"As America's waistline expands, costs soar" - Reuters article

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erika2633

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 810

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Posted: 02 May 2012, 15:10
This article was on the Reuters website a couple of days ago, and I wondered what all of my FS companions would think of it:
"As America's waistline expands, costs soar"

Here are a couple things that stood out to me (copied/pasted and paraphrased from the article):
For years researchers suspected that the higher medical costs of obesity might be offset by the possibility that the obese would die young, and thus never rack up spending for nursing homes, Alzheimer's care, and other pricey items.
[However] Beta blockers for heart disease, diabetes drugs, and other treatments are keeping the obese alive longer, with the result that they incur astronomically high medical expenses in old age just like their slimmer peers.

Blue Bird is widening the front doors on its school buses so wider kids can fit.

The new performance testing proposed by transit officials for buses, assuming an average passenger weight of 175 instead of 150 pounds, arise from concerns that heavier passengers might pose a safety threat. If too much weight is behind the rear axle, a bus can lose steering.

Hospitals, too, are adapting to larger patients. The University of Alabama at Birmingham's hospital, the nation's fourth largest, has widened doors, replaced wall-mounted toilets with floor models able to hold 250 pounds or more, and bought plus-size wheelchairs (twice the price of regulars) as well as mini-cranes to hoist obese patients out of bed.

[Because of the economic costs and lost productivity due to obesity], The U.S. health care reform law of 2010 allows employers to charge obese workers 30 percent to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program.


Any thoughts on this? Does this get polarized into either "blame the obese people" or "blame the institutions"? Are we 'promoting' obesity by adjusting to it or just trying to keep up with the average size of Americans? What would happen if these adjustments weren't made?


Someone who is busier than you is working out right now.
There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.
Sk1nnyfuture

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 530

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Posted: 02 May 2012, 15:48
Rather than adjust everything - the money should be spent on. More education - particularly in schools eg proper nutrition and cookery classes. Stricter rules, on fast food outlets promoting "high fat" foods, particularly those directed at children (eg free toy with a big mac meal). Better quality food in schools AND hospitals. Ban sweets and high fat nibbles next to the tills at supermarkets. More support for 'obese' patients to help them loose weight. Zero tolerance for people who purposely put on weight - I am thinking of that woman, who wanted to win the title of the heaviest woman in the world - certainly no publicity for her. Ban air-brushing of models - particularly aimed at young people, so they don't get despondent, because they feel they cannot achieve the promoted 'ideal' body.

I could go on and on.... I think 'adjusting' to obesity, is the wrong way to go....it becomes the 'norm'. We have to educate our young people and invest in finding a solution to overcome obesity, not accept it. It could be as simple as finding a gene that can 'switch' off hunger.

" Success is what you make it, there's no better time to make a change than the present."

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. "
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 275

      quote  
Posted: 02 May 2012, 16:30
Agree! Make health information available and required. Encourage people to quit eating junk, but realize one approach won't work for all. And do not adjust to obesity, you're right. Overweight is the new norm. On my online dating profile I had for awhile I was surprised at the # of people describing themselves as average when they clearly looked like they could lose a few. Myself included! I called myself average even though I am overweight, but overweight is what the average american is now!

At my clinic on Monday I noticed they had a new blood draw chair. It was literally TWICE the size of the old one. The lab tech said it was so women could have their children sit next to them. But I suspect it was to accomodate the high percentage of obese patients we have on the rez.
youngsturgeo...

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 31

      quote  
Posted: 02 May 2012, 16:35
We should definitely spend money on fixing the problem, not accommodating for it. My son takes his lunch to school and he is always having to explain what is in his lunch (baby spinach salad with chicken breast, bell pepper strips or some other veggie, cheese or yogurt, some type of fruit and water to drink) to other kids. They literally don't know what some of these things are and why he eats them. Sad. If they had more education about nutrition, and the schools backed up that education by providing real food at lunch, maybe we could make a dent.
davidsmom

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 64

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Posted: 02 May 2012, 20:41
There are things that I agree with and then there are things that I don't. We shouldn't accomodate the healthy people who refuse to do anything about their weight. The key word being refuse. There are people who for what ever reasons are unable to lose weight. Certain medications cause weight gain or make it extremely difficult to lose. And then there are those who have mobility issues and are unable to exercise or sometimes even walk. Are we going "punish" these people because they were in an accident or develop MS and lost the use of their legs? It seems a little unfair to charge someone who already is dealing with health issues and medical bills more money because of some thing that is out of their control? Don't you think that they wish they could do something about their weight? You can't lump everyone who has a weight problem as uneducated or unwilling to lose weight. Something does need to be done but I think it is way more complicated than it appears.
I'm thinner today than I was yesterday but not as thin as I will be tomorrow. One day at a time.





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