Stacie has trouble saying “no” to her son four-year-old son, Jaylen, who, due to incessantly begging for food, now weighs more than twice the recommended weight for a child his age. Stacie seeks help from medical specialists who hope to get 101 pound Jaylen on track to a healthy lifestyle.
Childhood Obesity’s Staggering Price Tag: Almost $20,000 per Child
Doctors have been warning us for years about the effects of childhood obesity, which has been rising since the 1970s. Kids who are obese have nearly twice the risk of such health problems as learning disabilities, asthma, and joint issues.
But for the first time, the costs of the condition, called “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization, have been quantified by researchers. The findings are shocking: The epidemic has an estimated $19,000 price tag per child.
The cost analysis was led by researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, who measured direct medical costs, such as doctors’ visits and medication. Additional costs, such as lost productivity due to obesity, were not included.