Investing in a healthy lifestyle strategy: is it worth it?

Date

2016

Authors

Benmarhnia, Tarik
Dionne, Pierre-Alexandre
Tchouaket, Éric
Fansi, Alvine K.
Brousselle, Astrid

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

International Journal of Public Health

Abstract

Objectives: In Quebec, various actors fund activities aimed at increasing physical activity, improving eating habits and reducing smoking. The objective was to evaluate how effective does the healthy lifestyle habits promotion (HLHP) strategy need to be to make to offset its costs. Methods: First, we built the logic model of the HLHP strategy. We then assessed the strategy’s total cost as well as the direct health care expenditures associated with lifestyle-related risk factors (smoking, physical inactivity, insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables, obesity and overweight). Finally, we estimated the break-even point beyond which the economic benefits of the HLHP strategy would outweigh its costs. Results: The HLHP strategy cost for 2010–2011 was estimated at $110 million. Direct healthcare expenditures associated with lifestyle-related risk factors were estimated at $4.161 billion. We estimated that 47 % of these expenditures were attributable to these risk factors. Conclusions: We concluded that the HLHP strategy cost corresponded to 5.6 % of the annual healthcare expenditures attributable to these risk factors. This study compared the economic value of HLHP activities against healthcare expenditures associated with targeted risk factors.

Description

Keywords

Economic evaluation, Public health, Health policy, Burden of disease, Attributable fraction, Return on investment, Risk factors, Economic benefits, Healthy lifestyle habits promotion

Citation

Benmarhnia, T., Dionne, P., Tchouaket, É., Fansi, A. K., & Brousselle, A. (2016). Investing in a healthy lifestyle strategy: is it worth it? International Journal of Public Health, 62, 3-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-016-0884-y.