The cost of childhood obesity

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The Cost of Obesity


Obesity is a major health problem, and it turns out it's pretty expensive -- especially when it comes to kids.

According to medical researchers at Duke University, childhood obesity comes with an estimated price tag of $19,000 per child when comparing lifetime medical costs to those of a healthy weight child.

SEE MORE: A few simple choices can help fight childhood obesity

Preventable medical costs are estimated at $145 billion per year in the United States. When you break it down by population, it costs every American $500 a year.

Let's take a look at one state, one of the fittest in the country, according to stateofobesity.org, in California alone, the economic costs of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity are estimated to cost $41 billion a year.

According to the CDC, overweight children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are more likely to have pre-diabetes, and are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea.

But there is some good news! According to the federal government, in the last decade childhood obesity has dropped 43% overall. And in young children ages 2 to 5 years old, the obesity rate dropped from nearly 14% to 8.4%.

Since 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity her personal mission to combat by rolling out the Let's Move campaign.

She's changed school lunches nationwide and recently unveiled a new plan to ban marketing junk foods and sodas in schools.

But it's going to take more than that to make a real dent in the billions we spend each year treating childhood obesity.

Click through for more stats on the growing cost of childhood obesity:

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The cost of childhood obesity

Childhood obesity comes with an estimated price tag of $19,000 per child when comparing lifetime medical costs to those of a healthy weight child.

Photo by HuffPost News

In California alone, the economic costs of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity are estimated to cost $41 billion a year.

Photo by HuffPost News

In the last decade childhood obesity has dropped 43% overall. 

Photo by HuffPost News

In young children ages 2 to 5 years old, the obesity rate dropped from nearly 14% to 8.4%.

Photo by HuffPost News

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