Sunday, September 23, 2007

Obesity costs greater than Iraq costs

Personal research in to comparing the costs of obesity to the costs of the Iraq war has revealed this sobering statistic: Obesity costs U.S. taxpayers more than the war in Iraq.

Here are the facts:

Obesity: $117 Billion per year, $9.75 Billion per month, $13,348,545 per hour.
" Overweight and obesity as major public health problems (are) costing U.S. society as much as $117 billion a year."1

Iraq: $108 Billion per year, $9 Billion per month, $12,321,734 per hour.
" Specific appropriations, which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, have risen to $120 billion in 2006 and $170 billion in 2007... The Defense Department is currently obligating an average of almost $11 billion a month for expenses related to its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other activities related to the war on terrorism. Most of that sum (more than $9 billion per month) is related to operations in Iraq."

1) Fred Kuchler and Nicole Ballenger, " Societal Costs of Obesity: How Can We Assess When Federal Interventions Will Pay?", USDA Economic Research Service, FoodReview, Winter 2002,

2) Congressional Budget Office Testimony, Statement of Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis, "Estimated Costs of U.S. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and of Other Activities Related to the War on Terrorism", before the Committee on the Budget U.S. House of Representatives, July 31, 2007,