Friday, July 31, 2009
Obesity costs $147 bn a year, US researchers say
Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 per cent of all medical spending in the United States or an estimated $147 billion (£89 billion) a year, US researchers said on Monday. They said obese people spend 40 per cent more - or $1,429 (£867) more per year - in healthcare costs than people of normal weight. Overall obesity-related health spending has doubled in less than 10 years, according to the study published on Monday by the journal Health Affairs. "It is critical that we take effective steps to contain and reduce the enormous burden of obesity on our nation," Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference at a CDC obesity meeting where the study was presented. "Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort," Dr Frieden said. "It will be done successfully as a society."