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Congressional Budget Office Demonstrates Economic Burden of Obesity

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an issue brief detailing the significant increases in health care costs for obese individuals. According to the report, spending per capita for obese adults exceeded spending for otherwise similar adults of normal weight by about 8% in 1987 and by about 38% in 2007.

Obese adults are more likely to develop serious illnesses, including coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Thus, if obesity rates continue to rise-as they are likely to do-health care spending could reach almost $8,000 annually per obese individual, says the CBO. 

The findings of the CBO’s report create even greater reason for lawmakers—state and federal—to consider policies that will reduce the fraction of obese Americans, namely by encouraging greater physical activity. 

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