Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Obesity is associated with several costly medical conditions. Based on data from 2010 through 2015, nearly half of obese adults had hypertension compared with 20% of normal-weight adults. Obese adults were 4 times as likely to have diabetes compared with normal-weight adults. From 2001 through 2015, increases in medical expenditures were greater for obese adults than for normal-weight adults. From 2010 through 2015, adults with a body mass index of 40 or higher incurred $7800 in annual medical expenditures on average, 76% more than normal-weight adults. Relative to adults with normal weight, obese adults were about twice as likely to have been prescribed a cardiovascular or gastrointestinal agent, nearly 70% more likely to have been prescribed a psychotherapeutic agent, and more than 4 times as likely to be prescribed an antidiabetic agent. Nearly 10% of obese adults were hospitalized annually resulting in 125.9 inpatient hospitalizations per 1000 people annually, compared with just 6% of normal weight-adults hospitalized, resulting in 77.9 stays per 1000 people each year. Nearly half of obese adults had at least 3 physician visits per year compared with 35.1% of normal-weight adults.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Analysis of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Original data available at https://meps.ahrq.gov.
Biener AI, Decker SL, for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Medical Care Use and Expenditures Associated With Adult Obesity in the United States. JAMA. 2018;319(3):218. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21063