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Monday, August 18, 2008

Obesity and Health Care Costs

A new study published this year reveals that health care costs for the obese are less than for the lean and thin. How is that possible? The reason is simple. The researchers tell us that "Obese people cost less because individuals die younger." In fact, if you examine obese and lean people at the same age, you will find that the obese people incur far greater health costs because they get sicker more often. "Examine an obese population and a lean population of the same age and sex distribution, and the former will incur far greater health-care costs throughout the life course. Much more diabetes, and more cardiovascular disease and cancer will occur amongst the obese—even amongst the older obese."1 The results of this study are not surprising. But they are worth keeping in mind. It is imperative to lose weight. And eating less will not help you lose weight. It will only make you hungrier. Exercise will also not help you lose weight. It too will just make you hungrier.2 The only thing that will help people lose weight is realizing that insulin is what packs on the fat, and insulin is triggered by eating carbohydrates.

  1. McPherson K. 2008. Does Preventing Obesity Lead to Reduced Health-Care Costs?. PLoS Medicine, Vol. 5, No. 2, e37. (Feb. 5). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050037
  2. Taubes, Gary. 2007. Good Calories, Bad Calories. New York: Knopf. p. 299.

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