The Baltimore Sun / Associated Press, February 17, 2012

Medicare is spending more money every year per person, and each obese beneficiary tacks on an extra $149 a year to that increase, according to a new study. The researchers say chronic conditions associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, are to blame for the steeper climb in health care expenses. "Not only do we have more obese Americans, but the obese population appears to be in worse health today than they were in the past," said Dawn Alley, the lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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