Friends Don't Let Friends Be Obese

Well according to some recent studies obese people cost the world a lot of money. For some actual proof of this claim feel free to check the following article. If you don't want to bother I've collected the main points below.

Forbes Article on Obesity
Some Facts:
* About 32% of Americans are obese. That adds up to 9% of the national medical bill, or $93 billion. California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas each spend more than $4 billion annually treating health problems that result from obesity
* On average, people miss about three days of work per year. But obese men miss five, and obese women in the heaviest body mass category miss eight days of work.
* The extra poundage packed on by the average American in the last decade required airplanes to use an extra 350 million gallons of fuel, according to an analysis by researchers at Cornell University.Cost: 275$ million.
* On average, getting a value meal at a fast-food restaurant costs 67 cents--an apparent bargain. But eating that meal comes with its own costs. For a man who is already obese, the extra calories will mean he spends 5 cents extra on gasoline that year, an extra 36 cents on food in the future because of the weight he gained, and an extra $6.64 in annual health care costs.
*When added up, the costs of paying for obesity-related health care and worker sick days add up quickly--totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 1,000 person business. Cost of Obesity to a 1,000 Person Firm: $285,000
* About half of the total cost of obesity-related health care, or about $45 billion, is paid by the government through its Medicare program, which covers senior citizens, or Medicaid, which helps the poor. For every American citizen, the out-of-pocket tax cost is an average $180.

Being obese is irresponsible just the same as any other health risk behavior and shouldn't be tolerated. Society doesn't deem drinking and driving acceptable because it puts people at risk and obesity is no different. Society works very hard to raise people up, to educate them, to feed them, take care of them, and turn them into a productive member, and throwing all that away because of one's irresponsibility is just selfish.

Some people might be thinking "Well it's my body, I can do what I want." It turns out that is not entirely true, in countries where the health plan is universal and covers everyone, the members of the community are working hard to pay for everyone's health. In the case with Japan they've actually gone one step further and have decided to penalize people who are obese because people who stay healthy aren't satisfied with paying for irresponsible behaviors, like not eating well.

NY Times Article on How Japan Doesn't Accept Obese People

I can't actually disagree with Japan's stance on the situation. Healthy people who make an effort to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, shouldn't be penalized for the lack of action by lazy people who don't. That $45 billion dollars that went to obesity-related health care would have done a great job going to schools instead.

The WHO (World Health Organization) has defined obesity as having a BMI of over 25. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and can be calculated quickly using the calculator below. BMI is your weight divided by your height squared. So if you were 2 meters tall, you'd have a squared height of 4. If you weighed 80 kilograms, you would divide 80 by 4 and get a BMI of 20 which is considered healthy.

BMI Calculator:

Height: in

Weight: in (lbs for in., kgs for cm)

According to the WHO the following are defined for the various BMI's.
Under Weight
< 18
18 <
< 24.9
25 <
< 29.9
30 <
< 34.9
35 <
Severely Obese

A quick search on google can inform anyone about the numerous health risks associated with being overweight and according to the reports above (among others) living such a life style is incredibly expensive for everyone. All people (especially in the U.S.) need to abandon this concept that they are an individual and are free to do whatever they want because the fact of the matter is, we're all in this together as one giant community of human beings. Furthermore, this community can't afford to be throwing away resources at people who aren't going to use them responsibly.

Sustaining a lifestyle within an appropriate BMI level is not as difficult as some would make it seem. Now there are some people who do have genetic problems, illnesses, or are otherwise incapable of having a proper weight, nevertheless I am willing to bet it's not 32% of the population in the U.S. Below are a few ideas that should just be standard ways of thought in the society but sadly aren't.

For starters, if you're obese and NOT a vegetarian, I don't know what you're thinking. Vegetarianism is absolutely one of the healthiest ways of eating and its pretty much agreed across the board that the world would be a much better place if carnivores were the minority.
Next, If you're obese and not doing at least four hours of exercise a week, what the hell? Everyone has four hours a week to prevent premature death and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in medical related problems. For some those four hours could mean getting paid more per hour than going to work.
This next one should be a no-brainer but likely isn't, but, if you have a BMI of even 24 (actually still considered healthy) clearly you should never be eating potato chips, chocolate, ice cream, soda or beer. Those foods are your problem.
Lastly for anyone that has any excuses, and so many people always do - a million reason why you don't, but not one reason why you do. I invite you to watch the following video.

If you're overweight and you're not a vegetarian, not exercising regularly each week, and still drinking beer, then people have no other course of action than to consider you irresponsible. Either irresponsible for becoming that way, or irresponsible for not changing. Having different people, different shapes, and different sizes in society isn't a bad thing, however eating poorly, not exercising and not trying to stay healthy is. That irresponsibility becomes selfish when it is recognized that the costs for that behavior gets handed over to everyone else.

Note: This article was written for the intent of informing people of the related costs to living unhealthy lifestyles and hopefully motivates people to change. Obesity is a public health issue and a very serious one and it needs to be addressed.

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