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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter emphasizes key methodologic features of cost–effectiveness analysis (CEA), its potential to inform policy and direct future research, and the current state of the CEA literature in obesity. The comparative performance of alternate interventions is summarized by a cost–effectiveness ratio, which is defined as the additional cost of a specific intervention divided by its additional clinical benefit, compared with a relevant alternative. Although diet, physical activity, behavior modification, and pharmacotherapy are considered first-line treatments for obesity, non-surgical therapy for severe obesity has shown limited success. There are a number of surgical procedures available to treat severe obesity. As data gaps are filled and methodological challenges are addressed by increasingly sophisticated techniques and increasingly diverse research teams, the rigor and scope of CEAs will expand. CEAs will help policy makers prioritize public health decisions in both high- and low-resource settings.

Keywords: cost–effectiveness analysis, policy, obesity, diet, physical activity, behavior modification, pharmacotherapy

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