Health Services Research January 2011 Newsletter

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Health Services Research Section

January 2011

Hello Health Services Researchers!

Welcome to 2011!  A new year brings renewed energy and commitment to the HSR Section of the Obesity Society and we hope you will join us on this journey.   Over the past few years, obesity has been garnering increased media and government attention about incidence, prevalence, causes and prevention and treatment.  With this increased attention comes new opportunity for health services research and truly moving the needle from what we know to what can be done.  In order to ensure our Section is responding the needs of our members, we will be conducting a survey in the upcoming weeks to learn more about your interests.  In addition, based on your interaction with the section over the past couple years, we may contact you directly to get your input and/or solicit your help as we seek to achieve our goals in 2011. In this newsletter, we are introducing an Article Review section for the newsletter.  This month's review was done by our Section Chair:  David Arterburn, MD, MPH.  We'd like to invite any interested Section member to submit an article review for future newsletters.  Specifically, we'd like the section to focus on nascent obesity HSR articles that "popped" your curiosity and you'd like to share with others.  If you are interested in submitting a review, please contact Sarah Sampsel, MPH.


We are truly hoping to re-energize this section, grow  and seek more active involvement from our members and look forward to your participation.


Sarah, David and Trina

TOS Updates


Watch the TOS website,, for the opening of the 2011 Annual Meeting Abstract submission process.  The abstract site is scheduled to open Friday, February 11, 2011 and close Wednesday, March 23, 2011.


The HSR Section continues to seek volunteers for leadership positions.  The current officers are willing to help during a transition. Please contact Sadie Campbell This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  at TOS if you are interested in a leadership position in the section.  The official call for nominations for the 2011-2012 section leaders will open in April and close in May.  However, we're hoping to get some early interest and the current leaders are willing to discuss roles/responsibilities with anyone interested prior to the nomination process. 

HSR Article Review


How do we get the most bang for our health policy buck?


Tackling of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity: health effects and cost-effectiveness. Lancet. Nov 2010.To access the full article, head to:

This is the first of what will be a quarterly review of recent compelling research for the Health Services Research Section newsletter. In a recent article in The Lancet, a group of health economists from the World Health Organization and the French Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development came together to construct a microsimulation model of the health and economic effects of implementing a variety of population-level policy measures to reduce unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity. The authors note that a microsimulation approach is best suited to addressing questions that would be difficult or impossible to answer through empirical investigation. Data to inform the model came from a range of sources, including national health surveys, published studies, and datasets from WHO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The authors estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness of several interventions compared to no intervention, including school-based health promotion interventions, worksite health promotion interventions, mass media health promotion campaigns, counseling of individuals at risk in primary care, fiscal measures affecting the prices of fruit and vegetables and foods high in fat, regulation of food advertising to children, and compulsory food labeling. Country-specific analyses were conducted for England, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. The results indicated that the most cost-effective policy-level approach to addressing unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity were fiscal measures affecting the prices of fruit and vegetables and foods high in fat, which were cost-saving in every country over a time frame of 20 years. On the other hand, school based interventions were not cost-effective over this time frame because it takes much longer for the health benefits of these interventions to accrue in the population. Food advertising and food labeling regulations were also highly cost-effective interventions. In closing the authors reflect on the prior demonstrated effectiveness of similar fiscal measures affecting the prices of tobacco and alcohol.

For questions about this communication or about The Obesity Society, please contact Sadie Campbell, Governance and Executive Assistant at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  
(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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