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Obesity's health costs bigger than earlier estimates

HealthDay reports that obesity-related medical spending is more than twice the price as was previously believed. A new study puts the sticker at $190.2 billion a year nationally, or 20.6 percent of all U.S. health care spending, up from a previously estimated $85.7 billion a year, or 9.1 percent. From the HealthDay story:

"Historically, we've been underestimating the benefit of preventing and reducing obesity," study author John Cawley, [PhD], a professor of economics and policy analysis and management at Cornell, said in a university news release.

"Obesity raises the risk of cancer, stroke, heart attack and diabetes," Cawley said. "For any type of surgery, there are complications [for the obese] with anesthesia, with healing. Obesity raises the costs of treating almost any medical condition. It adds up very quickly."

Previously: Cost-effective strategies for reducing global obesity rates and The need to improve health behaviors

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