Friday, March 8, 2013

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MONEY AND OBESITY


My next novel MURDER: A NEW WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT is out later this month. So I’m discussing the problem generated by obesity during the next two months with occasional interruptions for guest blogs.

$$$$$ Money is an incentive to lose weight
A new study (to be presented by researchers from the Mayo Clinic at the American College of Cardiology on March 9, 2013) reports a not very surprising finding.
Dieters, who receive financial rewards, are more apt to follow their weight loss regime carefully and to lose more weight than dieters not receiving monetary rewards.
Experts have long postulated the success of dieters on commercial weight loss programs reflects partially the greater commitment of those dieters to weight loss because of their financial investments.

$$$$$ Obesity costs money
We’ve all heard many times that obese adults are more prone to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Now researchers suggest obesity-related health costs in the US are more than $190 billion annually or almost 21% of health care costs in the US (Journal of Health Economics 31 [Jan 2012]: 219-230).

Figures such as these are so large – it’s hard to grasp their significance. The authors Cawley and Meyenhoefer put it in personal terms.
Obesity raised medical costs by $2,417 per person per year (in 2005 dollars).

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation puts a positive spin on these dire numbers (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America issued in September 2012). If overweight and obese adult Americans reduced their average BMI (body mass index) by only 5 percent, the foundation estimates billions of dollars in health spending would be saved — about 7% of total health expenditures.


What is a BMI?
Body mass Index (BMI) is the most common measure of obesity. It is calculated:
                             (weight in pounds)                              X 703
(height in inches) X (height in inches)

Adults with a BMI of >30 are considered obese. Adults with an index of >25 but less than 29.9 are overweight.

I suspect most readers won’t bother to do the calculations so let me give you examples. You are obese (or overweight) if, you are:
5’ 2” and weight more than 164 (136) pounds
5’ 5” and weight more than 180 (150) pounds
5’ 8” and weight more than 197 (164) pounds
6’ 1” and weight more than 215 (179) pounds

$$$$$  Save yourself and your country (Medicare and Medicaid) money and lose weight if you are obese or even overweight. Next time we’ll talk more about the health benefits of weight loss.

JL and Bug


PS: Bug and I both tried to lose weight in 2012. Bug succeeded; I didn’t.