Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Reduce Obesity

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, and it is causing significant public and personal health problems. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more than a third of adults in the United States are currently classified as obese, and the total cost of treating obesity and related conditions is $147 billion. The medical expenditures for people who are obese are $1,429 per year higher than people who are of a normal or standard weight. fat-man-1153266.jpg

With obesity such a major problem within the United States, it is good news to find that medical marijuana may have a positive impact on bringing down obesity rates. A recent study showing medical marijuana laws reduces the probability of obesity significantly. Cannabis lawyers know this study is yet one more reason why states should push forward with legalization and why the federal government should change its outdated stance on marijuana as a controlled substance.

Legalization of Medical Marijuana Could Bring Down Obesity Rates

Researchers at San Diego State University and at Cornell University in New York reviewed a total of 12 years of data obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System obtained by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the research was to determine how medical marijuana laws affect body weight, exercise, and physical wellness. The research was published in Health Economics.

The research revealed that laws permitting access to medical marijuana had an impact on obesity rates. The passage of medical marijuana laws was associated with anywhere from a two percent to a six percent decline in the probability of obesity. The decline was found in both young and older people.

One possible reason why younger people are less obese when medical marijuana is permitted is the decline in alcohol use, as alcohol is high-calorie. The decline in obesity for older people may also have been linked to less alcohol consumption, but medical marijuana may also have made it easier for people in this age group to engage in physical activity that helps them to stay in shape.

The decline in obesity rates was not the only benefit potentially linked to medical marijuana. The passage of medical marijuana laws had an overall positive impact on the health of adults aged 35 and older. Within this age group, the passage of medical marijuana laws was “associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise.”

The findings were similar to those obtained in past studies, which also suggest the legalization of medical cannabis can result In reduced obesity rates and a reduced body mass index. By causing people to substitute lower-calorie highs from cannabis for higher-calorie highs from alcohol, overall health benefits are achieved.

The positive impact just from the decline in obesity-related medical costs associated with medical marijuana legalization could save as much as $58 to $115 per person in obesity-related medical expenditures. Clearly, legalization could make a notable impact on obesity rates and thus on health spending nationwide if states throughout the country and the federal government changed the law to allow medical use.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

More Blog Entries:

Report: Oregon Airport Allows Carry-On Cannabis, July 22, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog

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