Cost-Effectiveness of the EdAl (Educació en Alimentació) Program: A Primary School-Based Study to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Marta Conesa, Elisabet Llaurado, Magaly Aceves Martins, David Morina, Oriol de Sola-Morales, Montse Giralt, Lucia Tarro, Rosa Sola

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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.

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.

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.

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
Early online date28 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

We sincerely thank all the participants in this study, their families, and the schools. # MC and ELL contributed equally to this manuscript. This work was supported by a fellowship granted to MC from the “Santander CRUE CEPYME Prácticas en Empresa”. D.M. was partially supported by grants from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III-ISCIII (Spanish Government) cofunded by FEDER funds=European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - a way to build Europe (References: RD12=0036=0056, PI11=02090 and PI16=01254) and from the Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (2014SGR756) and RecerCaixa 2015 (2015ACUP00129). Conflicts of interest: None declared.

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  • Cost-effectiveness
  • school-based interventions
  • childhood obesity
  • Prevention


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