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Prenventing Obesity does not lead to health care cost reductions

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February 20, 2008 – Comments (1)

Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.

http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050029

 Until age 56 y, annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position.

Very interesting.  It all seems to go against common sense.  But it appears that the researchers were only examining the costs to the health care system, and not factoring the increased productivity of healthy individuals living longer life spans.

 I'm fairly certain that the results of this study are misleading.

 

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 21, 2008 at 12:21 AM, AnomaLee (28.88) wrote:

A better comparison would be of annual health care costs between the different groups. Ultimately, it doesn't matter because no one cycles out of the health system until they actually "check out."

Wonder why there are sudden shortages of flu shots.
 

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