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What is Obesity Costing Us?

Many of us are unaware that obesity is associated with a very high economic burden, which can be attributed to disease, disability, and the expenses of medical treatment. And, each year the burden and strain on the economy is felt more and more!

As a society we have the tendency to believe that obesity is the problem, only, of those who are overweight. But, the truth is – the impact on society and the overall cost of health care is so substantial that there must be a call for immediate and urgent preventive action from the health care industry, government and communities.

Let’s just examine some of the cost associated with obesity

(Keeping in mind: 80% Of America is obese with over 30 serious diseases known to be caused by it). Coronary Heart Disease – $444 Billion High Blood Pressure – $93 Billion

Stroke -$71.5 Billion (2010)

Type 2 Diabetes – $245 Billion

Cancer – $216 Billion

Costs averaging a trillion dollars and climbing. And, that’s not even including the cost associated with the treatment of abnormal blood fats, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, obesity hypo-ventilation syndrome, gallstones and reproductive problems, etc.

2 Questions I ask the reader:

1. Now that everyone is required to pay for their own health care; Do you think that solving the obesity crisis will lower the cost of health care for all and help relieve the economic burden associated with obesity?

2. What are some of the solutions to the obesity crisis?

Consider this:

In today’s society convenience outweighs responsibility. Food manufacturers and even restaurants are encouraging people to overeat and the price of healthy food seem to be skyrocketing daily.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research states;

“The combination of economic and biological factors is likely to result in food. This propensity is shown using a “dual-decision” approach where choices reflect the interaction between two parts of the brain: a “deliberative” system, operating as in standard economic models, and an “effective” system that responds rapidly to stimuli without considering long-term consequences. This framework is characterized by excess food consumption and body weight, in the sense that individuals prefer both ex-ante and ex-post to eat and weigh less than they actually do, with dieting being common but often unsuccessful or only partially successful. As in the standard model, weight will be related to prices. However, another potentially important reason for rising obesity is that food producers have incentives to engineer products to stimulate the effective system so as to encourage overeating.” What do you think? Is overeating the main cause of obesity? Compare the sizes of dinner plates between 1985 and 2005. Do you realize that the size of the dinner plate has increased by 2″??

This is one reason why diets have not worked for many people! There is an addiction to food and obesity and possibly even a forced habit! Erica Stewart


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