The healthcare debate the media refuses to acknowledge

  • Drug prices continue to fuel media stories and drive politicians to action but, for the most part, the real driver of high healthcare costs is being ignored.
  • The total percentage of non-elderly people with insurance and affordability problems to 26.2%.
  • The number of US adults with diabetes increased from 21.2 million in 2003-2004 to 30.2 million in 2013-2014, while the prevalence of obesity rose from 31.7% to 37.5% over the same period.
  • Millennials are on track to be the most obese generation.
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Forget drug prices this is the greatest threat to our healthcare

  • The average American is heavier than at the start of the 21st Century — and very close to being obese, according to Centers for Disease Control data on body metrics.
  • The average American man is 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs 198 pounds; an average woman is 5-feet, 4-inches and 171 pounds.
  • The Obesity Society, a scientific research organization, this month classified obesity as a worldwide, non-communicable chronic disease.
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The focus on drug prices ignores the real issue for healthcare costs

  • The overall diabetes rate in the U.S. adult population is growing, up from 10.8% in 2008-2009 to 11.5% in 2016-2017.
  • The rate increase has resulted in about 1.7 million more Americans with diabetes diagnoses now than would have been the case had the rate not changed since 2008-2009.
  • Even more alarming is that obesity, a key risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes, has climbed by 2.3 points since 2008-2009, to reach 28.3% nationally in 2016-2017.

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It borders on medical malpractice

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of adults and about one-third of children now meet the clinical definition of overweight or obese.
  • The medical community’s primary response to this shift has been to blame fat people for being fat.
  • Medical students receive an average of just 19 hours of nutrition education over four years of instruction—five hours fewer than they got in 2006.

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Should your doctor tell you to lose weight?

  • The total costs in the U.S. for direct health care treatment for chronic health conditions totaled $1.1 trillion in 2016—equivalent to 5.8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

    Chronic diseases also lead to indirect costs—defined as lost income and reduced economic productivity—for the individuals suffering from the conditions, their family caregivers, and the overall economy.

    In 2016, diseases caused by obesity and being overweight accounted for 47.1 percent of the total cost of chronic diseases in the U.S.— responsible for $480.7 billion in direct health care costs, plus $1.24 trillion in indirect costs related to lost economic productivity.

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