Obese? You’re on your own

KEY TAKEAWAY: 71% of healthcare professionals believe that people with obesity are not interested in losing weight. “Obesity is one of the most complex, chronic health challenges faced by our society today, yet the current approach to obesity management falls short compared to other similar chronic diseases,” commented Professor Ian Caterson, ACTION IO lead investigator and foundation director of the Boden Institute at the University of Sydney.

According to the CDC “the medical care costs of obesity in the United States are high. In 2008 dollars, these costs were estimated to be $147 billion. The annual nationwide productive costs of obesity obesity-related absenteeism range between $3.38 billion ($79 per obese individual) and $6.38 billion ($132 per obese individual). And yet physicians believe that almost three-quarters of obese patients aren’t interested in losing weight?

Nobody wants to go to their doctor’s office and hear “you need to lose weight” but by failing to have “the conversation” physicians are doing their patients a great disservice. Obesity leads to serious chronic health problems as evidenced by the increases in type 2 diabetes.

HCP’s, working with insurers, have to find a way to help patients lose weight and keep it off. Granted, there isn’t one approach that will work for everyone but shouldn’t we at least try? For every person that goes to the gym and eats healthy, there are 9 who don’t and that costs us all.

  • More than 85% of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight, and more than50% are obese.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and accounts for $174 billion in total U.S. health care costs.
  • Being overweight or obese significantly increases an individual’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The CDC projects that as many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050.
  • Research has shown that losing weight can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends slow, progressive weight loss over rapid weight loss because rapid weight loss carries health risks and may be more difficult to maintain over time.

Can we afford toilet obesity grow out of control?

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