Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and health care costs in the country. Nearly 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. Related health care costs now exceed $147 billion annually, more than $60 billion of which is covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Investments in efforts to prevent chronic health problems like obesity can have significant budget savings. Yet despite widespread evidence that prevention efforts can save lives and money, for every dollar spent on health care in the United States, only four cents goes towards public health and prevention.
Unless the obesity epidemic is reversed, overall medical spending will become untenable and outpace GDP growth. If obesity rates are reduced by as little as 5%, health care savings could exceed $29 billion.
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