A new study by Cornell University revealed that obesity accounts for nearly 21 percent of all health care costs in the United States - more than double the amount analysts had projected.
Researchers found that an obese person's yearly medical expenses run about $2,700 higher than for people within a normal weight range.
This adds up to about $190 billion annually, or 20.6 percent of national health expenses.
Cornell University professor John Cawley, lead author of the study, said obesity influences many other health issues.
"Obesity raises the risk of cancer, stroke, heart attack, and diabetes," Crawley said. "For any type of surgery, there are complications with anesthesia, with healing."
"Obesity raises the costs of treating almost any medical condition. It adds up very quickly," he added.
The government reports more than 35 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight.