If childhood obesity remains unchecked in Maine, it’s expected to cost the state roughly $1.2 billion in medical costs over the next 20 years, according to a new study.
Currently, 7.8 percent of Maine children and adolescents are obese, according to data from schools in the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Todd Gabe, a professor of economics at the University of Maine, set out to determine just how costly childhood obesity could become for the state over the next two decades.
Already, the annual medical costs of obesity in Maine are an estimated $452.7 million (for children and adults combined), according to the study. Considering the growing body of research that’s linked obesity in childhood with higher chances of obesity in adulthood, childhood obesity is “particularly problematic” because it contributes to medical costs today .
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.