Poor Dietary Advice Increasing Obesity, Healthcare Costs Among Medicare Recipients

Filed under: Study — @ August 30, 2006

Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe from Emory University conducted a study Medicare data from 1987 through 2002 to analyze spending on healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries as well as rates of obesity.

In the 15-year period, Dr. Thorpe found that the number of Medicare beneficiaries who were considered obese rose from 11.7 percent in 1987 to 22.5% in 2002–NEARLY DOUBLE! Additionally, healthcare spending over that same time period for those specific Medicare recipients jumped from 9.4 percent to a whopping 24.8 percent–NEARLY TRIPLE!

Dr. Thorpe said “we need to aggressively put in place interventions” to stop this immediately, but he falls short of explaining the root cause behind why obesity rates have not been improved.

bq. Obviously, something is not working or we would be in this big mess we are in. The answer may not necessarily lie in more of the same, but rather new approaches to educating the public about what constitutes a healthy diet and fitness program. It will anger some of the hardnosed bureaucrats who don’t want to hear the truth, but our current dietary recommendations have done nothing but exascerbate the obesity problem and make it worse than it has ever been. The downward spiral we are currently experiencing shows no sign of stopping unless serious and meaningful changes are implemented to allow a variety of obesity-treatment options to be given unabeted access to the American people.

Read more about Dr. Thorpe’s new study and what I believe needs to be done to turn the obesity rates around to lower Medicare costs by clicking here.


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