The Impact of Obesity on the American Economy.

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Research 1 – Background
The Impact of Obesity on the American economy.

January 26, 2013

Abstract
Obesity has slowly grown into a global epidemic over the past decades. More than two-thirds of adults in the United States (US) are overweight with a third obese. The purpose of this study will be to lay out an overview of the effect of obesity on the US economy at the national level. I will be explaining three categories of economic impact that are associated with the obesity problem in the United States: transportation costs, medical costs and productivity costs. I will examine each in turn and explore the possibilities of what research is needed to close the gap of the worsening effects of obesity on the US economy. Research has identified substantial economic impacts of obesity on the economy in all the areas I identified although a more comprehensive cost analysis is still to be ascertained. The impending doom to the US economy as a result of obesity is something that has to be seriously considered and serious policy engagements have to be considered. Ongoing research has to continue until a solution is arrived at.

Introduction

Obesity has slowly become a global epidemic. Nearly 600 million people were overweight worldwide in 2008. The rate of obesity has doubled in the United States since the 1970s to over 30%, with more than two-thirds of Americans now obese. This staggering revelation cannot be pinned to a common cause but rather a plethora of factors is responsible. This paper will provide a review of research on the likely impact of obesity on the American economy. I searched through Davenport University’s online library for articles that addressed the economic impact of obesity and identified three broad areas: transportation costs, medical costs and productivity costs. I looked at each aspect closely and determine areas for future research.

Productivity costs
The effects of obesity on...
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