OPENING: As the NY Times recently reported, obesity is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Obesity costs the nation $1.72 trillion every year. Although not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes. These things are responsible for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases in the United States
SUMMARY: Obesity has many causes, and while we would like to think the answer is as easy as people exercising more and eating less, it isn’t that simple. There is disagreement whether obesity is really considered a disease or a behavioral risk factor, similar to smoking, alcohol, and substance abuse that may lead to disease. Obesity is a multifactorial disease in which environmental conditions and several genes play an important role in developing this disease. Obesity is associated with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington diseases) and neurodevelopmental diseases (autism disorder, schizophrenia, and fragile X syndrome). Some of the environmental conditions that lead to obesity are physical activity, alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, parent feeding behavior, and diet.
IN SUMMARY: American healthcare is failing. Not only has the FDA become a political pawn but almost half the population is now obese. While there are lots of reasons for this the silence of healthcare providers is a huge reason.
- By 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese.
- In as many as 29 states, the prevalence of obesity will exceed 50 percent, with no state having less than 35 percent of residents who are obese.
- Well-intentioned efforts like limiting access to huge portions of sugar-sweetened soda, the scientists note, are effectively thwarted by well-heeled industries able to dwarf the impact of educational efforts by health departments that have minuscule budgets by comparison.
- Yet too many people believe pharma wants people to stay sick so they can make money.
- The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are high. In 2008 dollars, these costs were estimated to be $147 billion.
- Millennials are on track to be the most obese generation.
- Insurance companies, physicians and employers can’t idly stand-by while obesity costs climb.
- It’s time for a serious intervention.
SUMMARY: By 2030, 48.9% of adults in the United States will be obese and 24.2% will be severely obese. Obesity leads to serious health problems and extra healthcare costs including the reliance on prescription drugs. Leading this category are millennials who are the most obese generation in the history of our country.
WHAT NOW? According to Axios “New CDC data says that 18% of American kids are now obese, and so are 40% of adults. Those numbers are projected to grow. This means that there will be more adults down the road with chronic conditions, such as diabetes — which will be costly for patients and the system alike.
KEY IDEA: America’s expanding waistlines are causing health spending to spiral out of control. Obesity-related illnesses consume nearly a third of the nation’s health-care dollars An obese adult uses 42 percent more health care than a healthy-weight adult, and a morbidly obese adult uses a staggering 81 percent more, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Until we start fighting this epidemic, the nations’ healthcare costs are going to continue to climb.