George Washington University report calculates the financial cost of being obese

Tuesday, September 21, 2010; HE04

Being dramatically overweight isn't just unhealthy and socially inhibiting: It's expensive.

How expensive? A study coming out today estimates the overall cost of obesity, including the value of years lost to premature death, at $8,365 a year for obese women and $6,518 a year for obese men.

The report, by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, takes into account costs related to medical care, absenteeism from work, short-term disability, insurance and other factors. Among other issues, it discusses the negative relationship, particularly for women, between body weight and wages.

To see the full report, "A Heavy Burden: The Individual Costs of Being Overweight and Obese in the United States," go to http://www.gwumc.edu/sphhs and click on Health Policy Department.

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