Obesity costing individuals up to $5,000 every year, study shows

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 11:58am

Louisiana ranks number five for the most obese state in the nation. And that number is up by 30% since last year. But how much does that cost? One university has it down to a science.

A study by George Washington University shows that women who qualify as obese spend more than $5,000 more every year than women who maintain a normal weight. That number is about $2,500 for men. The difference comes from a variety of factors, including paying extra for clothing sizes and missed days from work due to health problems.

The study focuses on people who are medically obese, not just overweight. But one LSUS professor notes that the cost of obesity can be measured in more than dollars. Dr. Jesse Demello says it's the emotional costs that play the biggest role. "Emotionally, your body image is important and how we perceive others see us physically is an important concept."

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