Article ID: JE20170111
Background: The cost-effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention interventions is critical for their sustained implementation. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the Educació en Alimentació (EdAl) program, a school-based intervention for reducing obesity.
Methods: Total EdAl program implementation costs and per-child costs were estimated. Cost-effectiveness, defined using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), was estimated as the difference between the intervention and control group costs divided by the obesity-related outcome effects for boys (avoided cases of obesity, obesity prevalence, body mass index [BMI], and BMI z-score units) for each group. As a significant difference (4.39%) in the reduction of obesity prevalence between the intervention and control groups was observed for boys in the EdAl program, the data were calculated only for boys.
Results: The intervention cost was 24,246.53 € for 1,550 children (15.64 €/child/3 years) or 5.21 €/child/year. The ICERs/boy were 968.66 € to avoid one case of obesity, 3.6 € to reduce the obesity prevalence by 1%, 44.68 € to decrease BMI by one unit, and 65.16 € to reduce the BMI z-score by one unit.
Conclusions: The cost of reducing the obesity prevalence in boys by 4.39% was 5.21 €/child/year, half the cost proposed by the Spanish Health Ministry, indicating that the EdAl program is cost-effective.