Obesity, as discovered recently, is not only damaging to one’s self-esteem but can also increase your healthcare costs. A recent study published by the Value in Health magazine has found that abdominal obesity (an increased waistline) can worsen metabolic and cardiovascular diseases leading to an increase in health care costs, much more than people who have a smaller waistline but are in the same overweight and obesity classification.
In Germany, the statistics that validate this claim of greater health care costs annually showed a difference in costs by over 16 % to 18 %, while in the United States that figure was about 20% to 30% higher. These consistent results in tests do tell you a thing or two about the impact of an increased waistline on healthcare costs regardless of whether your body mass index (BMI) is in the healthy range or not.
Interestingly, the subjects chosen for this study were Internet panels consisting of 10,816 individuals from the United States and Germany who were from 30 to 70 years of age with BMI scores between 20 and 35, who were then classified into healthy weight, overweight and obese categories. Using online questionnaires, the individuals then provided details such as their weight, waist circumference, and health-care resource use at 0, 3 and 6 months consecutively.
This finally led to the conclusion that if overweight or obese people were provided with expertise and assistance to manage their weight effectively, one would see a decrease in expenditure on annual health care costs.