Journal of Applied Medical Sciences

Obesity: Risk Factor for Public Chronic Health Problems

  • Pdf Icon [ Download ]
  • Times downloaded: 676
  • Abstract

    Chronic disease has been identified as the greatest driver of health care expenditures in the United States. Chronic diseases cause pain and suffering to patients and their family members and have been financially draining the healthcare system such that they have become public chronic health problems. Indeed, about 75% of total healthcare expenditure in the country goes to chronic diseases. Future scenarios even look worse. For instance, it is projected that the United States expenditure on diabetes alone will increase from $113 billion in 2009 to $336 billion annually by 2034 in real spending. The same is true for cardiovascular diseases, for which direct medical costs of cardiovascular disease will triple, from $273 billion to $818 billion. Interestingly, a commonality shared among chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers is that they are closely linked with obesity. Extant literature is replete with studies linking obesity to other chronic problems. Presented in this paper is a discussion about obesity as risk factor for several public chronic health problems.