Obesity Health Risks
Obesity is associated with about 112,000 deaths each year in the United States relative to healthy-weight individuals. In fact, it is more harmful to your health than smoking and alcohol abuse. In addition, obesity is a major risk factor for serious medical conditions (comorbidities), such as:
- Type II diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Breathing difficulties
- Joint problems
The good news is that by losing weight, you can improve, prevent, or lower your risk for these weight-related health conditions.
The Costs of Obesity
The national cost of this disease is very high. Based on 1998 estimates, annual medical costs to treat patients who are overweight and obese were approximately 79 billion, or 93 billion in 2002 dollars. The healthcare cost burden of being obese now rivals that of smoking.
The personal cost of living with obesity can also be significant. Consider what you might spend on the following items:
- Out of pocket healthcare expenses
- Over-the-counter medication costs
- Co-pays for doctor office visits
- Co-pays for lab work
- Co-pays for specialists
- Co-pays for physical therapists/allied health professionals
- Prescription co-pays
- Employment inactivity costs (days of missed work)
- Non-surgical weight loss programs (such as WeightWatchers® or Jenny Craig®)
- Grocery and dining costs
These expenditures quickly add up. You may find that dramatic weight loss can greatly reduce your weight related costs.