Meat Eating’s $80 Billion Price Tag

A new report released by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a vegetarian advocacy group in Washington, D.C., calculated the medical costs of meat consumption. The assumption in their calculations is that high levels of meat consumption have been proven to be linked to the development of serious medical conditions.

In terms of treatment costs, doctors’ fees, drugs, and hospitalizations, hypertension costs up to $8.5 billion; heart disease, $9.5 billion; cancer, $16.5 billion; diabetes, $17.1 billion; gallbladder disease, $2.4 billion; obesity-related musculoskeletal problems, $1.9 billion; and food-borne illness, $5.5 billion.

In other words, the price tag for American-style meat-eating accounts for as much as $61.4 billion in direct health care costs each year. “It is time to stop scratching our heads about the nation’s exploding health care costs,” the report stated.

“We can cut those costs by eliminating subsidies for livestock feed and dairy products, and scrapping out-of-date diet guidelines that encourage traditional, meat-based diets.”

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