Overweight in adolescents: Implications for health expenditures.(Report) Monheit, Alan C; Vistnes, Jessica P; Rogowski, Jeannette A

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Monheit, Alan C ; Vistnes, Jessica P ; Rogowski, Jeannette A
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Economics and Human Biology
Teenage girls -- Analysis; Medical care -- Quality management; Adolescent obesity -- Analysis
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2008.07.007 Byline: Alan C. Monheit (a)(c), Jessica P. Vistnes (b), Jeannette A. Rogowski (a)(c) Keywords: BMI; Adolescents; Health expenditures Abstract: We consider a compelling research question raised by the growing prevalence of overweight among adolescents: do overweight adolescents incur greater health care expenditures than adolescents of normal weight? To address this question, we use data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and estimate a two-part, generalized linear model (GLM) of health spending. Considering separate models by gender, we find that overweight females incur $790 more in annual expenditures than those of normal weight but we find no expenditure differences by bodyweight for males. We find that mental health spending is associated with part of the disparity in expenditures for adolescent females but establishing causality between mental health problems and weight-related health expenditure differences is challenging. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Health Systems and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 683 Hoes Lane West, Piscataway, NJ 08854-5635, USA (b) Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA (c) National Bureau of Economic Research, USA Article History: Received 29 July 2008; Accepted 30 July 2008 Article Note: (footnote) [star] The views in this paper are those of the authors and no official endorsement by the Department of Health and Human Services or by AHRQ is intended nor should be inferred.
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