Obesity will expand U.S. spending, report finds

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Rising rates of obesity will cost the country $344 billion per year starting in 2018, a new study finds.

If current trends continue, 43% of adults will be considered obese by the year 2018, according to the study from Emory University released Tuesday. If that happens healthcare spending on obesity related chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, would rise to $344 billion annually, or 20% of all healthcare spending. The study was conducted on behalf of the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention. Aging baby boomers are more likely to have chronic conditions than older generations, a new study found.

Meanwhile, York University researchers have released a separate report showing that a bit of extra weight may help seniors live longer. After looking at body mass and body fat information for roughly 2,300 seniors, researchers noticed that lower weight was associated with a greater risk of death. The extra energy reserves contained in the fat could help seniors survive some illnesses and chronic conditions, researchers suggest, though they note that younger adults don't experience the same beneficial effects. The research appears in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.