Monday, June 27, 2005

Rising Obesity Costs Warrant A Serious Look At The Low-Carb Answer

This Reuters story about the rising costs of obesity is further evidence that a serious examination of the low-carb alternative to the failed low-fat diets we have been forced to endure for the past few decades.

A study released on Monday in the Health Affairs journal said obesity-related private spending healthcare costs have ballooned to ten times what they were in the late 1980s. The jump from $3.6 billion in 1987 to $36.5 billion in 2002 represented more than a 9.5 percent spike in the percent of health spending according to the study.

Obesity is linked to such illnesses as diabetes and heart disease. With obesity in the United States expected to reach 100 percent by 2058, now is the time for serious discussion of low-carb as a viable option for dealing with this grave problem. Healthcare costs and premature deaths will only continue as this solution to the obesity epidemic continues to be ignored.

The study looked at 28,000 privately insured Americans from across the entire socioeconomic spectrum. The rising number of obese people in America, which currently stands at 60 million according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has caused health care costs to skyrocket.

Other conditions besides diabetes and heart disease which are worsened by obesity include arthritis, asthma, and back pain. The researchers who analyzed the data from this study state that the root problem of obesity must be dealt with to lower the cost of healthcare and to prevent diseases associated with carrying around excessive weight.

"We're going to have to tackle this they way we did smoking - with a variety of big strategies," a doctor in the Reuters story said.

What that means is we need to take this role very seriously. We need to think outside the box and come up with strategies that will treat the problem of obesity head-on.

The low-carb lifestyle has changed my life since I was able to lose 180 pounds on it in 2004. A national public forum should be created that educates people about the healthy and easy alternative this way of eating offers people who are obese. As a former 410-pounder, I don't know what I would have done without low-carb. It's time we give people the information they need to make the right choice for themselves about how to deal with their obesity problem.

I feel so strongly about this issue that I am contemplating writing a book about it as well. First things first, though, I need to finish the one about my weight loss success. When are we going to wake up and realize there's an answer to the obesity problem staring us right in the face?!


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