Posted on 03/01/2012 at 08:41:04 AM by Suzanne PriceBy Dr. John Courtney, Executive Officer, ASN
Obesity is a rapidly growing concern in the United States—no pun intended. In 2010, about one-third (33.8 percent) of adults in the U.S., and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents were considered obese. The government estimates that 30 percent of the Medicare population is obese.
Health care professionals are forced to deal with the reality of these numbers, not only through increased incidence of chronic diseases linked to obesity, but also increased health care bills. In fact, the cost of excess medical care caused by overweight and obesity in 2009 was $127 billion in the U.S. and Canada. After the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible to receive coverage for obesity counseling as an extension of the Act's preventive services. However, many question whether this is enough to reverse the obesity epidemic.
Read the entire blog post at Altarum Institute's Health Policy Forum.