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Modelling the long-term impacts of a weight loss intervention: Oral presentation at the European Congress on Obesity, Porto 2017
Funded by
National Prevention Research Initiative, Weight Watchers International (UK MRCI Collaboration Award)
Date08 May 2017
Year 2017
The UK Health Forum modelling department collaborated with researchers at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Liverpool, to model the long term health impact and cost-effectiveness of referring obese patients to commercially available group weight loss programmes. This work will be presented at the 2017 European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal. 
The work used data from the Weight Loss Referrals for Adults in Primary Care trial and modelled the three arms of the trial, where participants were randomly allocate to receive a weight loss advice leaflet or free vouchers to attend a weight loss programme for either 3 or 12 months. 
Long term microsimulation modelling showed that referring individuals to the longer weight loss programme resulted in fewer chronic diseases, more healthy life years lived and fewer direct healthcare costs. Over 25 years, the longer programme was estimated to be cost-effective compared to the 3 months referral and the brief advice leaflet, well below the NICE-recommended threshold for commissioning of interventions. 
While microsimulation modelling cannot provide the same level of evidence as randomised control trials, the methods are  useful to extrapolate within-trial findings, in particular when establishing long-term impacts on chronic diseases. 
  • Modelling

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