Cost of childhood obesity
Childhood obesity is a costly issue in the U.S. New research estimates the price tag is about $19,000 per child.
Researchers from Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School determined the cost of childhood obesity by analyzing medical data and costs related to obesity and compared it with the costs for normal-weight children who remain a normal weight into adulthood, according to a Time article.
Researchers included not only payment for doctor appointments and medications, but also less tangible costs, such as lost productivity as working adults.
When the $19,000 per child price tag is multiplied by the actual number of obese 10-year-olds in the U.S., the lifetime medical costs for just that population climbs to about $14 billion, according to the article.
The researchers also calculated the cost for some normal-weight children becoming obese as they age. That cost is about $12,900 per child, according to the article.