Obesity Cost US $75 Billion in 2003

Jan 21, 2004

By George Anderson

A new study says that almost as much money was spent on obesity-related healthcare in 2003 as it was on illnesses related to tobacco consumption.

RTI International, which conducted the study in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found obesity-related issues accounted for 5.7 percent of total
healthcare expenditures.

Health issues related to cigarette smoking represent between six and seven percent of total national healthcare spending.

In dollars, obesity conservatively cost the U.S. $75 billion, with approximately half of that being paid for in tax dollars, according to the study’s authors.

Moderator’s Comment: What impact would obesity being treated as an illness have on the food manufacturing, retailing, and service businesses?

Will the government begin requiring warning labels on the health effects associated with eating too many potato chips?
Anderson – Moderator

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