Medical spending on conditions associated with obesity has doubled in the past decade and is estimated to have reached an annual rate of $147 billion in 2008, say researchers in a new study published July 27 on the Health Affairs Web site. The study was presented at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Weight of the Nation” conference in Washington, where the CDC issued 24 new recommendations on how communities can fight back.

In the Health Affairs study, researchers from RTI International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality warn that U.S. obesity rates grew 37 percent between 1998 and 2006.  Obesity now accounts for 9.1 percent of all medical spending, up from 6.5 percent in 1998.

The study was discussed in the the New York Times, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, and many other outlets.