Cost-effectiveness of a school-and family-based childhood obesity prevention programme in China: the 'CHIRPY DRAGON' cluster-randomised controlled trial

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Objectives: Rapid socioeconomic and nutrition transitions in Chinese populations have contributed to the growth in childhood obesity. This study presents a cost-effectiveness analysis of a school- and family-based childhood obesity prevention programme in China.

Methods: A trial-based economic evaluation assessed cost-effectiveness at 12 months. Forty schools with 1,641 children were randomised to either receive the multi-component (diet and physical activity) intervention or to continue with usual activities. Both public sector and societal perspectives were adopted. Costs and benefits in the form of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were compared and uncertainty was assessed using established UK and US thresholds.

Results: The intervention cost was 35.53 Yuan (£7.04/US$10.01) per child from a public sector perspective and 536.95 Yuan (£106/US$151) from a societal perspective. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was 272.7 Yuan (£54/US$77)/BMI z-score change. The ICER was 8,888 Yuan (£1,760/US$2,502) and 73,831 Yuan (£14,620/US$20,796) per QALY from a public sector and societal perspective, respectively and was cost-effective using UK (£20,000) and US (US$50,000) per QALY thresholds.

Conclusion: A multi-component school-based prevention programme is a cost-effective means of preventing childhood obesity in China.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1604025
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021

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