April 27th, 2010
07:05 PM ET

Fact Check: The cost of obesity

Program Note: Don't miss our coverage of the high cost of obesity tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Diana Holden

The White House on Tuesday unveiled its campaign to fight childhood obesity. First lady Michelle Obama is spearheading the effort.

In a kickoff event at the White House, the first lady said, "Economic experts tell us that we are spending outrageous amounts of money treating obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer."

Fact Check: How much is spent annually on obesity in the United States?

• A 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with RTI International (a nonprofit research group), found that the direct and indirect cost of obesity "is as high as $147 billion annually." The study was based on figures collected in 2006.

• The study found that in 2006, obese patients spent an average of $1,429 more for their medical care than did people within a normal weight range. That is a 42 percent higher cost for people who are obese.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
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