PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study suggests that obese adults can save thousands of dollars in direct medical costs and productivity losses throughout their lifetime via weight loss.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted the study, which was published in the journal Obesity.

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According to the study, a 20-year-old adult who goes from being obese in weight to healthy can save on average $28,020. If the same adult just goes from obese to overweight, the average money saved is $17,655.

And the average savings goes up for 40-year-old adults, as they stand save $18,262 when going from obese to overweight and $31,447 when going from obese to a healthy weight.

More than one-third of people in the United States are considered obese (36.5 percent), according to the CDC.

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In addition, the CDC estimates the annual medical cost of obesity was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars and the medical costs for people who have obesity were $1,429 higher than people at a normal weight.

Researchers discovered that 50 years old is the age for peak savings, with an average of $36,278.