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Lamia

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Anyone know if there has ever been a study on how much active people cost the healthcare system and tax payers every year?

I can think of a long list of things that cost tax payers money, but are largely ignored because society doesn't hate fit active people.


Hikers getting lost
Little girls sailing the sea by themselves
Sports
Jogging into traffic
Surfers getting bits chewed off by sharks or smashing on rocks
Sky divers that survive when their shute doesn't open
Kids doing tricks on their skateboards and breaking some bones or worse


I think you get where I am going with this. Fat hate is spiraling out of control and people feel even more justified than ever armed with these crappy statistics that claim fat people are a burden on society.
 

imfree

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Anyone know if there has ever been a study on how much active people cost the healthcare system and tax payers every year?

I can think of a long list of things that cost tax payers money, but are largely ignored because society doesn't hate fit active people.


Hikers getting lost
Little girls sailing the sea by themselves
Sports
Jogging into traffic
Surfers getting bits chewed off by sharks or smashing on rocks
Sky divers that survive when their shute doesn't open
Kids doing tricks on their skateboards and breaking some bones or worse


I think you get where I am going with this. Fat hate is spiraling out of control and people feel even more justified than ever armed with these crappy statistics that claim fat people are a burden on society.
Sports injuries gripe my ass because it's fine to cost the healthcare systems for those, yet obese people are capital offenders for whatever costs we accrue.
 

Zoom

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Of course lying with statistics, especially to justify anti-fat bigotry, has been around since the original study done in the 1950s which was used to show "fat=bad".

Only the original study didn't say that. It could have been interpreted several different ways.
 

PeanutButterfly

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Sports injuries gripe my ass because it's fine to cost the healthcare systems for those, yet obese people are capital offenders for whatever costs we accrue.
This! I have several friends, about 4 I can think of off the top of my head, who had to have full or partial knee replacements due to sports injuries in high school before the age of 20. Many have admitted they will probably need follow up surgeries and testing in the following years due to their injuries. Thats a ridiculous drain on the healthcare system. I also have a neighbor who had foot surgery due to years of gymnastics, another cross country runner who had to have major foot surgery and my own dad had shoulder surgery from playing football. This type of finger pointing isn't any different than what society does to fat people and we shouldn't do it, but I do think its absolutely ridiculous that somehow those injuries are "justified". Money is money no matter what you spend it on. Its just convenient to ignore the massive amounts of money spent on "healthy" injuries. Many of the athletes, supposedly the most "healthy" people in my high school sustained life long problems due to over exertion in their sport. Yet somehow these problems arent a drain on society but simply my existence is :rolleyes: I hear ya Lamia! It irritates me too.
 

LovelyLiz

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Everyone is a burden on society; at the same time, everyone is a benefit to society. For what is a society meant to be if not people helping one another? :confused:
I'm teaching a course in bioethics right now. Maybe you should come teach it for me. :)

I completely agree with Dr. Feelgood's sentiment. (per usual)
 

bigmac

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The whole point of health insurance is to spread risk. When actuaries get too good at their jobs this concept is undermined.
 

mithrandirjn

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I don't think you're going to get far trying to argue that active lifestyle ailments are costing the healthcare system the way sedentary-lifestyle driven illnesses are. I can't claim to have the numbers in front of me, but illnesses such as diabetes and what have you are longer lasting than, say, a broken leg from getting tackled in a football game, and often come with lifetime supplies of various drugs and other items.

Which isn't to say that athletes don't cost money to care for, but I think this is a very, very silly road to go down.
 

Lamia

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I don't think it's silly at all. I think it's a perspective most people don't think about. I don't have any numbers either. I am not saying they're comprable, but I am saying that everyone makes choices that cost the system money. I am just interested in seeing someone do a study.

People should be free to hike into Yellowstone and be mauled by bears. I should be free to sit on my couch and be mauled by my boyfriend instead.

The assumption is being made that ALL fat people are costing healthcare when they are not, just like all hikers aren't costing anyone any money.

People like to whine and bitch about money being spent to help people who are making different choices than they are.

Society needs to take care of one another no matter WHY they need taken care of.
 

imfree

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Perspective, attitude, is exactly what I meant. Dale Earnhardt was a hero because he died in a race. A deceased fat person is scum because that person could have lost weight and not been killed by the death fat or cost the healthcare system so much money. It's not hyperbole to say some people actually think this way and I've known some IRL.

Obesity is as much or more political as it is physical. Good thread for Hyde Park.
 

Lamia

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Perspective, attitude, is exactly what I meant. Dale Earnhardt was a hero because he died in a race. A deceased fat person is scum because that person could have lost weight and not been killed by the death fat or cost the healthcare system so much money. It's not hyperbole to say some people actually think this way and I've known some IRL.

Obesity is as much or more political as it is physical. Good thread for Hyde Park.
All you have to do is read yahoo comments for any article about obesity to know that people feel that way.
 

imfree

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All you have to do is read yahoo comments for any article about obesity to know that people feel that way.
If hate prevails IRL, as it does on You Tube, willful obesity will soon be punishable by death .
 

Lamia

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Here is something interesting I found:

http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb75.jsp

.... about 12,000 Americans are treated each day in the ED for sports - and recreation - related injuries.

12,000 a day X $500.00 a visit average (.I am being VERY generous here.) X 356 days in a year. 2,136,000,000. So 2 billion, but I am sure it's much higher.


Obesity costs healthcare 147 billion a year according to some sources I've read.

So yea obesity does cost more or so it would seem by my crappy math. :p
 

mithrandirjn

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I don't think it's silly at all. I think it's a perspective most people don't think about. I don't have any numbers either. I am not saying they're comprable, but I am saying that everyone makes choices that cost the system money. I am just interested in seeing someone do a study.

People should be free to hike into Yellowstone and be mauled by bears. I should be free to sit on my couch and be mauled by my boyfriend instead.

The assumption is being made that ALL fat people are costing healthcare when they are not, just like all hikers aren't costing anyone any money.

People like to whine and bitch about money being spent to help people who are making different choices than they are.

Society needs to take care of one another no matter WHY they need taken care of.
Believe me when I say I would never, ever want to see somebody denied healthcare for any ailment no matter how they got it, whether they were "at fault" or not. I'm a 100% believer in universal healthcare, and that means caring for anyone who needs it.

That said, to me it's a moral issue; I don't expect anybody to be perfect, and nobody always makes the right decisions (I know I didn't exactly do my health any favors last night by going out to the bars around my apartment until 2am), and sometimes accidents happen, but for the vast majority of time in our lives we're in control of our own health. Given that I'd love to see a system where everybody is covered and cared for, intentional choices that wind up costing everybody more makes that system harder to put in place. Smoking, drinking and driving, sedentary lifestyles, excessive risk-taking, polluted air and water...all these things cost others money, drive up costs, etc.

Naturally, this doesn't mean "you're hurting the system if you're fat", since it's pretty well established here that being fat =/= being unhealthy, but I do wish more people were conscious of the effects their choices have on others. Again, that doesn't just apply to not exercising enough or what have you, but it's something most of us have enough control over to make the right choices about.
 

Lamia

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Given that I'd love to see a system where everybody is covered and cared for, intentional choices that wind up costing everybody more makes that system harder to put in place. Smoking, drinking and driving, sedentary lifestyles, excessive risk-taking, polluted air and water...all these things cost others money, drive up costs, etc.

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This is my point. Everyone makes choices and sometimes those choices cost taxpayers money. Everyone should be covered and cared for regardless of why. I am just trying to show a different angle. People doing good things for their health can cost money too. Unless we're robots we're going to have to be treated at some point for some ailment or another.

I would like to add that to date at the age of 42 I have been treated 3 times for broken bones from running in the park (broken leg), sledding (broken arm)and running down my stairs I(broke other leg). My care was a little more involved with the broken legs due to mobility issues i.e when you are 400 lbs using crutches isn't an option. So I concede that my obesity contributed to slightly higher healthcare costs. I am currently being treated for Hypothyroidism, which contributes to my obesity but isn't caused by it. I don't have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I attribute this to eating a high fiber low sodium diet. In September I weighed 412 lbs when I was diagnosed with the thyroid problem and had a 6 on the AC1 test for pre-diabetic. In a month I was 406 lbs and 5.9 on the AC1 after just taking the synthroid and making no changes in my diet. I haven't checked my weight since October and am seeing an Endochronolgist in Jan about my blood sugar.

The only other medical problem I have had is lone-atrial fib which is not an obesity related disease, but can be caused by thyroid problems as it turns out.

From the world's point of view this is all my fault for being fat. I have insurance that I pay for just like everyone else. I work 40 to 60 hours a week at times. Why shouldn't I have a right to use it? Why I should I be made to feel like a parasite which is what I feel like most of the time by the medical community. Doctor's that won't even touch me to examine me. Nurses who are rude. Getting lectures about weight loss by oderlies moving me from the ER to my room. etc. It's all justified because if I were a repsonsible person and a good citizen I would be thin, but I'm not I am a fatty just ruining the world with my very existence.
 

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