News on Wellness

Childhood Obesity Is A Costly Affair!

Childhood Obesity

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released the results of its latest research which show that more than one third of kids and adolescents in the US are overweight or obese. After looking at the total lifetime medical costs, the researchers have estimated that childhood obesity costs $19,000 per head. This is certainly more than lifetime costs for normal weight children. The study also showed that the lifetime costs for obese children who were 10 years old was around $14 billion! These alarming results were published in the journal Pediatrics. The team evaluated and updated the current available evidence to estimate the lifetime medical costs associated with childhood obesity. Indirect costs such as absenteeism and lost productivity in working adults were not included and hence more study is necessary.

Childhood Obesity

Eric Andrew Finkelstein, PhD, MHA, from the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore who lead the researchers said that it is a public priority to reduce childhood obesity as it can have significant health and economic benefits.

He said “These estimates provide the financial consequences of inaction and the potential medical savings from obesity prevention efforts that successfully reduce or delay obesity onset.”

Dr. Rahul Malhotra, one of the co- authors feels that reducing obesity in children is important as most obese children and teenagers remain obese all their lives.

The researchers opined that motivation to prevent childhood obesity should be regardless of financial implications. This is because obesity causes many diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancers. Hence it is a major health problem.

The researchers also estimated that along with the $19,000 for obese children, the lifetime cost for normal weight children who become obese in adulthood is $12,900 per person.

Earlier, Medical News Today had also reported on research that showed children who are obese by kindergarten are four times more likely to remain obese even in eighth grade, signifying the obesity prevention in younger children.



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