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Pound Wise and Penny Foolish? Weight Loss and The Dynamics of Health Care Spending

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  • Koch Thomas G

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

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    Abstract

    Current estimates of obesity costs ignore the impact of future weight loss and gain, and may either over or underestimate economic consequences of weight loss. In light of this, I construct static and dynamic measures of medical costs associated with body mass index (BMI), to be balanced against the cost of one-time interventions. This study finds that ignoring the implications of weight loss and gain over time overstates the medical-cost savings of such interventions by an order of magnitude. When the relationship between spending and age is allowed to vary, weight-loss attempts appear to be cost-effective starting and ending with middle age. Some interventions recently proven to decrease weight may also be cost-effective.

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    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep.2011.14.issue-2/fhep.2011.14.2.1220/fhep.2011.14.2.1220.xml?format=INT
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 1-17

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:14:y:2011:i:2:n:7

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    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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    Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep

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