FAT

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

Orson Welles

A panel of experts at the National Institute of Health have said that there are indisputable studies showing that regular physical exercise can stave off heart disease and the related problem of hypertension, obesity and high blood cholesterol. But they went further than just recognize what people should do by suggesting that it's no longer just a personal issue but a societal one. They suggested that schools and businesses begin to offer opportunities, reminders and rewards for exercising. But the idea does not seem to be reaching many Americans. Children and adults are fatter and slower than previous generations. "At age 12, 70% report participation in vigorous physical exercise and by age 21, the activity has dropped to 42% for men and 30% for women".

And per the National Center for Health Statistics, between 1960 and 1980 about 1/4 of all adults in the U.S. were considered obese- defined as 20% above desirable weight. Since 1980, that figure has "swelled" to 1/3. And obesity in children is also up. Obesity is costing the U.S. citizen more than $68 billion in health care costs in 1990 alone. In studies during 1960-92,

24.3% of ages 20 through 74 were overweight

1971-74, 25.0% were overweight

1988-91, 33.3% were overweight

FATTER: Doctors who tested a group of 25 to 30 year olds in the mid 80's and just recently have found a 12% decline in cardiovascular health. One third of the subjects had gained 20 pounds or more in 7 years. They said part of the problem is the amount of time people spend watching TV. Studies have shown that people that spend more than four hours per day with the TV have a higher obesity rate and lower rates of physical activity (they needed a special survey to determine that???)

GOING UP: a 1996 study now said that up to 25% of all US citizens are obese and about 75% weigh more than they should. The Scripps and Ohio University study confirmed what all the articles have been saying all along: people who exercise regularly are much less apt to get fat, but only about 12% of Americans actually exercise.

FEED ME: (Associated Press 1997) Americans are getting fatter and fatter. Due to overeating and "pandemic sloth", 35% of American adults weigh "dangerously" more than they should. 36% of all U.S. women are overweight with about 50% of Mexican and 52% black women overweight. About 33% of men were overweight with no real distinction between races. So why the big deal here? Because if you are that far overweight, you will die sooner than the actuarial tables for the normal adult and I must adjust my planning accordingly. And outside of all the other comments about losing weight, I usually just ask if you want to see your grandchildren grow up. It's that simple.

OBESITY- 1997

(Bjontorp & Bridoff) Obesity is taking over our bodies. C. Everett Koop said that if he had remained in office, his next "war" after smoking would have been against obesity. So is the problem really bad? Below is a table that shows the percentage of Americans that are overweight.
1986 59%
1987 59
1988 64
1989 61
1990 64
1991 63
1992 66
1994 (no survey in 1993) 69
1995 71

And how to we compare to other countries?
North America 163
Southern Europe 156
Eastern Europe 150
Western/Central Europe 147
Northern Europe 146
Southern/Central Europe 145
Africa 137
Asia 128

The World Health Organization states that 300,000 Americans die prematurely every year due to obesity.

See how you stack up as a future health risk.. Use this chart of multiply your weight in pounds by 705 and divide by the square of your height in inches.

BODY MASS INDEX

..............Weight
height 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 160 170 175 180 190 195 200
5'0" 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 30 31 33 34 35 37 38 39
5'1" 21 22 23 24 25 26 26 27 29 29 30 32 33 34 36 37 38
5'2" 20 21 22 23 24 25 25 27 28 28 29 31 32 33 35 36 37
5'3".... 19 20 21 22 23 24 24 26 27 27 28 30 31 32 34 35 35
5'4" 19 20 21 21 22 23 23 25 27 27 27 29 30 31 33 33 34
5'5" 18 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 26 26 27 28 29 30 32 32 33
5'6" 18 19 19 20 21 22 22 23 25 25 26 27 28 29 31 31 32
5'7" 17 18 19 20 20 21 21 23 24 24 25 27 27 28 30 31 31
5'8" 17 17 18 19 20 21 21 22 24 24 24 26 27 27 29 30 30
5'9" 16 17 18 18 19 20 21 21 23 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 29
5'10" 16 17 17 18 19 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 28
5'11" 15 16 17 17 18 19 20 20 22 22 22 24 24 25 26 27 27
6'0" 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 20 21 21 22 23 24 24 26 26 26
6'1" 15 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 21 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 26
6'2" 14 15 152 16 17 17 18 19 20 20 21 22 22 23 24 25 25
6'3" 14 14 15 16 16 17 17 18 19 19 20 21 22 22 24 24 24
6'4" 13 14 15 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 21 21 22 23 24 24

BODY MASS INDEX

.................Weight
height 205 210 215 220 225 230 235 240 245 250
5'0" 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
5'1" 39 40 41 42 43 43 44 45 46 47
5'2" 37 39 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
5'3" 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 43 44
5'4" 35 36 37 38 39 39 40 41 42 43
5'5" 34 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 41 42
5'6" 33 34 35 36 36 37 38 39 40 40
5'7" 32 33 34 34 35 36 37 38 38 39
5'8" 31 32 33 33 34 35 36 36 36 38
5'9" 30 31 32 32 33 34 35 35 35 37
5'10" 29 30 31 32 32 33 34 34 34 36
5'11" 29 29 30 31 31 32 33 33 33 35
6'0" 28 28 29 30 31 31 32 33 33 34
6'1" 27 28 28 29 30 30 31 32 32 33
6'2" 26 27 28 28 29 30 30 31 31 32
6'3" 26 26 27 27 28 29 29 30 30 31
6'4" 25 26 26 27 27 28 29 29 29 30


DIETS: ( Harris poll, 1997) A review of 2,001 overweight adults indicated that 64% had gone on a diet at some time. On average, those who had dieted did so 11 times. 65% said they met their weight goals but only 1:9 actually stayed there.

Successful dieters said they lost 34 pounds- but many gained back 31 pounds. Women tend to diet more but more men reached their target weights. (Bet it was due to the fact that men exercised more. Women traditionally do not exercise that much).

OBESE: (1997) About 14% of all children over the age of 6 are obese. If the parents are obese it significantly increases the chance the child will be obese-odds are from 40% to 79%. Further, if a child was fat between the ages of 10 to 17, there is a 64% chance of being obese as an adult even if their parents were slim. (Mine weren't necessarily slim- only slightly overweight. I was fat- at least 60 pounds overweight when I was 19.) I can control my weight somewhat through exercise, but after 54 years with this body, I can clearly tell you it is what you eat that really makes the difference.

OBESITY: 1998 Approximately 37 percent or 100 million Americans are overweight; 30 million of these are obese. For whites, 32% of men and 33.5%t of women are overweight; blacks, 41.7% of men and 49.6% of women are overweight; Mexican Americans, 39.5% of men and 47.9% of women are overweight. As might be obvious obesity takes a greater toll on women due to the increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. About 7.2 million American men and 8.4 million women are diabetic- though only about 50% have been diagnosed.

FAT: (Modern Maturity 1998). The U.S. is probably the heaviest society in HISTORY. And no group of Americans is bigger than those age 50 to 69 (men) and 50- 59 (women) who are twice as likely to be obese than those in their 20's. In the period between 1978 and 1995, male obesity increased 72% and 79% for men between the ages of 50 through 69. For women, it increased 58% overall and 21% for those age 50 to 69 (but they were fatter to begin with).

Additionally, a Nurses Health Study in 1997 found that women who had gained 44 pounds or more as adults had 2.5 times the chance of developing the most common forms of stroke. Such women who also had never used hormones also doubled their chance of breast cancer. And a Scandinavian study found that obesity was associated with a tenfold increased chance of diabetes. Obese people are three times more likely to suffer an Asthma attack.

So, if you are fat, lose weight. A recent study also showed that the older you are, the greater the chance of losing weight and keeping it off even if you have had years of repeated failure at dieting. Just because you have not succeeded at something when you were younger doesn't mean you can't- and that includes a lot more issues than just dieting..

EAT LOW-FAT AND BECOME OBESE: (1998) This doesn't seem to make sense but actually is happening to many Americans. A professor of preventative medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine said that "overall, those people who reported eating less fat ate more food." For instance, among people getting less than 30% of their calories from fat, the total amount of food eaten in a day is higher by 5 to10%.

From a recent study of 5,000 men and women over a time frame of 10 years: people who keep their fat to less than 30% of calories also ate from 137 to 204 calories of rice and pasta per day compared to less than 70 calories per day from rice and pasta among people with high fat diets. So while they may keep their fat intake realistic, they simply gained weight because they ate too many calories. Overall, only about one-third of Americans are getting 30% or less of their calories from fat.

The percentage of white American men who were obese was about 8% between 1970 to 1980. Today it's about 20 %.

OBESITY: (1999) James Hill of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver and John Peters at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati say Americans are fat, getting fatter - and may not be able to do anything about it. They said it was not enough to tell people to eat less and exercise more. Obesity has been declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization, but it is worse in the U.S., where 54% of the adults are overweight. The percentage of overweight Americans has increased by about 33% in the last 20 years. More than 25% of children are now overweight or obese. Yes, the actuarial lifetime has increased for both men and women but is unquestionably shorter for obese people. If you are very overweight, your later years of life could be/will be financially, emotionally and physically a mess. You'll spend a LOT of money for doctors and prescriptions with such additional problems as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. The Institute of Medicine indicates that obesity costs the U.S. about $70 billion annually due to health care expenses and lost productivity.

OBESITY: (1999) Eighth International Congress on Obesity. Obesity...." is a pandemic, probably one of the top five public health problems in the world. Scientists are already beginning to wonder whether it will be worse than smoking." England and Germany are not far behind the USA in their numbers of overweight people

* "I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks."

Totie Fields

Underweight Children Overweight children
Bangladesh- 56% United States- 55%
India- 53 Russian Federation- 54
Ethiopia- 48 United Kingdom- 51
Vietnam-40 Germany- 50

OBESE: (2000) Obese women are six times more likely than thin women to have a silent inflammation inside their arteries that increases the risk of heart disease.

But the commentary is lost on almost all Americans There has been a 50% increase in obesity (more than 30% above acceptable limits) in just the last 7 years.

So you wanna lose some weight: (you are not going to like the numbers)

Approximate Number of Days Required to Lose Weight for a Given Calorie Deficit

Daily Caloric Deficit To lose 5Pounds 10# 15# 20# 2#
100 175 350 525 700 875
200 87 175 263 350 438
300 58 116 175 232 292
400 44 88 131 176 219

MORE FATTER: (2000)Weight has increased in all regions and all races with whites taking the lead at 7%. In the age groups, the 30 to 39 year olds have had a 10% weight gain. Diabetes increased 70% last year alone for those in their 30's. In the 90's, there was a 60% increase in diabetes overall.

Type II diabetes normally associated with 50+ year olds are now being seen as young as 9.

Obesity: (2001) 61% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. That's 5% higher than the study conducted between 1988 and 1994 and 14% higher than study between 1976 to 1980. And most of the gain are to people who are obese. Over the last 20 years those overweight has increased only slightly while those obese have increased almost 50%.

Yo fatso.  92001)In 1990, only 9.5% of Georgians were obese. Now it is 21.2.%- just a little higher than the overall rate in the U.S. of 20%. There has been a 50% increase in obesity in the last 7 years.

I have been telling you and telling you about the problems with obesity: (2001) Obese adults have more chronic health problems than smokers, heavy drinkers or the poor. The report by the RAND institute in Santa Monica found that obese people have on average nearly twice the chronic health troubles of people of normal weight. The study also found that smoking harms the health of women more than men, with female smokers having about 40% more chronic health problems than nonsmokers. The figure  was 30% for men. The study found that more people are overweight or obese than are those collectively who smoke, drink heavily and live below the federal poverty line.

LTC rates will have to rise appreciably to cover this contingency- which I still do not believe is being addressed in underwriting currently.

But you may not have to be ultra thin 2001: A study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that the correlation in the elderly between overweight and mortality may not be valid. Federal guideline standards for ideal weight (BMI 18.7 to <25) may be overly restrictive as they apply to the elderly, the researchers report.

Studies do not support overweight, as opposed to obesity, as conferring an excess mortality risk. Future guidelines should consider the evidence for specific age groups when establishing standards for healthy weight.

How many Americans are overweight?: (2001) 106.9 million- 38% of all Americans. 25% are obese compared to only 7% of Europeans. 67% of Americans will clean their plates regardless of how much they are served. Americans eat out about 30% of the time.

Obesity and diabetes- (2001) the rate of both these maladies has increased 50% in the last 10 decades. Obesity- being 30 to 50 pounds overweight depending on height- rose from 12.% in 1991 to 19.8% in 2000. Diabetes increased from 4/9% to 7.3%. Between 1999 and 2000, obesity increased form 18.9% to 19.8%. and diabetes increased from 6.9% to 7.3%.

Two decades ago, Type 2 diabetes in children was only 3% to 5% but now its  25% to 30%. This type of diabetes causes heart attacks and strokes. About 95% of all diabetics have Type 2. 80% of diabetics are obese.

27.3% of all Americans do NOT engage in any physical activity and only 25% consume the proper amount of fruits and vegetables per day. Only 17.5% of Americans get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise.

And all of these statistics are conservative.  

Health care costs for diabetes are now over $100 billion annually. Almost 10% of ALL national health care costs are directly related to obesity and physical inactivity.

Fat: (2001) In the 70's, only 1 in 20 children was overweight. Now its 1 in 3 or 4 and getting dramatically worse every year.

60% of adults are overweight or obese- 13% of children

From 1976 to 1980, 32% of Americans were overweight and 15% were obese. In 1999, 34% were overweight and 27% were obese, according to the report (Squires, Washington Post, 12/14). Satcher said that about 300,000 Americans die each year from ailments "caused or worsened" by obesity, and the condition is likely to surpass tobacco as the leading cause of preventable deaths

OBESITY (2002) Being obese is the same as aging an extra 20 years.

FAT (AARP 2002) Americans over 50 are living longer, smoking less and developing fewer disabilities, but increasing obesity could cancel the health gains. Obesity among those over 50 nearly doubled from 1982 to 1999, to 26.7% of that population from 14.4%- though over the past decade, smoking among men and women over 50 has decreased 29%. Reports have shown that some 60% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, as are nearly 13% of children.

Other info- More people between the ages of 50 and 64 are uninsured today than in the past. AARP cites less health coverage by employers for early retirees and gaps in Medicare coverage, including the lack of a prescription drug benefit.

Health costs are increasing for those over 50. Between 1977 and 1996, health care spending for that age group increased 310%, almost twice as fast as inflation. Prescription drugs are accounting for more and more of the increase.

Americans ages 50-64 tend to be more skeptical about the health care system than those over 65. They are less likely to believe their doctors will tell them about medical mistakes and more likely to obtain medical information over the Internet.

Obesity (2002)
Age 50- 64 1983- 14.4% 1999- 26.7%
65-74 12.6 22.1
75-84 7.7 15.1
85+ 4.1 8.3

Obesity: (2002) Obese women have about a 100% greater risk or heart failure than normal weight women.

More obesity: (USA Today) Obese workers overall suffered a wage penalty in the range of 1.4% to 4.5%. The penalty for obese women ranged from 2.3% to 6.2% vs. a range of 0.7% to 2.6% for men.

Obese men face discrimination, but it typically doesn't kick in until they are very obese, says Miriam Berg, president of the Council on Size & Weight Discrimination. Women encounter weight discrimination for being just 30 pounds overweight.

This is partly why all health costs, including the costs for Long Term Care, will go up: New statistics reveal that a startling 64.5% of American adults, or more than 120 million people, are overweight or obese. The number of Americans who are overweight is at the highest level ever recorded.

1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reveal that:

31%, or about 59 million adults older than 20, are obese. Obese is defined as 30 or more pounds over a healthy body weight; overweight is roughly 10 to 30 pounds over a healthy weight.

33% of adult women are obese, compared with 28% of men.

50% of black women are obese compared with 40% of Mexican-American women and 30% of white women. (The survey doesn't have a category for all Hispanics.) There is virtually no difference in obesity among men based on race.

5% of people overall are extremely obese. That's up from about 3% in the early 1990s. But 15% of black women are extremely obese.

About 15% of children ages 6 to 19, or about 9 million children, are overweight.

Rigorous, Short-term Diet-exercise Program Lowers Heart Disease Risk American Heart Association 2002

Exercise for Children (2003) They sure do need it. They are really getting chubby.

Yo tubby-  (2003) It's long been known that having a potbelly and high blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack or stroke, but a medical study has estimated that people with those risks and others are two to three times more likely to die prematurely.

Experts say about one-third of middle-aged men and women in the USA have the same cluster of risk factors, called metabolic syndrome.

People with this syndrome have at least three of the following risk factors: high blood sugar; a waist circumference of greater than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women; lower-than-average HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol); high triglycerides and high blood pressure.

Obesity (2003) There are more than 44 million obese Americans in 2001 and 16 million with diabetes. (CDC) more than 15% of children and adolescents ages 6-19 are considered overweight or obese.

New State Data Show Obesity and Diabetes Still On the Rise, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2003

Percent of Adults Aged 18 Years and Over Who Engaged in Regular Leisure-Time Physical Activity: United States, 1997 - 2002, National Center for Health Statistics

Obesity (2003) Being overweight may shorten your life by 3 years. If you are obese, it is 7 years. And being obese and smoke, it is 13 years. And you will die badly

Life expectancy for the fatties.  (2003) People who were overweight at age 40 really shorten their lifetimes by about 3 years on average. For those who were obese, the losses were 7.1 years for women and 5.4 years for men. It's about the same as seen for smokers. Also, they will die badly.

Obese children (about 15% of U.S. youngsters are overweight or obese) rate the quality of their lives the same as a child with cancer on chemotherapy.

Fat and death: (2003) Excess body weight may contribute to about 20% of all cancer deaths in women and 14% of all cancer deaths in men. This translates to at least 90,000 cancer deaths a year in the USA,

Obesity: (2003) A study in the April 24 th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that obesity plays a large role in developing cancer, accounting for 14% of cancers in men and 20% in women. The results make obesity second only to smoking as a cause of cancer. Moreover, the heaviest men and women were 52% and 62% more likely to die from cancer respectively. The findings further highlight the critical need to address the obesity epidemic in the United States in order to sustain the gains in longevity that have been enjoyed in recent decades.

Why oh why do we allow indiscriminate breeding?: (2003) A soaring number of U.S. children are overweight, but many of their mothers don't know it: about a third of those with heavy children think their kids are at a normal weight.

Obesity researchers are alarmed that 20% to 30% of U.S. kids are either overweight or at risk for becoming overweight. The percentage of children who are overweight has doubled in the past 20 years or so. And doctors are diagnosing more kids with type 2 diabetes, a disease linked to excess weight and seldom found in children until recently.

Obesity: (2003) A recent study says that being very fat costs the government $93 billion per year to treat the health problems of overweight people. Spending attributed to excessive weight made up 9% of all medical spending in 1998. It will continue to go up.

It will have a direct impact on the costs for long term care as well. And being fat to begin with will cause a lot of declines in underwriting.

Fatso: Dr. Vince Kerr, director of health care management at Ford, said weight-related costs were adding $12 billion a year to costs of employers nationwide, including medical bills, reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and higher health and disability insurance premiums.

Obese (2003) In 1980, about 5% of children were obese. Now it's about 15.5%. If I ever get my hands on a deep fried Twinkie, I may end up being like one of them.

I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was this bad: Diabetes rates are shooting up in the United States, with a 27 percent increase between 1997 and 2002. .5 percent of American adults were diagnosed with diabetes in 2002 compared with 5.1 percent in 1997. Another recent study shows that about 12 million adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 5 million adults have it but do not know it.

Another 12 million adults have impaired fasting glucose tolerance -- meaning they will develop diabetes if they do not do something right away. That means losing weight, exercising and eating better. "Almost one in five hospitalizations in people over 45 has a diagnosis of diabetes associated with it,"

28 percent of women 18 and older and nearly 22 percent of men say they get little or no exercise at home, work or in their leisure time.

Just 21 percent of men and 17 percent of women get "high" levels of activity -- meaning they are active at work and get in the equivalent of five brisk, 30-minute walks a week or three intense sessions of exercise a week in their leisure time.

Obesity has more than doubled from 15 percent in 1980 to 31 percent in 2000. "Sixty-five percent of adults ages 20 to 74 were overweight or obese in 1999-2000,"

nearly a third of Americans are obese and two-thirds overweight.

I am sure that the above concerns have been a major reason for the high increases in LTC premiums.

Will it be sustained?: Fifty-five percent of the U.S. population was overweight for the 52 weeks ended in February, down slightly from 56 percent the prior year. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, while one greater than 30 is obese. An acceptable range is 20 to 25.

The study found that 35 percent of the U.S. population said they carefully plan their meals to be nutritious, up from 32 percent in 2001. Americans also report they are exercising more, the study found, with 66 percent indicating they were strenuously exercising at least once a week. That's up from 63 percent in 2002.

National epidemic: The percentage of people who are obese doubles from the teen years to the mid-20s.

Population strategies to prevent obesity

Fat- (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2003) .In 2000, 31 percent of American adults were obese, up from 3 percent in 1990 and 13 percent in 1960,

Severely overweight people cannot fit into standard wheelchairs, waiting-room armchairs, blood pressure cuffs, hospital beds and gowns, or M.R.I. and CAT scan machines.

X-rays often cannot penetrate far enough into their bodies to produce useful images, and wall-mounted toilets snap off under their weight.

Obesity is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and other health experts as a body mass index of 30 or more. Morbid obesity is a B.M.I. of 40 or more, and the term "super-obese" is sometimes used for 50 or more. (B.M.I. is one's weight in pounds multiplied by 703, then divided by the square of height in inches; or, in metric measures, weight in kilograms, divided by the square of height in meters.) A 5-foot-9-inch person would have a B.M.I. of 30 at 203 pounds, 40 at 271 pounds and 50 at 339 pounds.

Like many hospitals, St. Luke's leases, when needed, beds that can hold the largest patients. But the need became so common that the hospital recently bought one such bed that includes a scale and can tip the patient up to a standing position. The price, according to Bruce Lander, a hospital spokesman: $18,500, five times as much as a standard, motorized hospital bed. The hospital has spent as much as $2,446 for an oversize wheelchair, he said, eight times as much as an ordinary wheelchair, and $30,414 for an operating table for morbidly obese patients, almost double the usual cost.

Young Adult Fitness Protects Heart Health in Middle Age National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

U.S. Teens More Overweight Than Youth in 14 Other Countries National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Mood and Food: Understand the Relationship Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Obesity: (WSJ 2004) Disability among Americans in the prime of their working lives has risen sharply in the past two decades, another consequence of the nation's obesity epidemic.

Researchers at Rand Corp. found a 40% to 50% rise in recent years in the number of people from the ages of 30 to 49 whose ability to care for themselves or perform routine tasks was limited by disability.

The number of people considered disabled is small -- about 2% of the 30-to-49 age group -- but researchers say the magnitude of the increase raises potentially challenging issues for both employers and policy makers already struggling with skyrocketing health-care costs. "Obesity is correlated with a lot of things that make someone more expensive to treat," Dr. Goldman says. "If someone is obese, they're much more likely to be disabled."

The findings suggest that younger Americans are getting sicker even as their elderly counterparts are getting healthier, on a relative basis. While disabilities are much more prevalent among the elderly, recent studies have shown that the rate of disability in that age group is declining. "We were under the impression that we're all getting healthier," said Darius N. Lakdawalla, an economist at Rand and lead author of the study. "What was surprising to us is that the younger have gotten sicker and sicker."

obesity costs U.S. companies more than $12 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity.

The study found that back and other muscle and skeletal pain and mental illness were the most important causes of disability among participants in the study who were under 60 years old. Both disproportionately affect people who are obese. The rate of diabetes, which is strongly associated with obesity, doubled over the course of the study, though the absolute rates were small.

disability rates also could be affected by advances in medical technology that can save the lives of people with serious medical problems but still leave them limited in their daily activities. For instance, advances in stroke treatment can keep people alive but disabled, when in the past they would have died.

David Shactman, a senior fellow at Brandeis University's Schneider Institute for Health Policy in a study found that for the first time hospital and other health-care expenditures are rising at a faster clip for baby boomers than for the elderly.

This is going to get bigger: (2004) The public pays about $39 billion a year -- or about $175 per person -- for obesity through Medicare and Medicaid programs, which cover sicknesses caused by obesity, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and gallbladder disease. States spend an average of about 5% of their medical costs on obesity -- from a low of 4% in Arizona to a high of 6.7% in Alaska.

In dollar terms, California spends the most on health care for the obese, $7.7 billion, and Wyoming spends the least, $87 million.

About 64% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, according to the CDC's 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Think about what it does to care for such an individual in a nursing home.

Nutrition and Metabolism: Obesity

Too fat: (UNUMProvident 2004) The workplace impact of obesity continues to constitute a “weighty” economic issue, with obesity-related disabilities costing employers an average $8,720 per employee per year. The report says companies lose more than $12 billion annually due to increased health-care utilization, lower productivity, increased absenteeism, and elevated health and disability premiums related to the condition.

I have been harping on this for a long time: (2004) FAT-RELATED CLAIMS UP TENFOLD - The number of obesity- related disability claims are on the rise, according to a recent report by UnumProvident. Further, individuals filing   claims related to obesity have significantly higher medical costs, averaging more than $51,000 per claimant per year. Short-term disability claims attributed to obesity are up tenfold over the past decade, based on research using UnumProvident's disability database. The company cited statistics showing direct healthcare costs attributable to obesity are now estimated to be $70 billion, roughly 7% of total U.S. healthcare costs.

FAT: In 1999, 70 percent of those surveyed were trying to eat less fat in their diets. The share fell to 65 percent in 2003. Daily cholesterol intake rose from 294 milligrams a day in 1999 to 331 in 2003.

Only 29 percent of the residents ,who are representative of the U.S. public, met government recommendations of getting no more than 30 percent of calories from fat.

Fat: (NY Times) Obesity now kills five times as many Americans as "microbial agents," that is, infectious disease.

A century ago, the poor were as lean as fence posts; worry about where to get the next meal was a constant companion for millions. Today, America's least well-off are so surrounded by double cheeseburgers, chicken buckets, extra-large pizzas and supersized fries that they are more likely to be overweight than the population as a whole.

Nutrition and Metabolism: Obesity

Being fat: (2004) an index of child welfare from 1975 to 2002 by researchers from Duke University, shows that overall well-being of American children increased by 5% since 1975, driven largely by a significant drop in crime rates. The children's health index would have risen by 15% if it weren't for health problems caused by obesity among youngsters.

Obesity's effect is significant enough to offset decades of improvements in children's health care.

Obesity is calculated by a height-to-weight ratio called the Body Mass Index. A BMI ranging from about 18 to 25 is considered normal and healthy, while an index of 30 is considered obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15.6% of American children age 12 to 19 were obese in 2002, up from 6.1% in 1974.

Obesity: (2004) A study by RAND that was published in Health Affairs finds that the continuing prevalence of obesity could erase many of the improvements in health achieved by middle-aged and older Americans in recent decades and disability rates will increase. If obesity trends continue through 2020, without other changes in health behaviors or medical technology, the study predicts that the proportion of people 50-69 with disabilities (those who are limited in their ability to care for themselves or perform other routine tasks) will increase by 18 percent for men and by 22 percent for women. The report also discusses the expense associated with such a trend, estimating that by 2020 about one in five health care dollars spent on people ages 50- 69 could be consumed by obesity-related medical problems — up about 50 percent from 2000.

Just the way it is: A study conducted by the HealthPartners Research Foundation 2004 reveals that physically fit employees get along better with co-workers and take fewer sick days than out-of-shape employees. On the other hand, obese employees reported more difficulty getting along with coworkers, while severely obese workers missed significantly more days of work. .

Top health officials adopt global plan to cut obesity Fiona Fleck

Government promises measures to tackle obesity in children Tiago Villanueva

Preventing childhood obesity by reducing consumption of carbonated drinks: cluster randomized controlled trial, Janet James, Peter Thomas, David Cavan, David Kerr

Bullying and Overweight and Obese Children Nemours Foundation

Fat: The average sedentary woman needs 1,600 calories a day; a man 2,200.In 2000, women were taking in 1,877 and men were taking in 2,618. One pound of body weight is approximately 3,500 calories.  

The standard french fry offered in 1955 was 2.4 ounce and contained 210 calories; in 2004, it was 7 oz and tanked in at 610 calories.

There were 103,200 gastric bypass operations in 2003.

Obesity: (2004) Medicare: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is changing a longstanding Medicare policy that states that obesity is not a disease. The change in regulatory lexicon, while not specifically classifying obesity as a disease, will enable Medicare to review scientific evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions such as stomach surgery, diet programs, and behavioral and psychological counseling on the health of people with obesity. Many people expect that the result of this policy change will lead to Medicare coverage for some of these treatments. It is estimated that 37% of Medicare beneficiaries are overweight and 18% are obese.

Obesity and disability: A UnumProvident (NYSE: UNM) report released earlier this year cited a tenfold increase over the past decade in short term disability claims in which obesity was identified as the primary diagnosis. The figures released this week look at data from the same time period (1996-2003), pulling from the company’s database of 1.3 million disability claims. The company reports striking increases in claims for conditions in which obesity is either a risk factor or is strongly associated. The disability claim experience of these chronic health conditions includes:

• 4000% increase in syndromes that are primarily symptom-based such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome or Gulf War syndrome

• 100% increase in hypertension and diabetes

• 78% increase in musculoskeletal disorders

• 63% increase in cancer

• 46% increase in back disorders

• 17% increase in cardiovascular disease

The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) warns that increasing obesity and related health issues hurt the well being of the workforce and threaten their employers’ bottom line. “Today’s employers must absorb increasing health care costs,” Anfield says. “According to the National Institutes of Health, the direct healthcare costs attributable to overweight and obesity are now estimated to be $123 billion, or 9% of total U.S. healthcare costs. The cost of treating type 2 diabetes attributable to overweight and obesity is estimated to be $98 billion. The cost of treating heart disease attributable to overweight and obesity is estimated to be $8.8 billion, or 17% of the total healthcare costs for heart disease.” Nationwide, obesity will cost employers $13 billion per year, reports the NBGH Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. In addition, NBGH says obesity is annually associated with 39 million lost work days, 239 million restricted-activity days and 63 million physician visits.

Obesity: Low income Americans are up to twice as likely to be obese than high income Americans. Less education equals a greater chance of obesity. Black women are the most overweight followed my Latinos of both sexes. White women are the least likely to be overweight (couldn't prove it by me when I go to the mall.)

The National Institutes of Health states that obese individuals have a 50% to 100% increased risk of death form all causes as compared to normal weight individuals.  

OBESITY: UnumProvident researchers, who declared 2004 that STD claims had jumped tenfold over the past decade due in large part to obesity, took that finding a step further by studying 1.3 million claims filed between 1996 and 2003 for conditions in which weight gain either is a risk factor or with which it is strongly associated.

The analysts found a 4,000% increase in syndromes that are primarily symptom-based, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome or gulf war syndrome; a 100% increase in hypertension and diabetes; a 78% increase in musculoskeletal disorders; a 63% increase in cancer; a 46% increase in back disorders; and a 17% increase in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Robert Anfield, UnumProvident vice president, calls these findings "alarming," noting that they illustrate the burden of suffering and increase in healthcare costs attributable to the obesity epidemic.

The National Business Group on Health says increasing obesity and related health issues hurt the well-being of an employer's workforce and threaten the bottom line. It cites National Institutes of Health findings that peg the price of obesity at $123 billion, or 9% of total U.S. healthcare costs. Treating type 2 diabetes - usually attributable to obesity -- alone consumes $8.8 billion. Additionally, NBGH says it attributes to obesity some 39 million lost work days, 239 million restricted activity days and 63 million physician visits.

It is also for this reason that I stated years ago that LTC premiums would have to go up. There were a lot more illnesses that would occur due to obesity and causing more care. But it would also take MORE people to do the same care, It's tough enough rolling over someone that weighs 150#- but you need two people if they weigh 250#. More caregivers in a facility means more money to pay for them. I believe that is one big reason (pun intended) why premiums have escalated. The companies are seeing the results of the studies above.

The runaway weight gain train: too many accelerators, not enough brakes, Boyd Swinburn and Garry Egger

Being fit is more important than being fat for women and heart disease David Spurgeon

Fat (Washington Post 2004) Health care for folks  who are obese is 37% greater than for those of normal weight.

Therefore there should be a fat tax on all fast food in the U.S. Say 1/2%.

Obesity coverage: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said about 55% of its three million members are either overweight or obese, costing the insurer about $83.1 million in excess costs last year. The insurer said it pays about 32% more in claims for obese members and 18% more for overweight members than for those whose weight is normal.

So it will now cover bariatric surgery as necessary  and other prescriptions not covered previously.

Yo fatso: (2004) Health care spending on obese Americans accounted for 27% of the growth in overall health care spending between 1987 and 2001. The report said costs incurred by the obese were 37% greater than those incurred by people of normal weight, largely due to conditions such as heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.

Just plain fat: In 1960, the average man weighed about 166.3# Now its about 191. A woman went from 140# to 164.

A 10 year old weighed 11 pounds more than 40 years ago.

Fat: More than half of U.S. adults are overweight and nearly one-third are obese.

-- Obesity is the second leading cause of unnecessary deaths, causing at least 300,000 deaths in the United States each year.

-- Annual health-care costs from obesity are about $100 billion.

-- Obesity is more damaging to health than smoking, high levels of alcohol drinking and poverty, and it affects all major bodily systems-heart, lungs, muscles and bones.

-- Researchers have associated obesity with more than 30 medical conditions, and many agree that it's strongly related to at least 15 of those conditions. Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for such physical ailments as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, pregnancy complications and gallstones.

-- Obesity is increasing globally, with currently more than 300 million obese adults around the world.

-- African Americans and Hispanic Americans have higher rates of overweight and obesity than Caucasian Americans.

-- Nearly 62% of American women are overweight and about 34% are obese.

-- Obesity has increased across all education levels and is higher among less educated people.

Labor Takes Longer for Overweight and Obese Women, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Being fat and sedentary- and losing your mind: (Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation 2005) Senior citizens with metabolic syndrome, a common group of symptoms that includes being overweight and having poor control of blood sugar, are at increased risk for cognitive decline and fading memory, a new study reports. With more and more men and women leading sedentary lifestyles and becoming increasingly overweight, the finding is of special concern for a growing number of those in mid-life and beyond.

How do you know if you have metabolic syndrome? Because it has no symptoms, it is hard to detect. But having three or more of the following signs is a good indication that you have metabolic syndrome:

Fat around your belly. If you're a man with a waist size of 40 inches and up, or a woman with a waist measurement of 35 and up, you're at risk.

Low levels of so-called good HDL cholesterol less than 40 milligrams per deciliter in men, or 50 in women.

High levels of the unhealthy blood fats called triglycerides 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher.

High blood pressure -- a reading of 130 over 85, or higher.

Elevated blood sugar. If your doctors takes a fasting blood sugar test and your reading is in the moderate range 110 to 125 milligrams per deciliter that's one more sign of metabolic syndrome.

If you're over 50, you have a better than one in three chance of having this potentially life-threatening condition. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has soared by more than 60 percent in the last decade, paralleling the steep rise in obesity among Americans young and old.

Other studies have shown that having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes in mid-life and beyond can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. This is the first study to document that metabolic syndrome is linked to cognitive decline.

What the Study Showed

Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco studied more than 2,600 men and women in their 70s. At the start of the study, all were healthy and alert, with no signs of Alzheimer's or other mental decline. Some of the seniors had metabolic syndrome, while others did not. The researchers also took regular blood tests to measure levels of certain proteins, called interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, that indicate high levels of inflammation.

After five years, those with metabolic syndrome were 20 percent more likely to develop signs of cognitive impairment, including memory loss, than those without metabolic syndrome. Those with both metabolic syndrome and high levels of inflammation were 66 percent more likely to suffer from mental impairment.

Obesity (WSJ) 2005) Several times I have posted info that obesity causes as many deaths as smoking. new research is likely to conclude that while obesity remains a leading cause of preventable death, its death toll pales in comparison with the firmly established 435,000 deaths a year related to tobacco use. Obesity would rank closer to public-health concerns such as alcohol consumption, estimated to cause 85,000 deaths a year, or infections, which kill about 75,000 adults a year.

Scientists still can't conclusively answer many basic questions about the health effects of being overweight or even offer a precise definition of "obesity-related death."

The CDC already has backed down from the claim, based on the earlier research, that obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The agency hasn't said by how much it plans to reduce its 400,000 estimate. Other scientists say the math mistakes inflated the total estimate by as many as 80,000 deaths.

Who cares- being fat still will impact life in far too many detrimental areas.

On the other hand, another faction of scientists contends the CDC methodology actually underestimates the number of obesity-related deaths. A clinical professor of medicine says current surveys may ignore the effects of "overfat" on older people who may not be obese, but who have gained dangerous abdominal fat as they have lost muscle mass. "I would argue, gee, maybe they're underestimating it,"

Current estimates also ignore another important factor: Epidemiological studies still don't take into account obesity's effects on a person over time. A 50-year-old person who has been obese for 30 years may have a higher risk of death than a 50-year-old who has gained the weight recently.

Fat: (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) More than a quarter (29%) of American workers are obese, compared with just 20% a few years ago. The study found that 7% of the obese employees said they had some form of work limitation due to health or other issues, compared with 3% of other workers, and that more than a third (35%) of obese workers had high blood pressure, compared with 9% of normal-weight workers, and also suffered from higher exposure to high cholesterol levels and diabetes. All told, the impact of obesity on worker health and productivity was equivalent to adding 20 years of age,

More fat: (Harvard School of Public Health) There has been some suggestion that if you are particularly active, you don't have to worry about your body weight, about your diet. That's very misleading.

Women who were physically active but obese had almost twice the risk of death of women who were both active and lean. Women who were sedentary but slender were 55% more likely to die. Women who were both sedentary and obese were almost two and a half times more likely to die.

"Being physically active did not cancel out the increased mortality of [being] overweight. Being lean did not counterbalance the risk effect of being sedentary,"

Fat: (American Heart Association 2005)  More than 10% of U.S. children ages 2 to 5 are overweight. That is up from 7% in 1994, according to the heart association's annual statistical report on heart disease and stroke.

The prevalence of obesity among adults is well-known, with an increase of 75% since 1991. So is the problem with school-age children, reaffirmed by new statistics showing that nearly 4 million children ages 6 to 11 and 5.3 million young people ages 12 to 19 were overweight or obese in 2002.

Other highlights of the report:

• About 1 million youths ages 12 to 19 in the United States — or 4.2% of the age group — have metabolic syndrome, defined as three or more of the following five factors: high triglycerides; low "good" cholesterol; high blood sugar; high blood pressure; and a big waistline. These factors raise the risk of heart disease.

• In 2002, heart disease killed 927,448 Americans, keeping its place as the nation's No. 1 killer.

• The Framingham study found that being overweight or obese can take years off your life. For example, a 40-year-old woman who does not smoke could lose 3.3 years of life because she is overweight and 7.1 years for being obese.

Bariatric Surgery: Separating Fat From Fiction, (Kathleen Thiesen National Underwriter 2005)

At a time when government figures show 27% of Americans are obese, it’s no surprise that the public’s and the insurance industry’s awareness of "bariatric surgery," or gastric bypass surgery, has grown.

The treatment is potentially effective, sometimes dangerous and definitely expensive.

For brokers and agents helping companies find the right match of health care against a picture of rising health care costs, here is a quick primer on the insurance issues surrounding this treatment.

For the industry, the most urgent need is to look for cost-effective answers with good outcomes, because obesity has far-reaching implications.

Questions about the cost and popularity of bariatric surgery for morbid obesity gained steam in mid-2004 following an announcement by Medicare officials that the program will consider covering obesity itself as a disease, rather than covering only so-called "co-morbidities." Major "co-morbidities" include hypertension, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke and a range of cancers.

The bariatric surgery issue has many facets:

• Results of clinical trials measuring the short-term and long-term outcomes of bariatric surgeries vary depending on the type of surgery completed, the experience of the surgeon and hospital or other facility, how "sick" the candidates are before surgery, the impact and compliance of post-surgical behaviors, and the general risk of surgery for morbidly obese patients. Good results with one study have not always carried over to the next.

• Mortality rates for these procedures are between 1% to 3%. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the risk of death within 30 days after gastric bypass surgery was nearly 5 times greater if the surgeon had performed fewer than 20 procedures. In addition, about 20% of all bariatric surgery patients require follow-up procedures to treat complications. Despite the risks, experts support the results of evidence-based studies, reaffirm the need for informed consent and acknowledge that the risks for these individuals may be worth it in the long run.

• Even though Medicare decisions on coverage usually have helped lead the industry toward universal reimbursement, many third-party payers are hesitating due to the extreme costs associated with complications for this high-risk population. Some 140,000 bariatric procedures will be performed in 2004, according to an article that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Multiply that number by an average cost of $25,000 (with no complications), and these 140,000 procedures will cost a jaw-dropping $3.5 billion.

• While self-insured employers may choose to cover the procedures, fully insured employers cannot choose, thereby creating an adverse selection by obese employees to secure reimbursement for the surgery. While the treatment likely will decrease long-term direct health care costs, the cost burden can be amortized over 3.5 years, according to a recent study in the journal, Obesity Surgery. Unfortunately, many employees change jobs before companies can realize these health and financial gains.

• All surgeries are not created equal. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which costs about $25,000, has come to be known as the "gold standard" for its longevity with appropriate candidates. Because cost is a factor, new procedures are entering the arena, including laparoscopic methods that reduce hospital length of stay, physician time and the recovery period. The "mini gastric bypass," costing just $17,000, produces results with major weight loss, and requires less operating and recovery time. Unfortunately, there is not yet enough evidence to ensure this procedure’s safety or to confirm favorable outcomes.

So, what does the future hold? The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons has begun a process for identifying and credentialing "Centers of Excellence" for bariatric surgery. Its goal is to establish guidelines for a procedure never before regulated; investigate, evaluate and examine candidates for certification to provide these services; participate in education and research in the field; and provide data management for outcomes. This effort offers a great deal of promise. Additionally, more research is needed and will continue now that information about long-term outcomes is more accessible.

In the interim, health insurers are looking at their options: Eliminate coverage, increase out-of-pocket costs or offer selective reimbursement only for procedures consistent with good outcomes.

It is clear that health care providers need to do the research and develop comprehensive programs of care for obesity patients before they are in the operating room. The successful programs are out there, as are the experienced physicians. Rarely before has the phrase "buyer beware" had as much financial impact as it does here.

Fat: (2005) An estimated 10% of America's preschoolers are dangerously overweight, obesity rates for elementary school students have tripled in the last three decades, and 31% of adults in the U.S. are now considered obese (at least 30 pounds overweight).

Nutrition and Metabolism: Obesity

This has everyone surprised: (2005) The poor are most likely to be fat, but the more affluent are closing the gap. Obesity is growing fastest among Americans who make more than $60,000 a year. For years doctors have known that the people most likely to be overweight have the lowest incomes. Fresh produce and other healthful fare can be expensive as well as less accessible than fast food and other high-fat options in low-income neighborhoods.

In the early 1970s, 22.5% of people with incomes below $25,000 were obese. By 2002, 32.5% of the poor were, they found.

By comparison, just 9.7% of people with incomes above $60,000 were obese in the 1970s — a figure that jumped to 26.8% in 2002.

Obesity in middle age and future risk of dementia:  (2005) a 27 year longitudinal population based study, Rachel A Whitmer, Erica P Gunderson, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Charles P Quesenberry, Jr, Kristine Yaffe

It ain't just us: Obesity in children in England continues to rise, Susan Mayor

Logical: Obese workers are paid less than normal-weight employees, but not because of an appearance bias as some past studies have shown. A working paper, titled "The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity," published on the Web site of the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that employers are paying obese workers less in salary as a result of their higher medical costs. Traditional thought has been that the medical expenses of obese workers are passed onto their employers and co-workers, but the Stanford study suggests that obese workers pay for it themselves with lower salaries.

Obesity in middle age and future risk of dementia: a 27 year longitudinal population based study, Rachel A Whitmer, Erica P Gunderson, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Charles P Quesenberry, Jr, Kristine Yaffe

China has overtaken America as the fat capital of the world. The survey indicates that the number of obese people in China doubled between 1992 and 2002. 7.1% of Chinese adults were obese and 22.8% were overweight, Wang Longde, China's vice minister of health, told a news conference. He added that an estimated 200 million of China's population of around 1.3 billion were overweight.

In the U.S., the obesity rate is 30.5% and about 65% are considered overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. With the U.S. population at 294.5 million,. "Compared with the nutrition survey results of 1992, the prevalence of being overweight has increased 39% and the prevalence of obesity increased 97%,"

OBESITY COST – (Emory University 2005) spending on obesity-linked medical problems mushroomed from $3.6 billion (2% of all health spending) to $36.5 billion (11.6% of spending) in the last 15 years.

Obesity: (2005) The states with the highest percentages of obese adults are mostly in the South: Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana and Tennessee.

In the entire nation, only Oregon isn't getting fatter.

Some 22.7 percent of American adults were obese in the 2002-04 period, up slightly from 22 percent for 2001-03, says the advocacy group Trust for America's Health, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alabama had the biggest increase. There, the obesity rate increased 1.5 percentage points to 27.7 percent.

Eight states came in under 20 percent: Colorado, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Montana, Utah and New Hampshire. But their figures were all rising. Oregon held steady at 21 percent.

An adult with a body mass index of 30 or more is considered obese. The equation used to figure body mass index is body weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. The measurement is not a good indicator of obesity for muscular people who exercise a lot.

Health policy analysts maintain that obesity increases the burden on taxpayers because it requires the Medicare and Medicaid programs to cover the treatment of diseases caused by obesity. The report issued Tuesday said taxpayers spent $39 billion in 2003 for the treatment of conditions attributable to obesity.

FAT:  (2005) a new study that followed Americans for three decades suggests that over the long haul, 9 out of 10 men and 7 out of 10 women will become overweight.

Half of the men and women in the study who had made it well into adulthood without a weight problem ultimately became overweight. A third of those women and a quarter of the men became obese.

"What's particularly concerning is that these results actually may underestimate the risk of becoming overweight or obese among the general population" because minorities, who are at increased risk for obesity, were not included in the study

Recent trends also suggest that people currently coming into middle age may be even more likely to become overweight or obese than those who were studied,

Obesity: A study in the September 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health finds a dramatic increase in obesity rates among baby boomers compared to that of the previous generation. For example, between the ages of 35-44, between 28 percent and 32 percent of baby boomers were obese while at the same age, only 14 percent to 18 percent of the previous generation was obese. Moreover, baby boomers are becoming more obese earlier than the previous generation and are living longer with the health effects of that obesity. Although the overall prevalence of arthritis between the two generations has not changed, the study expresses concern about a rise in the percent of cases of arthritis linked to obesity, as obese people are increasingly more likely to develop arthritis than those who are not overweight.

Just too fat: (American Journal of Health Promotion) an obese employee costs an additional $460 to $2,500 annually in medical expenditures and work absences, compared with a non-obese employee. The report claims that all employees pay higher health-care premiums because of obese workers, and employers pay if they have to hire replacement workers or pick up a bigger share of insurance costs, according to BLR.com. Normal-weight men miss an average of three work days a year, compared with five days for men who are 60 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Normal-weight women miss about 3.4 days a year versus 5.2 days for women who are obese,

Obesity: "Today the percentage of adolescents age 15-17 who are overweight is about 50% higher in poor as compared to non-poor families, a difference that has emerged recently,"

In the early 1970s, about 4% of poor youngsters ages 15 to 17 were severely overweight, compared with about 5% of teens who weren't poor. By the early 2000s, those rates jumped to 23% of the poor and 14% of other kids.

Unbelievably fat:  (USA Today 2006) A patient care director decided to check the numbers on overweight patients. She looked at a daily hospital census — about one-third of the 900 patients weighed 350 pounds or more.

A union representing 70,000 nurses and other workers at hospitals in 18 states last week called for new laws forcing hospitals to buy equipment such as portable hoists to prevent worker injuries.

A union-commissioned survey of more than 900 nurses and X-ray technicians found the majority have chronic pain or have suffered injuries from lifting and moving patients.

At Barnes-Jewish, lift machines help some patients get in and out of bed. Chairs have been made stronger and wider. Lights have been added at floor level because the bodies of extremely obese people can cast a shadow that makes it hard to see the floor.

The hospital is replacing many of its beds — built to handle people weighing up to 350 pounds — with beds for 500-pound patients.

Some wings of Barnes-Jewish are replacing 36-inch-wide doorways with those that are 48 or 52 inches wide. The bathrooms are being fitted with floor-mounted commodes that can't be pulled out of the wall, and rooms reconfigured so patients can essentially get out of bed and step into the bathroom.

Gowns are bigger. Wheelchairs are wider. Even hospital-issued slippers come in extra-large sizes because the standard-issued footies were cutting off circulation for some patients.

Operating tables have been widened because the girth of some patients was lapping over the table, in some cases all the way to the floor, Becker said. CT scan machines weren't wide enough. Syringes with the longest available needles — 4 inches — couldn't penetrate the fat.

the law requires a leak-proof body bag. Some patients were so large they wouldn't fit in them. The hospital is working with a vendor to develop a wider bag.

Really really fat: (2006) 31 states showing an increase in obesity.

Mississippi continued to lead the way. An estimated 29.5% of adults there are considered obese. That's an increase of 1.1 percentage points when compared with last year's report,

Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana and Kentucky — exhibit much higher rates of poverty than the national norm.

Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest obesity have less poverty. They are Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The government equates obesity with a body mass index, or BMI, of at least 30. Someone who is 5-feet-4 would have to weigh 175 pounds to reach that threshold.

recommendations that people eat well and exercise are known to Americans. And clearly, many just don't care to follow.

$5.6 billion could be saved when it comes to treating heart disease if just one-tenth of Americans began a regular walking program.

But they are so tasty!: (2006) Americans eat an average of 159 fast-food meals a person each year, which is about three meals a week.

• People who ate larger meals estimated they had eaten an average of 675 calories but consumed 1,188, a 513-calorie difference.

• Those eating smaller meals guessed they had eaten an average of 419 calories but consumed 514, a 95-calorie difference.

• Overweight people's meals contained an average of 957 calories, compared with 683 for normal-weight people.

• Both overweight and normal-weight people underestimated the calories by about the same amount.

The article noted this- "People learn standard portions from food labels, the food guide pyramid, nutrition books and weight-loss classes."

No they don't. They don't pay attention. And even for those that do, they quickly "forget" when a nice, fat, juicy burger is offered. Only about 13% of obese people think they have a problem. That should give you a clue about rationalization.

This has made me hungry. I am now going over to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Obesity: <> 65% of Americans are overweight, up 18% since 1994.

<> 30% of us are obese, up from 36% since 1994...

<> Over 40% of us have high cholesterol...

<> 50% of Americans over 65 have high blood pressure, and 28.7% overall...

<>5.1% of Americans have type-2 diabetes, up a whopping 104% from 1980 to 2004...

<> Over 100,000,000 Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is one step away from having type-2 diabetes...

<> 92% of Americans are deficient in one or more essential vitamins and minerals...

Diabetes: In the last 20 years, diabetes has increased from 30 million to 230 million. Blame McDonald 's or whatever but this (along with the associated obesity) could lead to a DECREASE in longevity.

Obesity: About 60% of toddlers and preschoolers who are overweight or obese during their preschool years still weigh too much at age 12, setting them on a path toward adult obesity and its attendant health problems

Obesity- The World Health Organization says more than 1 billion adults are overweight and 300 million of them are obese, putting them at much higher risk of diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer.

Too Big To Ignore: The Impact Of Obesity On Mortality Trends   (2006) The rising prevalence of obesity runs counter to the overall decline in mortality rates seen in most developed nations over the past few decades. The possibility that the rate of mortality improvement could have been higher without the increase in obesity is too significant to ignore. The question is, can we gain back this lost mortality improvement?

Like the health effects on smoking, obesity usually stems from a choice about lifestyle. The fact that so many public spaces are now 'tobacco-free' zones is the result of education, persuasion and - in many cases - tough action. Tackling obesity likewise calls for a combined and determined effort from all parties: governments, the medical profession, food manufacturers and consumers need to be alert to this emerging risk and to play a role in confronting it. For life insurers - who are not immune to the effects of obesity - addressing the problem means keeping ratings and pricing up to date and in line with emerging experience.

Over the last 30 years or so, the prevalence of obesity has increased two to threefold in most developed countries. It affects nearly one in every three people in the United States, where it is expected to overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death. The epidemic is no longer confined to developed countries: in the developing world the prevalence is around 5%, and this is expected to increase in the future.

In adults, the prevalence of obesity is more acute in women than in men, and it is becoming more common in children and adolescents. If this trend is left unchecked, it will have negative consequences for adult health and mortality in the future. The problem is also more widespread amongst the lower socio-economic groups in the developed world.

Overweight, Obesity & Weight Loss

Obesity- (2007) Binge eating disorder — frequent, uncontrolled bouts of eating without purging — is the most common eating disorder in the USA, more widespread than anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. But here is a new one to me- it afflicts 3.5% of women and 2% of men and lasts an average of eight years and can lead to severe obesity.

Fat: There are currently 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world, according to the World Health Organization. That number is projected to grow by 40% over the next 10 years. The following list reflects the percentage of overweight adults aged 15 and over. These are individuals who have individual body mass indexes, which measures weight relative to height, greater than or equal to 25. Obese is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

Rank   Country %

1.        Nauru 94.5

2.        Micronesia, Federated States of 91.1

3.        Cook Islands 90.9

4.        Tonga 90.8

5.        Niue 81.7

6.        Samoa 80.4

7.        Palau 78.4

8.        Kuwait 74.2

9.       United States 74.1

10.      Kiribati 73.6

11.      Dominica 71.0

12.       Barbados 69.7

13.      Argentina 69.4

14. Egypt 69.4

15. Malta 68.7

16. Greece 68.5

17. New Zealand 68.4

18. United Arab Emirates 68.3

19. Mexico 68.1

20. Trinidad and Tobago 67.9

21. Australia 67.4

22. Belarus 66.8

23. Chile 65.3

24. Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 65.2

25. Seychelles 64.6

26. Bahrain 64.1

27. Andorra 63.8

28. United Kingdom 63.8

29. Saudi Arabia 63.5

30. Monaco 62.4

31. Bolivia 62.2

32. San Marino 62.1

33. Guatemala 61.2

34. Mongolia 61.2

35. Canada 61.1

36. Qatar 61.0

37. Uruguay 60.9

38. Jordan 60.5

39. Bahamas 60.4

40. Iceland 60.4

41. Nicaragua 60.4

42. Cuba 60.1

43. Germany 60.1

44. Brunei Darussalam 59.8

45. Slovenia 59.8

46. Peru 59.6

47. Vanuatu 59.6

48. Finland 58.7

49. Jamaica 57.4

Weight discrimination:  (2007) In a recent Yale University survey of about 2,000 overweight women, 53 percent of those polled said co-workers stigmatized them, and 43 percent said their employers stigmatized them. Being stigmatized translated into not being hired, being passed over for promotions, losing a job, or being teased or harassed because of their weight.

Obese men and women can expect to earn on average anywhere from 1 to 6 percent less than normal weight employees, with heavy women being the biggest losers.

when colleagues make negative comments, she suggests not responding right away and taking a day or two to think. Then sit the person down and gently explain to them that they hurt your feelings and why. 

“The obesity penalty for wages was much greater for white than black females,” he notes. He pointed out that research has shown that obesity tended to lower the self-esteem of white women much more than black women.

Nothing new about fat- overweight and obese employees are more likely to be injured on the job than other workers.

The study is based on a review of the medical and accident records of more than 7,600 people employed by an American aluminum manufacturing company at eight plants.

In the three years looked at, 29 percent of the workers were injured at least once. Almost 70 percent of those injuries could be treated with first aid alone, but the rest were serious enough to require the filing of a government report.

When the researchers looked at the health records of those injured, they found that 85 percent were overweight or obese. The injuries included strains and sprains, as well as back and shoulder injuries.

There are a number of possible explanations. Overweight people may be more prone to fatigue, which can help lead to injury. Their overall health is likely to be worse, and they may be taking medications that could affect alertness.

Then there is the problem of using safety equipment designed for smaller people.

“It is possible,” the study said, “that personal protective equipment, such as gloves and eye goggles, are less likely to be used by obese workers because of lack of comfort, fit or availability.”

Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence : Theory and Evidence  (2007) Is affluence a good thing? The book The Challenge of Affluence by Avner Offer (2006) argues that economic prosperity weakens self-control and undermines human well-being. Consistent with a pessimistic view, we show that psychological distress has been rising through time in modern Great Britain. Taking over-eating as an example, our data reveal that half the British population view themselves as overweight, and that happiness and mental health are worse among fatter people in both Britain and Germany. A 10-point move up in body mass index (BMI) is associated in the cross-section with a drop in psychological health of approximately 0.3 GHQ points. Comparisons also matter. For a given level of BMI, we find that people who are educated or who have high income are more likely to view themselves as overweight. We discuss problems of inference and argue that longitudinal data on BMI are needed. We suggest a theory of imitation -- where utility depends on relative weight -- in which there can be obesity spirals after only small drops in the price of food.

Smoking fat: Nearly twice as many U.S. adults are obese compared to European, a key factor leading Americans to suffer more often from cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments. Treatment of these and other chronic diseases adds between $100 billion and $150 billion to the annual health care tab in the United States, according to the report comparing U.S. and European health published online in the journal Health Affairs.

The United States spends significantly more per capital than any European country on health care, about $2 trillion annually, or 16 percent of the gross domestic product. While the big discrepancy has been linked to higher U.S. prices for medical treatment, the report said a sicker population may also be a factor.

A key factor in many chronic illnesses is obesity and smoking. About 33 percent of Americans are obese, compared with 17 percent in 10 European countries reviewed. More than half of Americans are former or current smokers, compared with about 43 percent in the European sample

Prevalence of Regular Physical Activity Among Adults --- United States, 2001 and 2005 (2008) To examine changes in the prevalence of regular, leisure-time, physical activity from 2001 to 2005, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, from 2001 to 2005, the prevalence of regular physical activity increased 8.6% among women overall (from 43.0% to 46.7%) and 3.5% among men (from 48.0% to 49.7%). In addition, the prevalence of regular physical activity increased 15.0% (from 31.4% to 36.1%) among non-Hispanic black women and 12.4% (from 40.3% to 45.3%) among non-Hispanic black men, slightly narrowing previous racial disparities when compared with increases of 7.8% (from 46.0% to 49.6%) for white women and 3.4% (from 50.6% to 52.3%) for white men, respectively.

In addition to the racial/ethnic disparities, disparities in education also were observed. In 2001 and 2005, increasing education level was associated with increased prevalence of regular physical activity in both men and women. In 2005, 54.6% of men and 53.3% of women who were college graduates engaged in regular physical activity, compared with 37.2% of men and 37.1% of women with less than a high school education.

Cheap fat- (2008) 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.

Fat bills: (2008)

Obese twentysomethings — those who are 30 or more pounds overweight — will have lifetime medical bills that are $5,000 to $21,000 higher than their normal-weight peers.

And extremely obese young adults — 70 or more pounds overweight — will incur $15,000 to $29,000 more in lifetime medical expenditures than their healthy-weight peers

Obesity: Nearly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the percentage of adults classified as obese doubled from 1980 to 2000 to 31 percent of the population.



In 2006, only four states had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Twenty-two states had a prevalence equal or greater than 25%; two of these states (Mississippi and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.

Obese people tend to miss work more often and tend to be less mobile on the job than their thinner counterparts. Obesity is also a more powerful trigger for chronic health problems than either smoking or heavy drinking.

Now here is the related point- it's behavioral economics/finance, cognitive dissonance et al. The point is that people do not act rationally regarding their investments and there has been- and is even more today- a huge (pun intended) study on all areas of the human psyche and what attitudes make people do certain things, etc. The studies offer up many different attitudes- herd behavior,   recency bias, anchoring- all with reams of studies and statistical background. 

Not really necessary. All one does it look at what and how people eat. You cannot be that fat and simply oblivious to the expanding waistline, inability to breath- and the propensity to even eat a wandering wildebeast at 10 in the morning. But the consumer does not care, doesn't want to look, does not want to READ- in essence rationalizes away whatever impact it has on their lives. Or may recognize it every so often- but then quickly dismisses the implications.  This number was at this site months ago- I still have a difficulty with it, but here it is anyway: Only 13% of the obese believe they really have a health problem. 

It is therefore obvious that the same "insight" is what they offer in  an effort towards investing. Effectively nothing. It looks good, is easy to digest, simple to make- with none of the implications. 

You can add in those that do not exercise. It is yet another rationale. They don't have the time, it is too hard, whatever.  Isn't that the same for the hard work for investing? It is too hard, they don't have the time to READ and THINK.

As I pointed out in a PR release several months ago. God gave people a brain. America gave them an education. They have to use both. 

Holy mother, are you fat!! (2008) A state-by-state survey found that adult obesity rates increased in 37 states in the past year. More than 25% of adults are now obese in 28 states, up from 19 states last year. In 1991 no state had an obesity rate above 20%. Today more than 20% of adults are obese in every state except Colorado. Overall, two-thirds of adult Americans are now overweight or obese, and 23 million children (14% of kids age 2-5, 18.8% of those aged 6-11 and 17.4% for teenagers).

QuickStats: Percentage of Adults* Who Are Obese, by Type of Difficulty or Limitation§ --- National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2001--2005