Health Economic Aspects of Childhood Excess Weight: A Structured Review
Onyimadu O., Violato M., Astbury NM., Jebb SA., Petrou S.
An economic perspective is crucial to understand the broad consequences of childhood excess weight (CEW). These can manifest in the form of elevated health care and societal costs, impaired health status, or inefficiencies in the allocation of resources targeted at its prevention, management, or treatment. Although existing systematic reviews provide summaries of distinct economic research strands covering CEW, they have a restricted focus that overlooks relevant evidence. The overarching aim of this structured review was to update and enhance recent key reviews of four strands of economic evidence in this area, namely, (1) economic costs associated with CEW, (2) health utilities associated with CEW, (3) economic evaluations of interventions targeting CEW, and (4) economic determinants and broader consequences of CEW. Our de novo searches identified six additional studies for the first research strand, five studies for the second, thirty-one for the third, and two for the fourth. Most studies were conducted in a small number of high-income countries. Our review highlights knowledge gaps across all the research strands. Evidence from this structured review can act as data input into future economic evaluations in this area and highlights areas where future economic research should be targeted.