Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The annual medical burden of obesity has increased to almost 10 percent of all medical spending and may be as high as $147 billion per year (in 2008 dollars), according to a new study from Research Triangle Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Amid the ongoing debate on health care reform, the report suggests real cost savings are more likely to be achieved through reducing obesity and related risk factors. Overall, people who are obese spent $1,429 or 42 percent more for medical care in 2006 than did normal weight people, the study said. The proportion of all annual medical costs that are due to obesity increased from 6.5 percent in 1998 to 9.1 percent in 2006. The costs attributable to obesity are almost entirely a result of costs generated from treating the diseases that obesity promotes, such as diabetes and heart disease. A person is considered obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. BMI is calculated using height and weight measurements. Check out I.I.I. information on obesity.