A recent study conducted by the Society of Actuaries, suggests that the estimated economic cost of obesity (and being overweight) in North America is around $300 billion.
The total cost was based on a combination of increased medical costs, mortality, disability and decreased productivity. The findings were revealed through a systematic review of nearly 500 research articles written over the past 30 years.
“There is substantial evidence that overweight and obesity are becoming world-wide epidemics, and are having negative impacts on health and mortality,” said researcher Don Behan. The Society is reportedly working with health insurance companies to create better incentives for consumers to work toward healthy lifestyles.
As the obesity epidemic becomes more widespread and healthcare costs rise, more people are turning to bariatric surgery as part of their a weight loss solution. Last month, the FDA announced that they were reviewing the approval indications for the laparoscopic gastric band to determine if patients with a lower body mass index (30-35 BMI) could benefit.
In addition to the popular lap band, patients considering bariatric surgery can choose from the comparable Realize Band®, Gastric Bypass or the Gastric Sleeve. Although bariatric surgery is not suitable for every obese or overweight person, these procedures are now one of the many possible solutions for the growing problem of obesity in America.