Obesity is costing America US$75bn a year in medical treatments, a recent study has found.

According to researchers at RTI International and the US Centers for Disease Control, the estimated percentage of annual health expenditures in each state attributable to obesity ranges from 4% in Arizona to 6.7% in Alaska.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson, reacted immediately to the findings: “Obesity has become a crucial health problem for our nation, and these findings show that the medical costs alone reflect the significance of the challenge.”

The study appears in the January issue of Obesity Research.