We are what we eat!
A recent study funded by the CDC Foundation, lead author Dr Eric Finkelstein, director of RTI's Public Health Economics Program, and colleagues analyzed data from the 1998 and 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys. The survey found the following:
In 1998 the medical costs of obesity in the US were estimated at around 78.5 billion dollars a year, half of which was financed by Medicare and Medicaid (government health insurance for seniors and families on low incomes).
Between 1998 and 2006, the prevalence of obesity in the US went up by 37 per cent.
This rise in obesity prevalence added 40 billion dollars to the annual healthcare bill for obesity.
The annual healthcare costs of obesity could be as high as 147 billion dollars for 2008.
Obesity is now responsible for 9.1 per cent of annual medical costs compared with 6.5 per cent in 1998.
The medical costs for an obese person are 42 per cent higher than for a person of normal weight.
This equates to an additional 1,429 dollars per year: the costs for an obese person on Medicare are even greater.
Much of the additional Medicare cost for an obese person are the result of the added prescription drug benefit.
Medicare prescription drug payments for obese recipients are about 600 dollars a year more than for normal weight recipients.
Obesity accounts for 8.5 per cet of Medicare expenditure, 11.8 per cent of Medicaid expenditure, and 12.9 per cent of private insurance expenditure.