It’s well-known that the obesity epidemic is well-established, with the prevalence of overweight and obesity continuing to increase over recent years.
What’s more, studies have shown that Australia has the fifth highest prevalence of overweight and obesity – presenting a significant health burden with a substantial economic impact.
Due to these statistics and the known consequences of overweight or obesity on long-term health outcomes, there have been countless efforts to address this health epidemic.
Now, a new study – the ACE-Obesity Policy study – published in PLOS ONE, which looked at “the economic credentials of a suite of obesity prevention policies” has found that while all of the study’s 16 potential interventions (including community-based interventions) were found to be cost-effective, the three most effective interventions were all regulatory interventions and included:
- A per-unit tax on alcohol;
- A 20 per cent sugar-sweetened beverages tax;
- Restricting television advertising of unhealthy foods.
While further research is warranted, the study’s authors concluded: “All 16 interventions evaluated were cost-effective and demonstrated great potential for long-term health benefits.”
Given that community-based initiatives were also included in the 16 interventions found to be effective in the fight against obesity (both from a cost and health perspective), this strengthens the position of community pharmacies as potential locations for effective obesity interventions.
To read the study in full, visit: journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234804.