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With Obesity Key Driver of Rising Health Care Costs, National Business Group on Health Urges Tax Code Changes
Date:5/7/2009

rsity and Executive Director, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease provides new evidence of the role obesity plays in rising health care costs and rates of chronic disease. Key findings from the study include:

  • The prevalence of 11 chronic conditions associated with overweight and obesity grew 180 percent from 1997 to 2005;
  • Average per capita health spending increased by 40 percent from 1997 to 2005, but the average for the 15 costliest conditions - all associated in some way with obesity - jumped 55 percent;
  • Overall, obesity accounts for 27 percent of the increase in inflation-adjusted health expenditures among working-age adults; and
  • If the prevalence of obesity were the same today as in 1987, health care spending in the United States would be about $200 billion less each year.

"These data are fresh evidence of how much obesity contributes to rising health care costs and the crushing burden of chronic disease," said Dr. Kenneth Thorpe. "If policymakers are serious about bending the cost curve, the first place to start is with reducing the incidence of obesity and related complications that drive hundreds of billions of dollars annually in avoidable health care costs."

Case Study: Pitney Bowes' Innovative Strategies for Encouraging Employee Wellness

At the briefing, J. Brent Pawlecki, M.D., Corporate Medical Director at Pitney Bowes, discussed his company's innovative strategies for helping its employees maintain and improve their health and well-being and to combat the incidence of obesity. With 35,000 employees located in 130 countries, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company devotes significant resources to providing health care coverage and wants to ensure value for its spending through forward-looking programs.

"Pitney Bowes considers the Hea
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SOURCE National Business Group on Health
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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