The BIG reason for rising health care costs

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    Jul 09, 2011 3:18 PM GMT

    Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent. Since 1995, when data was available for every state, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others.

    The state with the lowest obesity rate today - Colorado - would have had the highest rate in 1995.

    ------from HealthyAmericans.org as reported in WashingtonPost

    To my thinking, OBESITY should be the common fight and the one area where Republicans and Democrats should agree to fight together.

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    Jul 09, 2011 3:28 PM GMT
    Obesity is clearly a massive health problem: from diabetes, to heart disease, to joint replacements of hips and knees, and much more.

    My question is why has this happened? Are Americans just spoiled and lazy, don't like to cook good meals at home and eat more fast food, drinking more, or just don't care anymore and think someone else will take care of their health? America is a very different place from when I was young in the 1950's.
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    Jul 09, 2011 7:02 PM GMT
    Obesity is just one reason. If we didn't have more technology to deal with the complications of obesity that would be the end of the rise in medical inflation. But science doesn't rest...

    And there's tobacco (which remains the number 1 killer in the US) and cancer (no. 2).

    And why would Republicans, whose mantra is "No one may be required to do anything He or She does not want to do. Ever" want to agree to fight obesity?

    obese%252520mcdonalds.jpg
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    Jul 09, 2011 7:47 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidObesity is just one reason. If we didn't have more technology to deal with the complications of obesity that would be the end of the rise in medical inflation. But science doesn't rest...

    And there's tobacco (which remains the number 1 killer in the US) and cancer (no. 2).

    And why would Republicans, whose mantra is "No one may be required to do anything He or She does not want to do. Ever" want to agree to fight obesity?

    obese%252520mcdonalds.jpg


    Actually heart disease is the # 1 killer in the US and Canada

    http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/
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    Jul 09, 2011 8:48 PM GMT
    http://www.health30summit.com/why-smoking-is-the-number-one-cause-of-death-in-america.htm

    And smoking causes heart disease, cancer, lung disease, kidney disease and strokes too--all of these are on the top 10 lists of killers in America.

    Smoking trumps everything. In fact, if my patients were to choose one thing (between weight gain after smoking cessation vs. continuing smoking), I would advise them to choose smoking cessation.

    We're arguing different categories here (etiology vs. environmental cause) but my point is that obesity is a big slice of the pie, but smoking (a completely preventable thing) is still the biggest slice of all.
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    Jul 09, 2011 8:54 PM GMT
    But back to the topic--here's a good video with the obesity maps from 1985 to 2009.
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    Jul 10, 2011 3:12 AM GMT
    vincent7 said
    My question is why has this happened? Are Americans just spoiled and lazy, don't like to cook good meals at home and eat more fast food, drinking more, or just don't care anymore and think someone else will take care of their health? America is a very different place from when I was young in the 1950's.


    I think it is partly a societal thing. People are socialized to eat certain ways growing up, and it is likely upon adulthood they will continue those ways. In the 1950's people lives tended to be more active, while now more people are less active. Finally, most food these days is quite processed and back in the 1950's homemade meals were much more common.
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    Jul 10, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    It makes me sad. The biggest reason that I'm choosing to make these lifestyle changes now, is because of the experiences I had at the hospital during clinicals for nursing. It was the same thing every time! I was on the cardiac floor for most of my time there obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, and smoking were constant recurrent themes; great contributors to the reason they wound up with a heart attack or a CVA or some other ticking time bomb catastrophe of their own making.

    Personally, I think its non-compliance that is the main reason for rising costs. When you're on your 9th stent and refuse to quit smoking, exercise, and change your diet... Maybe if we stopped treating the non-compliant people. icon_question.gif
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    Jul 10, 2011 3:49 AM GMT
    Non-compliance plays a big part:
    http://alignmap.com/noncompliance-fact-fiction/costs/

    It would be better financially (if not medically) if patients are consistently noncompliant--because they are compliant with the most expensive interventions of all (e.g. heart caths, weight reduction surgery, the 5th iteration of the latest diabetes drug, etc).

    Functional illiteracy plays a big part as well.
    http://www.dailycampus.com/2.7440/american-health-illiteracy-costs-u-s-billions-1.1053941

    But who're we kidding, we're America!

    fat-america-93166-400-300.jpg
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    Jul 10, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    But "crap" is so much cheaper. When you're poor and uneducated, what are you going to eat?
    http://scienceblog.com/14046/correlation-between-obesity-and-poverty-healthy-people-2010-should-increase-attention-on-those-in-poverty/
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    Jul 10, 2011 5:49 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidObesity is just one reason. If we didn't have more technology to deal with the complications of obesity that would be the end of the rise in medical inflation. But science doesn't rest...

    And there's tobacco (which remains the number 1 killer in the US) and cancer (no. 2).

    And why would Republicans, whose mantra is "No one may be required to do anything He or She does not want to do. Ever" want to agree to fight obesity?

    obese%252520mcdonalds.jpg


    Obesity is one of the biggest reason and one of the main reasons that even if the US were to get a universal health system like Canada or elsewhere, the costs would not be remotely similar.

    Because the US government subsidizes obesity through HFCS and the corn industry. It's not that Republicans believe that no one should be required to do what they do not want to do (where a liberal might subsidize whatever you want to do and you don't have responsibility for your own actions), Republicans or rather more appropriately libertarians believe that people should take responsibility for their actions and costs, and that governments should not be in the business of protecting people from themselves.

    Perhaps the most remarkable thing about your throwaway comment is how it ignores the rapidly changing science of nutrition - which has made its way into food guidelines. Things that the US government thought was good for you isn't so much anymore, and vice versa. Perhaps you cannot be trusted to take responsibility for what you eat but why do you suppose others can't?