A new report projects that Medical-related costs caused by obesity could reach $344 billion by 2018. This would account for about 21 percent of all health spending in the country. This projection is based on a 43 percent obesity rate for adults in America, assuming that obesity continues to rise at its current rate. If the percentage of obese adults remains stagnant at the current 34 percent, the cost of obesity-related treatment would be around $198 billion in 2018.
USA Today reports that the study adds to the growing body of evidence of obesity’s impact on medical costs. An earlier study noted that obese Americans cost the country about $147 billion in weight-related medical bills in 2008, double what it was a decade ago. It now accounts for about 9.1 percent of medical spending. Obesity is associated with conditions including obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes and is reported to be the fastest-growing public health condition in the country’s history.