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How much does it cost to be obese?

Obesity Weighs Down Your Bank Account, Too

How excess weight affects your health is well detailed. But what about obesity health care costs? As of 2010, America’s indirect annual spending as related to obesity totaled $450 billion.(1)

That’s right, $450 billion.
That’s enough to buy the New York Yankees and still have $446 billion and 800 million in change.

The study, performed by McKinsey & Company, assessed the annual spending of obesity health care costs in three chunks: cost to individuals, cost to healthcare payors (such as insurance companies and claim handlers), and cost to employers. All total, the cost of our expanding waistlines tripled that of the year’s direct medical costs — including preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services, as well as the expense of clinic visits and prescriptions — of $147 billion(2) as calculated by the CDC. 

Now let’s remove those annual medical costs. Put into the context of your shopping list, that means people with obesity are spending:
• $90 billion more on food, per year, in order to consume enough calories to maintain their excess weight
• $30 billion more on plus-sized clothing, due to higher manufacturing costs for the extra fabric needed
• $20 billion per year on weight-loss programs and diet plans

In the workplace, people with obesity cost their employers:
• $70 billion in decreased productivity
• $60 billion in “absenteeism” costs, which includes taking more paid sick days and requesting more short-term disability leaves for obesity-related health issues and illnesses

That’s not all; the whole neighborhood feels the pinch with another $20 billion per year spent to make seats in theaters and venues, sports arenas, and restaurants larger (thus forcing a decrease in the total number of seats available); making hospital equipment — such as oversized diagnostic machines, wheelchairs, and beds — larger and sturdier; and even oversize caskets, driving up the total cost of funeral expenses.

The Brookings Institution, an American think tank based in Washington, D.C., focused the lens on the younger generation, asking “What are the obesity health care costs and economic costs to society if all 12.7 million currently obese children remain overweight as adults?” The study found that the cost to the country as whole could total $1.1 trillion over the course of the childrens’ working lives.(3) Included in the study’s calculations were expenses for healthcare bills, workplace absenteeism, and lower office productivity.

The CDC also found that annual medical costs were $1,429 higher for people with obesity than those with a BMI of 25 or less. Compared to the expenses above, weight loss and healthy living really are priceless.

To learn more about obesity health care costs and learn the benefits of long-term weight loss, contact the Detroit Medical Center at 1.877.362.9898.

(1) McKinsey & Company:
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
(3) The Brookings Institution:

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About your new self at Detroit Center in Michigan

Detroit Medical Center is the premier provider of weight loss surgery in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. DMC operates offices in the Madison Heights and Southfield areas of Detroit, Michigan, and serves other areas including Ypsilanti, Saginaw, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Livonia, Monroe, Lansing, Dearborn, Novi and Troy. Your New Self also serves Canadian bariatric patients as a preferred provider for the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Your New Self at Detroit Medical Center boasts four expert bariatric surgeons who specialize in LAP-BAND®, REALIZE® Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass bariatric surgeries.

Patients interested in weight loss surgery should sign up for a free informational seminar to learn more about their surgical options and get started today.