Obesity Hurts Wallets And Health, Especially In Women
The Associated Press: Obese women incur higher costs, both to their health and wallets, than men, according to a new study by researchers at George Washington University. "George Washington University researchers added in things like employee sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline - and found the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man. That's far more than the cost of being merely overweight - $524 for women and $432 for men, concluded the report being released Tuesday, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total." The difference between the sexes may be attributable to larger women earning less than skinner women while that difference doesn't change wages for men, researchers found. "The report was financed by one of the manufacturers of gastric banding, a type of obesity surgery" (Neergaard, 9/21).
Kaiser Health News: Meanwhile, this article, done in collaboration with The Washington Post, explores a dilemma "shared by millions of Americans battling excess fat whose insurers refuse to pay for obesity treatments but cover its expensive consequences. ... Only in recent years have a small number of insurers begun to include options for patients seeking to lose weight, as more treatments undergo scientific scrutiny" (Boodman, 9/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.