Healthcare News & Insights

The real cost of obesity: Higher than we thought

The most recent research indicates that the true cost of obesity to the health care system has been  underestimated.

The study comes to us via the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The research, which took into account flaws in previous research’s data gathering,  found that obesity actually accounts for $168.4 billion — roughly 16.5% of national spending on medical care. Prior studies put the number at 9%.

That’s approximately $2,800 per person annually due to obesity-related expenses — earlier estimate were $1,400.

The NBER research tried to account for understated self-reporting and too-cautious data collection by adjusting the statistics.

The study looked at 24,000 non-elderly adults’ records from 2000 to 2005.

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