Obesity Costlier Than Smoking - page 2

Since .gov has gotten so deep into the healthcare system and Medicare and Medicaid are eating up an ever greater portion of the USA's finances, these types of studies portend future penalties levied... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by Hardknox
    Your side smoke may kill me, but your "side" junk food won't! And Fergus51--it's usually cheetos with diet coke.
    Not in my case. In my case it is usually regular Coke and carrot sticks. Go figure
  2. by   live4today
    I don't smoke, don't drink, and I'm not obese, yet I'm on medication for high cholesterol. It's normal now, but that's because of the Zocor I've been taking for the past several months. My family tree, however, has a history of heart disease, strokes, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Eeny-meeney-miney-moe...which one will be the death of me? Who knows! So, I eat right, walk everyday at least 30 minutes per day with the doggie, and do yoga stretches to stay limber. I meditate, read my Bible every morning, pray a lot, smile a lot, laugh a lot, and try to be spiritually "ready" for the day I say goodbye to this earth regardless of what takes me from here. For sure, death is a trip we don't have to plan because it was booked for us long before we were even thought of by our parents.
  3. by   mario_ragucci
    This is crazy! Smoking and over-eating bullies unite! Please don't be throwing stones to hide you own hands, and I'm not saying anyone is.
    We smoke, We're fat, We're over fed. Stop building cars, stop buying cars. Take drugs to stop eating. Take drugs to stop smoking. Smoke drugs. Drink drugs. Give ya kids drugs.
    Stop making or selling processed food. Ban it. Ban tobacco outright. Close up all fast food. Ban gasoline sales totally, except for essential services. Encourage exercise - encourage being a normal human. Take over the media and bring down all this quackery.
    Else - accept America as a free society. Your free - we're free. With that comes choices. Make your own. Don't belly-ache about other peoples choices, and let freedom ring.

    added: The leading cause of death is LIFE, human DNA, mistakes, sometimes other people and gravity (list goes on). Part of an organisms JOB is to die. We have NOW; That's precious.

    Mario's rant for no reason:kiss
    Last edit by mario_ragucci on Mar 13, '02
  4. by   eldernurse
    Dear Mario,
    Bravo! I couldn't have said it better. Live and let live. Let freedom ring. Stop trying to make everyone the same. I once heard someone say, there are about 100 beautifully thin women in the USA and 10 million who are told daily that they should be.
  5. by   EMTPTORN

    What an inspiring post. You are doing many of the things I say I want to do...but procrastinize.

    Mario is right that we are free to make our own choices; but often society, the law, and our peers do pass judgement on our choices...so our freedom is sometimes a slogan, but not reality.

    Do to the unending personal choices we have in America, I suppose I am happy I will always have job security.
    Last edit by EMTPTORN on Mar 14, '02
  6. by   wildhoney
    I don't smoke but when I did I was hurting the people around me.
    I am not trying to start a flame war or anything, these are just some quotes I came across the other day and wanted to share them.

    As far as the battle to lose weight goes...I TRY with diet and exercise, but it goes so much slower after 30! Ugh! Cholesterol is ok, HDL is good and so are the triglycerides. Weight losss is a battle I fight daily...it's for life. I TRY. I can't say I've failed yet.

    If you're smart enough to avoid smoke from a pile of burning leaves in your back yard, why would you voluntarily suck smoke from the burning leaves of a cigarette?
    Duane Alan Hahn

    Secondhand smoke is an environmental trigger of asthma, the cause of an estimated ten million missed school days for children in the U.S. It is estimated that up to 1 million children have aggravated asthma symptoms caused by secondhand smoke.
    Martha Casey (adapted)

    It's nice if you're the kind of smoker who smokes outside away from others. You're even careful not to let your smoke blow in other people's faces out there. At least you, the polite smoker, are not inflicting it on others. But, you are inflicting it on others if you allow children to see you smoke. You're giving children the idea that smoking is OK by your example. If you're trying to quit, let children know about it and tell them why. If you're not trying to quit, how about starting now? It's about time.
    Duane Alan Hahn

    Message to smokers:
    Stop trying to find excuses for your abuse of others and grow up.
    Duane Alan Hahn

    No one ever got sick or died because of second-hand fat.

    If I decided to act like a crazed monkey, flinging feces at everyone around me wherever I went, and a glob of it hit you in the face, you probably wouldn't like it because it's a health hazard and it stinks. Would it be alright for me to say to you, "If you don't like it, go somewhere else! I have rights too!"?
    Duane Alan Hahn

    People may have the inalienable right to poison themselves, but they certainly have no right to poison you or your child. If you were in a store shopping and someone came up and slapped your kid in the face, what would you do? You could have that person arrested. But let that same person blow malodorous filthy smoke into your child's face and lungs and you're supposed to "realize that smokers have rights, too." Well, that's a real interesting concept. Because people have the insane, perverted habit of poisoning themselves, they expect the sane segment of the population to stand idly by while they impose their perversion on others. From "Living Health" by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond (adapted)

    The entire issue concerning sidestream smoke has been minimized by the industry. If a group of terrorists decided to place a poison gas in public places there would be public outrage and prompt reaction. William Farone (adapted)

    Because children have unique vulnerabilities - they absorb greater concentrations of smoke than adults do from the same exposure - we must use greater caution in protecting them from environmental threats to their health. One of the ways parents and caregivers can do this is by taking the Smoke-Free Home Pledge - simply choosing not to smoke, and not letting others smoke, in your home or anywhere children are present. Of course, we encourage people to quit smoking entirely. We realize that is difficult, so until they can take that step, we ask that they smoke outside. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman

    Please don't fling feces at me for posting this. : ) My heart is in the right place. : )
  7. by   wildhoney
    Originally posted by mustangsheba

    I have been a nurse for 20 years and have always worked in health care. My observation over 40 years has been that obesity does indeed affect the people around us. How many of us have bad backs because of lifting and turning those truly heavy patients that are unable to move? Doesn't obesity affect our children? What about what early heart problems and diabetes does to families? Give me second hand smoke anytime. Actually, give me the means to start educating and motivating people in grade school. Sugar IS an addiction. The secret is moderation. In everything. If we smoked the way the Native Americans did, it wouldn't be a problem - (provided we were smoking the same clean tobacco leaves we used to have.) We Americans seem to have to be putting something in our mouths all the time whether it's chocolate or tobacco.

    I hope this doesn't come across as mean but...

    You must be a smoker. You have every right to be. Just as I have every right to breathe clean air.

    Sugar is natural. Cigarettes are not.

    Cigarettes are man made...they have approx 200 chemicals (?) in them that aren't good for your lungs. Do you honestly want that in your body? Sugar is an addition? And how much sugar would you consider eating?

    I consider all those conditions you mentioned above to be hereditary. That isn't the case with smoking...smoking is something we learn and copy.

    And I can think of other things to put in my mouth.

    Just my opinion and may be worth nothing to anyone here but...
  8. by   Cascadians
    [ Fair Use: For Educational / Research / Discussion Purposes Only ]

    Tue Mar 12, 1:15 AM ET, by Deena Beasley

    Obesity Harder on Health Than Smoking, Study Says

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Obesity exacts a higher toll on health and healthcare costs than either smoking or drinking as serious obesity-related problems like diabetes are near epidemic levels, according to a study released on Tuesday.

    "Smoking and drinking, which are on the decline, have been the focus of research and policy work for years. Yet obesity, which can have far more serious health consequences, has received far less interest" said Roland Sturm, author of the study and a researcher at the UCLA/RAND Managed Care Center for Psychiatric Disorders in Santa Monica, California.

    The study found that obesity -- linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers -- raises a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.

    Smoking and drinking also cause serious health problems, but the study, released by the journal Health Affairs, found that active smoking leads to a more modest 21-percent rise in healthcare costs and 28-percent increase in medication costs, with smaller effects seen for problem drinkers.

    "Obesity is associated with a lot of chronic conditions, which have a large impact on health costs. Diabetes needs constant care," Sturm said. Diabetes, a condition in which the body's ability to process sugar is impaired, raises the risk of kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and circulatory problems that can force amputations.

    Sturm cited more and more hours in front of the television, less physical activity and a car-obsessed culture, as significant causes of American's growing obesity problem.

    The U.S. Surgeon General in a December report placed the blame on diet and urged people to cut back on sugar and fats. The recommendation was criticized by the Sugar Association, which thought the report should have stressed fitness more.

    The RAND study, based on a 1998 U.S. household telephone survey of about 10,000 adults, found that people who are obese have 30 percent to 50 percent more chronic medical problems than smokers or problem drinkers.

    Health experts have said the number of diabetes cases in the U.S. could nearly double over the next 50 years as a population fond of junk food and prone to obesity ages.

    Obesity rates in the United States nearly doubled in the 1990s -- from around 12 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1998, when the study was conducted. In comparison, daily smokers made up 19 percent of the population and 6 percent were classified as heavy drinkers.

    The recent Surgeon General's report said 27 percent of Americans are obese, and 61 percent are overweight.

    People with a body mass index -- a measure of weight in relation to height -- of more than 30 are considered to be obese. For example, somebody who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds or more.

    In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase.

    Sturm said higher taxes on cigarettes have played a big role in deterring people from smoking, but a similar approach to weight control -- the so-called "twinkie tax" -- is unlikely to work.

    "I don't think McDonald's is making people obese. We need to have more of a public health angle, not just doctors telling people to lose weight," Sturm said.
  9. by   live4today
    Oh nooooooo, not my hostess twinkies! :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  10. by   Nebby Nurse
    The demands placed on me as a nurse by the obese non-compliant diabetics far exceed the care needs of the COPDr's. You can do all the teaching you want but it falls on deaf ears. I am constantly irritated and amazed at the erratic and excessive eating habits of these "brittle diabetics". And many of these patients require much more assistance with ADLs than other patients. Frequently on the call-bell, many are used to others doing for them. Maybe this sounds like discrimination but don't we all groan when the 250-300 pounder is trundled on to the unit?
  11. by   semstr
    Ok, I wanted to post something here about the things I noticed in the big cities of New York and Washington (the only big cities I've been to in the USA), but I won't, because I've learned a lot on this BB and one of these things is, being very carefull about what I write and say about Americans, from my European side of things.

    So take care with Mcdonalds and don't smoke, Renee ROFLMAO
  12. by   wildhoney
    Every condition causes healthcare costs to rise. A common cold raises healthcare costs. Jeez, tonight I found out I will pay $50 for some Claritan x2 mos (with ins.). The price for someone without insurance would be $195. That's outrageous.

    I noticed the article didn't mention how scientists have recently identified a defective gene in diabetics. Soon it will be proven there is a genetic basis for the more common forms of Diabetes.

    Also some people have thyroid problems that predispose them to another Endocrine disorder...that being Diabetes. Thyroid problems are usually genetic also.

    Obesity is usually genetic too. You're fighting against your entire genetic makeup when you're trying to lose weight. This is not the case with smoking. We weren't born with 'smoking genes.'

    I'm not here to say what is right or what is wrong, I'm just trying to point out the difference. Smoke away, eat away....I would just rather share my air with an obese person.

    But that's just me.
  13. by   canoehead
    I wonder what percentage of people are non smokers AND of a healthy weight in the USA. I would bet less than 50%.

    Luckily, some of us have no flaws at all...and should get the first spot on any waiting list, 1-1 nursing and free health care.

    What if we got government sponsered free health care but to qualify you had to exercise daily, maintain a healthy weight, be a non smoker, wear a seatbelt and vote in every election. Would THAT be an infringement on anyone's rights? After all, we have a responsibility to society.