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Economic costs of obesity

Economic costs of obesity

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55(2 Suppl): 503s-507s

Approximately 34 million US adults were obese in 1980. Obesity is associated with increased risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gallbladder disease and cholecystectomy, and colon and postmenopausal breast cancer. Using a prevalence-based approach to cost of illness, we estimated the economic costs in 1986 attributable to obesity for these medical conditions. Indirect costs due to morbidity and mortality were discounted at 4%. Overall, the costs attributable to obesity were $11.3 billion for NIDDM, $22.2 billion for cardiovascular disease, $2.4 billion for gall bladder disease, $1.5 billion for hypertension, and $1.9 billion for breast and colon cancer. Thus a conservative estimate of the economic costs of obesity was $39.3 billion, or 5.5% of the costs of illness in 1986. Addition of costs due to musculoskeletal disorders could raise this estimate to 7.8%. The costs of treatment for severe obesity must be weighed against the improved health status and quality of life.

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Accession: 002351740

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1733119

DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/55.2.503s

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