Obesity-Related Conditions Could Add $66B Annually To Medical Costs by 2030
Posted Sep 20 2012 5:56pm
Medical costs associated with treating obesity-related diseases in the United States could increase by as much as $66 billion annually by the year 2030, based on current trends, according to a new study released by the health policy group Trust for America’s Health.
The state-by-state analysis of obesity-linked disease rates and associated medical spending, released Sept. 18 by the Washington-based organization, also projects that obese individuals could account for 44 percent of all American adults by 2030 if obesity rates nationwide continue to grow at their current pace.
According to the study, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012,” that rate of growth would likely lead to more than 6 million new cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cancer diagnoses in the next 20 years.
Those new cases will add between $48 billion and $66 billion per year to the nation’s spending on direct costs for obesity-related medical care by 2030 under current projections, according to the study.
An unchanged growth rate of the percentage of obese Americans also would significantly inflate indirect costs over the same 18-year period, the report says. The associated loss in economic productivity, the study predicts, could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually.
The study also notes that workers’ compensation claims costs generated by obese employees are typically much higher than those generated by “healthy weight” workers, though it did not provide a year-over-year prediction for cost growth under current conditions.