Dr. Michael Omidi discusses the latest estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looking at total lifetime medical costs, childhood obesity costs $19,000 more than lifetime costs for normal weight children.
The researchers were led by Eric Andrew Finkelstein, PhD, MHA, from the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, publish their results in the journal Pediatrics. 
“Reducing childhood obesity is a public health priory that has substantial health and economic benefits,” said Finkelstein. “These estimates provide the financial consequences of inaction and the potential medical savings from obesity prevention efforts that successfully reduce or delay obesity onset.”
When the research team multiplied the $19,000 by the number of obese 10 year olds in the US, researchers found that the lifetime costs for that age group alone was as high as $14 billion.
It’s not just the costs added on from childhood obesity, obesity itself is linked to a number of diseases and health problems, from cardiovascular disease to type 2 diabetes and even some cancers, making obesity a major health problem for the population.
There was also an estimated lifetime cost for normal weight children who become obese in adulthood, that was estimated to be $12,900 per person.
Even though the lifetime costs are quite shocking, there are limitations to the study as that researchers only accounted direct medical costs for obesity in their analysis lie doctor’s visits and medication. Not taking into the account of indirect costs, such as an increase of cost in the amount of food bought and lost productivity in working adults, thus they concluded that much more research is needed.
“While the cost estimates are significant,” said Finkelstein “the motivation to prevent childhood obesity should be there regardless of the financial implications.”
 Finkelstein, Lifetime Direct Medical Costs of Childhood Obesity http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/04/02/peds.2014-0063.abstract
Marie Ellis, ‘Childhood obesity costs $19,000 per child,’ researchers say. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275109.php