Changing Americans’ Diets Requires Efforts on Many Fronts
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Sunday, December 20, 2015 09:50 PM

Researchers found that severe obesity costs state Medicaid programs almost $8 billion a year.


Physician discomfort with counseling for and treating obesity may be part of the reason that obesity costs continue to go up. Many physicians may be more comfortable treating obesity-related disease such as hypertension and high cholesterol than providing counseling and treating obesity." 

Researchers analyzed 2013 data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The researchers found that severe obesity costs state Medicaid programs almost $8 billion a year, from $5 million in Wyoming to $1.3 billion in California. "These costs are likely to increase following Medicaid expansion and enhanced coverage of weight loss therapies in the form of nutrition consultation, drug therapy, and bariatric surgery," they noted.

Researchers also looked at seven food policy interventions and found that three of them -- a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax; elimination of the tax subsidy for advertising unhealthy food to children; and nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in schools outside of meals -- saved more in healthcare costs than the money spent to implement them.

Of the three, eliminating the tax subsidy saved the most -- $32.53 for every dollar spent -- followed by the excise tax ($30.78) and then the nutrition standards ($4.56). 


Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Obesity/54518