Friday, July 31, 2009

Increase In American Obesity Bulges Medical Spending

From being pleasingly plump to becoming overweight and continuing on the road to obesity, the ever-expanding waistlines of Americans are also doubling the size of medical spending on obesity-related conditions. In fact, the cost to the nation could soon reach $147 billion per year and account for 9.1 percent of total medical spending.

A recent study that was based on federal data collected in 1998 and 2006 found that the rate of obesity has increased 37 percent between the years of 1998 and 2006. The end result is that a total of 25 percent of Americans are now obese. This is compared to a total of only 18.3 percent nearly a decade ago that accounted for only 6.5 percent of all medical spending in 1998. The analysis was performed by researchers from RTI International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, and the results were published in the journal Health Affairs.

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