U.S. Obesity Costs $270 Billion Annually

January 18, 2011

1 Min Read
U.S. Obesity Costs $270 Billion Annually

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.The obesity epidemic continues to put a staggering $300 billion strain on healthcare costs in the United States and Canada, according to a new study released Jan. 10 by the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

The study examined the economic costs of overweight and obesity caused by increased need for medical care, and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability. Data revealed the total economic cost of obesity reaches $270 billion in the United States and $30 billion in Canada.

Researchers and actuaries reviewed nearly 500 research articles on obesity and its relation to mortality and morbidity, focusing primarily on papers published from January 1980 to June 2009. They also divided the $300 billion finding into four specific causes of economic costs. Total cost of excess medical care caused by overweight and obesity cost $127 billion; economic loss of productivity caused by excess mortality cost $49 billion; economic loss of productivity caused by disability for active workers cost $43 billion; and economic loss of productivity caused by overweight or obesity for totally disabled workers cost $72 billion.

"Overweight and obesity have been shown to increase the rate of several common adverse medical conditions, resulting in this extraordinary economic cost to society. We can't stand back and ignore the fact that overweight and obesity are drivers of cost increases and detrimental economic effects. It's time for actuaries, the employer community and the insurance industry to take action and help consumers make smart, healthy decisions," they said.

Click here to read the full report.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like