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Report: Mass. Could Save $5 Billion By Losing A Little Weight

This article is more than 7 years old.
(Source: Trust For America's Health)
(Source: Trust For America's Health)

In February, the non-profit Trust For America's Health put out a national calculation of how much money we Americans could save if we reduced our average Body Mass Index by 5%. The report, "Bending the Obesity Cost Curve," figured we could save more than $29 billion in health costs in five years.

Now, the Trust has just sent over the Massachusetts numbers, and though the state generally tends to ace various indicators of healthiness, the stats suggest we could still save a mint.

Today, TFAH has released the same modeling study for the state of Massachusetts, finding that reducing BMI by five percent could lead to health care savings of more than $5 billion in 10 years and $14 billion in 20 years for the state.

Massachusetts has a 22.3% obesity rate, which is expected to grow to 48.7% by 2030 if the state continues on the current track. In 2010, obesity contributed to nearly 500,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, nearly 400,000 cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 100,000 cases of cancer in Massachusetts. The study’s estimates predict that, if BMI rates are reduced by 5%, 77,200 cases of type 2 diabetes, 65,000 cases of coronary heart disease and stroke and nearly 7,000 cases of cancer can be avoided by 2020.

This program aired on June 25, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.

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