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Overweight/Obesity Epidemic Costs $300 Billion In Added Medical Care, Lost Productivity

January 10, 2011: 09:23 PM EST

The total economic cost of an overweight and obese citizenry in the U.S. and Canada is now about $300 billion a year, according to the Society of Actuaries (SOA). The U.S. accounts for 90  percent of the total, or about $270 billion. Costs associated with overweight (BMI between 25.0–29.9) and obesity (BMI of more than 30) are an increased need for medical care and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability. Excess medical care comprises the major portion of costs caused by overweight and obesity: $127 billion. Lost productivity accounts for $49 billion; lost productivity caused by disability for active workers costs $43 billion; and lost productivity for totally disabled workers is $72 billion.

"Obesity and its Relation to Mortality and Morbidity Costs", Study, Society of Actuaries (SOA), January 10, 2011, © Society of Actuaries (SOA)
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