Evaluating the economic and social determinants of child health.

Our health economics theme focuses on understanding the economics of obesity and other chronic diseases, physical activity, alcohol consumption, food environments, among many other topics, bringing together researchers from a range of disciplines within the Mohn Centre.

We seek to identify the most effective, efficient and equitable approaches to tackle the effects of diseases and conditions impacting children and young people. Another key element is to provide high quality evidence to policymakers for health interventions and champion the needs of children and young people.

We are committed to understanding global trends in the childhood obesity epidemic, through components (including age-period-cohort effects), determinants and disparities, both across and within countries, in obesity rates over time. Using microsimulation modelling to estimate the effects of policies over time, we have been able to assess the health and economic impacts of alternative policy approaches to prevent obesity and address the associated behavioural risk factors in children and young people.

Our work

One research project within this theme is STOP (Science and Technology in childhood Obesity Policy), which has brought together a range of major health and food sector actors to generate scientifically sound and policy-relevant evidence on factors that have contributed to the spread of childhood obesity in European countries. Funded by the European Commission, the goal has been to generate alternative policy options for children and young people through the strong collaboration, including scientists, health professionals, government policy makers, national public health agencies, international organisations, civil society and business organisations. This project is uniquely placed to establish mechanisms by which policy-relevant evidence can be generated, made available and used in the design and implementation of effective and sustainable solutions for childhood obesity at european, national and local levels.

STOP (Science and Technology in childhood Obesity Policy)

FINCH (Fiscal Incentives for Health improvement: repurposing consumption taxes on food)


NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians


Theme lead

  • Professor Franco Sassi

    Personal details

    Professor Franco Sassi Professor of International Health Policy and Economics


    Franco Sassi is the Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation (CHEPI) at Imperial. Franco is a well-established economist whose research has been aimed at assessing the impacts of public policies to tackle major chronic diseases and their predisposing risk factors, including poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use, and a range of environmental and social exposures. Franco and his research team have made important contributions to the understanding of the economics of obesity and health-related behaviours, as well as the effects of fiscal policies that are aimed at tackling behaviours that contribute to poor nutrition.

Theme members