The research - carried out by the nonprofit group RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - evaluated state-by-state expenditures relating to weight problems.
The study found that the US public pays $39 billion a year through Medicare and Medicaid programs, which cover sicknesses caused by obesity including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gallbladder disease and several types of cancer.
"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," said secretary for the department of health and human services Tommy Thompson.
Findings suggest that states spend about one-twentieth of their medical costs on obesity, from a low of 4 per cent in Arizona to a high of 6.7 per cent in Alaska.
California was found to spend the most on health care for the obese - $7.7 billion - with Wyoming spending the least, a figure of $87 million.
"This is one of the major health epidemics we're looking at in America, I truly see this as a very grave problem for which we in the public need to certainly be pro-active in terms of taking charge of our health," said Thompson.
However the US weight loss market - valued by Marketdata Enterprises to be over $39 billion - is already saturated with low-fat and low-cal products such as, diet soft drinks, artificial sweeteners and OTC meal replacements & diet pills to encourage healthier lifestyles but the problem still persists.
"We have a lot of taxpayers financing the costs of overweight and obesity for those in public sector health plans, that provides justification for governments to find cost-effective strategies to reduce the burdens of obesity," said health economist Eric Finkelstein.
Before the ban of the weight loss herbal ephedra, as many as 3 billion servings of it were being sold a year.
"Obesity should be treated and prevented more aggressively through public health programs to encourage healthy diets and exercise," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit health advocacy group.