Being overweight or obese is not only a personal issue that affects one's health but is also a public health issue that impacts other people in society.


A new study in the journal Health Services Research reveals that the extra Medicare cost associated with overweight elderly people could place a significant financial burden on tax payers, costing up to hundreds of billions of dollars across the entire current Medicare population.

The article's findings show that treating the health needs of an overweight or obese elderly person will cost Medicare six percent to 17% more over a lifetime than treating an elderly person with a healthy weight.


The authors used a measure of weight that takes into account a person's height, known as the body mass index and looked at total costs from Medicare alone for individuals covered from age 65 until death.


The extra demands made of the health care system by overweight and obese elderly amounts to Medicare's spending on average an extra $15,000 on overweight elderly individuals and an extra $26,000 on obese individuals.


News release derived from Medical News Today. Visit for more health information.


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