Companies, individuals and governments across the nation are suffering from the extra weight. The U.S. accumulates more than $190 billion a year in obesity-related healthcare costs, according to a study by the Campaign to End Obesity. Medical spending resulting from obesity is double what it was in 1960 and is greater than that of smoking, according to a recent study. Men are considered obese if they have more than 25 percent body fat, for women that number is 32 percent. Here's a list of ways that expanding waistlines drive up costs, according to Reuters.
Absenteeism from work due to obesity can cost companies around $6.4 billion a year, health economists lead by Eric Finkelstein of Duke University calculated.
Shortness of breath, pain and other hurdles can make it difficult for the obese to work.
The very obese can lose up to one month of productive work a year. Obese males can cost an average of $3,792 a year per man. That cost for obese women is $3,037 per woman each year.
That can be a total cost of $30 billion a year.
Being obese not only lowers work output, it also lowers how much money they make.
Studies have shown that the obese are less likely to be hired and promoted. Obese women earn about 11 percent less than women of a healthy weight, health economist John Cawley of Cornell University told Reuters.
With the average weekly wage being $669 in 2010, that's a loss of $76 a week due to obesity.
Obese people tend to take more time off than those of a healthy weight due to a variety of medical issues.
The most obese men take 5.9 days each year and the most obese women take 9.4 more sick days each year then those at a healthy weight.
Vehicles in the U.S. go through almost 1 billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.
An extra 938 million gallons of gas are used each year in the U.S. due to obesity. That's an additional $4 billion per year, Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois told Reuters.
The percentage of obese Americans has increased threefold since 1960, to 34 percent
Americans who are extremely or morbidly obese is 6 percent, that's six times what it was in 1960.
Obese men account for an extra $1,152 a year in medical spending in the U.S. Much of that comes from hospitalizations and prescription drugs, Cawley and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University reported in January in the Journal of Health Economics.
Obese women account for an additional $3,613 a year in medical costs, according to Cawley and Meyerhoefer.
Healthcare costs are partly passed on to non-obese people, who pay more in taxes to support Medicaid and higher health insurance premiums.
Obese women raise the cost of expenditures by $3,220 a year and obese men $967 a year, according to Cawley and Meyerhoefer.
Smoking adds an additional 20 percent a year to medical costs, James Naessens of Mayo Clinic told Reuters.
Obesity costs are about the same as smoking but morbid obesity drove costs up by 50 percent a year.