News article

Over a lifetime, childhood obesity costs $19,000 per child

Posted:  Friday, April 11, 2014

Understanding the major causes of obesity in children

This could be rather shocking for a common reader but the price of treating obesity in a child is a whopping $19,000. The Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore states that in comparison to that of a normal child, an obese child might have to shell out a huge extra expense to attain and complete the required and recommended treatment. If the amount is taken per child, then the treatment cost for 10 year old obese children in the USA alone will be a remarkable $14 billion. On the contrary, studies show that if a child with normal weight gains weight during his adolescence or adulthood, then the cost of treatment is $12,900 per obese child according to the Journal of Paediatrics.

The risk of obesity in children in the modern world

There are many widespread causes of obesity in children. The most important being the intake of junk food and an improper lifestyle. The priority of public welfare is to reduce the levels of obesity in children who get accustomed to comfort food right from the early ages of their life. The consequence faced by obese children, both at the financial and the medical levels are quite alarming. At the physical level it needs to be understood that obesity causes a lot of diseases like Cancers, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular diseases, muscular atrophy etc. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one out of five children in USA is obese.

Progress in the field of lowering obesity in children:

Although there has been substantial progress in the field of reducing causes of obesity, treating obesity in different age groups in different geographical areas in a bigger challenge now. Therefore it is important to prioritise the cost involvement of treating obesity in a child after he or she grows up. It would definitely come with a package of much obesity related diseases. For concluding a current approximation for duration of different medical costs, the researchers calculated and rationalized the existing data on existence costs of childhood obesity. Based on this verification, the researchers suggest the use of $19,000 as the approximate medical cost for lifetime of an obese child in comparison to his normal counterparts. Also it was seen that when obese children reached adulthood, the price for treating obesity for life reduced to $ 12900 per obese child. For understanding this, one also needs to understand and restrict the causes of obesity in children.

The most important being the dependence on convenience food and the urge to eat junk food among children. Fats stacking up within a child definitely are a precursor of obesity. Secondly they need to be put into discipline, just like they are made to go to school and not given the permission to drink or smoke. Regardless of the financial inference, the urge to keep children away from reasons that causes obesity, must be there. This will instil the child with better food habits, safeguarding him or her from the risks of obesity even during the later stages in life.