In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.
On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years, and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.
Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.
- Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure van Baal PHM, Polder JJ, de Wit GA, Hoogenveen RT, Feenstra TL, et al. PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 2, e29 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050029