The cost-effectiveness and consumer acceptability of taxation strategies to reduce rates of overweight and obesity among children in Australia: study protocol

Tracy A. Comans, Jennifer A. Whitty, Andrew P. Hills, Elizabeth Kendall, Erika Turkstra, Louisa G. Gordon, Josh M. Byrnes, Paul A. Scuffham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Childhood obesity is a recognised public health problem and around 25% of Australian children are overweight or obese. A major contributor is the obesogenic environment which encourages over consumption of energy dense nutrient poor food. Taxation is commonly proposed as a mechanism to reduce consumption of poor food choices and hence reduce rates of obesity and overweight in the community.

Methods/Design: An economic model will be developed to assess the lifetime benefits and costs to a cohort of Australian children by reducing energy dense nutrient poor food consumption through taxation mechanisms. The model inputs will be derived from a series of smaller studies. Food options for taxation will be derived from literature and expert opinion, the acceptability and impact of price changes will be explored through a Citizen’s Jury and a discrete choice experiment and price elasticities will be derived from the discrete choice experiment and consumption data.

Discussion: The health care costs of managing rising levels of obesity are a challenge for all governments. This study will provide a unique contribution to the international knowledge base by engaging a variety of robust research techniques, with a multidisciplinary focus and be responsive to consumers from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1182
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2013

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