Reducing Number of Fat People Would Cut Per Capita Health Spending 4% in 10 Years, Says CBO. Freedom to be who you are in jeopardy.
By Terence P. Jeffrey|CNSNews
Reducing the number of Americans who have a Body Mass Index that rates them as “obese” would cut per capita health care spending by 4 percent in the United States over the next 10 years, says a new study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“Because lower rates of obesity are associated with better health and lower health care spending per capita, there is considerable interest in devising policies that would reduce the fraction of the population that is obese,” said the CBO in the report released this week. The report is entitled, How Does Obesity in Adults Affect Spending on Health Care?
The CBO used federal studies conducted in 1987, 2001, and 2007 to quantify what it described as a national trend toward obesity as measured by Body Mass Index (BMI), and a corollary trend of increased per capita health care spending on American adults who were rated as obese.
“Over the past two decades, the adult population in the United States has, on average, become much heavier,” concluded the CBO. “From 1987 to 2007, the fraction of adults who were overweight or obese increased from 44 percent to 63 percent; almost two-thirds of the adult population now falls into one of those categories. The share of obese adults rose particularly rapidly, more than doubling from 13 percent to 28 percent. That sharp increase in the fraction of adults who are overweight or obese poses an important public health challenge. Those adults are more likely to develop serious illnesses, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. As a result, that trend also affects spending on health care.