I'm doing my part to stay healthy and keep health insurance cost down.

October 6, 2019

Cawley J and Meyerhoefer C

Don’t fall into these stats. 3 in 4 men (74%), 2 in 3 women (67%) and 18.5% children are considered to be overweight or have obesity. 2019 highest numbers ever.

The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.

Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.1 In addition, obesity is associated with job absenteeism, costing approximately $4.3 billion annually2 and with lower productivity while at work, costing employers $506 per obese worker per year.

  • Obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are a healthy weight.5
  • Per capita healthcare costs for severely or morbidly obese adults (BMI >40) are 81 percent higher than for healthy weight adults.6 In 2000, around $11 billion was spent on medical expenditures for morbidly obese U.S. adults.
  • Moderately obese (BMI between 30 and 35) individuals are more than twice as likely as healthy weight individuals to be prescribed prescription pharmaceuticals to manage medical conditions.7
  • Costs for patients presenting at emergency rooms with chest pains are 41 percent higher for severely obese patients, 28 percent higher for obese patients and 22 percent higher for overweight patients than for healthy- weight patients.8

Reducing obesity, improving nutrition and increasing activity can help lower costs through fewer doctor’s office visits, tests, prescription drugs, sick days, emergency room visits and admissions to the hospital and lower the risk for a wide range of diseases.

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