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Critically Speaking

Aug 7, 2019

With over 70% of Americans falling into the categories of being overweight or having obesity, and the increasing health decrements associated with these conditions, Dr. Hugh Waters, Health Economist with the Milken Foundations discusses the various associated disease and their economic costs with Therese. 


Key Takeaways:  

  • The total costs associated with the "Obesity Crisis" in 2016 were $1.72 trillion dollars 
  • A portion of these costs is attributable to healthcare, including hospitalizations and medications 
  •  Another contributor to the costs is lost wages, which results in reduced individual income as well as reduced productivity at the national level 


"If you add up the direct health care costs plus the indirect productivity costs, you get $1.7 trillion in the year 2016. To put that number into perspective, that’s 9.3% of our GDP. That’s 9.3% our entire economy is lost to us because of the heath care problems caused by obesity." —  Dr. Hugh Waters 


Connect with Dr. Hugh Waters:   

Milken Institute: Hugh Waters    

Milken Institute Reports: 

America’s Obesity Crisis: The Health and Economic Costs of Excessive Weight 

The Costs of Chronic Disease in the U.S. 

Weighing Down America: The Health and Economic Impact of Obesity 


Additional information including book references, quizzes, etc. (provided by Teri) 


Connect with Therese:  


Twitter: @CritiSpeak  




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