A new study detailed on Voice of America found that increased higher BMI is linked to increased healthcare costs, some of which are pretty significant. The following are a couple of excerpts from the article:
Measuring costs related to doctors’ visits and prescriptions, the researchers observed that the prevalence of obesity-related diseases increased gradually across all BMI levels. In addition to diabetes and hypertension — the two diseases most commonly associated with being overweight or obese — the rates of nearly a dozen other disease categories also grew with increases in BMI. Cardiovascular disease was associated with the largest dollar increase per unit increase in BMI.
The average annual health care costs for a person with a BMI of 19 was found to be $2,368; this grew to $4,880 for a person with a BMI of 45 or greater. Women in the study had higher overall medical costs across all BMI categories, but men saw a sharper increase in medical costs the higher their BMIs rose.
We at DE believe that BMI by itself and in small sample sizes is indeed a flawed measure for many reasons, but in large groups or sample sizes, the aggregate number is a pretty meaningful metric. So, why not track your organization’s aggregate BMI, and change over time, using our HIPAA-compliant wellness challenge platform today?