied to 90% of general population) and an intensive lifestyle program (applied to 10% of overweight adults), and costs and cost-effectiveness were assessed.

Methods:

Costs and effects were based on two Dutch projects and verified by similar international projects. A markov-type simulation model estimated long-term health benefits, health care costs and cost-effectiveness.

Results:

Combined implementation of the interventions--at the above mentioned scale--reduces prevalence rates of overweight by approximately 3 percentage points and of physical inactivity by 2 percentage points after 5 years, at a cost of 7 euros per adult capita per year. The cost-effectiveness ratio of combined implementation amounts to euro 6000 per life-year gained and euro 5700 per QALY gained (including costs of unrelated diseases in life years gained). Sensitivity analyses showed that these ratios are quite robust.

Conclusions:

A realistic policy target is a decrease in overweight prevalence of three percentage points, compared to a situation with no interventions. In reality, large scale implementation of the interventions may not counteract the expected upward trends in The Netherlands completely. Nonetheless, implementation of the interventions is cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Markov Chains
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Netherlands
  • Overweight
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Journal Article

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