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Obesity costs US health system $147 billion a year

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of all medical spending in the United States or an estimated $147 billion a year, U.S. researchers said Monday.

They said obese people spend 40 percent more — or $1,429 more per year — in healthcare costs than people of normal weight.

“It is critical that we take effective steps to contain and reduce the enormous burden of obesity on our nation,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference at a CDC obesity meeting where the study was presented.

“Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort,” Frieden said. “It will be done successfully as a society.” ¬† Continued…

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