Obesity accounts for nearly 21 percent of U.S. health carespending, more than twice as high as previous estimates, according to a studypublished in the Journal of Health Economics and reported by HealthDay News.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) defines obesity as a national epidemic and a major contributor to some ofthe leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease,stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer. Nearly one in three adults and one insix children are considered obese, and Latinos make up a disproportionate partof that number.