Obesity CostsPosted: July 15, 2009 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
Recently, the Wall Street Journal, ran an article about the cost and expense associated with being overweight. As the number of obese persons increased by 37% between 1998 and 2006, the medical expenses for treating those who are about 30 or more pounds overweight increased to about 9.1% of all of our U.S. medical costs.
People who are overweight and obese spend 42% more than normal weight people on their healthcare. Prescriptions drugs are most of this increase. With weight comes an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and the multitude of drugs to treat them. Many of these can be quite expensive.
Our own chart review has shown that our patients have stopped 50% diabetes and blood pressure drugs after have been treated for at least 12 weeks in our medical weight loss program.
The average American is 23 lbs overweight. Americans have been found to eat about 250 calories more per day now than two to three decades ago. This is not a huge daily amount. This is about 26 oz of coke per day or half a blueberry muffin from Starbucks. If you can cut these treats out, do so as soon as possible. If you have trouble doing so, please search out a bariatric physician who can help you.
We know eating healthy is not cheap. Quality lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruit do cost more than fast food. As we also know, eating too much and becoming obese has a high cost too.