Posts Tagged ‘health economics’

No, Childhood Obesity Is Not Plateauing

January 13, 2017 — People opine every day about childhood obesity. Some of the words inform and some inflame. But most disturbing is constant flow of wishful reports that childhood obesity is plateauing. In December, headlines flowed with “good news” about “fewer chubby babies.” The cause was a study published in Pediatrics that, according to its authors, “cannot be considered representative […]

Are High-Deductible Plans a Health Hazard?

January 10, 2017 — In high-deductible health plans, we have a powerful idea that is not what it seems. The idea is pretty simple. Lower the cost of health insurance. Give people higher deductibles for routine care that might not be necessary. Suddenly, people are more sensitive to the cost of unnecessary health care. But the results of a […]

Top Ten in Healthcare Spending: Little for Obesity Care

December 29, 2016 — You can look at healthcare spending in two different ways. One way is to ask, “What are we buying?” The alternative is to ask, “What are we paying for?”  A new study published this week in JAMA shows that we’re buying very little obesity care, but paying a lot for untreated obesity. Of the top ten conditions […]

Finding a Healthy Space Between Solitude and Isolation

December 24, 2016 — A quiet plague grows acute at this time of year – social isolation. It can trigger a host of chronic health problems, including obesity. Writing in the New York Times, physician Dhruv Khullar explains: Social isolation is a growing epidemic — one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Since the 1980s, the […]

Watching Costs Pile Up for Untreated Obesity

December 1, 2016 — At a congressional briefing yesterday, the Milken Institute released a stark economic analysis of the costs piling up for untreated obesity. Obesity now costs the U.S. economy $1.4 trillion dollars. Those costs come almost entirely from the complications that result when obesity goes untreated and progresses to cause other diseases. The money spent on evidence-based […]

Weight Discrimination, Even Without Excess Weight

September 23, 2016 — Weight-based discrimination at work is a familiar problem for people living with obesity. But new research suggests that the problem might even affect people who don’t have obesity. Dennis Nickson and colleagues found weight-based discrimination against women even with BMI in a range considered to be healthy. In fact, they found that a woman with BMI of […]

The Elusive Price for Obesity

September 19, 2016 — Conversations about obesity almost inevitably come around to its costliness. Look for references on obesity costs and you’ll get a million results. But despite so much attention to economic analysis, putting a price on the diagnosis of obesity turns out to be quite a messy task. Even the relatively simpler matter of estimating direct medical costs […]

Does Exercise Save Money?

September 9, 2016 — The American Heart Association is promoting an analysis from its journal that suggests regular exercise can save money. In fact, the authors of this study find that medical expenses are about $2,500 lower annually for people who meet current guidelines for regular exercise. That’s at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. The […]

Is Healthful Eating More Expensive?

August 19, 2016 — Healthful eating, if you find it at Whole Foods, can definitely be expensive. Folks from Harvard and Brown Universities say healthful food costs about $1.50 more per day than junk food. They base their assertions on a 2013 analysis published in BMJ Open. But like so many other questions in nutrition, the answer depends on how you ask […]

Perverse Incentives for Health Fall Out of Favor

July 3, 2016 — When perverse ideas about incentives for health fall apart, everyone can celebrate. Today we celebrate one that is losing support: penalizing employees for obesity. For several years now, certain elements of the wellness industry have been pushing the idea that obesity could be reversed by imposing financial penalties on employees who don’t weight what their employers say they […]