By Andy Kress
There is no doubt that American has an obesity crisis with nearly 70 percent of the total population overweight or morbidly obese!
America’s overstuffed individuals have been taking over our hospitals and health care facilities, as well as the news. Overeating and the resulting obesity it caused has plunged America into a health insurance and care emergency without any historical reference.
The most startling concerns are the economic impacts that all of these obese people are having on our US economy. America is changing to meet the needs of these obese persons, but at an astronomical cost, currently estimated to be $190 billion. That’s $190,000,000,000!
The Number one economic impact obesity is having on America relates to the healthcare system. Rising insurance costs have skyrocketed to meet the demands for providing care to these individuals over the past ten years. Until 2010 employers of the obese had to bite the bullet and pay the rising costs obese workers ensued. But after 2010 the US healthcare reform bill allowed employers to charge 30-50% more for insurance unless they enrolled themselves in a qualified wellness program. This helped America’s employers try to save money and stay in business during rough economic times. Obesity support groups advocate this law saying they are being”discriminated against,” but the truth of the matter is there lifestyle choice is effecting more than themselves.
Number two is construction costs to accommodate these plus-sized individuals. US hospitals have to rip out wall-mounted toilets and replace them with floor-mounted toilets costing additional expense to already rising healthcare costs. US hospitals also have to rip down walls, widen door frames and have hydraulic hoists to ease the access of handling these patients. Public seats have to be widened in local sports stadium, to the seats at the bus stop and at airports, costing millions just to make room for the overwhelming amount of obese people using these services. The cost of these changes has been so high that some companies had collapsed under the added expense, with transportation or services to be cut as an expense
Number three is explosively higher costs for transportation. The Federal Transit Administration is spending hundreds of thousands testing and studying the impact obese people are having on the steering and braking of public buses and transit vehicles. Cars are burning billions of gallons of more gasoline per year hauling this increased weight of individuals over the road. The larger vehicles that haul these obese passengers burn much more gas than regular vehicles. Wear and tear to obese people vehicles adds to rising costs over the road. Because most vehicle parts were not made to handle such stress they wear out and need to be replaced more often than originally should.
Yet, the reality is that almost all of this is easily corrected, with the resulting costs avoided completely. Small lifestyle changes can reduce obesity drastically. Taking the time to watch your calorie intake through reduced portion size is a simple and easy way to enjoy what you love to eat, just slight less of it. Cutting back on unhealthy fatty foods is another small change that adds up to a lot in the long run, saving individuals an array of deleterious health problems and obesity.
Watching your sugar intake can have a major impact on keeping your weight down—and this includes what you are drinking. Sugary beverages and alcohol destroy your waistline and add to obesity. Being aware of everything you put in your mouth can curb obesity before and after it happens. Please choose wisely.
Andy Kress is a certified fitness trainer, yoga instructor and nutritional counselor in Fort Lauderdale, FL. For more nutritional tips or inspired exercise routines, reach him at 954-789-3930 or via email at email@example.com