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Fat people cheaper to treat, study says

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By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer

52 minutes ago

LONDON - Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday. It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

"It was a small surprise," said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. "But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more."

In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.

Van Baal and colleagues created a model to simulate lifetime health costs for three groups of 1,000 people: the "healthy-living" group (thin and non-smoking), obese people, and smokers. The model relied on "cost of illness" data and disease prevalence in the Netherlands in 2003.

The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.

On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years, and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.

Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

The results counter the common perception that preventing obesity will save health systems worldwide millions of dollars.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080205/ap_on_he_me/obesity_cost

"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University who was unconnected to the study. He said that government projections about obesity costs are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas, and changing science.

"If we're going to worry about the future of obesity, we should stop worrying about its financial impact," he said.

Obesity experts said that fighting the epidemic is about more than just saving money.

"The benefits of obesity prevention may not be seen immediately in terms of cost savings in tomorrow's budget, but there are long-term gains," said Neville Rigby, spokesman for the International Association for the Study of Obesity. "These are often immeasurable when it comes to people living longer and healthier lives."

Van Baal described the paper as "a book-keeping exercise," and said that governments should recognize that successful smoking and obesity prevention programs mean that people will have a higher chance of dying of something more expensive later in life.

"Lung cancer is a cheap disease to treat because people don't survive very long," van Baal said. "But if they are old enough to get Alzheimer's one day, they may survive longer and cost more."

The study, paid for by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, did not take into account other potential costs of obesity and smoking, such as lost economic productivity or social costs.

"We are not recommending that governments stop trying to prevent obesity," van Baal said. "But they should do it for the right reasons."

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woot!!


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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I know a really good way to lower healthcare costs.

Let's nuke all our major population centers.

I'm with you.

Does this include LA, NYC, NO, Seattle, Redmond, and Chicago?


Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. ####### coated bastards with ####### filling. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bobble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

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I know a really good way to lower healthcare costs.

Let's nuke all our major population centers.

I'm with you.

Does this include LA, NYC, NO, Seattle, Redmond, and Chicago?

I'd like to request an exemption for Middlesex County NJ please :innocent:


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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I had a Triple Whopper yesterday, I did my part!

I think we should all do are part to reduce the cost of medical care. A carton of cigarettes and a big mac for everyone!!

Jeffery AND Alla.

0 kilometers physically separates us!

K-1 Visa Granted... Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Alla ARRIVED to America... Wednesday, 12 November 2008

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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I know a really good way to lower healthcare costs.

Let's nuke all our major population centers.

I'm with you.

Does this include LA, NYC, NO, Seattle, Redmond, and Chicago?

I'd like to request an exemption for Middlesex County NJ please :innocent:

it could use some urban renewal too..............


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Damn, just got back from my workout. That'l cost us. Better offset that with a beer :whistle:


10Yr GC arrived 07/02/09 - Naturalization is next

The drama begins - again!

And now the drama ends - they took the Green card . . .

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The last 10 years suck a$$ anyways. I say live it up and die at 75 like it was meant to be. I think all the health freaks are selfish bastards that are burning up all my Social Security money before I can use it.

Edited by Don_Joy's Prince

My beloved Joy is here, married and pregnant!

Baby due March 28, 2009

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how about exterminate people after they reach a certain age, like 65. That way people wouldn't try to get healthy to live longer if they could only live til 65 anyway.




* K1 Timeline *
* 04/07/06: I-129F Sent to NSC
* 10/02/06: Interview date - APPROVED!
* 10/10/06: POE Houston
* 11/25/06: Wedding day!!!

* AOS/EAD/AP Timeline *
*01/05/07: AOS/EAD/AP sent
*02/19/08: AOS approved
*02/27/08: Permanent Resident Card received

* LOC Timeline *
*12/31/09: Applied Lifting of Condition
*01/04/10: NOA
*02/12/10: Biometrics
*03/03/10: LOC approved
*03/11/10: 10 years green card received

* Naturalization Timeline *
*12/17/10: package sent
*12/29/10: NOA date
*01/19/11: biometrics
*04/12/11: interview
*04/15/11: approval letter
*05/13/11: Oath Ceremony - Officially done with Immigration.

Complete Timeline

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how about exterminate people after they reach a certain age, like 65. That way people wouldn't try to get healthy to live longer if they could only live til 65 anyway.

I've been advocating for this approach in Canada for years! I call it Freedom 65. No more Canada Pension Plan premiums, decreased healthcare costs, better looking people, decrease in overall smell . . . it's a pure win.

And as I tell my brother who thinks this is a little to Hitleresque, its about socialization. We need to socialize people to believe that its their patriotic duty to end it all at 65. Its for the good of the country! They should want to do this!

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