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National costs of childhood obesity - affecting all of us

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 by Maggie LaBarbera

As part of National Childhood Obesity Awareness month, I wanted to share some of the impacts on our economy based on a new report just released. 

Nourish Thought for the Day:  

If you think that childhood obesity does not affect everyone of us, think again.!


Higher Healthcare Costs for Children*     

  • Obesity contributes an estimated incremental lifetime medical cost of $19,000 per 10-year-old child when compared with a normal-weight 10-year-old child. When multiplied by the number of obese 10-year-olds in the United States, lifetime medical costs for just this cohort would amount to approximately $14 billion in direct medical costs.*     
  • Obese children had $194 higher outpatient visit expenditures, $114 higher prescription drug expenditures and $25 higher emergency room expenditures, based on a two-year Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.*
  • Overweight and obesity in childhood is associated with $14.1 billion in additional prescription drug, emergency room and outpatient visit costs annually.
  • The average total health cost for a child treated for obesity under private insurance is $3,743, while the average health cost for all children covered by private insurance is $1,108.*
  • Hospitalizations of children and youths with a diagnosis of obesity nearly doubled between 1999 and 2005, while total costs for children and youths with obesity-related hospitalizations increased from $125.9 million in 2001 to $237.6 million in 2005 (in 2005 dollars).*

More studies about the cost of childhood obesity:

Lifetime Direct Medical Costs of Childhood Obesity





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