Study – Cost-effectiveness of common weight loss strategies

Just saw this interesting and topical paper – it looked at the cost-effectiveness of clinically proven non-surgical commercial weight loss strategies for those with BMIs between 25 and 40.

A systematic analysis was done of RCTs of weight loss studies of at least 1 year duration – it included two lifestyle programs (Weight Watchers and Vtrim), one meal replacement program (Jenny Craig), and three pharmaceutical products (Qsymia, Lorcaserin, and Orlistat).

It found that in the absence of other considerations and at current market prices, Weight Watchers and Qsymia represent the two most cost-effective strategies for nonsurgical weight loss. Specifically, the average cost per kilogram of weight lost ranged from $155 for Weight Watchers to $546 for Orlistat. The incremental cost per QALY gained for Weight Watchers and Qsymia was $34,630 and $54,130, respectively.

I’m gobsmacked. Even the ‘cheapest’ option (Weight Watchers) ‘charges’ $155 for 1kg of weight loss. But then I guess you compare that against the ‘cost’ of obesity-related disease… heart attacks, strokes, diabetes – which is much more. Oh, and here is the water melon diet review, in case someone interested – working good and not that expensive!

Finkelstein EA, Kruger E. Meta- and cost-effectiveness analysis of commercial weight loss strategies. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Sep;22(9):1942-51. doi: 10.1002/oby.20824. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

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