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Topic: The Health Cost of Smoking and Obesity< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 11:31 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I heard Dr. Roizen on the radio today. He said the average cost of a pack of cigarettes should be around $15 to account for the associated health effects/costs. Maybe we should have an obesity tax, too.



Health problems related to obesity and smoking cost more than someone aging 20 years...



For obese people, spending on hospital and outpatient care is 36% higher and medication costs are 77% higher than for people in a normal weight range, according to the study, which appears in Health Affairs, a health policy journal published in Bethesda, Md. For smokers, health-care service costs were 21% higher and drug costs were 28% higher than for nonsmokers.

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1015890911727183600,00.html

A study by the American Journal of Health Promotion showed:

The annual medical cost of unhealthy diet and lack of exercise is $192 billion. The average annual cost per "at-risk" person is $3,800. That DOESN'T INCLUSE smoking, nor other associated costs such as lower productivity, loss time from work, premature death, etc. Roughly speaking, we each subsidize the unhealthy eating habits of these individuals to a tune of approximately $1,000 per year.

Annual medical expenditures associated with obesity is equivalent to approximately 9% of total national health care expenditures.

{By decreasing daily caloric intake by 100 kcals,} the prevalence of chronic conditions associated with excess weight would decline such that national medical expenditures would be approximately $58 billion lower than current spending levels (in 2007 dollars and assuming the same population base). The potential savings associated with a more aggressive 500-kcal reduction in daily caloric intake would eliminate most cases of overweight and obesity—with potential savings of $111 billion.

The study: http://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/ajhp-dall-23-06-412.pdf

A great PDF poster summarizing the results of the study:

http://www.conagrafoodsscienceinstitute.com/pdfs....412.pdf

Note that the study's cost savings estimates did not include the benefits exercise... just caloric reduction. I would assume that the cost benefits of keeping our existing caloric intake, but adding 1/2 hour of daily exercise would outweigh the benefits of daily calorie reduction.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 11:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The CDC agrees:
"Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion
Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S.

Chronic Diseases are the Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the U.S.
7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.1
In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.2
Obesity has become a major health concern. 1 in every 3 adults is obese3 and almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI &#8805; 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).4
About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.5
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability, with nearly 19 million Americans reporting activity limitations.6
Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations, and blindness among adults, aged 20-74.7
Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., behind diet and physical activity and tobacco. 8"

As does Michael Pollan:

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.

We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care."
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think if they just had more guns they would be more healthy!

That was your point, was it not??   :laugh:


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 3:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It won't be long until Health Insurers decide to raise the rates for obese people, just like they do for smokers.  When we get a Universal plan, then we can tax those people higher, with some sort of fee program.  How we counter the trend among the poor is another problem altogether.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Jan. 08 2013, 11:48 am)
QUOTE
I think if they just had more guns they would be more healthy!

That was your point, was it not??   :laugh:


Hey wait! what about this one then?

Total diversion? The memory isn't the first thing to go you know, check with your girlfriend.

Aaaawkward.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Jan. 08 2013, 2:48 pm)
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I think if they just had more guns they would be more healthy!

That was your point, was it not??   :laugh:

Not my intent at all. I heard something on the radio, researched it a bit, and posted. Plus, the Biggest Loser season premier was yesterday.

Had I really wanted to up the reply count, I certainly would have referenced assault weapons.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 4:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On a personal note, I couldn't be happier about quitting cigarette's over 9 months ago.  These charts just reinforce the decision.

And while the debate over guns is a fair one, we're losing a lot more people every year due to smoking and (over)eating.  It'd be one thing if the cigarette manufacturers just literally rolled the tobacco with no additional additives (still not healthy), but I think it's a damn racket that they are even ALLOWED to put all that other crap inside cigs, and still sell the things...


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 4:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jan. 08 2013, 12:11 pm)
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It won't be long until Health Insurers decide to raise the rates for obese people, just like they do for smokers.

The sooner, the better!

I'm all for pooling and sharing costs to cover the less fortunate with genetic diseases and the like (and a very small percentage of the obese will fall into this category).  But when a person makes himself or herself a higher medical risk through lifestyle choices -- then he or she should pay commensurately.

Personal freedom <--> personal responsibility.   :cool:


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 5:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ALERT! This post is at least partially tongue in cheek!

I have actually read that the lifetime medical costs of heavy smokers is less than for the general population, since they tend to kill themselves off fairly efficiently, usually towards the end of their useful careers but before they retire and become partakers of pensions, medicare, etc....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 5:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While that last fatal, say small cell carcinoma, is quick to kill the lifelong emphysema, chronic heart disease etc. etc. are not.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 7:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WalksWithBlackflies @ Jan. 08 2013, 4:32 pm)
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(wwwest @ Jan. 08 2013, 2:48 pm)
QUOTE
I think if they just had more guns they would be more healthy!

That was your point, was it not??   :laugh:

Not my intent at all. I heard something on the radio, researched it a bit, and posted. Plus, the Biggest Loser season premier was yesterday.

Had I really wanted to up the reply count, I certainly would have referenced assault weapons.

I watched Biggest Loser, too.

And snacked thru the whole show.

And I wonder why we're such a fat nation.

Lord, help me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 09 2013, 7:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I eat my way through Biggest Loser, too. :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 09 2013, 1:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(buzzards @ Jan. 08 2013, 5:43 pm)
QUOTE
ALERT! This post is at least partially tongue in cheek!

Huh?

To be clear to all: I'M SERIOUS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. {Perhaps I'm a victim of my own smartass-edness?}

Preventable diseases are already a major portion of our healthcare and productivity costs, and if things continue as-is, the future is bleak. Unless you're part of the big-agri, big-pharma, or healthcare industries.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 09 2013, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(buzzards @ Jan. 08 2013, 5:43 pm)
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ALERT! This post is at least partially tongue in cheek!

I have actually read that the lifetime medical costs of heavy smokers is less than for the general population, since they tend to kill themselves off fairly efficiently, usually towards the end of their useful careers but before they retire and become partakers of pensions, medicare, etc....

I've heard that, too... but have not seen it in print. I've also heard that covering annual physicals would actually increase health insurance costs, since more diseases would be identified. But again, I haven't seen it in print.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 1:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jan. 08 2013, 3:11 pm)
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It won't be long until Health Insurers decide to raise the rates for obese people, just like they do for smokers.  When we get a Universal plan, then we can tax those people higher, with some sort of fee program.  How we counter the trend among the poor is another problem altogether.  

I believe my company is heading in this direction or laying the groundwork to do so.  For the last 3 years, we've received a fairly substantial ($500 annual) discount on our health insurance premiums if we are willing to do a health screen (height, weight, bp and cholesterol) and complete an online health assessment.  They now have 3 years of health data on those of us who participated, so I can see the next step being premiums tied to your health score.

As for the poor, why not put more limitations on what can be purchased with food stamps?  I believe there are already some limitations, but pretty sure you can still buy lots of junk on the government dime.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Firedancer @ Jan. 10 2013, 1:47 pm)
QUOTE
As for the poor, why not put more limitations on what can be purchased with food stamps?  I believe there are already some limitations, but pretty sure you can still buy lots of junk on the government dime.

That comment deserves it's own thread - but of course is still relevant to this discussion.  Personally, I lived in urban centers all my life, and am very supportive of the food stamp program.  I've enjoyed many a PB&J made from the giant tubs of gov't PB  :;):

BUT...I totally agree.  There is waaaaaay too much crap that is allowed to be purchased under the program.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 2:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jan. 08 2013, 3:11 pm)
QUOTE
It won't be long until Health Insurers decide to raise the rates for obese people, just like they do for smokers.  When we get a Universal plan, then we can tax those people higher, with some sort of fee program.  How we counter the trend among the poor is another problem altogether.  

They already do.

Like Firedancer, I get a "discount" on my premiums for taking a health assessment and scoring within a certain range.  It takes metrics like BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, etc. into account.  It also includes having various health screening procedures up to date (like mammograms and such.)

I really resented it the first year but, I have to admit, it works.  Just goes to show you, though, that MONEY is the best universal motivator.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 7:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Our company has incentives as well.  We get money in our health savings accounts for annual physicals, 2 paid hours of time to get an annual physical.  Biometrics screening, meeting with our on staff wellness coordinator.

Plus tobacco users pay a higher rate, about 25% rate increase and we will pay for them to enroll and do a stop smoking program.  Plus will give them a $200 check for tobacco free for 6 months!

The wellness program last year allowed our medical insurance rates to stay the same from year to year.  This year due to a number of cancer cases our rates went up, but only by 8%.  The whole wellness thing really works!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 11:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Jan. 10 2013, 2:24 pm)
QUOTE
Like Firedancer, I get a "discount" on my premiums for taking a health assessment and scoring within a certain range.  It takes metrics like BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, etc. into account.  It also includes having various health screening procedures up to date (like mammograms and such.)

Interestingly, we get the discount regardless of our score. But I would expect at some point that your discount will be tied to the score.

QUOTE
MONEY is the best universal motivator.

It definitely is for me - money is really why I quit smoking; and joining a $100 a month gym has me working out more than ever before  :laugh:


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