Obesity Accounts For 21 Percent Of Healthcare Spending

A new Cornell University study claims that obesity is responsible for nearly 21 percent of America’s healthcare spending, a larger impact than previously believed. According to the study, annual medical costs for an obese American are $2,741 higher (using 2005 dollars) than for Americans who are not obese, which adds up to $190.2 billion nationwide. Previous studies have found a link between obesity and higher health care spending, but as Cornell professor John Cawley, the lead author of the study, claimed, “we’ve been underestimating the benefit of preventing and reducing obesity.” A report released earlier this year predicted that 75 percent of Americans would be overweight by 2020.

-Zachary Bernstein