Lifetime costs of overweight and obesity in Italy


We use longitudinal electronic clinical data on a large representative sample of the Italian population to estimate the lifetime profile costs of different BMI classes – normal weight, overweight, and obese (I, II, and III) – in a primary care setting. Our research reveals that obese patients generate the highest cost differential throughout their lives compared to normal weight patients. Moreover, we show that overweight individuals spend less than those with normal weight, primarily due to reduced expenditures beginning in early middle age. Our estimates could serve as a vital benchmark for policymakers looking to prioritize public interventions that address the obesity pandemic while considering the increasing obesity rates projected by the OECD until 2030.

Economics and Human Biology