- Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure, PLoS Medicine
The outcome was that longlivety eventually turns out to be more expensive than living unhealthy and dying young:
"Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures."
The results were obtained not through data analysis but by modeling three hypothetical groups: Obese non-smokers (BMI > 30), non-obese smokers, and non-obese non-smokers. These were then evaluated with regard to their respective statistical probability for certain illnesses from the age of 20 until the time when the model predicted their death. It turns out, though the highest yearly costs were incurred by the smokers in their older ages they were in total less costly since they died early, whereas the expenses for the non-obese non-smokers in their late years added up and the total lifetime health spending was larger. The researchers estimated the average cost for health treatments for the smokers to 220,000 EUR, for the obese non-smokers to 250,000 EUR and for the the non-obese non-smokers to 281,000 EUR.
If you were looking for a reason to get rid of these New Years resolutions, here it is. I am feeling bad already. It's about time I start being a good citizen, hand me the cigarettes.