A new study conducted by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) revealed that obesity drives healthcare costs more than smoking. Here are the numbers according to the study:
James P. Moriarty, MSc, and colleagues of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., analyzed the incremental (additional) costs of smoking and obesity among more than 30,000 Mayo Clinic employees and retirees. All had continuous health insurance coverage between 2001 and 2007.
Both obesity and smoking were associated with excess costs for health care. Compared to nonsmokers, average health costs were $1,275 higher for smokers. The incremental costs associated with obesity were even higher: $1,850 more than for normal-weight individuals. For those with morbid obesity, the excess costs were up to $5,500 per year.
Although smoking and its associated costs (human & financial) certainly remain a big problem, this study illustrates just how much effort we should be putting into reversing the trend of obesity in this country and worldwide. What are you and your organization or community doing to reverse this trend?
Go read the whole article here.