Childhood Obesity Costs

Because obesity is currently a huge health problem, naturally it will figure largely on Americans’ total medical costs.

Statistics report that Americans spend about 9 percent of their total medical costs on obesity-related illnesses. If the current trend continues, Americans will only spend more on obesity-related health conditions.

High personal costs

Severely overweight people spend more on medicine and health care. According to statistics, obese people spend more money on health care than current smokers.

Direct national costs

According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics (2008 Update), the direct nation costs of treating obesity-related diseases are placed at around $61 billion.

Indirect national cost

The American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2008 update also reports that obesity-related health problems (missed work days and future earning losses) cost the nation approximately $56 billion dollars per year.

Rising disability claims

Being severely obese makes it harder for people to perform basic activities getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, sometimes even walking. More and more Americans are filing for disability, and the fastest growing disability is type 2 diabetes.

Economic disparities

According to, childhood obesity affects children from low-income families.

Poor health care

Over 1.6 million kids were not able to receive needed medical care because their families could not afford it. An additional 3 million kids received medical late because their families worry about the cost.

Limited access

Partly because they have do not have access to healthy foods and sports facilities, children lower-income families are more likely to be obese or overweight.

Fewer opportunities to stay healthy

In study of 200 neighborhoods, it was found that there were three times as many supermarkets in wealthy neighborhoods as in poorer neighborhoods, making fast food restaurants as the most accessible food source for lower-income families.



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