Sunday, August 19, 2012

Odds and Ends

F as in Fat The 2012 report from RWJF and the Trust for America's Health will be released soon.  This week a press update offered news on disappointing and compelling trends.  The majority of states have an adult obesity rate of 25% or higher.  Twelve states have rates of 30% or higher and when rank ordered, the 30 heaviest states include 7 from the South.  This speaks to regional food norms.  In the South one can expect foods to be deep fried, rich, sweet and salty (maybe not all at once!).  It is also custom in the South to eat what you are offered and for those offerings to be generous.  The pending report form TFAH and RWJF will offer suggestions on curbing the obesity epidemic and the benefits that we can expect from certain strategies.  
We're # 1 I passed a billboard that proclaimed hospital X to be number one in heart surgery. I considered this to be evidence that hospitals are competing for customers.  There must be a significant number of them (or why advertise on a billboard).  A great many Americans have or will have heart disease - in fact, the odds of dieing from it are pretty high.  It is the number one cause of death here.  The hospitals know this and can profit from it.  They must - billboards are not cheap.  Incidentally, the current HSPH newsletter has a link to a blog post by one of their esteemed staff on the topic of hospital ratings.  The blogger discusses how a hospital can be scored differently by 3 credible sources. It is a great, MUST read.  Click HERE.
MCR (medicare)  Not to be political but to acknowledge a topic that has become political.  I have been listening to the public discourse and in the interest of full disclosure, I support the Affordable Care Act.  The ACA has benefited Medicare recipients that I know personally.  Still, there may be a future where persons over the age of 67 are seeking health care coverage as primary payers of that coverage.  Perhaps they will have vouchers.  In order for such a person to find the best coverage for the least amount of money (premium, copay, deductible) they will need to be healthy and not smoke.  The insurance companies will probably SEEK out healthy active seniors in order to reduce losses related to costs of covering non healthy older adults.  The majority of older adults are currently and will continue to be unhealthy.  Half of all adults now suffer from at least one chronic disease associated with being inactive and or overweight.  (increasingly adults have more than one disease, i.e arthritis and diabetes)
     You won't be able to change your past, but you have some control over your future. Get some amount of exercise every single day, always be aware of the foods you are consuming - aim for quality in the proper quantity, avoid all cigarette smoke.

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