Small Investment, Guaranteed Return
Smart spending now could greatly reduce the obesity epidemic. Why hasnít America acted?
October 1, 2013
by Jeff Levi
This article is part of a series presented by the American Prosperity Consensus in partnership with Slate.
The future health and wealth of the country are inextricably tied. Right now, however, Americans are not as healthy as they could or should be, in large part due to the obesity epidemic. Obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 30 years. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are now overweight or obese. It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced, and we’re at a crossroads for how we deal with it and where it will take our economy.
Obesity is among the biggest drivers of preventable diseases and health care costs in the United States. Estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion annually, with job absenteeism related to obesity costing another $4.3 billion annually.
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