The Skinny On Obesity - Part 2 - Chronic Conditions
10/18/2012 6:00:00 AM
By Bob Dohr
It's time to step back on the scale for the second segment of our series on obesity with a look at some of the illnesses related to being way overweight and obesity's impact on the health care system.
Jody Anderson, RN and certified health counselor with Succeed Health, says being obese can lead to a host of health-related problems which can morph into chronic conditions -- things like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. And treating those conditions affects health care costs.
Anderson says the cost of obesity can also show up indirectly at the workplace through employees having less productivity or not showing up for work at all because of a chronic illness.
There's also an emotional price to pay, according to Anderson.
A recent study by the RAND Corp., a non-profit research group, says being moderately obese -- having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher -- increases health care costs by 20% to 30%. But being severely obese -- having a BMI of 40-plus -- more than doubles health care costs.