Comparative Costs of a Parent-Only and Parent and Child Treatment for Children with Overweight or Obesity

Kerri N. Boutelle, David Strong, June Liang, Kyung E. Rhee, Cheryl L. Rock, Denise Wilfley, Leonard Epstein, Scott J. Crow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Models such as family-based treatment (FBT), delivered to both the parent and child, are considered the most efficacious intervention for children with obesity. However, recent research suggests that parent-based treatment (PBT; or parent-only treatment) is noninferior to FBT. The aim of this study was to evaluate the comparative costs of the FBT and PBT models. Methods: A total of 150 children with overweight and obesity and their parents were randomized to one of two 6-month treatment programs (FBT or PBT). Data was collected at baseline, during treatment, and following treatment, and and trial-based analyses of the costs were conducted from a health care sector perspective and a limited societal perspective. Results: Results suggest that PBT, compared with FBT, had lower costs per parent-child dyad from the health care sector perspective (PBT = $2,886; FBT = $3,899) and from a limited societal perspective (PBT = $3,231; FBT = $4,279). Conclusions: These findings suggest that a PBT intervention has lower costs and is noninferior to an FBT intervention for both child and parent weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
KNB is supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 DK075861, K02 HL112042, R01 DK108686).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Obesity Society


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