If older Americans lost 10 percent of their weight, Medicare would save $8 billion over the next decade and $35 billion over their lifetime, new research suggests.

According to researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Medicare could save billions if it funded weight-loss programs for overweight adults between the ages of 60 and 64.

There has been a drastic increase in obesity in the United States in past two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans spend nearly $147 billion per year in direct medical costs for weight-related chronic illness.

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