Tags: Obesity | obese | preschoolers | higher | health | costs

Obese Preschoolers Have 60 Percent Higher Health Costs

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Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 12:02 PM


Healthcare costs of obese preschoolers are 60 percent higher than those for children of healthy weights, says an Australian study by the University of Sydney's School of Public Health. In addition, hefty kids aged two to five years old are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized.

The study, which was published in the journal Obesity, was the first study to show that obesity directly affects health costs in preschool-aged children.

Researchers examined the health records of 350 children including all doctor visits, medical tests, medicines, emergency visits, and hospital admissions. Obese children had 60 per cent higher total healthcare costs when compared to their peers of normal weight, and they were two to three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital, particularly for respiratory disorders and diseases of the ear, nose, mouth and throat.

"Childhood obesity is a serious public health issue, and is becoming an increasing problem in children under five years old," said lead researcher Alison Hayes.

"In addition to the health impacts of childhood obesity, there are major economic impacts, which may occur earlier than previously thought.

"We know that children who are obese in early childhood are more likely to be obese in later childhood, adolescence and adulthood, which can lead to serious chronic diseases that have a huge impact on our healthcare system," she noted. "Early prevention of obesity is important to improve children's health, but there are also likely to be immediate savings in healthcare costs."

In the U.S., childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it has decreased among preschool-aged children in the past few years, about 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese. Obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease and prediabetes.


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Healthcare costs of obese preschoolers are 60 percent higher than those for children of healthy weights, says an Australian study by the University of Sydney's School of Public Health. In addition, hefty kids aged two to five years old are two to three times more likely to...
obese, preschoolers, higher, health, costs
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2016-02-06
Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 12:02 PM
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