The newly developed tool will help local authorities (LAs) to assess the financial benefit of adult weight management programmes to prevent and reduce obesity. LAs will now be able to compare the cost of a programme with potential future healthcare savings that may result. This will help them in their ongoing efforts to achieve a decline in obesity rates by 2020.
The tool estimates the health impact of weight loss in any group of adults who have participated in a programme. The tool is accessible, easy to use and allows users to enter their own local data which will produce forecasts for up to 25 years.
Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England, said:
I am delighted to announce the launch of this important tool. Commissioners need to understand the likely economic consequences of the interventions they fund and this tool gives them a good idea of the potential future healthcare savings from tackling obesity and overweight.
Everyone in public health is working hard to make a difference to overweight and obesity in their areas. It is vital that we build confidence that this work not only reduces the wider negative consequences of obesity but has worthwhile financial benefits for the care system as well. This practical tool is a direct response to what public health professionals are telling us they need to help improve health in their local communities.