Published: August 2023

ID #: CAS066

Journal: Obesity

Authors: Poole MK, Gortmaker SL, Barrett JL, McCulloch SM, Rimm EB, Emmons KM, Ward ZJ, Kenney EL

See more related research


This study aimed to estimate the 10-year cost-effectiveness of school-based BMI report cards, a commonly implemented program for childhood obesity prevention in the US where student BMI is reported to parents/guardians by letter with nutrition and physical activity resources, for students in grades 3 to 7. A microsimulation model, using data inputs from evidence reviews on health impacts and costs, estimated: how many students would be reached if the 15 states currently measuring student BMI (but not reporting to parents/guardians) implemented BMI report cards from 2023 to 2032; how many cases of childhood obesity would be prevented; expected changes in childhood obesity prevalence; and costs to society. BMI report cards were projected to reach 8.3 million children with overweight or obesity (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 7.7-8.9 million) but were not projected to prevent any cases of childhood obesity or significantly decrease childhood obesity prevalence. Ten-year costs totaled $210 million (95% UI: $30.5-$408 million) or $3.33 per child per year with overweight or obesity (95% UI: $3.11-$3.68). School-based BMI report cards are not cost-effective childhood obesity interventions. Deimplementation should be considered to free up resources for implementing effective programs.

Related Research

September 2020

Cost-Effectiveness of Commonly Used Childhood Obesity Interventions in Schools and ECE Settings to Inform Strategic Planning

This project will identify commonly used obesity prevention programs that have limited effectiveness for obesity prevention and are thus a suboptimal use of limited public health resources. The specific aims are to: 1) Identify two commonly implemented childhood obesity prevention interventions targeting children ages 0-8 that may lack evidence for impact; 2) Conduct a systematic More

January 2024

Food Insecurity and the Child Tax Credit

Food insecurity puts people at risk for many poor physical and mental health outcomes. Food insecurity stayed stable during much of the COVID-19 pandemic but rose significantly from 2021-2022 among U.S. households with children. Many federal supports were offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included expansions in food assistance programs like SNAP, as well as More

November 2023

Evaluating the impact of state-level economic-support policies on the nutritional health of kids and families

To address ongoing concerns of child poverty across the United States, states have introduced and modified family economic security policies related to the state minimum wage (MW) and state earned income tax credit (EITC). While poor nutritional health disproportionately impacts children who experience poverty, few studies have examined the potentially beneficial effects of state-level MW More