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New Data Shows Obesity Costs Will Grow to $344 Billion by 2018
Date:11/17/2009

As Congress Seeks to Lower Health Care Costs, New Report Finds Obesity Costs Will Quadruple Over the Next Decade Without Action

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study released today shows that rising obesity rates will continue to be an increasing burden on the health care system over the next decade. The report, titled, "The Future Cost of Obesity: National and State Estimates of the Impact of Obesity on Direct Health Care Expenses," is the first to estimate obesity prevalence and costs at the state and national level 10 years from now. Based on research by Emory University health care economist Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), the report was commissioned by UnitedHealth Foundation, Partnership for Prevention, and American Public Health Association in conjunction with their annual America's Health Rankings report.

The new data shows that if current trends continue, 43 percent of U.S. adults will be obese and obesity spending will quadruple to $344 billion by 2018. However, if obesity rates are instead held at current levels, the U.S. would save nearly $200 billion in health care costs.

"At a time when Congress is looking for savings in health care, this data confirms what we already knew: obesity is where the money is," said Thorpe. "Because obesity is related to the onset of so many other illnesses, stopping the growth of obesity in the U.S. is vital not only to our health -- but also to the solvency of our health care system."

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), the leading national voice for advancing health reforms that tackle obesity and other chronic health issues, believes that a top priority must be addressing the obesity epidemic through meaningful, evidence-based approaches,
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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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