Shaping Childhood Obesity Services for FUNSALUD

Health service uses simulation to prepare for increase in demand

The Mexican Foundation for Health (FUNSALUD) used SIMUL8 to understand the economic burden of obesity in Mexican children.

FUNSALUD used the study to determine the shape their health services will need to be to cope with future demand and to project the associated cost of treatments.


Understanding the impact

Using SIMUL8, FUNSALUD developed a simulation of the treatment costs of diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension in a school age population aged 5-11. The simulation was populated with data from FUNSALUD research and the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey.

SIMUL8 software was chosen as its discrete event simulation approach has the capability of handling each child as an individual. This delivered a more detailed and accurate analysis of the data as age, disease, gender and the varied costs associated with each treatment could be specified for each child.

Shaping future services to meet demand

FUNSALUD now understand the financial impact of childhood obesity and have highlighted where investment is required in services to cope with future demand.

The study showed:

  • Overweight population is likely to incur an additional healthcare cost of 84%
  • The costs to treat obesity are projected to rise by 108%
  • The obese male population had the shortest life expectancy which was 14 years less than a normal weight female

It is a well-known fact that overweight and obesity have become an economic burden to most health systems across the world. The ability to project how this increase in demand will affect front line services will be key to helping health organizations plan for the future.

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The findings from this study were presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research meeting and at Obesity 2010. You can view the poster presentation by clicking here.