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Obesity hitting California's economy in a big way, study finds

July 9, 2009 |  7:05 am


Obesity and inactivity is becoming a major drain on the state's economy, according to a report released this morning.

The report, by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), said that the economic cost of obesity in terms of health care costs and other factors is an estimated $41 billion a year in the state. Obesity has contributed to increases in total health care costs and a decline in worker productivity, the report found.

The study, produced by examining health care data and existing scientific research, found that the costs of obesity in Los Angeles County is $11.9 billion, $3.3 billion in Orange County and $3 billion in San Diego County.

“These rapidly escalating costs paint an alarming picture for our state,” says Dr. Harold Goldstein, executive director of the CCPHA, in a statement.  “They underscore the need to build community health and prevention into public policies at every level, from national health care reform and the state’s use of federal stimulus funding to regional growth and local policies that help people to eat healthy food and be more physically active.”

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: An unidentified man takes a walk. Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images