Obese people spend an additional $1429 a year — or 42% more — on healthcare than their normal-weight counterparts, according to research by RTI international and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

First, the details.

  • The costs for inpatient care, outpatient care, and prescription drugs paid by healthcare insurers for obese individuals (BMI more than 30 kg/m2) were compared to normal-weight individuals (BMI of 18.5 to 25 kg/m2).
  • The study ran from 1998 to 2006.

And, the results.

  • The prevalence of obesity rose 37%.
  • Medical costs for obese individuals climbed to 9% of all medical costs.
  • Medical spending attributed to obesity rose 80% for prescriptions, 45% for inpatient care, and 27% for outpatient care.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Reforms that reduce the prevalence of obesity and related risk factors, including poor diet and inactivity.”

It’s another salvo in the obesity wars.

7/31/09 22:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.