“Obesity's not just dangerous, it's expensive. New research shows medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than someone who's normal weight. Overall obesity-related health spending reaches $147 billion, double what it was nearly a decade ago, says the study published Monday by the journal Health Affairs. Don't blame things like stomach-stapling for all those extra bills. They instead reflect the costs of treating diabetes, heart disease and other ailments far more common for the overweight, concluded the study by government scientists and the nonprofit research group RTI International. RTI health economist Eric Finkelstein offers a blunt message for lawmakers trying to revamp the health care system: ‘Unless you address obesity, you're never going to address rising health care costs.’ Obesity-related conditions now account for 9.1 percent of all medical spending, up from 6.5 percent in 1998, the study concluded. Health economists have long warned that obesity is a driving force behind the rise in health spending. For example, diabetes costs the nation $190 billion a year to treat, and excess weight is the single biggest risk factor for developing diabetes.