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Obesity and Healthcare Costs

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Obesity and Health Care Costs
Renee Gordon
HRM 599 – Benefits
Keller Graduate School of Management

Review The article “Moderate and Severe Obesity Have Differences in Health Care Costs” was published in the journal Obesity Research. The article analyzes the health care usage and costs associated with varying degrees of obesity of a 2002 study of a focus group of individuals 54 to 69 years old. Health care costs have been steadily increasing over the last few years. Not coincidentally, obesity has also been on the rise, and has helped contribute to the rising costs of health care. Obesity levels are based on a person’s BMI rating. The ratings are:
“Normal weight: 18.5 < BMI < 25
Overweight: 25 < BMI < 30
Moderate Obesity: 30 < BMI < 35
Severe Obesity: 35 < BMI < 40
Extreme Obesity: BMI > 40” (Tatiana Andreyeva, 2004) The article provided some interesting statistics on the rate of increase of health care costs compared with the different levels of obesity. The study was broken down between men and women, and provided different statistics for each group. It was found that in men, health care costs increased the most between moderate and severe obesity, with costs coming in at $4738 for moderately obese men and $6179 for severely obese men. That is a $1441 increase between the two classifications. For women, the largest increase in cost came between severe and extreme obesity. The cost associated with the two classes was $5723 for severely obese women and $8440 for extremely obese women (Tatiana Andreyeva, 2004). The total difference in costs between the two classifications of obese women was $2717, which was much larger than the men’s classification. The increase in costs seems to be associated with an increase in the number of outpatient doctor visits as the level of obesity increases. Extremely obese men visited…...

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