The Cost of Obesity

Treatments, such as weight loss surgery and medical weight management , have proven to be effective and help hundreds of thousands of people regain their health each year. Still, more than 60 million Americans remain obese. This number correlates directly with the dramatic increase in diabetes and high blood pressure over the past few decades. When making the choice between living with obesity and undergoing medical or surgical treatment, most people cite one factor - the cost. With economic concerns increasing worldwide, obesity treatment seems like a luxury to of the majority of potential patients.
When considering the actual cost of treatment, it is important to look at another reality - the comparatively greater costs of obesity and obesity-related complications, which can include the following:

  • Lost wages and higher expenses are often overlooked as a result of obesity. According to the National Institutes of Health, those who are obese miss more work on average, while spending more on gasoline and food each year.
  • Health care costs, including out-of-pocket expenses, for managing diabetes are 2.3 times higher than for a patient without diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
  • Over a lifetime, medications and treatments for high blood pressure, often a result of obesity, can cost patients more on average than their out-of-pocket costs for obesity treatment.
  •  Although it is difficult to assign direct cause of death to obesity, the most current estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (as of 2005) indicate 112,000 deaths annually in the U.S. are attributed to obesity.

Most insurance companies now cover weight loss surgery for obese patients. If you are a candidate, Houston Methodist encourages you to obtain coverage from your provider. Our experts know that obesity treatment is a medical necessity, not a cosmetic procedure, and this treatment also saves your health insurance provider money in the long run.

Medical weight management is the safest, most cost-effective nonsurgical treatment available to treat obesity. Many commercial diet programs cost the same (or more) yet require you to achieve this on your own without education, support or medical supervision. Because of the lack of insurance coverage for medical weight management, we have created a flat-rate package to reduce your costs for this program.

The greatest benefits of obesity treatment cannot be measured in dollars. Instead, benefits should be measured by the increase in the quality of life and years ahead of you.