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Obesity costs US twice the amount previously estimated, study says

A new study from the Campaign to End Obesity says that medical spending on obesity is double the previous estimated amount, making it even more costly than smoking.

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A new study by the Campaign to End Obesity says obesity costs to US were double than previously estimated. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Obesity costs to US health care system have been grossly underestimated, says a new report.

The new study from the Campaign to End Obesity, a nonprofit group, says that spending on obesity is double the previous estimated amount, making it even more costly than smoking.

The US spends more than $190 billion a year on obesity-related health care costs, the study found, according to CBS News.

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This pushes up premiums on health care for all Americans.

The report also highlights extra costs from obesity that are not often realized, including accomodations in hospitals such as wider toilets and doorways.

Americans also burn about a billion gallons of extra gas each year from 1960 levels due to extra pounds weighing down cars, said the Atlantic.

Reuters reported that policymakers in the US have already responded to the massive costs of obesity in the health care system.

The 2010 health care law includes provisions that allow employers to charge obese employees more for health care if they do not participate in wellness programs - a move some say is discrimination.

Forbes reported that so called "Obamacare" also funds community weight loss programs to bolster preventative care.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120430/obesity-costs-us-twice-the-amount-previously-estimated-study-says