How That Extra Weight Is Costing You Money

By Greg Go on 2 December 2006 comments

The New York Times has a story on the extra cost of being overweight. As the article states, "There is another consequence to packing on extra weight: being fat costs money: tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime." That money is going to life insurance premiums that are two to four times as high!

Obesity-related medical issues are responsible for 10% of all annual medical funding in the U.S., according to 2006 data. This comes out to beteen $147 and $210 billion per year. Those who are overweight (around one third of the U.S. population) can expect to pay 42% more in overall healthcare costs during their lifetime, and worse yet, the hospitalization rate for childhood obesity has doubled since the late 1990s.

Diabetes, a disease that afflicts 21 million Americans, is one of the most frequent complications. Amputating a toe, a fairly common result of untreated diabetes, costs $15,000. Other costs associated with the effects of packing too many pounds:

  • $44,000 for a heart attack
  • $40,200 for a stroke
  • $37,000 for end-state kidney disease

The next time you think obesity is just a health issue, think again. It is costing us, and the government, much more than we realize.

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