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(Boston Globe)   Fat people cost US economy $117 billion a year, according to figures pulled out of a greasy fry wrapper. No word on how many double down by smoking or illegal downloading   (boston.com) divider line 141
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4473 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Feb 2006 at 1:10 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-02-26 10:26:38 AM  
What do they expect after we spent half a century devoted to building a society of sedate office workers working long hours who have to use a car to get around?

/walk 10 min each to/from mass transit to get to work
//nowhere near enough exercise
 
2006-02-26 12:30:35 PM  
"Less food for fatties" - my new slogan.
 
2006-02-26 12:47:41 PM  
I'm going to be so sad when we can't make fun of fat people anymore. Then what?
 
2006-02-26 01:08:17 PM  
They can have my double quarterpounder with extra cheese when they grab it from my cold, dead, greasy hands...

seriously - wtf? Can't smoke, can't drink, and now we can't suck down a greaseball burger!? America - land of the free and home of the brave...

www.cool-movie-trivia.com

welcome to the human race.
 
2006-02-26 01:12:29 PM  
I would like to see a comparison study of how much these different groups (overweight, smokers, drinkers, etc) put into the economy to how much they take out.
 
2006-02-26 01:16:30 PM  
What about smokers? Sure, fat people have their share of health problems. However, smoking is something that people voluntarily pick up, and smokers are ridden with all sorts of health problems. Some people can't help being fat.
 
2006-02-26 01:17:24 PM  
What do they expect after we spent half a century devoted to building a society of sedate office workers working long hours who have to use a car to get around?

I'd expect them to eat healthily during the day and to work out at some time. Even if it is at home for a few minutes. And to not block up the Wal-Mart aisles so damn much.

This is why gas prices should continue to rise. Maybe it would FORCE more people to walk or bike to work. Probably not, but still. Fat people do it to themselves. Stop eating high fructose corn syrup and transfats and you can cut out weight right there. Add some exercise, mix in with non-refined foods, and bam. Lost weight.
 
2006-02-26 01:17:29 PM  
Um, if we are spending 117 billion in our economy, isn't our economy also making 117 billion thereby making this a moot point? Or are we giving all of it to Mexico?
 
2006-02-26 01:18:00 PM  
Someone where I work, who I've seen down an entire box of krispy cremes every morning for the last 5 years, is having gastro bypass after getting past the 500 pound mark. I've also heard that lunch includes 2 big mack meals, super sized. Then they claim to have a "slow metabolism" and require dangerous surgery that's sure to lead to diveriticulitis down the road. it's sad.
 
2006-02-26 01:18:47 PM  
I would like to point out that skinny nonsmokers have a 100% fatality rate.

Everyone has a farking 100% fatality rate.

How will this really change healthcare costs? If everyone was skinny and didn't smoke, they'll still get sick and die of SOMETHING eventually.
 
2006-02-26 01:19:15 PM  
Screw thin people, fat people are now in the majority.
 
2006-02-26 01:19:26 PM  
Some people can't help being fat.

They can't?

What about smokers?

I don't think the argument is that "fat people are worse for the economy than smokers."
 
2006-02-26 01:19:46 PM  
LOL excuses for being fat... that's great. Blame it on your job, your car, your whatever. It really comes down to you eating like a farking pig and not exercising. You think I have lots of time to go out and exercise? Hell no. But you MAKE time if you don't wanna be a fatty. Plus, if you eat healthy, exercise isn't really even necessary. Stop making excuses fatties.
 
2006-02-26 01:19:51 PM  
they cost twice as much if they are wearing party hats
 
2006-02-26 01:20:00 PM  
Mike Huckabee of Arkansas is leading the way among the dozens of governors gathered here Saturday for their annual meeting, with a zeal that comes from knowing the costs up close, both personal and financial. Four years ago, his doctor diagnosed him with type 2 diabetes and said he was sure to die an early death. The then 290-pound Huckabee said: "Can we rewrite the last chapter of this book?"

He went on to do just that, changing his eating habits -- "anything fried" -- starting an exercise regimen, and dropping 110 pounds. Next week, the Republican who jokes about running for the presidency runs another marathon, his third, back in Little Rock.


Dear God, save us from the fervor of the newly converted.
 
2006-02-26 01:20:52 PM  
They should put body fat percentage and weight/height ratios into the tax code.

/The more you weigh, the more you pay.
 
2006-02-26 01:20:53 PM  
This problem could be easily solved: ban high-fat foods. Because banning is always a logical solution.

/sarcasm
 
2006-02-26 01:21:22 PM  
If we go by medical cost "to the nation": no more sex, no more babies, no more braindead people on life support.

Also new rules: drive 10 miles an hour. No tobacco, no alcohol. (Because prohibition worked so well.)

This is dangerous stuff, folks. When you start to tell people what to do and be because of "expense to the nation," they will eventually get around to you.
 
2006-02-26 01:21:57 PM  
Everyone has a farking 100% fatality rate.
The Highlander disagrees.
 
2006-02-26 01:23:32 PM  
fat people literally consume more of everything, from food to insurance premiums.

stop the obesity.
 
2006-02-26 01:23:52 PM  
Ban everything, then ban banning.
 
2006-02-26 01:24:01 PM  
chtorran

How will this really change healthcare costs? If everyone was skinny and didn't smoke, they'll still get sick and die of SOMETHING eventually.

I didn't realize they taught economics in 3rd grade.

Of course people will all DIE of something. If you think that people only pay for healthcare on their deathbed, then WOW. Heart surgeries for fat people are more common. What about diabetes? We are not talking about fatality rates as costs. Sheesh.

But if you want to even use your logic of "everyone will die some time" then we can do that:

There is evidence from the nurse's study that weight is the best predictor of lifespan. Someone who lives longer can spend more in taxes and buy more things. They probably can also work longer. So even if everyone dies, if fat people and smokers die sooner, then they haven't provided the same amount of impact to the economy.

Note, that I do not necessarily buy the, "These people are costing us all money" thing. But your logic makes no sense.
 
2006-02-26 01:24:15 PM  
thatredhead: Some people can't help being fat.

Oh, bullshiat. Don't eat so much and/or move around a little. It's that simple. Metabolism accounts for maybe 10 pounds. The rest is just you being a lazy, gluttonous bastard.
 
2006-02-26 01:26:01 PM  
*AHEM*


Move more, eat less.

(ya fat farking piglet, ya)
 
2006-02-26 01:27:31 PM  
Are you sure it's not those skinny people rushing around doing stuff all of the time that is not messing things up?

And what is it costing us for all those people that eat stuff and then go burning the calories in a gym someplace. Talk about cow and chicken abuse.

Think of the pigs will ya, think of the pigs!
 
2006-02-26 01:28:38 PM  
yoursweatersux


LOL excuses for being fat... that's great. Blame it on your job, your car, your whatever. It really comes down to you eating like a farking pig and not exercising. You think I have lots of time to go out and exercise? Hell no. But you MAKE time if you don't wanna be a fatty. Plus, if you eat healthy, exercise isn't really even necessary. Stop making excuses fatties.

I work outdoors in a physical job, eat less than most people I know and am still overweight. Sometimes genetics do play a big part. When I was married and we bought Ice cream I'd have one small bowl and gain weight, my ex would eat the rest of the tub and not gain an ounce.

I know people like itdood
are talking about who eat constantly and still blame it on genetics make such claims automatically suspect but it is true for some.
 
2006-02-26 01:28:50 PM  
The Gunslinger Roland

Um, if we are spending 117 billion in our economy, isn't our economy also making 117 billion thereby making this a moot point?

Yes. But that's a non productive $117B. Money that isn't used to create anything, but rather used (or wasted) on something not necessary.

If, for instance, when you bought a car...the loan officer said you had to pay an extra $100/month, simply because you're a tub-o-lard. Sure, that's $100 that the bank gets, and it goes back into the economy, via profit and salaries. But that's YOUR $100 that YOU could put to better use.

That $117B includes maybe hiring an extra paperpusher at the hospital administration office, to handle the extra caseload generated by obesity cases. Money that could be used to a) reduce insurance costs, or b) hire another doctor.
That $117B also includes lost productivity at your company, because the chubby isn't there to do the actual work.
 
2006-02-26 01:28:53 PM  
No word yet on how many billions of dollars a year in *profit* that the medical, exercise, and nutritional supplement industries make off of fat folks...

It's all sideways moves, folks... there are no magic single points of blame.
 
2006-02-26 01:29:06 PM  
thatredhead
What about smokers? Sure, fat people have their share of health problems. However, smoking is something that people voluntarily pick up, and smokers are ridden with all sorts of health problems. Some people can't help being fat.

Yes, but I also pay about 5 bucks directly in taxes for EVERY pack of cigarettes I buy. You pay how much in taxes for every box of twinkies?
I also pay considerably more for my life insurance.

Add to it that many smokers are actually in pretty decent shape. Even though I smoke, I still make it to the gym a few times a week, play plenty of sports, run, and eat healthy. While my risk factors for things like cancer are going to certainly be higher, its a much smaller set that someone who is obese. Add to it that if smoking kills me, chances are it will be relatively fast compared to someone lingering on diabetes for 30 years.

In fact, nowdays smokers may actually put more into the economy than their habbit pulls out, when you figure in the taxes they pay on their smokes, and the fact that they will generally die younger and pull less out at the end of their life.
 
2006-02-26 01:29:23 PM  
BY the way, everyone should remember that the latest research indicates this doesn't apply to older women very well.
 
2006-02-26 01:29:43 PM  
I am 6'1" 240 pounds. For the majority of my life I have been bigger than everyone else. I have played rugby and football in the past 6 years along with cycling and I have never dropped below 220, despite eating less and excercizing more than many people around me. Don't tell me that it's all my fault.
 
2006-02-26 01:30:53 PM  
Ending up the best looking corpse in the graveyard ain't a priority for me. I've lost weight, I've gained weight. I've quit smoking a dozen times. Skinny little holier-than-thou non-smoking hairless monkeys can just kiss my big furry gorilla butt.
 
2006-02-26 01:30:58 PM  
and as to the "Fat people cost money" argument. OK but they die sooner and thus tax the social security and medicare/medicaide system less so it evens out.
 
2006-02-26 01:31:32 PM  
As I always say, if we are going to ban smokers from public places, we should do the same for the obese, especially resturants. Second hand fat is a public nuisance.
 
2006-02-26 01:31:43 PM  
Fat people cost the country much more money than smoking ever does. In fact, smoking saves health care money, as pointed out by others above.
 
2006-02-26 01:31:45 PM  
Some people can't help being fat

Oh, and BS. Yes, there might be a tiny fraction of a percentage point of people who have gladular problems or whatever. However, for everyone else (glandilar people included) if you use more calories than you consume, your weight drops. Simple as that.

yea, yea, yea, you'll be hungry if you do that. Guess what, people who quit smoking want a cigarette too.
 
2006-02-26 01:32:01 PM  
chtorran: I would like to point out that skinny nonsmokers have a 100% fatality rate.

Everyone has a farking 100% fatality rate.

How will this really change healthcare costs? If everyone was skinny and didn't smoke, they'll still get sick and die of SOMETHING eventually.



Irrelevant. Yes, we are all dying in that Sylvia Plath kind of way. The important factor here is that fatties and smokers die much more expensively.
 
2006-02-26 01:33:44 PM  
thatredhead: What about smokers?

This article is about fat people, not smokers. Let's not change subjects.
 
2006-02-26 01:34:50 PM  
Digitalstrange
and as to the "Fat people cost money" argument. OK but they die sooner and thus tax the social security and medicare/medicaide system less so it evens out.

yea, tubby mc tubbs isn't living to be 108, but your paying for his insulin and asthma medication between the time he is 30 and the time a chunk of big mac finally jams up his heart at 60. Also figure in cholestrol medication, bypass surgeries, etc.

meanwhile smokey mc smokesalot will get cancer when he is 60. It will either be cured in 6 months or he will be dead inside a year.
 
2006-02-26 01:35:16 PM  
I wish people would just stop claiming to be victims....
The bank is responsible for my debt, restaurants are responsible for my weight problem, my parents caused me trauma, my schedule doesn't allow it... Oh poor me life isn't fair, it's always someone else's fault.

Everytime you use the term "I can't" replace with the term "I won't" It is a way of taking ownership for your actions and decisions. It makes you realise that "you" have the choice.

//Hops off soap box....
 
2006-02-26 01:35:21 PM  
I wiegh 215 and i am 6'3.. right around perfect.. I can run a 5:30 mile, and consider myself in excellent shape. It's all about how healthy you keep your heart and lungs. You can be 300 pounds and be fine if you are exercising.
 
2006-02-26 01:35:51 PM  
My little story on weight loss, if anyone cares. I have never been particularly overweight, but I was getting a little chunky during college, coming in at around 180 lbs at 5'10". So I became a vegetarian and lost 10 pounds and kept it off over the course of a year. Still had a little bit of chunk, so I focused on portion control. Lost another 10 pounds. Not bad at all.

I find that restaurants often give ridiculous portions (unless it is a fancy restaurants). I used to feel bad that if I didn't eat everything, that I was being wasteful. Then I found out this wonderful thing called "half portions" that a lot of restaurants have. It is amazing how many calories can be cut out by having one enchalada with beans and rice instead of 3, or half a bowl of spaghetti instead of a whol bowl, and you still get full!
 
2006-02-26 01:36:45 PM  
thatredhead: Some people can't help being fat.

Whatever, fatty.
 
2006-02-26 01:38:19 PM  
Ending up the best looking corpse in the graveyard ain't a priority for me.

Nor is it for most "skinny, non-smoking hairless monkeys."

Enjoying life is so much better when you aren't going in for heart surgery or when you get winded after walking a flight of stairs. Not that all smokers and fat people can't enjoy life, but I'm just saying... I don't use healthy eating habits because I want to live longer. I do it because I want to enjoy living. I've already had cancer once, and would prefer to avoid other medical treatments throughout my lifetime.

Again, it isn't to say that all overweight people or smokers will have these problems. Many probably won't, but I know that I have a much higher quality of life being not overweight, active, and a nonsmoker than if I did those things. Can't speak for other people. My weakness is alcohol...clearly, I could see health benefits in not drinking. It's a choice that I make. At this point it isn't inhibiting my enjoying things like camping and hiking and all that fun stuff. Smoking and being overweight probably would inhibit those things for me, or at least make them harder.

One of the main reasons I don't smoke is because I don't want to risk being controlled by something. I don't want to get agitated because I don't have a cigarette. Not all smokers do, but that is not a risk I want to take. So again, that would change my quality of life. I knew someone who wouldn't take long trips because it would mean going several hours without smoking. Scary. But many smokers are in control, so kudos to them.

Point being that it isn't how long you live or what you look like when you die. Your lifestyle has more effect on HOW you live.
 
2006-02-26 01:40:16 PM  
I agree with a "fat tax" based on BMI/body fat percentage. The mere fact that fatties exist is proof that (at least some) people are too stupid and short-sighted to make decisions for themselves. They choose instant gratification over better health, better looks, better sex, etc. With a fat tax, at least we can profit from their stupidity. Plus, perhaps the financial cost, as well as the shame at having to pay real money because of their fat asses, will convince some fatties to take charge of their own health. Maybe!
 
2006-02-26 01:40:34 PM  
You can be 300 pounds and be fine if you are exercising.

I agree. You can be healthy this way.

The biggest predictor of lifespan, though, is weight (strangely). Not muscle-mass, etc. Of course, that then goes back to the initial argument of: how good is that lifespan. I just always found that correlation interesting--lighter adults live longer.
 
2006-02-26 01:40:37 PM  
Robo Beat
The important factor here is that fatties and smokers die much more expensively.

One thing to point out though. Assuming you live a long, long, life, and avoid every risk factor there is, you will probably get caught by one of two things. Cancer or heart disease. Simply put the human body wasn't designed to see 100. Guess what, those are also the same things that wack a smoker, and the treatment is the same. The difference is a smoker doesn't pull cash from social security and medicare for the last 30 years of his life.

It would be grand if we all just drop dead of a heartattack with no lingering health issues leading up to it. When you look at someone my age (30) though, that probably is not going to be how it happens. Problems can be corrected and treated now that would have gone undetected 20 years ago. Unless you are killed by the M17 bus when you step off the curb without looking, chances are most of us are going to die an expensive death at the end.

The difference is of course, smokers will spend their life contributing a few bucks a day to the system which should theoretically help offset this at the end. Instead we piss it away on stupid truth commercials and then biatch at the smokers that they are idiots.
 
2006-02-26 01:41:35 PM  
I don't like fat people
 
2006-02-26 01:41:49 PM  
zilch365: I am 6'1" 240 pounds. For the majority of my life I have been bigger than everyone else. I have played rugby and football in the past 6 years along with cycling and I have never dropped below 220, despite eating less and excercizing more than many people around me. Don't tell me that it's all my fault.

It's all your fault. If you eat less, you WILL LOSE WEIGHT.
 
2006-02-26 01:41:59 PM  
tonesskin
I just always found that correlation interesting--lighter adults live longer

Seems to make sense to me. A 125 pound guys organs are going to have to work a hell of a lot less than a 275 pound guy.
 
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