It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.
"It was a small surprise," said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. "But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more."
In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are higher than those of either fat people or smokers.
....The study was paid for by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.
"We are not recommending that governments stop trying to prevent obesity," van Baal said.
"But they should do it for the right reasons."