Knowledge and Resource Hub
11 February 2019

Assessing cost-effectiveness of obesity prevention policies in Australia: ACE-obesity policy 2018

This reports presents the findings of the ACE-Obesity Policy study that aimed to evaluate the economic credentials of a range of obesity prevention policies (including both regulatory and program-based interventions), across multiple sectors and multiple areas of governance (local, state and federal governments, and the private sector) in Australia to identify the most effective, cost-effective, affordable and implementable policy options to prevent obesity across a range of settings. All 16 of the evaluated interventions were found to be cost-effective approaches to addressing obesity in the Australian population, with 11 interventions estimated to produce health benefits and save costs in the long term. An intervention to increase the price of alcohol through a uniform volumetric tax performed best in terms of its cost-effectiveness credentials and health benefits. Regulations to tax sugar-sweetened beverages and restrict television advertising of unhealthy foods ranked second and third on the cost- effectiveness league table, and have both been recommended by authoritative obesity prevention reports and health promotion bodies as key components of an obesity prevention strategy. The report noted that governments need to consider the design of obesity prevention interventions to ensure inequities are not exacerbated.