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Obesity Costs Nation Nearly $190 Billion Per Year, Says Study [AUDIO]

Here’s a shocking statistic. Obesity now costs Americans more in healthcare spending than smoking.

Obese People
Flickr User Tony Alter

“Obesity raises the risk of a host of medical conditions from heart problems to chronic pain and the obese are absent from work much more than those of a healthy weight” said Dr. Felicia Stoler at the New Jersey Dietetic Association.

A just-published analysis shows obese men rack up an additional $1,100 per year, obese women nearly $3,600. Nationally, that comes to $190 billion a year.

Stoler says unfortunately, those costs are passed on to you.

“It impacts all of us whether you’re overweight or not, in our tax dollars to support Medicaid and higher insurance premiums.”

Its a big problem in New Jersey, where the state has a high incidence of obesity said Stoler.

“Hospitalizations, prescription drugs, it all adds up.”

The obesity rate has risen nationwide from 13 to 34 percent in the last 50 years, prompting some government officials to look at installing wider seats in public places, from sports stadiums to bus stops.

“When is everyone going to wake up and realize the severity of the problem.  When we talk about obesity being an epidemic, it is.  And its certainly not helping with the economics of our country either” said Stoler.

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