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J Adolesc Health. 2010 May;46(5):467-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.11.204. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Long-term health and economic impact of preventing and reducing overweight and obesity in adolescence.

Author information

  • 1Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. lgw0@cdc.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Using data from the 2000 National Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and estimates from published studies, this study projected the long-term health and economic impacts of preventing and reducing overweight and obesity in today's adolescents.

METHODS:

We developed a body mass index progression model to project the impact of a 1% point reduction in both overweight and obese adolescents aged 16-17 years at present on the number of nonoverweight, overweight, and obese adults at age 40 years. We then estimated its impact on the lifetime medical costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) after age 40. Medical costs (in 2007 dollars) and QALYs were discounted to age 17 years.

RESULTS:

A 1% point reduction in both overweight and obese adolescents ages 16-17 years at present could reduce the number of obese adults by 52,821 in the future. As a result, lifetime medical care costs after age 40 years would decrease by $586 million and lifetime QALYs would increase by 47,138. In the worst case scenario, the 1% point reduction would lower medical costs by $463 million and increase QALYs by 34,394; in the best case scenario, it would reduce medical costs by $691 million and increase QALYs by 57,149.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity prevention in adolescents goes beyond its immediate benefits; it can also reduce medical costs and increase QALYs substantially in later life. Therefore, it is important to include long-term health and economic benefits when quantifying the impact of obesity prevention in adolescents.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID:
20413083
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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