Very fat bill: Obesity Research

64 per cent of Americans are obese. This is costing the nation a pretty weighty penny. According to the study -- State-Level Estimates of Annual Medical Expenditures Attributable to Obesity , published in the latest issue of the journal Obesity Research -- medical costs to treat sicknesses caused by obesity (including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and gall bladder disease) were a whopping US $75 billion in 2003

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Obesity Research, Vol 12, No 1

64 per cent of Americans are obese. This is costing the nation a pretty weighty penny. According to the study -- State-Level Estimates of Annual Medical Expenditures Attributable to Obesity , published in the latest issue of the journal Obesity Research -- medical costs to treat sicknesses caused by obesity (including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and gall bladder disease) were a whopping us $75 billion in 2003. And of this huge doctor's bill, about half (us $39 million) was footed by taxpayers through the Medicare and Medicaid programmes.

The study has evaluated state-by-state expenditures: states spend about one-twentieth of their medical costs on obesity -- from a low of 4 per cent in Arizona to a high of 6.7 per cent in Alaska. California spends the most on health care for the obese, us $7.7 billion, and Wyoming spends the least, us $87 million. The research was done by a nonprofit group called rti International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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