NU Online News Service, March 12, 2004, 5:42 p.m. EST – Obesity-related medical problems could account for more than 20% of U.S. health care spending in 2020, up from less than 10% today.[@@]
RAND Corp., Santa Monica, Calif., a think tank, makes that prediction in a new review of its researchers’ studies of obesity rates and disability trends.
Obesity plays a role in disability at all ages, and it now appears to lead to higher health care costs than smoking or drinking do, RAND reports.
Obese adults have about as many chronic conditions as normal-weight adults who are about 20 years older, RAND says.