Posted - February 12, 2018

Facts and Numbers – The Cost of Obesity

Cost of Obesity

Currently, 37% of the adult American population is affected by obesity. Research estimates that 50% of Americans will be obese by 2030.

Before you discount this article as “fat shaming” or a “plug” for weight loss surgery, take a look at the facts and numbers below that show the severity of the obesity problem in the U.S.

Obesity is the #1 health issue facing our society.

Obesity has a direct impact and documented connection to the following:

• Chronic disease
• Healthcare costs
• Economic costs

Chronic Disease

Obesity is the most preventable cause of most chronic disease.  Lets put it in perspective –  the three leading causes of death in the US are:

1) Heart disease
2) Cancer
3) Stroke

These are all considered chronic diseases—which means that they can either be prevented or treated if caught in time. Obesity is the largest common denominator for all three.  We will go into more detail in future individual articles in this series.

Healthcare and Economic Cost

Additionally, obesity is largely responsible for other conditions, such as: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and osteoarthritis, just to name a few. These chronic diseases and conditions which in most cases are directly linked with obesity can be linked to 85% of healthcare costs in the U.S.

The current estimate for healthcare costs for the obese is $192 billion per year—which is nearly 21% of annual medical spending.  Not convinced? Check out what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has to say.

Indirect Costs
It is a fact that people that are overweight or struggling with obesity tend to take time off for medical attention moreso than their non-overweight counterparts. Furthermore, a study in 2009, revealed the cumulative cost of obesity on the average company with 1,000 employees totaled $285,000. Research shows lower productivity, absenteeism, higher insurance premiums and medical care to treat obese-related conditions cost US companies more than $45 billion per year.

Hidden Costs
One example: it is estimated that extra weight carried by vehicles as a result of Americans struggling with excess weight is responsible for almost one billion additional gallons of gasoline being burned each year by our automobiles. That is nearly 1% of our total gas usage.

You get it. We will not belabor you with never ending facts. Long story short, America is rapidly expanding – in a very negative way.

If we want to fix our healthcare system, if we want to fuel our economy, if we want to improve the quality and longevity of life in the U.S., there is a simple solution – address obesity at a fundamental level.

And as hard as it is to swallow, the solution starts with you.

Learn more

Related series by Dr. Ayoola
Introduction: The 4 proven ways to lose weight
#1 Diet and Exercise
#2 Medicinal Weight Loss
#3 Non Surgical Devices / Gastric Balloons
#4 Weight Loss Surgery