Obesity costs U.S. billions annually

Feb 01, 2011

Obesity is a costly health condition

A study released by the Society of Actuaries reveals the staggering economic impact obesity has on the country.

Those with a body mass index of more than 25 burden the country with $270 billion in annual expenses for healthcare and loss of productivity. The study authors note that while weight is a major problem in American, being overweight or obese is a worldwide problem.

In addition to extra medical care costs, consumers are likely to pay higher life insurance premiums as a result of their condition. Obesity is associated with many life-shortening conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.

The study does, however, show some positive information as well. The majority of survey participants indicate they would be interested in a wellness program if their insurance provider offered the option.

Some employers have even begun providing wellness programs to help reduce costs of health insurance plans. Such offerings help participants learn how to improve their diet and become more physically active.

At least a half hour of exercise most days a week is often recommended by experts for optimal health. 

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