May 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 147

Advertisement
Advertisement

May 26, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

May 25, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

May 24, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Obesity Costs Canada and the United States $300 Billion Per Year

All it takes is a walk through any town in America to realize that obesity is a national epidemic. And obviously there are some major medical and productivity costs associated with a nation whose health is so compromised.

According to a new study from the Society of Actuaries, the total is a staggering $300 billion. For some perspective on just how huge that figure is, it exceeds the combined amount the federal government spent in 2010 on the Department of Transportation ($72.5 billion) Department of State ($51.7 billion), Department of Education – ($46.7 billion), Department of Homeland Security ($42.7 billion), Department of Energy ($26.3 billion), Department of Agriculture ($26.0 billion) and Department of Justice ($23.9 billion).

Not surprisingly, 90% of that $300 billion is attributed to the United States with Canada’s problem being less pronounced.

“We found substantial evidence that overweight and obesity are becoming world-wide epidemics, and are having negative impacts on health and mortality,” said actuary Don Behan, FSA, FCA, MAAA and independent consulting actuary. “As actuaries, we are working with the insurance industry to help incentivize consumers through their health plan design to focus on health and wellness, which will hopefully help curb the weight and health problems we face today.”

Reversing this trend is going to be incredibly difficult.

Corporate health and wellness incentives may be one thing that individual organizations can do to gain a competitive edge in terms of medical cost payouts and productivity improvements.

Don Behan sums it up well.

“We can’t stand back and ignore the fact that overweight and obesity are drivers of cost increases and detrimental economic effects. It’s time for actuaries, the employer community and the insurance industry to take action and help consumers make smart, healthy decisions.”

Since it’s January 10, most people are probably about to start failing to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions to exercise more often and eat better. For the business community, however, getting healthier needs to be a new millennium resolution.

And it’s one we need to keep.

Risk Management Magazine and Risk Management Monitor. Copyright 2022 Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume I, Number 11
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Senior Editor

Jared Wade is the senior editor of Risk Management magazine and the Risk Management Monitor blog.

212-655-5919
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement