The Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Reducing Obesity among Young Children through Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Screen Time
The Healthy Eating Research group published a new cost-effectiveness analysis for childhood obesity prevention policies and interventions, conducted by the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES).
The researchers looked at two interventions at a societal level: 1) applying a sugary drink excise tax and 2) eliminating the tax deductibility of advertising unhealthy food and beverages to children. They also analyzed two interventions in early care and education settings: 1) the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) and 2) the Hip Hop to Health Jr. program.
The study found that a policy change, like taxing sugary drinks, holds promise for reducing obesity in the population, with a wide reach and relatively low costs/high economic return. However, the NAP SACC program showed the best evidence for impact on early childhood obesity risk among interventions specifically targeted to children under 5. It has been rigorously evaluated, across multiple contexts, and demonstrated an effect on reducing obesity risk in experimental studies in several states. While interventions like NAP SACC require an upfront investment, the analysis concluded that, at about $64/child, NAP SACC is “an investment, it is not money wasted” because of its proven results.
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