Overweight Children Are Currently Costing America Billions

The very best way to set up your child for financial success can be a nest egg, a grandparent’s inheritance or a plan.

Or, it might be as simple as keeping them in shape.

A Johns Hopkins University study found overweight men and women, over the span of a lifetime, invest an average of around $30,000 more than healthy people on medical conditions related to obesity, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure and certain types of cancers.

That’s not to mention that the amount they lose through work, disability and death. Individuals, the analysis found, lose as a consequence of obesity-related conditions, nearly double people of normal weight, that lose in the range of $44,000 and $49,000.

Study leader Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, argue these numbers are higher for people with obesity.

‘The magnitude is not clear’

Lee and his colleagues sought to put a dollar amount and how society is affected by it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say over a third of U.S. adults are obese as well as 17 percent of children and teens. Lee argued, & ldquo; The magnitude, while the numbers speak volumes. ”

He and his team created simulations of all America’s 31.7 million kids age 8 through 11. They monitored their health day-by-day, such as what they ate and their daily activities. The aim: Determine how a youngster’s degree of physical activity in childhood would impact them during life.

The study found rsquo & that a child;s weight depended they received. Previous research, Lee explained, revealed people who have high body mass indicators in age 18 are most likely to possess a high BMI throughout adulthood.

The study, published in Monday’s Health Affairs, found about 8.1 million of today’s children age 8 through 11 are obese by 2020 if they maintained their existing level of physical action. That would result in $2.8 trillion in additional lost wages and health care costs during their lifetimes.

The researchers calculated exactly what a small exercise regimen could do to the amounts. They found if half of America’s kids age 8 through 11 exercised for 25 minutes, three times every week, there would be 340,000 fewer overweight and obese children, saving $21.9 billion in life lost wages and medical bills. If all kids followed the exact same plan, 1.2 million kids would  prevent becoming obese or overweight, enough to save62.3 billion.

‘Great for the nation’s bottom line’

Lee said the study shows rsquo youth obesity isn &;t just an issue isolated to a couple people. Price burdens to insurance companies are passed on to clients in the form of higher premiums, he explained, and of course an increased tax burden and also the effect on business. Exercise, he explained, is “good for the nation’s bottom line.”

“This shows this is a collective matter,” he said. “These prices will continue that nothing is done. ”

Lee explained the figures in the analysis are underestimated, because they don’t include additional advantages such as progress to muscle, mood and bone density.

It’s signs, Lee asserts, for investment in youth sports leagues and education, college recess. In 2013, the CDC found fewer than half of America&rsquo high school students attended a physical education class in a week. A 2013 Oregon States University study found physical education requirements had increased to 39%.

“As the incidence of childhood obesity grows, so will the value of increasing physical activity,&rdquo. “We will need to be incorporating physical education programs rather than cutting them. We will need to encourage children to be active, to decrease screen time and get them running. It’s important because of their health — as well as the nation’s financial wellbeing. ”

Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman