Skinny Bitches Are Breaking Our Health Care System

Well, they're not, actually; that was just a way to draw your eyes to this item! But on a day when both the economy and the failing health care system are in the forefront of voters' minds, we were fascinated by the following news now all over the wires: overweight and obese individuals are easier — and cheaper — to treat. Dutch researchers writing in the journal the Public Library of Science Medicine report that the healthier the person, the more expensive their medical care over the course of their lives: about $417,000 for the thin and healthy, $371,000 for the obese and $326,000 for smokers. Logical, yes — smokers and the morbidly obese don't tend to live particularly long lives — but the findings, taken from mathematical models of three (hypothetical) groups of 1,000 people, may a big bucket of heavy cream on the argument the obesity epidemic contributes to higher health care costs.

Oh, and about that obesity epidemic: Science Daily reports that, after examining the average population weight gain in the United States over the past 42 years, British doctors are arguing that claims about the problem "often exceed the scientific evidence" and that "the categories of normal, overweight and obese is entirely arbitrary and at odds with the underlying evidence about the association between body mass index and mortality." Health economists and epidemiologists counter that the associated health care problems associated with obesity — diabetes, heart disease, elevated blood pressure — are not only well-established but growing. Whatever the experts say, the least we can do today, if not get on a treadmill and eat a spinach salad with steamed chicken, is exercise our right to vote.

Actually, A Long Healthy Life Costs More [MSNBC]
Fat People Cheaper To Treat, Study Says [Breitbart]
Is The Obesity Epidemic Exaggerated? [ScienceDaily]