Will obesity make Medicare go bankrupt?

obesity
obesity

Americans are fat and are getting fatter. During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-two states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia ) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.

This increase in girth is also fueling the increase in chronic diseases such as heart disease, several types of cancer and diabetes. According to a new study by researchers based at the University of Chicago, the number of people with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes will climb from almost 24 million this year to about 44 million in 2034. Over the same period, annual diabetes-related treatment costs are expected to increase from $113 billion to $336 billion in 2007 dollars. Medicare spending on diabetes is expected to jump from $45 billion to $171 billion and could exceed current projections for all Medicare costs.