Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obese Have Heftier Medical Bills Despite Shortened Lives

“Obese twentysomethings — those who are 30 or more pounds overweight — will have lifetime medical bills that are $5,000 to $21,000 higher than their normal-weight peers. And extremely obese young adults — 70 or more pounds overweight — will incur $15,000 to $29,000 more in lifetime medical expenditures than their healthy-weight peers, according to a study in the journal Obesity, published in advance online. These numbers take into account a shorter life expectancy for heavy people. ‘We have prior work that shows that obese people miss more days of work and have a lower quality of life,’ says lead author Eric Finkelstein, an economist with RTI International, a non-profit research organization in Research Triangle Park, N.C. For the latest study, he and colleagues analyzed national data on medical expenditures and life expectancy. They found that the greater the weight, the higher the medical costs.”

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