People who are overweight or obese are costing the country $270 billion annually in increased medical costs and high rates of disability and mortality, according to the latest estimates.
The study, released Jan. 10 by the Society of Actuaries, analyzed increased medical costs and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability. Researchers found that obesity cost the U.S. economy $198 billion in 2009, and excess medical costs of the overweight population were $72 billion.
“There is substantial evidence that overweight and obesity are becoming worldwide epidemics and are having negative impacts on health and mortality,” said study co-author Donald Behan, PhD, an independent consulting actuary.
An overweight person is defined as having a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, and an obese person has a body mass index of 30 or more.
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