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Obesity Costs $300 Billion

Obesity Costs $300 Billion - According to a new study released today by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the total economic cost of overweight (BMI between 25.0 – 29.9) and obesity (BMI of more than 30) in the U.S. and Canada reaches $300(1) billion per year, with 90 percent of the total – $270 billion – attributed to the U.S. While much research has been conducted on obesity, the SOA study looked at the economic costs of overweight and obesity caused by increased need for medical care, and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability.

"We found substantial evidence that overweight and obesity are becoming world-wide epidemics, and are having negative impacts on health and mortality," said actuary Don Behan, FSA, FCA, MAAA and independent consulting actuary. "As actuaries, we are working with the insurance industry to help incentivize consumers through their health plan design to focus on health and wellness, which will hopefully help curb the weight and health problems we face today."
Going one step further, the SOA breaks out the economic cost of overweight versus obesity for the U.S. and for Canada. Dividing up the $270 billion economic cost in the U.S., obesity cost the U.S. economy $198 billion and overweight cost $72 billion in 2009. To come to these conclusions, researchers and actuaries Don Behan and Sam Cox reviewed nearly 500 research articles on obesity and its relation to mortality and morbidity, focusing primarily on papers published from January 1980 to June 2009.

Obesity Costs $300 Billion

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