What Is the Cost of Obesity?

Just the Facts | What Is the Cost of Obesity?

Is eating more fruits and vegetables the best way to reduce obesity? Maybe not, according to new research. While debates among policymakers over Medicare reform intensify, rethinking eating habits could reduce obesity and help mitigate its enormous strain on the popular health insurance program.


American adults consume twice the amount of calories from cookies, candy, salty snacks, and soda than is recommended to maintain a healthy weight.


Additional dollars Medicare will spend over the lifetime of an obese 70-year-old compared to peers of normal weight.

$1.2 billion

Amount that could be saved in Medicare spending between 2005 and 2030 if half as many Americans were obese.