Weight Loss Saves Obese Adults Nearly $30,000, According to Study; Obesity Causes the U.S. Nearly $210 Billion a Year in Medical Expenses, According to Findings

By Matthews, Melissa | Newsweek, October 13, 2017 | Go to article overview

Weight Loss Saves Obese Adults Nearly $30,000, According to Study; Obesity Causes the U.S. Nearly $210 Billion a Year in Medical Expenses, According to Findings


Matthews, Melissa, Newsweek


Byline: Melissa Matthews

It's not exactly news that maintaining a healthy weight lowers risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, ultimately saving money on healthcare costs. But exactly how much can dropping, 10, 20 or 30 pounds save?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University attempted to put a dollar figure to weight loss, analyzing how changing from obese to overweight, and obese to a healthy weight, could affect your wallet. According to the data, published today in the journal Obesity, losing enough weight to meet the overweight classification at the age of 20 will save you $17,655 over the course of a lifetime. However, if someone lowers their BMI to what's considered a healthy weight, the same person could save $28,020 in their lifetime.

As chronic illnesses tend to set in with age, it makes sense that being obese at 50 would have a higher economic impact, or a savings of roughly $36,000, according to the data. All figures reflect savings from productivity and medical costs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. The study authors said this equates to nearly $210 billion a year just in direct medical expenses. Study co-author Bruce Lee explains we should look at the total figures.

"Over half the costs of being overweight can be from productivity losses, mainly due to missed work days. …

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