This week's O&Es are associated with one subject as broached in one news story. I.e., I am cheating, but it IS finals week (almost done, one project to go before I start helping my 'supervisor' with her grading)
I haven't had time to pay much attention to anything but my studies...
Still, I was intrigued when a headline re: obesity was connected to the Wall St. Journal - the financial experts. Especially because many of their readers (and I AM a fan) might be considered conservative and conservatives might, in general, shy away from issues they consider to be related to individual "rights".
When obesity has a nationwide impact (as discussed a few posts ago) it is a public health issue, not a personal one.
The numbers from the WSJ article on the Economics of Obesity are these:
Regarding the year 2011, the percent of Americans over the age of 20 who are obese is 29.5. The article does not define obesity, but it is usually a BMI 30 or above. It is expected that, if nothing changes, the percent of obesity in adults will be 50 in just about 8 years. [these are obese numbers only - over 30% are overweight currently]
Of the annual health care expenditures in the US, 16.5% are associated with treating obesity.
Obese persons appear to prefer larger, gas guzzling vehicles - i.e. causing energy costs to increase.
Obese workers are sick more than non obese workers. This is not well qualified in the article. It may be that on average they are sick 3.7 more days or that for every one day a non obese person is absent, an obese person is absent almost 4.
The gains that we have made for life expectancy, reduction in disease and saving money in health care expenses from a 20% reduction in the smoking rate could be erased by the economic burden of obesity.
No fact checking was done for this blog post - I am simply telling you what was included in the WSJ article. Again, that is available here.