An in-depth look at the lifetime economic costs of obesity
Over the past 30 years, academics and public sector officials alike have seen obesity rates climb to alarming new heights. By 2012, over one-third of American adults were obese and the adult obesity rate had doubled since 1965. Current levels of obesity in the United States represent a large-scale loss in quality of life, deterioration in population health, and an enormous drain on financial resources. How can the cost of obesity be quantified, beyond the direct medical costs incurred by the obese population? How many dollars are lost because of reduced productivity, taxes forgone and increased Social Security Disability Insurance benefits attributable to obesity? How much do these costs accrue over the course of a lifetime?
On May 12, the Center for Social Dynamics and Policy, in partnership with the World Food Center of the University of California-Davis, presented new research which quantifies a wide range of the economic costs of obesity. Following the presentation, a panel of experts discussed obesity research, the progress that has been made in quantifying the economic cost of obesity, and the work that has yet to be done.
Director, Center for Poverty Research - Professor of Economics, University of California, Davis
Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness - Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Science and Medicine) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Associate Professor - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.