The High Cost of Obesity in the U.S.


The overall economic impact of obesity in the United States has reached more than $1.7 trillion, according to a report from Milken Institute in Santa Monica, California. This is largely due to lost productivity and direct health-care costs linked to 23 diseases and conditions for which obesity is a primary risk factor — including type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, heart and kidney disease, and osteoarthritis.

The report suggests that obesity is linked to approximately 75 percent of osteoarthritis cases, 73 percent of kidney disease cases, and 64 percent of type 2 diabetes cases. In type 2 diabetes, overall treatment costs are estimated at $1.21 billion (more than $7,000 per year for each person with diabetes) and indirect costs are estimated to be $215 billion overall (about $12,600 in productivity loss per person with diabetes).

In 2016, 40 percent of Americans were obese and 33 percent were overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Direct health-care costs include payments by individuals, families, employers, and insurers, and indirect costs include lost wages, work absences, and reduced productivity by patients and caregivers.

Sourced from: Milken Institute