Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flab, honesty, and health care costs

First they tell us we can bet fat and fit at the same time. Then they (this is the evil them who secretly rule the world) tell us that as our bodies widen, our health care costs will spiral out of control. Make up your mind will you! I know its an evil conspiracy if they can't kill us, they can confuse us.

I am fat, I admit that. Well I am fatter than I wish I was but my BMI has not hit that evil O level. But I also go to the gym three times a week for 40 minutes of cardio followed by working with weights and other tortures.

I don't think my flabbiness has contributed to additional health ailments - I mean I have enough already. I know being overweight can contribute to all sorts of problems. And as obesity rises in the US, they project  health care costs will bulge to cover them. I can understand that but I question the math behind it.

How did they get the weights of people? They called them and asked them. If someone called you and asked you on the phone your height and weight. Would you tell them the truth? Oh, please.

"The CDC data indicate that the South is the most obese region of the U.S., but that may not be entirely true either, said George Howard, professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. No one was weighed or measured in the collecting of the information; people were merely asked about their heights and weights via telephone -- so they could have lied.

Howard speculates that there may be bias in the data because "there's not a social stigma attached to being fat in the South," he said. "If you ask people how fat they are, they tell you."

Correlations between obesity and the South may be tied to other factors, Allison said. Certain ethnic groups, people from rural areas, and people of low socioeconomic status are more likely to be obese than others."

So maybe our obesity rates are tied to our honesty rates as well as our waistlines. Not that we are a nation of liars but have you ever deducted a few pounds or a few years if asked? Why don't we have a real survey where people are weighed and measured.

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