The total economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States is $270 billion per year while the cost in Canada is about $30 billion a year, a new study shows.

The $300 billion total cost in the United States and Canada is the result of: increased need for medical care ($127 billion); loss of worker productivity due to higher rates of death ($49 billion); loss of productivity due to disability of active workers ($43 billion); and loss of productivity due to total disability ($72 billion), said the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

People are considered overweight if their body-mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 and obese if their BMI is higher than 30.

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