Obesity affects the wellbeing and health of individuals, families and communities in the United States and Globally. This health menace has an escalating impact on the healthcare expenditure and also influences the broader economy of the nation. Moreover, developing countries with few resources to spend in healthcare experience even more devastating health impacts which are transferred across generations due to the lack of strategies to reduce or prevent obesity (Institute of Medicine, 2010).
Scope and Depth of the Issue
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.5% of the country’s adult population have obesity while 15.5% of children are obese (Ogden, 2015). These rates have tremendously risen since 1970s when only 5% of the population was obese. With the spike in childhood obesity, the mean and median MBI of the general population in the US has risen tremendously.
Obesity not only digs deeper into the national and global coffers for treatment and prevention of the disease, but also incidences of obesity-related diseases including hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and stroke (Hammond & Levine, 2010). The economic impact of obesity are not only related to the medical costs, but also productivity cost and absenteeism. These costs include loss of quality-adjusted life years, premature mortality, welfare loss related to health insurance, and increase in the rate of disability benefit payments. This trends impair the economic improvement of a nation.
- Hammond, R. A., & Levine, R. (2010). The economic impact of obesity in the United States. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy, 3, 285.
- Institute of Medicine. 2010. Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy Makers on Obesity Prevention: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., & Flegal, K. M. (2015). Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2011-2014 (pp. 1-8). US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.