Obesity epidemic threatens to bankrupt the nation

Bipartisan effort needed to curb crisis
Healthcare Finance News
Aug. 8, 2012

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. will eventually bankrupt the nation if left unchecked, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, which held a webcast June 5 to outline its recommendations for curbing the crisis.

In its report, "Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future," the Bipartisan Policy Center's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative, co-chaired by former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Ann Veneman and former U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and Mike Leavitt, calls on the public and private sectors to collaborate in creating healthy families, schools, workplaces and communities.

The report's goal is to draw attention to the role obesity plays in the nation's mounting healthcare spending, which is expected to reach $4.6 trillion dollars annually and consume 19.8 percent of the GDP by 2020, said Glickman.

According to the report, if the U.S. succeeds in stabilizing obesity rates at 2010 levels, the nation would save nearly $550 billion over the next two decades.