04 de març 2014

Let's get fit, not fat

Aportaciones de la economía del comportamiento en política sanitaria: Algunas notas en torno al ejemplo de la obesidad
 The influence of obesity and overweight on medical costs: a panel data perspective

In the EJHE you'll find  a clear message:
The results indicate that obesity is associated with substantial healthcare cost increases and there are large differences in costs by degree of obesity. Specifically, severe obesity raises total direct medical costs by an average of 160 € per patient and year. With total medical costs averaging 600 € for normal-weight individuals, this means that severe obesity is associated with an increase in costs of 26 %. The effect of moderate obesity is more modest: it raises medical costs by 97 € or 16 %. Overweight has an even smaller impact, raising costs by 51 € or 8.5 %.
Therefore, if obesity has an economic and health impact, what next?
The EEA article by A. Garcia-Altés reflects current knowledge on behavioral economics and obesity. However there is a long way to go. As I said in a former post we do need a battery of measures to fight obesity: regulatory, social and individual measures.