Obesity Costs Are Higher Than Previous Estimates

Share this content:
Obesity Costs Are Higher Than Previous Estimates
Obesity Costs Are Higher Than Previous Estimates

(HealthDay News) – Obesity accounts for nearly 21% of US health care costs, much higher than previously estimated.

John Cawley, PhD, from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and Chad Meyerhoefer, PhD, from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, estimated models using restricted-use data derived from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 2000–2005. The method of instrumental variables (IV) model, which utilizes genetic variation in weight as a natural experiment, was applied to estimate the effect of obesity on medical expenditures.

The researchers found that the IV model estimated the impact of obesity on medical costs to be much higher than estimates previously reported in the literature. Obesity had previously been associated with $656 more in medical care costs per year, but the IV model suggested that obesity raises annual medical costs by $2,741 (in 2005 dollars).

"These results imply that the previous literature has underestimated the medical costs of obesity, resulting in underestimates of the economic rationale for government intervention to reduce obesity-related externalities," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs