Oct. 29, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ – A study by two professors at Cornell University has concluded that medical costs related to obesity are costing U.S. taxpayers $168 billion annually. This is a figure double the amount of the U.S. health care budget previously estimated.

The study was conducted by Chad Meyerhoefer, assistant professor of economics, in collaboration with John Cawley, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University. The data was taken over a five-year period from 14,000 adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity increases risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a variety of cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems.

The Meyerhoefer-Cawley study analyzed data regarding the cost of treatment of conditions that resulted from obesity.

Meyerhoefer observed that obesity rates have spiked in recent years but seem to be leveling off as people become more aware of risk factors associated with fast food consumption and lack of regular exercise.

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