Obese Americans fuel healthcare spending

Sunday, May 18, 2003

May 19, 2003

YARMOUTH, MAINE - An increase in the number of overweight and obese Americans has contributed to the nation's mounting health care costs, accounting for $92.6 billion in annual medical spending for 2002, according to a recent study.

The number of overweight and obese Americans has increased 12% and 70%, respectively, over the past decade. Annual medical expenditures for obese adults are $395 or 36% higher per capita than those of normal weight, based on a May 14th article in Health Affairs.

The report examined diseases linked to obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep apnea, and gallbladder disease.