Health Care Costs on The Rise Due To An Obese America

Health Care Costs on The Rise Due To An Obese America

While there are several important factors that contribute to the rising costs of health care in America in the form of health insurance premiums, a major cause is the rising overall weight to height ratios of Americans in general. Of all the world's countries, America seems to have the biggest problem with the obesity problem, and the affordability of health care suffers as a result.

The Direct Connections Between Health Care Costs and Obesity

The fact that the overall weight of Americans is rising doesn't directly affect health care costs, but it had a tremendous impact on the direct factors that do. These include the increase of health-related issues including heart disease and diabetes, the growing number of people with pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by extra weight, and finally the number of young and elderly whose health is affected adversely through the extra strain on their bodies.

Health Care Costs and Obesity - Increasing Health-related Issues

As an individual's weight rises over what is normal for the individual's body type due to the addition of fatty tissue, the body has a lot more work to do to accomplish the same tasks. The result is poorer circulation, higher blood pressure and reduced bodily defenses. This means that when the body has a problem such as an infection or virus, there is less to keep the problem from getting worse. That in turn means longer recovery times, which means more doctors visits and longer hospital stays and finally, bigger bills to the health care industry.

Health Care Costs and Obesity - Pre-Existing Conditions

Individual health care costs are greater for people with pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions compound with health-related issues to further increase the cost of health care. The compounded effect of pre-existing conditions coupled with obesity creates far greater risk than either one by themselves.

Individuals with back issues with have much more pain, which causes them to seek relief, most of which is paid for through health insurance. Extra bills to health insurance companies means a rise in premiums and finally (you guessed it) a higher cost of health care for the individual.

Health Care Costs and Obesity - The Young and the Old

Obesity affects all age groups, including the young and old populations which are more prone to other health issues. The compounded effect of obesity and other conditions that I mentioned before comes into play again, impacting the cost of health care dramatically, especially for the elderly. Health care costs for the elderly have increased to the point of being nearly unaffordable for some, causing the cost burden to be passed onto other players, like Medicaid, who further increase the costs of health care by rarely paying full price for health services.

Obesity is an issue causing severe groans in the health care infrastructure now, but the positive effect is that more agencies, both governmental and non-governmental are taking an interest in helping nip the problem in the bud with pro-active programs. As more and more of these programs are implemented, we should see health care costs lifting a bit.

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