American Society For Nutrition

One Step Past Prevention

One Step Past Prevention

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
Posted on 03/01/2012 at 09:41:04 AM by Suzanne Price
By Dr. John Courtney, Executive Officer, ASN

Obesity is a rapidly growing concern in the United States—no pun intended. In 2010, about one-third (33.8 percent) of adults in the U.S., and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents were considered obese. The government estimates that 30 percent of the Medicare population is obese.

Health care professionals are forced to deal with the reality of these numbers, not only through increased incidence of chronic diseases linked to obesity, but also increased health care bills. In fact, the cost of excess medical care caused by overweight and obesity in 2009 was $127 billion in the U.S. and Canada. After the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible to receive coverage for obesity counseling as an extension of the Act's preventive services. However, many question whether this is enough to reverse the obesity epidemic.

Read the entire blog post at Altarum Institute's Health Policy Forum.
8 Comments

Well i don't think it will do much to reserve the obesity epidemic. It will definitely need more attention.


The best thing is that Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible to receive coverage for obesity counseling and i hope it will grow more with the passage of time.


It's sad how few people seem to realize the importance of eating REAL food is. Getting daily exercise and eating WHOLE FOODS is the key to dealing with this obesity epidemic.


There is obviously so much that must be fixed with Medicare. Hopefully we can look forward to a future where we live in a much healthier country.


$127 billion dollars is HUGE amount to be spent on this simple problem to solve. Note that I said simple, not easy. Why is it so difficult to follow a balanced life style of healthy eating and exercising?


Nice post, I'm on diet research, very usefull for me, thanks for sharing.Erni


While there are acts signed to reduce obesity, weight loss is still the responsibility of inidividuals.


Obesity counseling sounds like a good place to start. However, IMO it's highly unlikely that will "be enough". As a society, we are programmed to behave in ways that either get our needs met or make life easier; this is a powerful reinforcer. Pointing out individual responsibility is hardly relevant. We all live within a context -- one that requires tax dollars and community involvement. The only three options are to put a bandaid on the problem, police nutrition, or affect social change.