Counselor-Initiated Weight Loss Strategies Offer Cost-Effective Solutions for US Military

December 10, 2019

 

A new study from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health may point the way to an effective strategy to promote weight loss in overweight military personnel.

 

The study aimed to assess whether a counselor‐initiated adaptation of the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) intensive lifestyle intervention in a military setting was cost‐effective relative to a self‐paced adaptation.

 

Karina Manz, a 2019 MPH graduate of the College, is first author of "Cost‐Effectiveness of a Weight Loss Intervention: An Adaptation of the Look AHEAD Lifestyle Intervention in the US Military", published in Obesity. Dr. Teresa M. Waters, professor and chair of Health Management and Policy, and Hannah E. Clifton are among the co-authors. Dr. Rebecca A. Krukowski, Univ. of Tennessee, is corresponding author.

 

Investigators performed a cost‐effectiveness analysis from a payer perspective alongside a 2014‐2017 randomized behavioral weight loss trial among 248 active‐duty military personnel stationed at a U.S. Air Force base in Texas. Incremental cost‐effectiveness ratios were calculated for weight loss, reductions in waist circumference, and quality‐adjusted life‐years (QALYs). After 12 months, the counselor-initiated adaptation cost more per participant compared with the self-paced adaptation but achieved greater weight loss, greater reductions in waist circumference, and more QALYs. Given these results, the authors conclude that counselor-initiated adaptation of the Look AHEAD program is likely to provide a cost-effective solution for promoting weight loss in members of the U.S. military.