NPR logo Obesity's Health Costs Grow Heavier: CDC

Obesity's Health Costs Grow Heavier: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control released a new report today which indicates that the nation's obesity-related health costs could be as high as $147 billion.

The report published in the journal Health Affairs, was released in conjunction with the start of the CDC's "Weight of the Nation" national conference in Washington today.

An excerpt from a press release announcing the study:

The proportion of all annual medical costs that are due to obesity increased from 6.5 percent in 1998 to 9.1 percent in 2006, the study said. This total includes payment by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, and includes prescription drug spending. Overall, persons who are obese spent $1,429 (42 percent) more for medical care in 2006 than did normal weight people. These estimates were compiled using national data that compare medical expenses for normal weight and obese persons.

The study is titled "Annual Medical Spending Attributable to Obesity: Payer- and Service-Specific Estimates."

Recognizing the large health and economic burden of obesity, CDC has issued its first comprehensive set of evidence-based recommendations to help communities tackle the problem of obesity through programs and policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity.