Obesity and Expenditure on Health: A Comparison among Normal Weight, Overweight, Obese, and Medically Obese Women in India
Praween Kumar Agrawal, Population Council
We compared the health care expenditure among normal weight, overweight, obese and medically obese in India in a follow-up survey of 325 ever-married women aged 20-54 years residing in Delhi, India, systematically selected from National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2, 1998-99) Delhi samples who were re-interviewed after four years in 2003. Women’s health expenditure has been seen as gross and as a ratio of total household expenditure. About 28% overweight women spent more than 100/- Indian rupees per month for their health problems compared to 35% of obese women and 48% of the medically obese women. About 15% of overweight women’s expenditure on health was more than 5% of the total household expenditure, which increased to 16% among obese women and more than two-fifths of the medically obese women. Prevention is obviously more cost effective than treatment, both in terms of economic and personal costs.