Health care and lost productivity costs of overweight and obesity in New Zealand

Anita Lal, Marj Moodie, Toni Ashton, Mohammad Siahpush, Boyd Swinburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the costs of health care and lost productivity attributable to overweight and obesity in New Zealand (NZ) in 2006. Methods: A prevalence-based approach to costing was used in which costs were calculated for all cases of disease in the year 2006. Population attributable fractions (PAFs) were calculated based on the relative risks obtained from large cohort studies and the prevalence of overweight and obesity. For each disease, the PAF was multiplied by the total health care cost. The costs of lost productivity associated with premature mortality were estimated using both the Human Capital approach (HCA) and Friction Cost approach (FCA). Results: Health care costs attributable to overweight and obesity were estimated to be NZ$624m or 4.4% of New Zealand's total health care expenditure in 2006. The costs of lost productivity using the FCA were estimated to be NZ$98m and NZ$225m using the HCA. The combined costs of health care and lost productivity using the FCA were $722m and $849m using the HCA. Conclusion: The cost burden of overweight and obesity in NZ is considerable. Implications: Policies and interventions are urgently needed to reduce the prevalence of obesity thereby decreasing these substantial costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-556
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Health care costs
  • Lost productivity costs
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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