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Nutr Diabetes. 2013 Jun 24;3:e77. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2013.18.

The cost-effectiveness of shopping to a predetermined grocery list to reduce overweight and obesity.

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1
Centre for Health Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pre-commitment strategies can encourage participants to commit to a healthy food plan and have been suggested as a potential strategy for weight loss. However, it is unclear whether such strategies are cost-effective.

OBJECTIVE:

To analyse whether pre-commitment interventions that facilitate healthier diets are a cost-effective approach to tackle obesity.

METHODS:

Effectiveness evidence was obtained from a systematic review of the literature. For interventions demonstrating a clinically significant change in weight, a Markov model was employed to simulate the long-term health and economic consequences. The review supported modelling just one intervention: grocery shopping to a predetermined list combined with standard behavioural therapy (SBT). SBT alone and do nothing were used as comparators. The target population was overweight or obese adult women. A lifetime horizon for health effects (expressed as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)) and costs from the perspective of the UK health sector were used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs).

RESULTS:

In the base case analysis, the pre-commitment strategy of shopping to a list was found to be more effective and cost saving when compared against SBT, and cost-effective when compared against 'do nothing' (ICER=£166 per QALY gained). A sensitivity analysis indicated that shopping to a list remained dominant or cost-effective under various scenarios.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest grocery shopping to a predetermined list combined with SBT is a cost-effective means for reducing obesity and its related health conditions.

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