Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Fed Balance Sheet QE4EVER - Stock Market Trend Forecast Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK House Prices, Immigration, and Population Growth Mega Trend Forecast - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Pot Pourri - Rambus_Chartology
5.The Exponential Stocks Bull Market - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Yield Curve Inversion and the Stock Market 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.America's 30 Blocks of Holes - James_Quinn
8.US Presidential Cycle and Stock Market Trend 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Dear Stocks Bull Market: Happy 10 Year Anniversary! - Troy_Bombardia
10.Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Stock Market Due for 9-10% Pull Back? - 25th April 19
Dow Transportation Stocks Sector Is Testing Resistance - 25th April 19
INSOMNIA i64 UK Best Games Festival Vlog of What it's Like to Attend - 2019 - 25th April 19
In Just 45 Mins., Learn to Spot New Opportunities in ANY Market for FREE! - 25th April 19
If This Pattern Holds True, the US Economy Could Face the Worst Stagnation in History - 25th April 19
8 Reasons Why Investment in Education Always Pays Off - 25th April 19
Want To Earn A Safe 5% In Fixed Income? Buy Preferred Stocks - 24th April 19
Can Gold Price Rise Without a Rate Cut?  - 24th April 19
Silver’s Next Big Move - 24th April 19
How Can a College Student Invest Wisely? - 24th April 19
Prepare For Unknown Stock Market Price Action As New Highs Are Reached - 23rd April 19
Silver Plays a Small but Vital Role in Every Portfolio - 23rd April 19
Forecasting 2020s : Two Recessions, Higher Taxes, and Japan-Like Flat Markets - 23rd April 19
Gold and Silver Give Traders Another Buying Opportunity - 23rd April 19
Stock Market Pause Should Extend - 21st April 19
Why Gold Has Been the Second Best Asset Class for the Last 20 Years - 21st April 19
Could Taxing the Rich Solve Income Inequality? - 21st April 19
Stock Market Euphoria Stunts Gold - 20th April 19
Is Political Partisanship Killing America? - 20th April 19
Trump - They Were All Lying - 20th April 19
The Global Economy Looks Disturbingly Like Japan Before Its “Lost Decade” - 19th April 19
Growing Bird of Paradise Strelitzia Plants, Pruning and Flower Guide Over 4 Years - 19th April 19
S&P 500’s Downward Reversal or Just Profit-Taking Action? - 18th April 19
US Stock Markets Setting Up For Increased Volatility - 18th April 19
Intel Corporation (INTC) Bullish Structure Favors More Upside - 18th April 19
Low New Zealand Inflation Rate Increases Chance of a Rate Cut - 18th April 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top 10 AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

If We Don’t Do Anything, Obesity Will Bankrupt the US Economy

Economics / US Economy Jun 27, 2016 - 12:33 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Economics

BY PATRICK COX: A recent study reported that 40% of American women are now obese; the highest percentage in history. Men have a slightly lower rate of obesity at 35%.

This is not the world that Malthusians like Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren (President Obama’s science advisor) predicted a few decades ago. By now, we were supposed to have run out of resources due to overpopulation and starved to death…


The opposite has happened. Abundance replaced scarcity, which brought a new problem: obesity.

Americans are getting fatter

The abundance of adipose tissue is the most obvious sign that we’ve entered the age of abundance. Go to any mall and you will see that we are increasingly obese. This is not just perception. It’s a statistical fact.

Being fat is a source of serious personal angst for many people. My concern, however, isn’t about the feelings of obese people. I feel no desire to shame people for their BMI. The problem I have with obesity is strictly and personally financial, as I view it as a larger economic and societal problem.

Excess fat is a serious financial burden for society

More than a third of the US population has a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher, the definition of obesity. A third of the population is overweight (BMI of 25–29.9), and slightly less than a third is considered normal weight (BMI less than 25).

As an economist, I can’t ignore the fact that obesity significantly increases healthcare costs, even if it hurts feelings. It’s interesting that so many people in the fat acceptance movement are proponents of “free” healthcare. Yet, they don’t seem to grasp that their obesity is causing serious financial problems for our entire society.

Obesity increases the risk of diseases ranging from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, to fatty liver disease and Alzheimer’s. As a result, negative medical consequences and costs increase geometrically along with the degree of excess adipose tissue.

It’s estimated that healthcare costs for severely obese adults are 81% greater than costs for healthy weight adults. Obese adults also spend 42% more on direct healthcare costs than those of a healthy weight.

The following chart is somewhat dated, but it shows the ongoing trend of increasing obesity and increasing healthcare costs.

And we are all required to subsidize those individuals’ medical care.

How to solve the obesity problem

Our bodies have protective genetic mechanisms that store energy in fat cells. These mechanisms helped our ancestors survive during rare times of plenty. As such, it’s hard to overcome our programming and voluntarily endure hunger.

I’ve had great success in reducing weight with my variation of Valter Longo’s fasting mimicking diet (FMD). This diet replicates the ancient cycles of feast and famine that our ancestors routinely endured. Few seem interested in it despite Longo’s supporting data, though.

That means more radical medical interventions are required to get the population’s BMI under 25. A number of therapies have been shown to work on animals in the lab. This includes brown adipose tissue transplants, vampire (GDF11) therapy, and growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) vaccines. I have no doubt, however, that we’ll solve the obesity problem. That’s because the healthcare costs for obese individuals will bankrupt us if we don’t.

We already spend more than we take in to pay the medical costs of an increasingly older population. Now with the steady rise in obesity rates, regulators will eventually have to remove the obstacles that are keeping legitimate obesity cures off the market.

Subscribe to Patrick Cox’s Tech Digest

If you’re looking for a unique, informed view of the biotech, science, and technology stories that could impact your health and investing portfolio, sign up for Patrick Cox’s free weekly column, Tech Digest, at Mauldin Economics.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules