Obesity: The Elephant in the Room We Can No Longer Afford to Ignore
Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Public Health Education and Promotion
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractEveryone pays the price for the obesity-related illnesses of our fellow citizens – through increased premiums on our group health insurance policies, through reduced productivity of our co-workers, through taxpayer support of hospitals that provide indigent care and through soaring Medicare costs, to name a few. The fact that our entire society often ends up paying many of the costs for the obesity-related illnesses of not only ourselves but also our family members, our friends, our co-workers and even strangers raises questions: Why doesn’t insurance pay to help overweight and obese people to make lifestyle changes that could save us all millions or even billions of dollars? Will The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the health care plans that the Trump Administration offers as an alternative provide options to help the two-thirds of Americans struggling with obesity? Should Americans be considering taxing people who are obese (with Body Mass Index in excess of 30) at a higher rate to incentivize them to live healthier or to penalize them for the choices they have made?