Policies Prevent Obesity, Save Money

Nov 6, 2015 by

Policies Prevent Obesity, Save Money

November 5, 2015

Often we are asked “what is it that the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition does?” When we explain that we are a group of organizations seeking policy and systems solutions that can take on the obesity crisis in Washington state, some (thankfully not many these days!) may still ask “why?”

This week in the news, you may have seen the results of a new study from the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) team at the Harvard Prevention Research Center. The study, entitled ‘Three Interventions that Reduce Childhood Obesity are Projected to Save more than they Cost to Implement,’ perfectly illustrates why groups like ours do what we do. By taking a close look at three policy interventions, the researchers demonstrate the importance of investing in primary prevention and show that not only do these policies work, but they also save more money than they cost.

Among the findings, here are some of the highlights:

· Soda tax can prevent 576k cases of childhood obesity, save more than $14 billion

· Eliminating the tax break on junkfood ads could prevent more than129k childhood obesity cases, save $260m

· School snacks nutrition standards prevent 345k cases of childhood obesity save $792m

· Calorie labeling could prevent >41k cases of childhood obesity, could save $4.7b

· Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is one of most important obesity prevention achievements

We encourage you to take a look at the study in Health Affairs and see the encouraging numbers for yourself.

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