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Californians Are Fat and Thats Expensive

A study estimates overweight Californians cost $21.7 billion dollars a year in medical bills, injuries and lost productivity.

The $30,000 study released Tuesday says more than 1/2 of California adults are overweight or obese. It notes that a decade of overeating and sitting in front of the television has given California “one of the fastest rates of increase in adult obesity in any state in the nation.” The study was prepared for the California Department of Health Services. It says rates for Hispanic and African-American adults less than a high school education exceed 60 percent.

The report warns there is “no sign that increases in overweight or obesity are slowing.” Governor Schwarzenegger´s secretary for health and human services–Kim Belshe–says the obesity epidemic is an economic crisis in addition to being a public health crisis. She says employers can save money and maintain a healthy work force by offering nutritious food on job sites and “providing access to physical activity.”

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