Obesity costs US health system $147 billion - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Obesity costs US health system $147 billion


CHICAGO, July 27 (Reuters) - Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of all medical spending in the United States or an estimated $147 billion a year, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said obese people spend 40 percent more -- or $1,429 more per year -- in healthcare costs than people of normal weight.

"It is critical that we take effective steps to contain and reduce the enormous burden of obesity on our nation," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference at a CDC obesity meeting where the study was presented.

"Reversing obesity is not going to be done successfully with individual effort," Frieden said. "It will be done successfully as a society."

The CDC outlined 24 new recommendations on how communities can combat obesity in their neighborhoods and schools by encouraging healthier eating and more exercise.

26 PERCENT OBESITY RATE IN U.S.

More than 26 percent of Americans are obese, which means they have a body mass index of 30 or higher. BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A person 5 feet 5 inches tall (165 cm) becomes obese at 180 pounds (82 kg).

For the study, Eric Finkelstein of the non-profit RTI International and researchers at the CDC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality analyzed medical cost data from 1998 and 2006.

They found U.S. obesity rates rose 37 percent between 1998 and 2006, driving an 89 percent increase in spending on treatments for obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Obesity now accounts for 9.1 percent of all medical spending in the United States, up from 6.5 percent in 1998.

http://www.reuters.com/article/ameri...52960820090727

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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 01:13 PM
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im all for giving high taxes to fast food and junk food. people in this country just arent educated on nutrition or eating healthy. the food pyramid isnt a good guide for healthy eating. in the '80s a lot of fat free food came out (loaded with carbs) and people just started eating it because it was healthier. a few years go by and the obesity rate goes up. even to this date you have people that still believe fat free is good and fatty foods are bad
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 01:19 PM
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Fatty foods, if you are speaking of those high in fat, are bad unless you are talking about things like almonds or something, and even those should be in moderation. But high fat foods like french fries or ground meat in burgers are horrible. There are great lower fat options, more so than ever.

Fat free foods are a joke; of this I couldnt agree more. They are loaded with sugar to compensate.

The best thing one can do is to get off their *** and work out and eat more whole, natural foods.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Penny View Post
Fatty foods, if you are speaking of those high in fat, are bad unless you are talking about things like almonds or something, and even those should be in moderation.
yes nuts, fatty fish, certain cooking oils, etc. i have a coworker who doesnt eat salmon because its too fattening
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 05:53 PM
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Sounds like a good reason for everybody to pay for their own medical costs and live with the consequences of their own decisions.

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im all for giving high taxes to fast food and junk food.
Yeah and before you know it we'll have black market Cheetos.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 06:47 PM
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yes nuts, fatty fish, certain cooking oils, etc. i have a coworker who doesnt eat salmon because its too fattening
Not all fats are created equal. The fats in avocados, olive oil, seeds, nuts, and salmon are actually good for you (they are anti-inflammatory) as opposed to the bad fats which are inflammatory. The fat build up is only part of the problem most people associate with fat, but the inflammation caused by the bad fats is what leads to heart disease and cell damage which ages you faster.

Wild salmon has probably the best fat as far as meat in concerned btw. Planning to go on a diet with better fats soon.
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 08:56 PM
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avoid foods with monosodium glutamate or MSG.
it's like an artificial flavoring and stuff.
when you consume foods laden with it, it then increases your appetite, and you want to eat more of it.
and it is often found in processed foods, with lots of empty carbs, that ultimately makes you fat.
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 09:56 PM
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Sounds like a good reason for everybody to pay for their own medical costs and live with the consequences of their own decisions.
Those that tend to be obese tend to be those who can't afford health insurance.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14684391

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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 10:55 PM
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im all for giving high taxes to fast food and junk food.
More taxes -- as if we don't have enough of them already.

Liberals typically complain that this sort of cheap, high calorie food is all that the poor can afford. Wonder what liberals would think of a tax that disproportionately effects the poor?

And the idea that a certain type of food is the problem is nonsensical. You don't get fat from eating Big Macs. You get fat from eating too much -- it doesn't matter what you're eating too much of. Having been obese for most of my life I'm very well aware of how it happens.

How does one decide what to tax? Tax a sugar-water soda since that's junk food, yet don't tax juice that is simply natural sugar water? Can't tax cheese since that's clearly not junk food, yet it sure is packed with calories (and lots of fat and saturated fat in particular).
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:07 AM
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You are right Karl in that no certain type of food makes one fat. But there are some food choice that are poorer than others. Eating whole grains, more natural foods, etc allows one to eat a more rounded healthy diet. You could eat a big mac a day a not get fat I guess but what nutritional value does that offer. I can promise you that not everyone in the heart ward is fat. Cholesterol levels affect everyone. You dont have to be fat to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.
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post #11 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:42 AM
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You dont have to be fat to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.
Very true, but we both know that on average those who are heavier will have higher BP and higher cholesterol. While this may not be the case for a particular person, it most certainly is true for the population in aggregate.
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post #12 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:45 AM
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You are right Karl in that no certain type of food makes one fat. But there are some food choice that are poorer than others. Eating whole grains, more natural foods, etc allows one to eat a more rounded healthy diet. You could eat a big mac a day a not get fat I guess but what nutritional value does that offer. I can promise you that not everyone in the heart ward is fat. Cholesterol levels affect everyone. You dont have to be fat to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.
That's exactly it. I know a few people thinking they are eating healthy by capping their calories, but doing it essentially with junk food. They feel like crap all day, every day, and it is very unhealthy. 2000 calories of junk food in a day is not the same as 2000 calories of healthy food. Low calories is only part of a healthy diet, it's not the healthy diet itself.

Here in BC, we have GST (national 5% tax) and PST (provincial 7%). As it is now, food in the grocery store and restaurants are PST-free. Next year, those two taxes are combining into Harmonized tax (HST) at 12%. Food in restaurants (among a lot of other things) will go from 5% to 12%, while food in grocery stores will be tax free. A lot of people are pissed off, especially the restaurant industry, but I don't mind. Most restaurant food is bad for us anyway and it's a lot more expensive than grocery shopping, even with just a 5% tax as it is now. While you can still make bad choices in the grocery store, perhaps this tax change will inspire some to go shopping more often, make some healthy choices, and save some money.
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post #13 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:27 AM
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Wonder how many people actually have access to healthy food at an affordable price.
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post #14 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:46 AM
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[QUOTE=UltraShy;1005758]And the idea that a certain type of food is the problem is nonsensical. You don't get fat from eating Big Macs. You get fat from eating too much -- it doesn't matter what you're eating too much of. Having been obese for most of my life I'm very well aware of how it happens.[/img]
true but you have more calories in a big mac than you would a chicken breast and brown rice meal. fast food is small and loaded with calories.

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How does one decide what to tax? Tax a sugar-water soda since that's junk food, yet don't tax juice that is simply natural sugar water? Can't tax cheese since that's clearly not junk food, yet it sure is packed with calories (and lots of fat and saturated fat in particular).
you tax the culprits. juice and soda have different types of sugars- sugars that have a different effect on the body. so you would tax soda but not juice. just another example of how society arent educated on nutrition
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Wonder how many people actually have access to healthy food at an affordable price.
everyone in the US does. healthy food is cheap. a bag of frozen chicken breasts and a bag of brown rice would be cheaper throughout the week than eating at mcdonalds for a week
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post #15 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 08:25 AM
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Wonder how many people actually have access to healthy food at an affordable price.
That is somewhat of a myth. While certain healthy foods can cost more, you can eat decent for the same money you would spend on crap food.
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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 08:53 AM
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That is somewhat of a myth. While certain healthy foods can cost more, you can eat decent for the same money you would spend on crap food.
I definitely have to agree with that. While some foods may be expensive, like organic juices and organic butter lettuce (both of which I love, but are on the expensive side), there are plenty of healthy things that can be bought for the same, if not less, than a day full of meals at a fast food place. I'm starting to find this out.
Like, a week eating at a fast food place could be about 50-70 dollars a week, if not more, you could buy a few packages of lean meat, some brown rice, some healthy drink options, and a few healthy snacks all for the same price.
I honestly think, it's more that people don't want to leave the convenience of fast food behind for coming home and cooking or preparing all the meals by hand and then, the fact that most people think healthy food has to be disgusting. If you cook it correctly and season it with healthy, yet tasty seasoning and add-ins, it'll be just as tasty, if not more. And, of course, it's healthier.
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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 10:26 AM
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I think you are very right, Iced Soul, in that a lot of people want the convenience factor.

I have taken to making large batches of certain things and then freezing it. There is something to be said about being able to zap something quickly in the microwave.
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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:03 AM
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A lot of people probably feel that they just don't have time to eat properly any more: rushing to work in the morning, grabbing a snack at lunchtime and being too tired to cook anything at night.
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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Umm, if fish and almonds are too fattening - then that is a sure sign that they probably arent exercising at all. Almonds are very filling by themselves. Eat just a few and you'll be full.

If you excercise consistently, it doesnt really matter how 'fattening' or 'sugary' something is - it just depends on how much of it you eat. Just make sure to get enough protein, water, and whole grain. Dont forget about vitamins from fruits and veggies.
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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:49 PM
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im all for giving high taxes to fast food and junk food.
I'm starting to agree with this approach, especially seeing that:

Americans see fat as normal as weights rise: study

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifes...78048620070807

"NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Carrying a spare tire or two around the waist has become socially acceptable in the United States as the population's waistlines have expanded, according to a study released on Tuesday.

Economic researchers from Florida State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found the weight of the average woman rose by 20 pounds (9.2 kilograms) or 13.5 percent between 1976 and 2000 -- but their ideal weight also edged up.

In 1994 the average woman tipped the scales at 147 pounds but she wanted to weigh only 132 pounds -- but less than a decade later the average woman weighed 153 pounds but said her desired weight was 135 pounds,

"This is a social force that we are trying to document because the rise in obesity has occurred so rapidly over the past 30 years," Frank Heiland, an assistant professor of economics at Florida State University, said in a statement.

"Medically speaking, most agree this trend is a dangerous one because of its connection to diabetes, cancer and other diseases. But psychologically, it may provide relief to know that you are not the only one packing on the pounds."

Heiland and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston economist Mary Burke, who reported their findings in the journal Economic Inquiry, said people had adjusted their perceptions of what is normal body weight as the population's weight ballooned.

They said this was one of the first studies to suggest that weight norms may change and are not set standards based on beauty or medical ideals.

Heiland said according to 2001-2004 data, 33.2 percent of American women over the age of 20 are classified as obese.

But he said the fact that even women's ideal weight had increased suggested there was less social pressure to lose weight.

He cited a previous study in which 87 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of obese Americans, believed their body weight fell in the "socially acceptable" range.

The researchers believe a combination of social, economic and biological factors have contributed to the expanding size of Americans.

Their findings are based on information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

If being fat is increasingly becoming socially acceptable, then people won't have as much motivation to be healthy. Is society or the government supposed to sit idly by as they and the citizenry eat garbage that's killing them?
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