Obese Kids Really Cost Us -- And Them

Childhood obesity news boring you to death?  Maybe this will ring your bell.  It costs $19,000 per child more for obese children than normal-weight ones for healthcare, according to a new study.  Not your problem?  But it is, because it often comes out of taxpayers' pockets.

“Reducing childhood obesity is a public health priority that has substantial health and economic benefits,” newswise.com quotes lead study author Eric Andrew Finkelstein, Ph.D., M.H.A. “These estimates provide the financial consequences of inaction and the potential medical savings from obesity prevention efforts that successfully reduce or delay obesity onset.”

Obesity is a known risk factor for a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Roughly one in three adults and one in five children in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Addressing obesity in adults requires efforts to prevent or reduce obesity among children, as research has shown most obese children and teenagers remain obese into adulthood,” said study coauthor Rahul Malhotra, M.B.B.S., M.D., M.P.H.
We have heard some recent good news is that the obesity rate is leveling off in children but it still remains a significant problem in some areas.
Of course, cost is not the only reason to want kids to be normal weight.  “For the same reasons we don’t let kids drink or smoke and force them to go to school, we should also do our best to keep them at a healthy weight,” Finkelstein said. “While the cost estimates are significant, the motivation to prevent childhood obesity should be there regardless of the financial implications.”


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