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Study Estimates Medical Cost of Obesity May Be As High as $147 Billion Annually
Date:7/27/2009

New Community Recommendations Show Ways to Reduce Burden

WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The health cost of obesity in the United States is as high as $147 billion annually, based on a new study from Research Triangle Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, which appears online today in the journal Health Affairs, was released at CDC's Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C.

The proportion of all annual medical costs that are due to obesity increased from 6.5 percent in 1998 to 9.1 percent in 2006, the study said. This total includes payment by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, and includes prescription drug spending. Overall, persons who are obese spent $1,429 (42 percent) more for medical care in 2006 than did normal weight people. These estimates were compiled using national data that compare medical expenses for normal weight and obese persons.

The study is titled "Annual Medical Spending Attributable to Obesity: Payer- and Service-Specific Estimates." Recognizing the large health and economic burden of obesity, CDC has issued its first comprehensive set of evidence-based recommendations to help communities tackle the problem of obesity through programs and policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

The report, "Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States," along with a companion implementation guide, appears in CDC's MMWR Recommendations and Reports. A companion implementation guide is also available on the CDC Web site.

"It is critical that we take effective steps to contain and reduce the enormous burden of obesity on our nation," said CDC Direc
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SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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