Cost-effectiveness of a school-based obesity prevention program.

Authors:
Li Yan Wang
Li Yan Wang
Division of Adolescent and School Health
United States
Bernard Gutin
Bernard Gutin
Georgia Prevention Institute
United States
Paule Barbeau
Paule Barbeau
Georgia Prevention Institute
Dr. Justin B Moore, PhD, MS
Dr. Justin B Moore, PhD, MS
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Associate Professor
Implementation Science, Epidemiology
Winston-Salem, NC | United States
Maribeth H Johnson
Maribeth H Johnson
Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics
United States
Marlo Cavnar
Marlo Cavnar
Georgia Prevention Institute
United States

J Sch Health 2008 Dec;78(12):619-24

Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.

Background: A school-based obesity prevention study (Medical College of Georgia FitKid Project) started in the fall of 2003 in 18 elementary schools. Half of the schools were randomized to an after-school program that included moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, healthy snacks, homework assistance, and academic enrichment. All third graders were invited to enroll. The objective of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness (CE) of the first-year intervention.

Methods: Standard CE analysis methods and a societal perspective were used. Program delivery costs incurred during the first-year intervention and the usual after-school care costs that would occur in the absence of the intervention were estimated (in 2003 dollars). Net intervention costs were calculated by subtracting the usual after-school care costs from the intervention costs. The effectiveness of the intervention was measured as percent body fat (%BF) reduction compared with a control condition. The CE was assessed as the net intervention cost divided by the effectiveness of the intervention.

Results: The intervention costs totaled $174,070, $558/student, or $956/student who attended > or = 40% of the intervention sessions. The usual after-school care costs were estimated at $639/student. Students who attended > or = 40% of the intervention reduced %BF by 0.76% (95% confidence interval: -1.42 to -0.09) at an additional cost of $317/student.

Conclusions: Subjects who attended > or = 40% of the intervention achieved a significant reduction in %BF at a relatively low cost. School-based obesity prevention programs of this type are likely to be a cost-effective use of public funds and warrant careful consideration by policy makers and program planners.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00357.xDOI Listing

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December 2008
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