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What are the healthcare costs of obesity?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

In 2008, overall medical care costs related to obesity for U.S. adults were estimated to be as high as $147 billion. People who were obese had medical costs that were $1,429 higher than the cost for people of normal body weight. Obesity also has been linked with reduced worker productivity and chronic absence from work.

Judith Salerno
Geriatric Medicine

Estimates of the cost of the obesity epidemic are likely too low. Watch the video to learn what Dr. Judy Salerno, executive officer of the Institute of Medicine, feels is one way society can save money on obesity-related costs.


Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
In the U.S., the health care cost in dollars of obesity is equivalent to 1% of the country's total gross domestic product. These costs could rise two- or threefold over the coming years. If the rate of obesity rises as predicted, and 75% of Americans are obese or overweight by 2020, obesity and overweight-related health care costs would rise 70 percent by 2015 and could be 2.4 times higher than the current level in 2025.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.