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Health insurance costs could increase due to obesity

Posted On Wed, November 25, 2009

Obesity is one of the top health concerns facing the country, a fact that could end up affecting health insurance costs in the future.

According to the publication Executive Healthcare Management, 103 million Americans could be obese by 2018. Furthermore, EHM notes that obesity will account for $344 billion of U.S. spending for health care in that year, or 21 percent of all healthcare costs.

In 2009, healthcare costs associated with obesity came to $361 per adult. That number could rise to as high as $1,425 in 2018.

"Obesity not only takes its toll on physical health, but it places a financial burden on the healthcare delivery system to treat increased illness as a result of obesity-related health challenges," the report notes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with economic costs, there are a number of health concerns connected to obesity. For example, people who are overweight or obese face a higher risk of coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. It may also make people more likely to get certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.

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