The obesity epidemic has been spiraling out of control for 40+ years. No coincidence: medical costs have spiraled as well. The Obamacare believers like to use rare childhood cancers or rare catastrophic accidents to justify their cause, but in fact most of our medical costs are driven by obesity. What if there was no obesity epidemic? What would the medical landscape look like?
- A drastic reduction in Type 2 diabetes cases. In fact, this obesity-caused disease might disappear. All the billions spent on daily drug regimens, doctor visits and daily medical tests would disappear. And without Type 2 diabetes, the more drastic and expensive costs, like amputations, home health care and disability costs would also disappear.
- A drastic reduction in incidence of hypertension. The most effective way to reduce blood pressure is weight loss. So without obesity, hypertension would be much less prevalent, and less severe. No more daily drug regimens.
- A drastic reduction in stroke caused by hypertension, along with reduction in the costs of rehab, home health care and nursing home care for stroke victims.
- No more need for bariatric surgery. 100% cost savings.
- A drastic reduction in reflux disease. No more daily drug regimen for expensive reflux medications. No more side effects of those drugs, leading to expenses for other drugs to combat the side effects.
- A drastic reduction in heart disease. Use of statin drugs would plummet.
- Incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer would be significantly reduced. Both of these are linked to obesity. Other cancers with obesity links would also be reduced.
- Drastic reduction in arthritis. Obesity is a leading cause of joint diseases, as all the pressure of excess weight wears on knees, ankles, hips and feet. Massive cost savings from reduction in joint replacement surgery, rehab, pain medications and home health care for disability.
- A significant reduction in inflammation that causes or aggravates other conditions. No more metabolic syndrome, characterized by large masses of abdominal fat.
- A drastic reduction in infections and all the other annoying or debilitating obesity-related problems that cost vast amounts of money and lead to lost productivity: back pain, digestive disturbances, headaches, lung diseases and upper respiratory infections.
And, of course, a drastic reduction in medical insurance premiums for everyone, since insurance companies won’t be shelling out billions for all this stuff. And with billions saved, there will be more funds available to cover costs for the small percent of the population that does need medical care for diseases not related to obesity, such as some cancers, accidents, genetic disorders, allergic diseases, mental health problems, viral or bacterial infections and diseases of old age.
Well, it’s not all good news. Obesity is costing this country billions because someone is making big bucks off this problem. Who stands to lose the most?
- Drug companies
- The marketing and advertising companies that service drug companies
- The publications that sell ad space to drug companies
- Companies that make and use equipment and supplies for medical testing: labs, imaging
- Home Health Care agencies, although they could ramp up care for the frail elderly who prefer to live independently as long as possible.
- Fad diet pushers
- Diet pill manufacturers
- The makers of XXXL clothing.
Should these people be worried about losing their vast income stream? Probably not. The obesity epidemic isn’t going away anytime soon, if ever.