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Preventing obesity saves lives, but not money
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A passenger waits for a delayed flight at Heathrow airport's terminal four in London's Heathrow airport.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


Preventing obesity can save lives, but doesn't save money. It is becasue people live longer, then they cost the health system more, according to a Dutch study Monday.


The Dutch study counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.


In a paper published online in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.


"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University who was unconnected to the study.


He said that government projections about obesity costs are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas, and changing science.


"If we're going to worry about the future of obesity, we should stop worrying about its financial impact," he said. 


(Agencies via Xinhua February 5, 2008)


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