We translated family-based behavioral treatment (FBT) to treat children with overweight and obesity and their parents in the patient-centered medical home. We reported greater reductions in child and parent weight at 6 and 24 months compared with an attention-controlled information control (IC) group. This article reports the cost-effectiveness of long-term weight change for FBT compared with IC.


Ninety-six children 2 to 5 years of age with overweight or obesity and with parents who had a BMI ≥25 were randomly assigned to FBT or IC, and both received diet and activity education (12-month treatment and 12-month follow-up). Weight loss and cost-effectiveness were assessed at 24 months. Intention-to-treat, completers, and sensitivity analyses were performed.


The average societal cost per family was $1629 for the FBT and $886 for the IC groups at 24 months. At 24 months, child percent over BMI (%OBMI) change decreased by 2.0 U in the FBT group versus an increase of 4.4 U in the IC group. Parents lost 6.0 vs 0.2 kg at 24 months in the FBT and IC groups, respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for children and parents’ %OBMI were $116.1 and $83.5 per U of %OBMI, respectively. Parental ICERs were also calculated for body weight and BMI and were $128.1 per 1, and $353.8/ per kilogram, respectively. ICER values for child %OBMI were similar in the intention-to-treat group ($116.1/1 U decrease) compared with completers ($114.3).


For families consisting of children and parents with overweight, FBT presents a more cost-effective alternative than an IC group.

You do not currently have access to this content.