Collaborative Campaign to End Obesity
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OBESITY IN THE NEWS
Where does your state rank in terms of rates of adult obesity? Click Here.
healthyamericans.org - Nationwide
Surgeon General to Be Kentucky Doctor
Associated Press - Nationwide
Obesity makes asthma worse: study
Reuters - USA - Nationwide
Pediatricians slow to treat childhood obesity
Buffalo News - Buffalo, NY
 
Orszag Testifies that Obesity is a Major Driver of Rising U.S. Healthcare Costs
 
On June 21st, in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, Congressional Budget Office Director, Peter Orszag, testified that a key contributor to rising U.S. health care costs is the increasing rate of obesity in this nation.
 
According to a 2001 study cited by Orszag, obese Americans incurred 37 percent higher medical costs than Americans of "normal" weight - for a difference of about $1,000 per person per year.  The increased occurrence of obesity between 1987 and 2001, he said, accounted for 12 percent of the overall growth in real medical spending per capita in that period.  For Medicare, the share of spending attributable to obese enrollees increased from about 9 percent in 1987 to about 25 percent in 2002, a substantially larger increase than was seen in the obesity rate for the U.S. Medicare population as a whole.
 
Despite a lack of comprehensive cost-effectiveness data on the value of preventive treatments, Orszag expressed concern over the lack of preventive measures to avert the onset of chronic diseases, particularly obesity.  Orszag also emphasized the value of behavioral change, and specifically noted the importance of improved diet and exercise regimes.
 
Orszag identified three basic policy options for addressing prevention and healthy living to lower obesity.  The first would focus on the dissemination of information regarding the affects of unhealthy behavior or the factors contributing to unhealthy behavior.  Another approach would provide financial incentives to promote healthy lifestyles through taxes, subsidies, or various other forms.  The third approach included regulatory steps, which he said might include regulating the content of school meals.  To view Dr. Orszag's complete testimony, click here. 
 
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National Summit on Obesity Policy Resources 
©2007 Collaborative Campaign to End Obesity



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