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Weight loss at any age results in cost savings

A study from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health has suggested that helping an adult lose weight leads to significant cost savings. The peak for these savings is when the individual is 50 years old. These costs include direct medical costs as well as productivity losses over their lifetime, further to this weight loss from obesity to overweight, or overweight to a healthy weight both show savings. However, finishing at a healthy weight is associated with a larger saving.

For the study itself the researchers developed a computational simulation to represent the adult population of the USA, this also showed the lifetime costs and health effects for an individual with obesity, overweight, and a healthy weight. The simulation also took into account medical costs to insurance companies, as well as direct medical costs and productivity loss due to sick days. Many previous simulations have only taken into account one or two chronic diseases that are a consequence of obesity, this study included a range in order to make the predictions more accurate. It is hoped that the results of this study can be used to inform policymakers about the specific costs of obesity and therefore design more effective interventions that can be targeted at particular patient groups.

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