Medical cost of obesity in Oregon: $1.6 billion a year
May 15, 2012
by Jose Rojas-Burke
Obesity-related chronic diseases cost Oregon about $1.6 billion in medical expenses each year, the Oregon Health Authority estimates in a new report on the obesity epidemic
The rate of obesity among Oregon adults rose from 10 percent in 1990 to more 25 percent in recent years,according to surveys by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The prevalence of overweight adults increased less steeply, from 32 percent in 1990 to more than 35 percent since 2008. And believe it or not, Oregon is doing better than 34 states that have grown even fatter, according to ananalysis by the Trust for America's Health.
Physical inactivity and poor diets are among the causes the Health Authority is trying to address.
Barely half of adults meet the minimum physical activity recommendations, the Health Authority notes. More than half of eighth-graders say they spend three or more hours on an average school day watching TV or video screens for non-school work. Only 12 percent of 11th-graders participate in daily physical education.
About three in four adults and four in five 11th-graders fall short of the recommended minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Twenty-one percent of eighth-graders drink seven or more soft drinks per week.
Obese people incur about $1,429 more per year in medical costs than non-obese people, the report notes. The government's Medicare and Medicaid programs cover more than 40 percent of the costs of obesity related illness.
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