Skip to comments.Health costs of obesity exceed smoking and drinking
Posted on 06/05/2005 6:14:01 PM PDT by SheLion
ATHENS (Reuters) - Treating obesity-related disorders costs as much or more than illnesses caused by aging, smoking and problem drinking.
It accounts for 2 percent of the national health expenditure in France and Australia, more than 3 percent in Japan and Portugal and 4 percent in the Netherlands.
A review of research into the economic causes and consequences of obesity presented at the 14th European Congress on Obesity showed that in 2003 up to $96.7 billion was spent on obesity problems in the United States.
"An increase in the prevalence of obesity increases the healthcare costs," Anne Wolf of the University of Virginia School of Medicine said.
"As age increases so do healthcare costs for obesity."
Obesity, which is a risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, is calculated using the body mass index (BMI) -- dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.
A BMI of more than 30 is considered obese, more than 40 is very severe.
The costs of dealing with the consequences of obesity rise along with the severity of the disorder. Being overweight or obese increases the odds of suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis which are the major reasons for obesity healthcare costs.
"Each unit increase in BMI is associated with a 2.3 percent cost increase," said Wolf.
Although most of the cost analysis for obesity has been done in the U nited States, where about 30 percent of adults are obese, Wolf said the figures would be comparable for other western countries with rising rates of obesity.
An estimated 10-20 percent of men and 10-25 percent of women in European countries are obese.
Along with hefty health costs, obesity is also associated with a greater loss of productivity and increased rates of disability.
Studies in the United States have shown that about 6 percent of people with a healthy weight are unable to work but the figure rises to 10 percent or more among the obese.
Much of the healthcare spending on obesity-related problems is due to prescription drug costs and more hospital stays.
O bese patients are more likely to require medication for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pain relief, asthma and other illnesses than people with a normal weight, according to Wolf.
Despite the health and economic consequences of obesity, which affects more than 300 million people worldwide including a growing number of children and adolescents, health experts believe it is one of the most neglected public health issues.
"It is a very serious problem," said Wolf. "The excess costs of obesity are present in all ages."
Son of a gun,I was just going to ping you---man you are quick----now I'll read the article.
Boy, are you in for it. Posting an article against fatness. Don't you know being fat is a sign of prosperity?
Man,what's with thos southern states?
Bar-b-que !! :-)
God,it's nice to see them go after someone else besides the smokers.
Now maybe the fatties at work will get off my case about my occasional smoking...
I win the Trifecta!
I'm almost 45 years old, have an almost 7 year old child, am 5'10" and weigh about 115.............I seriously don't think I have to worry about any of this crapola. Neither does hubby...........he put in a 12 hour day today at work, and after he changed his clothes spent over an hour chasing frisbees with the above mentioned child.
did I mention we are both smokers????????
|Treating obesity-related disorders costs as much or more than illnesses caused by aging, smoking and problem drinking.
I say we push all the fat smoke nazis right down their own slippery slope.
Well, then have a drink & some pie!
Insert Hillary Care and say goodbye to all choice and freedom. Not a single area of existence left to individual freedom and liberty.
I did several TV debates with one of the smoke nazis - who definitely had a need for a diet.
Hehe! I just posted it. :)
Dinner was lasagna - dessert in this house is usually ice cream at his time of the year!!!!
I dunno. I live in NC. I'm 5'8" weigh 150 pounds since I was a teenager in 1968. At the age of 55, I'm still in the same shape that I was 37 years ago. Then again, I just eat at home, never at McDonalds, etc. I don't know if that makes any difference, but, I'll take roast beef and gravy on mashed potatoes, whole milk, and for dessert, a slice of blueberry-apple pie with vanilla Breyers ice cream on top, drizzled with Creme Bouliouet.
Sarcasm doesn't always work - this time it didn't.
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