[to top of second column]
The lifespan of an obese person is up to 8-10 years shorter than that of a normal-weight person, the OECD said, the same loss of lifespan incurred by smoking.
In the U.S. the cost in dollars of obesity, including higher health care spending and lost production, is already equivalent to 1 percent of the country's total gross domestic product, the report said. That compares to half a percent in other OECD countries, Sassi said.
These costs could rise two- or threefold over the coming years, the OECD said, citing another study that forecast obesity and overweight-related health care costs would rise 70 percent by 2015 and could be 2.4 times higher than the current level in 2025.
The OECD found that rates of obesity, defined as a body mass index above 30, show a wide variation across its member countries, ranging from as little as 3-4 percent of the population in Japan and Korea to around one-third in the U.S. and Mexico.
"However, rates are also increasing in these countries," the OECD said. Outside the OECD, obesity rates are rising at similarly fast rates in countries such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.
The OECD advises governments on economic growth, social development and financial stability.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor