A systematic review of the evidence undertaken and published in the British Medical Journal (Volume 61, Number 584, March 2011) indicated:
- Most interventions to increase physical activity were cost-effective, especially where direct supervision or instruction was not required.
- Walking, exercise groups, or brief exercise advice on prescription delivered in person, or by phone or mail appeared to be more cost-effective than supervised gym-based exercise classes or instructor-led walking programmes.
- Many physical activity interventions had similar cost-utility estimates to funded pharmaceutical interventions and should be considered for funding at a similar level.
View more research on the effectiveness of programmes like the Green Prescription (Ministry of Health).
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners recently released this policy brief. The document examines obesity from a GP's perspective and identifies some practical advice for GP's around approaching this issue with patients.