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Economics of Obesity — Learning from the Past to Contribute to a Better Future
AbstractThe discipline of economics plays a varied role in informing the understanding of the problem of obesity and the impact of different interventions aimed at addressing it. This paper discusses the causes of the obesity epidemic from an economics perspective, and outlines various justifications for government intervention in this area. The paper then focuses on the potential contribution of health economics in supporting resource allocation decision making for obesity prevention/treatment. Although economic evaluations of single interventions provide useful information, evaluations undertaken as part of a priority setting exercise provide the greatest scope for influencing decision making. A review of several priority setting examples in obesity prevention/treatment indicates that policy (as compared with program-based) interventions, targeted at prevention (as compared with treatment) and focused “upstream” on the food environment, are likely to be the most cost-effective options for change. However, in order to further support decision makers, several methodological advances are required. These include the incorporation of intervention costs/benefits outside the health sector, the addressing of equity impacts, and the increased engagement of decision makers in the priority setting process.
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Ananthapavan, J.; Sacks, G.; Moodie, M.; Carter, R. Economics of Obesity — Learning from the Past to Contribute to a Better Future. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4007-4025.View more citation formats
Ananthapavan J, Sacks G, Moodie M, Carter R. Economics of Obesity — Learning from the Past to Contribute to a Better Future. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(4):4007-4025.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ananthapavan, Jaithri; Sacks, Gary; Moodie, Marj; Carter, Rob. 2014. "Economics of Obesity — Learning from the Past to Contribute to a Better Future." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 4: 4007-4025.