Obesity in the United States is very serious problem! This problem is approaching epidemic proportions and is negatively affecting the lives of Americans and is placing a financial burden upon those who pay for healthcare (e.g., employers, government) like never before. This cannot be sustained!

One of the biggest drivers of why the American healthcare system is in such disarray is because of the increasingly high rates of obesity amongst Americans.

A Few Things to Consider

  • Healthcare expenditures in the U.S. grew to $3.35 trillion in 2016 ($10,354 per capita). 1
  • Healthcare spending accounted for 5% of the U.S. economy in 1960. In 2016 that number was 18%. This number is expected to be more than 20% by 2025. 2
  • Top chronic diseases/conditions in 2016 were: Obesity, Cardiac/Stroke, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Arthritis. 86% of all healthcare costs in 2016 went to symptom relief from these conditions/diseases without effecting a cure. 3
  • In America, 2 out 3 adults are considered to be either overweight and/or obese. 4
  • Overweight/obese adults on average spend 42% more on healthcare every year in comparison to adults of a healthy weight. 5
  • Annually an obese person costs $1,100 more in healthcare than a person with a desirable basal metabolic index (BMI). 6
  • Overweight/obesity is associated with increased job absenteeism. This absenteism costs employers approximately $4. billion every year in decreased productivity. That’s $506 per obese/overweight employee per year! 7
  • Overweight/obesity is the second leading cause of preventable disease in the U.S. 8
  • In 1990 no U.S. state had more than 20% of its population that was considered to be obese. In 2015, no U.S. state had less than 20% of its population that was obese. 9
  • In the U.S., the majority of healthcare costs are borne/paid for by employers.

Good article to read:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  5. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/dhdsp.htm
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  8. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic
  9. https://stateofobesity.org/healthcare-costs-obesity