National

Sep 21, 2010 9:15 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Obesity hurts your wallet along with your health

Researchers are putting a price tag on obesity.

Doctors have long known that medical bills are higher for the obese, but a report from George Washington University finds that's only a portion of the real-life costs. The 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.

The study's co-author Christine Ferguson says the difference found between the sexes suggest that larger women earn less than skinnier women, while wages don't differ when men pack on the pounds.

Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades.

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