Obesity and Economics
An article the economic crisis of obesity came out today in the state of Delaware. The article discusses the obesity epidemic in light of society today. Here are a few exercepts from the article:
Today, an average family spends 40 percent of its food budget on meals purchased outside the home. Fast food makes up a large portion of that percentage because of the convenient allure of the drive through and the high number of fast food restaurants.
While nominal food prices dropped 38 percent between 1978 and 2005, the most dramatic drop was in soft drinks, sweets and fatty snacks, he said.
While the sticker price of fatty food may be lower than healthy items like fresh fruits and vegetables, there are more costs to consider than dollars and cents, Carter said. Milk costs more than soda, but milk is also more valuable for the body than soda, so it is impossible to compare healthy and unhealthy foods based only on price, she said.
Nationally, a 2008 Conference Board report found that obesity is associated with a 36 percent increase in spending on healthcare services, more than smoking or problem drinking, and that obesity costs the private sector a super-sized $45 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity.
In another report that examined national numbers from multiple organizations, overweight and obesity costs were estimated to cost the U.S a whopping $117 billion (Direct cost, $61 billion. Indirect cost, $56 billion). The study estimated that the direct costs of physical inactivity alone were more than $24 billion.