Obesity at or near the top of the list in driving U.S. healthcare costs

The worldwide market for bariatric surgical devices — the surgical device treatment of obesity — is growing at an alarming rate as a result of increasing prevalence in obesity.  Data from the World Health Organization and International Obesity Task Force (see report #S825) illustrates how significant both the direct and indirect costs are that are associated with obesity.  Given the correlation between obesity and diabetes and heart disase, it is clear that money spent directly on obesity has the potential to eliminate indirect costs nearly as high.

For the U.S., this is particularly important, since the U.S. represents a growing share of the world’s obese population. 

Below is the market for bariatric surgical devices by major geographic region.


Note:  These figures include sales of devices such as gastric bands, gastric stimulation devices, brain stimulation devices and other non-pharmaceutical devices available only through a physician. Unless otherwise mentioned, the unit and sales figures do not include sales of common surgical devices that may have been adapted for use in morbidly obese patients, such as minimally invasive surgical equipment, staplers and other closure devices, longer-handled hemostats, longer retractors, etc.

Source:  Report #S825, "Worlwide Market for the Clinical Management of Obesity."

One thought on “Obesity at or near the top of the list in driving U.S. healthcare costs”

  1. An irony of America’s obesity epidemic is that at a time when Americans arguably know more about food and nutrition than at any time in their history, they are gaining more weight. Despite all the diet books, the wide availability of reduced-calorie and reduced-fat foods and the broad publicity about the obesity prob¬lem, the obesity epidemic has not slowed. Indeed, it is growing much faster than it was thirty years ago.
    As Albert Einstein once observed, the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. That we’d have to shift to a new level, a deeper level of thinking, to solve them.
    A new book Thinking in Circles about Obesity: Applying Systems Thinking to Weight Management, argues for, and presents, a different perspective for thinking about and addressing the obesity problem: a Systems Thinking perspective.
    It is a different way of thinking.
    By helping people better understand the structures and dynamics underling human weight and energy regulation, it is hoped that Thinking in Circles about Obesity would have a profound influence on how ordinary people think about and manage their health and well being.

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