New approaches to obesity needed

In the summer edition of the Trends Journal, we reported:  “The obesity epidemic has prematurely aged at least a third of our population by decades.”

As part of a larger package of stories examining why too many Americans seem to show little self respect, as evidenced in how they dress, interact with others and take care of their health,  we  examined the increasing role obesity will play in personal health management.

Now, new findings suggest the economic impact of managing obesity is staggering.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) recently issued its Almanac of Chronic Disease to raise awareness of the impact of America’s obesity epidemic, including these conclusions:

  • “Obesity and related chronic diseases cost employers up to $93 billion a year in health insurance claims.”
  • “Obesity is a major – and growing – driver of spending in Medicare and Medicaid.”
  • “While many state health agencies provide population-based primary prevention services that address chronic disease risk factorsand 90 percent of state health agencies receive funding from the CDC to prevent obesity, only 4 percent of state health agencies listed chronic disease prevention in their top five priorities.”

There are two traditional kinds of weight-loss treatments: the first focusing on lifestyle factors, such  as eating less and exercising more often; the second focusing on weight-loss surgery and medicines.

But we continue to see an absence of layered, multi-discipline regimes that emphasize a variety of homeopathic and natural health approaches. There is ripe opportunity here for health practitioners, particularly those addressing modest obesity and weight gain that forms in mid-life.

 

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