Dollars and Sense, the Cost of Obesity

by Todd Fitzgerald, Board President Teach a Kid to Fish

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimated the annual medical cost of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 with the medical cost for people who are obese $1429 higher than those of normal weight.

 With increased cost and changes in health care we are facing a crisis of epic proportions and the impact it is having on our economy is staggering.

 Obesity-related health care spending made up more than 20% of the total U.S. health care cost and continues to rise. (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development)

Obesity has become a global crisis and continues grow and the amount of money we are investing is an enormous burden on the economy.  The effect on the bottom line for business is forcing employers to make drastic changes.  In North Carolina and Alabama state employees are paying a higher premium if they are obese. 

 More and more companies are placing incentives in place for employees to make changes in their health.  From offering wellness incentives and programs, gym memberships, employers are trying to offset the increasing cost healthcare for their employees.

The number of people with diabetes is expected to increase to 64% by 2025. (Institute for Alternative Futures Diabetes 2025-U.S. State, and Metropolitan Trends)  Diabetes has been identified as a gateway to other diseases and health related issues.

We have to make an investment in our health and understand the importance of making positive changes in our health. If we don’t start making positive decisions in our health, someone else will and it might not be the decisions we want for our lives.

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