The Hefty Price of Obesity: April 21, 2011

While the economy continues to mend, there's one area where the money continues to flow in. "The obesity epidemic they say is a trillion dollar market," says Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, Lee Memorial Health System's Vice President of Health and Wellness.

A recent study found that those who are overweight or obese spend more on doctor's visits and medications than those who are at a normal weight; costs that can really add up down the road. "What you are paying later on is not only the money for your health care, you're paying in years, you're paying in the quality of life, you're paying in the fact that you can't do the things with your children or your grandchildren that you want to do."

Dr. Lacagnina says investing just a little time and money into your health now can prevent costly problems later. "It's really interesting: when you tell people: join a gym, join a fitness facility, do something that you have to pay for, buy some weight loss medication and people say, 'I don't want to spend money on that.' Then I tell them, 'You're either going to pay now or you are going to pay later'. That's really the truth."

At the Cape Coral Wellness Center, both the young and old are profiting from their healthy lifestyle habits. Dr. Lacagnina hopes young people will take a moment to examine their own habits and calculate the cost. "There's no way to avoid it. If you don't tackle it as a young person, it just compounds and becomes a much more significant problem as an older person so you might as well bite the bullet and get things under control early on. It'll make your life a lot easier later on."

With so many weight loss options out there, it can be overwhelming. Your doctor can help you design a customized weight loss portfolio that you can cash in on.