How Much Do Obesity and Chronic Disease Cost ?

Cost of Chronic and Preventable Diseases

With Chronic disease on the rise, and preventable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes becoming more prevalent in today’s society, have you ever stopped to ask how much this all costs?

Medicare Australia provides a support structure in regards to the financial burden of healthcare costs. Currently the direct healthcare cost of Chronic Disease in Australia is greater than $33,000,000,000.00 (billion) every quarter. This is a huge financial burden on our economy and health system. However many of these chronic diseases can be managed, prevented or their affect minimized by implementing preventative health practices and behavioral changes.

As a young member of our society, I see in the daily news budget cuts, sell-offs, foreign investment, borrowing and further deficits. For me, this is a concern as chronic disease is costing Australia significantly as a whole. My belief is that preventative health holds the key to a healthier population and a stronger Australia, due to the savings in health cost and a healthier population. The next two graphs show how much it is costing you and the Australian economy.

Graph 1: How much money you will save if you invest in preventative health measures. For example, it will cost you 9 times more money by having type 2 diabetes than it would to invest  in a preventative health program with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

* AEP = Accredited exercise physiologist  ** Graph representing a ratio of cost versus cost

This data, collected in an economics study by Deloitte, demonstrates that Exercise Physiologists are a cost effective means to treating, managing and most importantly, preventing Chronic Disease.

Graph 2: Shows how much obesity and chronic disease costs have increased since 2005, and how much these cost the Australian economy.

The biggest barriers to decreasing our Chronic Disease load are lack of understanding/knowledge, dependency on passive treatment forms and a ‘she’ll be right’ mentality. Currently we are spending more money on reactive treatment forms rather than preventative treatments. The challenge to everyone, health professionals and the community alike, is to stop reacting and start preventing. Are you ready to start doing something about preventing chronic disease in your life, and stop costing you and the economy money?

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