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Obesity Costs $147 Billion Per Year

Posted Jul 23 2010 12:00am

Here is something to think about. The obesity epidemic is causing billions of dollars to be spent unnecessarily. Not only does obesity negatively impact our health, it’s resulting in increased medical bills and also taking its toll on health care facilities. It was found that many healthcare facilities had purchased at least one type of bariatric equipment including lifts, beds, stretchers or transfer devices to accommodate the rise in obese patients.  Nearly 80 percent of the hospitals also reported using special wheelchairs, walkers and blood pressure cuffs for larger patients. The supplies, though needed, are also very costly. The cost of these supplies is significantly more compared to standard supplies with bariatric beds costing more than $20,000 more, and bariatric wheelchairs costing almost seven times more. It is estimated that U.S. hospitals will spend more than $1.2 billion by the end of 2011, purchasing supplies to accommodate the obese patients. A 2009 study by the CDC and the non-profit research group, RTI International, found the direct and indirect costs of obesity could be as high as $147 billion annually. This is paid by taxpayers in the form of higher health insurance premiums. It seems to be if we lost a little weight we could save ourselves some money.

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