The costs, efects and cost-effetiveness of counteracting overweight on a population level.

W. Bemelmans, P van Baal, W. Wendel-Vos, A.J. Schuit, E. Feskens, A. Ament, R. Hoogenveen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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 €6000 per life-year gained and €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. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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