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Gac Sanit. 2011 May-Jun;25(3):198-204. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2010.11.003. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

[Cost-effectiveness of an intervention to reduce overweight and obesity in 9-10-year-olds. The Cuenca study].

[Article in Spanish]

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Centro de Estudios Sociosanitarios, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, España.



To assess the cost-effectiveness a school-based intervention designed to reduce overweight/obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors in children.


Standard cost effectiveness analysis methods and two perspectives (societal and institutional) were used. A cluster-randomized controlled trial with 10 intervention schools (691 children) and 10 control schools (718 children) was performed. Net costs were calculated by subtracting the usual after-school care cost from intervention costs. The effectiveness of the intervention was measured as the reduction in health outcomes compared with the control group.


The intervention costs totaled 125,469.75€, representing 269.83 €/year/child. The usual after-school care was estimated at 844,56 €/year/child. Intervention children showed a decrease in triceps skinfold thickness (-1.25mm, 95% CI: -1.82 to -0.67; P<.001). Intervention children with body mass index (BMI) between the percentiles 25 and 75 showed a decrease in the percentage of body fat (-0.59%; 95% CI: -1.03 to -0.67; P<.001), and those with a BMI>P75 showed a decrease in triceps skinfold thickness (-1.87mm; 95%CI: -3.43 to -0.32; P<.001), and percentage of body fat (-0.67%; 95%CI: -1.32 to -0.01; P<.05).


This type of after-school program for recreational physical activity to prevent obesity are likely to be a cost-effective use of public funds and warrant careful consideration by policy makers and program planners.

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