Cost-Effectiveness of a Community-Based Weight Control Intervention Targeting a Low-Socioeconomic-Status Mexican-Origin Population

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Introduction. The objective of our study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a community-based intervention designed to improve physical activity levels and dietary intake and to reduce diabetes risk in a largely Hispanic population residing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Method. We forecasted disease outcomes, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained, and lifetime costs associated with actual and projected attainment of 2% and 5% weight loss taking a societal cost perspective. We extrapolated changes in beverage calorie consumption between baseline and 6-month follow-up to attain projected weight loss measures. Outcomes were projected 5, 10, and 20 years into the future and discounted at a 3.0% rate. Results. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $57,430 and $61,893, respectively, per QALY gained when compared with usual care for the 2% and 5% weight loss scenarios. The intervention was particularly cost-effective for morbidly obese participants. Cost-effectiveness improves when using 3-year weight loss projections based on changes in sugar-sweetened beverage caloric consumption to $49,478 and $24,092 for the 2% and 5% weight loss scenarios. Conclusions. This analysis demonstrates that a culturally sensitive community-based weight loss and maintenance intervention can be cost-effective even when healthy weight individuals participate.

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