We need prescription drugs to compensate for poor lifestyles

KEY TAKEAWAY:[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] Nearly 40% of adults and 19% of youth are obese[/inlinetweet], the highest rate the country has ever seen in all adults, according to research released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics.  This, of course, means that the public is going to be more dependent on prescription drugs to maintain their health at the same time they complain about big pharma.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • In 2015–2016, the prevalence of obesity was 39.8% in adults and 18.5% in youth.
  • The prevalence of obesity was higher among middle-aged adults (42.8%) than among younger adults (35.7%).
  • The prevalence of obesity was higher among youth aged 6–11 years (18.4%) and adolescents aged 12–19 years (20.6%) compared with children aged 2–5 years (13.9%).
  • The overall prevalence of obesity was higher among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic adults than among non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Asian adults. The same pattern was seen among youth.
  • The observed change in prevalence between 2013–2014 and 2015–2016 was not significant among both adults and youth.

So the question becomes should we treat obesity the same way we treated smoking? [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion[/inlinetweet] or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.[/inlinetweet]

Frankly the FDA should require all pharma product sites, that have to do with obesity related health conditions, to supply links to how people can learn about healthy lifestyles.  In addition, health insurers should mandate that patients, who are obese, meet with a registered dietician ir see an increase in premiums.

Make no mistake about it, this is as much a national emergency as the current opioid epidemic. Sen Sanders can talk about universal health care for all, the fact remains that as long as we ignore obesity the more it will cost us all and the more lives will be shortened due to chronic health problems caused by obesity.