Gallup report: Obesity costs cities millions

Source: American City and County, February 4, 2011

The nation’s high obesity rates are a financial problem as well as a health problem for the nation’s cities, according to a new report from New York-based Gallup. The polling company’s Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, published Jan. 27 in the Gallup Management Journal, estimates that the direct costs associated with obesity and related chronic conditions are about $50 million per 100,000 residents annually in cities with the highest rates of obesity.

The index, which is based on Gallup’s 2009 studies of 187 U.S. metro areas, found that the majority of cities studied need to cut their obesity rates by at least one-quarter to come close to the national goal of 15 percent set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and cities with the highest rates of obesity need to cut their rates by more than half. If all 187 cities reduced their obesity rates to the 15 percent mark, the country could save $32.6 billion in healthcare costs annually

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