Heavy costs

Nation’s obese children could rack up $1.1 trillion in future health costs

If the nation's 12.7 million obese children become obese adults, the cost of caring for them could total as much as $1.1 trillion, a study finds.

Defining obesity as a body mass index of 30 or higher, researchers from the Brookings Center for Social Dynamics and Policy calculated that, between ages 25 and 85, an obese adult will cost an average of $92,235 in obesity-related health care, lost work productivity, disability insurance, disability claims and foregone taxes due to lower wages earned, according to Modern Health Care. The researchers noted that the costs would not be offset by higher mortality rates among that population.

“Even if it weren't morally incumbent on us to care about the [lives] and health of our fellow citizens, our research indicates that we have a clear economic incentive to do so,” said researcher Matthew Kasman.