Special Offers and Announcements
Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as your health, especially for women.
Doctors have long known medical bills are higher for the obese in the USA, but that's only part of the real-life cost.
George Washington University researchers added in things such as sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline
— and found the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man.
That is far more than the cost of being merely overweight — $524 for women and $432 for men, finds the report, released Tuesday, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total.
Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. Nearly 18% of teens are obese, facing diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.
Why the cost differential between genders? Large women earn less than slim ones, studies suggest. Wages don't differ for obese men.
Researchers had expected everybody's wages to suffer with obesity, but "this indicates you're not that disadvantaged as a guy," says co-author Christine Ferguson.
While obesity is linked to earlier death, that's not usually considered a cost issue. But the report averaged in the economic value of lost life, bringing women's annual costs to $8,365, men's to $6,518.
The report was financed by a maker of gastric banding, used in a type of obesity surgery.
— The Associated Press