US Spends more money in fighting Obesity than Cancer

Thursday, July 30, 2009


According to US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the US medical system spends around twice as much treating preventable health conditions caused by obesity than it does on cancer.

We're spending just under 150 billion dollars a year on health conditions related to obesity," Sebelius told the first-ever national conference on obesity to be organized by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."We have a situation where health conditions related to obesity have nearly twice the cost- impact on the health system as all the cancers combined in this country."

The American Cancer Society estimates that all cancers combined cost the health system around 93 billion dollars a year.

Her comments came a day after a study released at the conference found that medical spending on obesity-related conditions could reach a whopping 147 billion dollars a year.The journal "Health Affairs" has just published a study showing that almost 10% of US medical costs may be due to obesity.

The recent IHRSA/ASD Obesity/Weight Control Report 3.8 million people are over 300 pounds, over 400,000 people (mostly males) carry over 400 pounds and the average adult female weighs an unprecedented 163 pounds!

The National Center for Health statistics shows some alarming data
  • Between 1962 and the year 2000, the number of obese Americans grew from 13% to an alarming 31% of the population.
  • 63% of Americans are overweight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) in excess of 25.0.
  • 31% are obese with a BMI in excess of 30.0.
  • Childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled in the past two decades.
  • According to the U.S. Surgeon General report obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths every year.
According to the CDC(Center of Disease Control ), the percentage of overweight children 6-11 has nearly doubled since the early 1980's, while the percentage of overweight adolescents has almost tripled.The extent to which USA has fattened up shows in the dress size which US wears.The most commonly purchased woman's dress size presently in America is 14. In 1985, it was a size 8!

Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity at 32.5 percent, a feat which it has be able to repeat for the fifth time in a row followed by Alabama,West Virginia and Tennessee.


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