By one estimate, the health care costs of obesity are responsible for nearly 21 percent of total health care spending in the U.S. (1) Countries with lower obesity rates than the U.S. spend a smaller share of their healthcare dollars on obesity, but the burden is still sizable. (2)
(% of total spending on health care)
1. Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Econ. 2012; 31:219-30.
2. Withrow D, Alter DA. The economic burden of obesity worldwide: a systematic review of the direct costs of obesity. Obes Rev. 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00712.x.
Back to the main article: Paying the Price for Those Extra Pounds
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