Cost Of Obesity In Just One Small State Is $2.56 Billion A Year


WESTBROOK, MAINE (ASRN.ORG) - A recent study indicates that physical inactivity and excess weight are costing Maine's economy a conservatively estimated $2.56 billion each year.

"Our lifestyle is taking a tremendous toll on our health and economic well-being in Maine," said a spokesman. "We knew intuitively that a less active life coupled with weight gain can lead to health problems later in life but this study shows the problem is here and the impact is harming Maine's today."

According to the report, direct and indirect costs of the risk factor physical inactivity totaled $1.289 billion, while risk factors for overweight and obesity totaled $414 million and $863 million, respectively.

The study suggests that without changes in lifestyle, the costs are likely to get worse. Unless current trends towards increased weight and less physical activity are slowed or reversed, the total impact on Maine's economy will rise to $3.10 billion in 2009, a cumulative 5-year increase of more than 21%.

The bulk of the cost of this epidemic is borne directly by employers and taxpayers, but it affects everyone. In fact, the report divides the annual cost by the number of Maine residents, giving a per person, per year cost of nearly $2,000.

The report says that nearly 47 percent of Maine adults are physically inactive, 43.9 percent are overweight and almost 30% of Maine adults are obese according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that if just 5 percent of inactive Maine adults took a brisk 20 minute walk five times per week, the savings to Maine's economy would total more than $150 million a year or $750 million over five years.


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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