The Impact of Obesity on City Budgets

Posted: Feb 28 in Weight Loss Blog by

Many cities are struggling to keep budgets under control, and Naples and Ft. Myers are no exception. Some studies show that resident obesity rates have a sizable impact on a city’s bottom line. Obesity affects a significant amount of the population, and as a result, the associated direct health care costs are sizable within those areas. Studies show that when obese residents focus on successful weight loss, health care costs decline and can provide a sizable financial windfall to the city budget.

Research indicates that obesity rates have remained steady at approximately 26.6% of the current population. The health costs related to obesity are as high as $50 million per year for each 100,000 residents in the most obese cities. The CDC is encouraging a goal for cities to lower their obesity rates to 15%, though many metropolitan areas have rates of double that rate.

To work on increasing their resident’s health and lower the obesity rates, communities are incorporating a number of behaviors that help residents with healthy weight loss. Some cities are adding additional taxes of sugary foods to discourage their consumption. Many areas are also working to provide healthier food choices throughout the schools.

Many communities are expanding biking and walking trails for easy access to schools, stores and mass transit. Some areas are even creating walking school buses where adults walk with students to school rather than take the bus. Cities are also adding security in at-risk neighborhoods so residents can feel safe as they walk throughout the community.

Cities are motivated to cut expenses, and obese residents can generate significant health care costs. Areas can help residents by providing access to health care and options such as weight loss surgery, and offering opportunities for incorporating safe weight loss strategies into their routines.

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