City University of New York
This is an example of using computational modeling to help evaluate and revise the design of a program aimed at increasing physical activity among girls.
From 2018 to 2019, our Public Health Informatics, Computational, and Operations Research team developed a computational simulation model representing the 250 adolescent girls participating in the Fierce & Fit program and how their diets and physical activity affected their BMI and subsequent outcomes, including costs.
The study aim was to help the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland evaluate, quantify, and potentially modify the Girl Scouts Fierce & Fit program.
Changing the Fierce & Fit program from a 6-week program meeting twice a week, with 5 minutes of physical activity each session, to a 12-week program meeting twice a week with 30 minutes of physical activity saved an additional $84,828 ($80,130-$89,526) in lifetime direct medical costs, $81,365 ($76,528-$86,184) in lifetime productivity losses, and 7.85 (7.38-8.31) quality-adjusted life-years. The cost-benefit of implementing this program was $95,943. Based on these results, the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland then implemented these changes in the program.
Ferguson MC, Morgan MJ, O'Shea KJ, Winch L, Siegmund SS, Solano Gonzales M, Randall S, Hertenstein DL, Montague V, Woodberry A, Cassatt T, Lee BY. (2020). Using Simulation Modeling to Guide the Design of the Girl Scouts Fierce & Fit Program. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 28(7)