While I’d love to write some useful articles on helping men and women lose weight, I keep coming across articles and information about the rotten status of the United States healthcare system. I saw this interesting article on LiveScience today, which basically states that in 2007, 41% of working-age Americans had trouble paying medical bills, up from 34% in 2005.
Now I don’t want to get into an argument of universal healthcare versus privatized healthcare, which country’s healthcare system is best, or what is really wrong with our current healthcare system today, although you can read about my gripes with the pharmaceutical industry here.
I will say that our current healthcare system is screwed, and there are a bunch of fundamental problems with it that make it far too expensive for most people. You can’t step foot in a hospital or doctor’s office without having to pay a bill. Unless you have fantastic coverage at your job, you’re more then likely going to pay a few hundred or few thousand dollars out of pocket with each hospital visit.
You are probably well aware that 2 out of 3 people in the United States are overweight or obese. No need to toss that number around. But do you realize how many problems actually stem from obesity? Let’s count them down: Hypertension, Osteoarthritis, Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), Type 2 diabetes, coronary hearth disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and some cancers.
I’d also like to mention depression or anxiety. While it’s not listened on the CDC website’s list, poor self-image is a problem that affects many young adults in the US. With poor-self image you’re likely to feel more depressed then someone very confident about themselves, so you see a doctor and are now on a $50 a month prescription plan to make you feel better.
These are some serious illnesses that are not cheap to fix. Some of them will turn into lifelong problems that can lead to financial problems for the rest of your life. Do you want to be stuck with frequent hospital visits throughout the year when you don’t have to be going in the first place? Do you want to put that burden on your family members when you won’t be able to pay these bills yourself?
Over and over again I hear stories of people who lose weight and completely change their lives around. When you’re fit, you suffer from far less illness then when you’re overweight. Being fit gives you confidence, especially if you’ve had a lifelong problem with self-image due to being overweight. There goes your depression. Being at a healthy weight can reduce all of the major problems associated with obesity that I’ve listed above. While I don’t have the numbers, I can guarantee you that fit people spend much less time in hospitals and doctor’s offices then obese people.
The healthcare system in America needs overweight and obese people to make its incredible profits. Without the problems that stem from obesity, our hard-earned money would stay in our pockets and out of the hands of pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. Don’t worry, they will still be making incredible amounts of money, but it will be for illnesses and problems that cannot be prevented. Out of our own pocket, and as taxpayers for Medicare and Medicaid, we’d be well over $100 billion wealthier as a country.