Quantifying the economic consequences of childhood obesity and potential benefits of interventions
The article under evaluation analyzed healthcare utilization data from the German Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents, a representative cross-sectional survey that quantifies healthcare services and costs by category. The author used widely accepted health economic methods to quantify incremental costs and utilization attributable to elevated BMI in children. There are important limits to consider for policy makers, clinicians and others who may use these data in isolation to quantify economic savings and other benefits to quantify cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit profiles of environmental, dietary, physical activity and/or pharmaceutical interventions to prevent or treat obesity in childhood. Longer term benefits of preventing obesity in childhood must be considered.