The Cost of Obesity

Byron's Comments:

Obesity is mostly self inflicted, driving up costs for everyone, and definately on the rise with no end in sight.

Study Title:

Annual Medical Spending Attributable ToObesity: Payer- And Service-SpecificEstimates.

Study Abstract:

In 1998 the medical costs of obesity were estimated to be as high as $78.5 billion, with roughly half financed by Medicare and Medicaid. This analysis presents updated estimates of the costs of obesity for the United States across payers (Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers), in separate categories for inpatient, non-inpatient, and prescription drug spending. We found that the increased prevalence of obesity is responsible for almost $40 billion of increased medical spending through 2006, including $7 billion in Medicare prescription drug costs. We estimate that the medical costs of obesity could have risen to $147 billion per year by 2008.

Study Information:

Eric A. Finkelstein, Justin G. Trogdon, Joel W. Cohen, and William Dietz Annual Medical Spending Attributable ToObesity: Payer- And Service-SpecificEstimates. Health Affairs 2009 July 
Public Health Economics Program at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

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