The Economic Case for Eating Disorders Prevention and Early Detection: A Comparative Cost‐Effectiveness Analysis of Six Intervention Strategies

Project Summary

Scaling up eating disorders prevention strategies for population-wide impact will require the field to adopt a new and concerted focus on policy translation research. Decades of research have been done to identify what works to prevent and treat eating disorders. However, there has been little to no investment in research seeking to identify which eating disorders prevention and treatment strategies provide the best value to society given the limited public health resources available. Economic evaluations identifying the best value in eating disorders prevention are critically needed to inform evidence-based policy decisions. The goal of our study is to conduct a comparative cost-effectiveness analysis of six intervention strategies to advance primary and secondary prevention of eating disorders. Members of our research team have already completed preliminary economic analyses of interventions for primary prevention (a school-based healthy eating curriculum) and secondary prevention (school-based eating disorder screening). Findings from these two studies will serve as the basis for the planned research and will be included in the comparative analysis. We will conduct new economic analyses of four additional strategies that have been proposed to advance primary and secondary prevention. Our overarching aim is to estimate the potential reductions in morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs due to prevention of eating disorders as a result of the six interventions selected for this study.

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