Originally Posted by cuteASAbug
According to a Dutch study, overweight people die quicker and therefore cost the government less in healthcare costs overall.
"The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run."
This study, using 2003 data as cost estimates, apparently doesn't account for the time-value of money - that is, even if the total dollar value is higher, since that primarily comes after age 56 (as opposed to before 56 for the obese/smoking group), the average lifespan of 84 years gives an additional few decades for the value of money to decrease, insurance investments to profit, inflation, technology to lower prices, etc. The actual marginal cost might be lower, even if the "total dollars" value is higher. You would generally rather have $10,000 in 1920 than $1 million in 2008.
This is beyond the fact that the cost associated with dying of old age, stroke, etc. is likely concentrated in putting these people into permanent care facilities - a cost that can be obviated.
It's interesting, to be sure, but I don't think it should be used to support any sort of public-health policy at this point, given those concerns.