I've always been told that obesity is a drain a country's healthcare system...and it's generally accepted as fact. In online debates I frequently see reference to this. I remember seeing news reports on 'The Cost Of Obesity' that say obese people cost the U.S. (as an example) millions or billions each year.
I wanted to give a specific claim - so here is just one of a near-endless supply I could find:
Obese men rack up an additional $1,152 a year in medical spending, especially for hospitalizations and prescription drugs
That seems really straight-forward....but, on the flip side....there seems to be evidence that suggests the opposite. One study tracked life-time medical expenses from age 20 until death:
The actual numbers for lifetime from 20 years old medical costs were:
The lifetime costs were in Euros:
At first glance - I think it might be possible for both of these statements to be true. An average living obese man might cost an average of $1,152 per year than an average living non-obese man; but the obese man might die sufficiently earlier so that the life-time cost is lower.
But I'm left unable to determine the actual financial impact. Is obesity as scapegoat for increasing insurance costs when, clearly, living a healthy life will result in more medical costs....or is obesity really raising all of our bills?