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Will Insurance Companies Pass on the High Cost of Obesity

Author: Obesity Disease Center : Contact:

Published: 2010-08-02 : (Rev. 2015-01-15)

Synopsis and Key Points:

The skyrocketing health care epidemic of obesity is now costing America $147 billion per year in medical costs.

Main Digest

Will the High Cost of Obesity Hit Your Pocket Book

The skyrocketing health care epidemic of obesity is now costing America $147 billion per year in medical costs. Will insurance companies pass that cost along to you

Health care costs related to obesity are skyrocketing in America. Today just over nine percent of all medical spending is due to the obesity epidemic. That amounts to a whopping $147 billion a year!!!

The obese person spends about 41 percent more on health care than a person with normal weight. That amounts to $1,500 per year. Add to that figure the extra costs of disability and early deaths caused by obesity.

"Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention."The average American is now 23 pounds overweight."

"Obesity is the driver of so many chronic conditions - heart disease, diabetes, cancer - that generate the exorbitant cost that are crushing our health-care system," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Experts say the only way to stop this epidemic is to get Americans to change the way they eat and change their lifestyles.

One way to accomplish this goal is by using a point system associated with various health issues of obesity.

Some insurance companies are already using this point system to increase premiums for those who are over weight or obese. The more unhealthy and overweight a person is the more money that person will pay. This should be a motivator for those who are obese or overweight to become healthier.

Pharmaceutical companies are already cashing in on the obesity problem with prescription drugs. Now, the insurance industry wants to charge more and financially benefit from the unhealthy condition of most Americans.

Part of the CDC's strategy for a healthier population is to make more health food available, promote more choices of healthy foods, encourage physical activity, and create sites in the community for support.

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