Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat and health care costs

The title of the article is "Fat people cheaper to treat." After reading the article, it kind of makes you feel bad if you are thin and healthy, because you cost more in the long run. The government has continued to say that by preventing obesity, it will cost less. This study basically counters that whole theory. Researchers looked at three groups: obese, smokers, and healthy-living subjects (thin and non-smoker). They found that the obese and smoking groups had higher health care costs from age 20 to 56. However, because both these groups die earlier than their healthy counterparts, they cost less in the long run. And if you have lung cancer, the only cancer incidence which was the same in all three groups, you are really cheap to treat. Gee, that's good to know. However, if you have Alzheimer's, you may live longer and cost more.

Does anyone see the irony in all this? It is a reminder how much health care has become a business. In the end, we all need to strive to be healthy individuals no matter the size. Obviously, those with eating disorders were not looked at, but if it had been, it would have been interesting to see the comparison of costs of complications and treatments. Oh right but then again, they don't live as long, so it may have wound up cheaper overall compared to all three groups. Okay, I'm in a little bit of a sarcastic mood today.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I totally love this post and am going to print out the article for all to read. It is ironic.