The Cost of Obesity to U.S. Cities
A looming problem for city leaders: Healthcare costs are stifling the businesses that stimulate jobs and growth
City leaders across the country face tight budgets, decreasing revenues, and unemployment challenges. And, as Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data reveal, they also face another looming problem: high obesity rates that are accompanied with astronomical healthcare costs.
According to its 2009 studies of 187 U.S. metro areas, Gallup estimates that the direct costs associated with obesity and related chronic conditions are about $50 million per 100,000 residents annually in cities with the highest rates of obesity. The direct and additional hidden costs of obesity are stifling businesses and organizations that stimulate jobs and growth in U.S. cities.
Obesity's healthcare costs are not distributed equally across the nation, and definitely not across U.S. cities. The majority of cities Gallup studied need to cut their obesity rates by at least a quarter to come close to the national goal of 15% set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cities with the highest rates of obesity need to cut their rates by more than half.
From a cost savings perspective, if all 187 cities reduced their obesity rates to 15%, the U.S. could save $32.6 billion in healthcare costs annually. Additionally, if the nation's 10 most obese cities cut their rates to the national 2009 average of 26.5%, they could collectively save nearly $500 million in healthcare costs each year. Cut to 15%, the cost savings would climb to nearly $1.3 billion annually.
Gallup is able to calculate the incremental cost of healthcare per year for each of these cities by multiplying the estimated additional direct annual healthcare costs for an obese person ($1,429 per person per year) by the population, then multiplying that by the obesity rate. A city of 100,000 citizens with a 20% obesity rate, for example, will have an incremental healthcare cost of $28,580,000 ($1,429 X 100,000 X 0.20 =$28,580,000).
Twenty-one metro areas -- led by Montgomery, Alabama and Stockton, California -- earned the unhappy distinction of having obesity rates of 31% or higher in 2009, based on their residents' self-reported height and weight. In the 10 most obese cities, where at least one-third of residents reported a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30, the annual obesity cost per 100,000 residents was about $50 million. This is roughly twice the cost per 100,000 residents in the least obese cities.
Do you think a lack of personal responsibility impacts healthcare costs? Will any government program MAKE people own up to THEIR responsibility for THEIR health?Answer Question
Answer by judimary at 11:31 PM on Jun. 1, 2011
Answer by Farmlady09 at 11:55 PM on Jun. 1, 2011
A government program to force personal responsibility....hmmm....
Seems like an oxymoron to me.
Answer by Anonymous at 12:21 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
Answer by Farmlady09 at 12:39 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
Answer by janet116 at 12:41 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
Answer by gammie at 1:05 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
Answer by hot-mama86 at 4:51 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
I don't live anywhere near McAllen, but the cost of this to the state has an impact on all taxpayers.
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:21 AM on Jun. 2, 2011
Next question overall
Has any parent a toddler or child been on Clonidine for ADHD?
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