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Past Event

An in-depth look at the lifetime economic costs of obesity

Past Event

An in-depth look at the lifetime economic costs of obesity

Ross A. Hammond, Matt Kasman, Ann Huff Stevens, William Dietz, Anand Parekh, Justin Trogdon, and Janet Napolitano

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.

Download the presentation slides.

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Opening remarks

Research presentation

Matt Kasman

Assistant Research Director - Center on Social Dynamics and Policy



Ann Huff Stevens

Director, Center for Poverty Research - Professor of Economics, University of California, Davis


William Dietz

Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness - Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University


Anand Parekh

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Science and Medicine) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Justin Trogdon

Associate Professor - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health


Closing remarks

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