Although school-based health prevention programmes are effective in promoting healthy eating and physical activity, little is known about their economic impact. An economic evaluation of programmes identified as feasible, acceptable and sustainable in the Canadian context has been published in the European Journal of Public Health.
This study is based on a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of school-based health promotion programmes. A micro-simulation model integrated the effects of intervention on multiple risk factors to estimate the cost-effectiveness and ‘return on investment’ of comprehensive school health programmes, combining multiple approaches and those based on a modification of physical education programmes.
While each type of intervention studied was found to be economically beneficial, comprehensive school health promotion programmes were found to be the most cost-effective and had the highest return on investment.
Reference: John P Ekwaru, Arto Ohinmaa, Julia Dabravolskaj, Katerina Maximova, Paul J Veugelers, Cost-effectiveness and return on investment of school-based health promotion programmes for chronic disease prevention, European Journal of Public Health, 2021;, ckab130, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab130