Published in Western Economics Forum, Volume 8, Issue 2, Fall October 1, 2009, pages 30-42.
The estimated obesity-related health care costs across the Western region in 2008 were $16.2 billion (this is an inflation-adjusted estimate based on the work of Finkelstein, Fiebelkorn, and Wang (2004)). 25 The Western populations, the percentage of obese adults in each state, and the estimated annual obesity-related expenditures by state are summarized in Table 1. The cost estimates include only direct health care expenditures related to obesity. The actual cost of obesity is much higher and includes not only obesity-related illness and disease, but also indirect costs resulting from missed work days and lower worker productivity as well as valued activities foregone as an opportunity cost (Trogdon et al., 2008).
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