Obesity is not only dangerous to one's health, it's also costing the state dearly. According to new research published this week, medical spending averages 1,400 U.S dollars more a year for an obese person than for someone whose weight is normal.
The study published Monday by the journal Health Affairs says that obesity related health spending in the United States has reached close to 147 billion dollars. The sum is twice that of a decade ago, Xinhua reports.
Obese people spent 42% more than people of normal weight on medical costs in 2006, a difference of $1,429, the study found. Prescription drugs accounted for much of the increase.
“Obesity and with it diabetes are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly,” Thomas Frieden, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new director said, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Meanwhile state health officials say they are working on a number of programs to combat obesity. Among them:
• A recent law provides tax incentives to grocers that move into areas where there are no supermarkets. • A bill requiring more physical education in schools is moving through the Legislature.
• Numerous grants have been provided to communities to encourage more physical activity. Funded programs include building more sidewalks for walking, creating lanes for bikers and adding farmers' markets to provide more fresh food choices, The Detroit News reports.