WPS Health Insurance Blog

We have met the enemy. And he is us.

Posted by Bruce Geiger

Nov 24, 2015 3:17:29 PM

scale.jpgEveryone wants health care costs to be lower. Yet, most of us are unwilling to confront one of the principal reasons causing health costs to rise:

Us.

Sure, one of the big drivers is simply that we’re aging. The older we get, the more health care we’re likely to consume.

The second big driver is that a significant percentage of us are obese. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.

None of us can do anything about getting older. But almost all of us, by using a strategy as simple as exercising more and eating less, could reduce our weight. In one sense, the “weighting” is the hardest part.

According to information posted on the CDC website in June 2015, it’s not a pretty picture. People who are obese* are at increased risk for a wide range of serious diseases and troublesome health conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Cancers such as:
    • Endometrial cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Colon cancer
    • Gallbladder cancer
    • Liver cancer
  • Generally lower quality of life
  • Clinical depression or anxiety
  • Body pain and increased difficulty with physical functioning

Where can we go from here?

As health care continues to evolve in the U.S., more and more good information will continue to emerge. And smart health care consumers will have to learn how to use that information to make better personal health care decisions.

But, being a smart health care consumer involves more than simply learning how to use new information. It’s also about being smarter with information we already have.

So be smart. Work harder to lose weight. You’ll enjoy better health. Really.

 *“Obesity” is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Topics: health insurance