Developing a framework for estimating future body weight and health economic outcomes in children, given their current weight status, age, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic position.
Health economic aspects of childhood excess weight
This project aims to develop a framework for estimating future body weight and health economic outcomes in children, given their current weight status, age, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic position.
A cross cutting project, part of our Novel Methods to Aid and Evaluate Implementation and Changing Behaviours for Better Health and Preventing Disease research themes.
If we want to know how cost-effective different interventions or treatments for childhood obesity are, then we need to also need to know about the health-related quality of life outcomes and economic costs of childhood excess weight.
Currently, there is a lot of uncertainty about the direct and indirect costs associated with childhood excess weight in the United Kingdom.
The valuation of paediatric-specific body weight-related health states and the assumptions of longer-term persistence of health benefits accrued from competing interventions also pose significant economic modelling challenges.
Work completed so far has involved:
- Delineating five key streams of research focus for this project. These streams are as follows:
o Epidemiological aspects of childhood excess weight
o Economic determinants and broader consequences of childhood excess weight
o Economic costs associated with childhood excess weight
o Health-related quality of life outcomes and health utilities associated with childhood excess weight
o Economic evaluations of preventive and treatment interventions
- Updating systematic review searches in the streams covering economic costs, health utilities and economic evaluations.
- Summarising the current knowledge in the literature and refining research questions.
- Identifying specific topics for systematic review.
Ongoing and upcoming work will involve:
- Conducting a systematic review in at least one of the identified topics.
- Estimating the excess health service costs associated with childhood overweight/obesity using two-part multivariable regression analyses. The primary source of data for this analysis will be the QResearch database. Other relevant databases and methods will also be explored.
- Estimating economic costs in adulthood that are attributable to excess weight in childhood.
- Estimating the cost-effectiveness of relevant interventions over varying time horizons.
How we are involving patients and the public
We will establish a patient and public involvement (PPI) steering committee comprising volunteers, parents and charities such as Obesity UK. We will conduct panel meetings and workshops with our PPI representatives to ascertain the perceived effectiveness, practicability and challenges surrounding the implementation of current economic interventions targeting childhood excess weight.
Our selection of existing or hypothetical interventions for cost-effectiveness analysis will be guided by feedback from these interactions. Our meetings will also focus on strategies for disseminating our research outputs beyond academic forums.
How we are planning to implement the research outputs
The cost implications of childhood excess weight will be of great interest to policy makers, parents, charities and private sector organisations involved in the development of interventions that target weight gain among children. Therefore, we will work closely with stakeholders on dissemination strategies for our research outputs.
We will arrange meetings with local health and social care decision makers to discuss our research and make presentations at relevant professional conferences such as the Health Economists’ Study Group and the International Health Economics Association.
Project end date
- Conduct a systematic review in one of the key topics where we have identified gaps.
- Estimate the excess health service costs associated with childhood excess weight in the United Kingdom over varying time horizons and stratified by subgroups of interest.
- Estimate the cost-effectiveness of relevant interventions over varying time horizons.
- Systematic review publication
- Economic costs publication
- Economic evaluation publication
- Conference presentations
- This research is expected to have implications for every child in the United Kingdom and aspects of it may be generalisable to other countries.