The economic burden of obesity and Type 2 diabetes
At the end of last week, the Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, released a report on the real economic costs of obesity and overweight in the United States. This report, unlike many estimates, includes both direct health care costs that are caused by obesity and overweight and indirect costs associated with lost productivity borne by patients and their employers. The total number is staggering: $1.72 trillion dollars each year.
Like all estimates of this sort, this figure is undoubtedly wrong, as it is built on many assumptions and imperfect underlying data. However, its scale should serve as a wake-up call to health policymakers, especially those in a position to invest in preventative public health initiatives.
We should not be sidetracked though by the figure itself (it is very likely quite a bit lower and I sincerely hope it is not higher) as the real point is that there is a cost and it is significant. This what many people miss out on completely when saying it is their choice to eat whatever they want and they should not pay sugar tax. The point is that usually the rest of society carries that burden of the cost. And if it is not direct cost (which we know there is) it is the indirect cost of diverting funds and services away from other areas that need attention whether that is housing, education, policing, etc.
|The economic burden of obesity and diabetes — Diet Doctor
The Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, released a report on the real economic costs of obesity and overweight in the United States. This report includes both the direct health care costs that are caused by obesity and overweight plus the indirect costs associated with lost…