Obesity in Kids Costs Billions
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 12:00 AM

The overall rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. appears to be stabilizing, but the prevalence of extreme obesity among children and teens continues to rise, according to an analysis of national data.  From 1999 to 2012 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database, severe obesity increased from 3.8% to 5.9% in the 2- to 19-year-old age group and the prevalence of even more extreme obesity increased from 0.9% to 2.1%.

"Nationally representative data do not show any significant changes in obesity prevalence in the most recently available years ... unfortunately, there is an upward trend of more severe forms of obesity, and further investigations into the causes of and solutions to this problem are needed."

Over the course of a lifetime, higher medical costs associated with childhood obesity average about $19,000 per person, and extra costs average about $12,900 per person when normal-weight children become overweight or obese during adulthood.

"To put these findings in perspective, multiplying the lifetime medical cost estimate of $19,000 times the number of obese 10-year-olds today generates a total direct medical cost of obesity of roughly $14 billion for this age alone."

"There is the potential to improve weight management among all youth that could last well into adulthood," they concluded.

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Obesity/45150