The skyrocketing obesity rate in America does not only affect the health of obese people – it impacts taxpayer pockets, as well. According to a study recently published in the Health Affairs journal, obese people cost healthy people money, and there are no “buts” about it.
In 2013, 69 billion dollars were spent nationwide on obesity-related costs. According to the study, Medicaid covered 11% of this total, while 30% were covered by Medicare and other federal programs. That comes to a grand total of 41% of obesity costs being covered by the government, in one way or another. Whether or not your state government or the federal government collects and disperses the money is irrelevant; the cost of obesity is astronomical.
You can see where our power-hungry senators get off thinking that they can impose taxes on soda and other junk food now, can’t you?
The saddest part is that health professionals now actually have to distinguish between “severe obesity” and simple obesity. Are Americans really becoming so large that we need to have sub-categories for how dangerously fat we might be?
According to national guidelines, 64% of the American population could be candidates for weight loss treatment. That is just shy of 2/3 of the entire population. This isn’t just worrisome; it’s an epidemic. And even if you’re healthy – it’s still going to cost you.