The cost of obesity

In the United States, 40 percent of the population now meets the definition of obesity. There are now 93 million Americans who are considered obese.

The current health-care spend related to obesity is about $150 billion. That is more than four times the federal budget for foreign aid.

It is estimated that the cost of obesity in lost economic productivity (missed time from work) is $300 billion a year in the United States, due to increased health risks of obese patients. These health problems causing missed work days include back and joint pain, diabetes-related issues, heart issues, and other medical concerns related to obesity.

Last year, there were over 200,000 gastric bypass (weight loss) surgeries performed in the United States.

Most patients who have gastric bypass surgery lose about two-thirds of their excess weight. About 15% of patients who have the surgery however do not lose any weight.

Gastric bypass surgery costs are about $25,000 per surgery.   However, the estimated health costs for an obese patient over their lifetime is about $200,000 due to obesity-related complications.

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