There is a lot in the news about fat people driving up the costs for healthcare. Never mind that most of it is based on estimates and predictions of the future; and never mind that at least a portion of those costs can be attributed to things like weight-loss attempts and health problems caused by those weight-loss attempts (I would love to have those numbers).
Then there are the problems caused because fat people are unwilling to go to the doctor because they don’t want to get the “diet talk”. So the fatty stays home, hopes for the best, and sometimes, ends up going to the doctor (or the ER) when the problem is much worse and it takes a lot more effort (and possibly expense) to deal with the condition.
Also fat people are underemployed and under paid. Makes it difficult to go to the doctor and/or pay for prescribed treatment. Which can mean that a condition gets worse or lingers longer than it would have otherwise.
Well, here’s a new one. Doctors are under-prescribing necessary medication to fat people. These medications are supposed to be prescribed based on weight, but some doctors are uncomfortable prescribing the drugs in larger doses. This has become a significant problem with chemotherapy.
Up to 40 percent of obese cancer patients don’t get large enough chemotherapy doses, jeopardizing treatment of individual patients — and the overall public health according to Dr. Jennifer Griggs, a University of Michigan breast cancer specialist. Under-dosing is probably a “significant” contributor to the higher cancer death rates among overweight and obese patients, according to co-author Gary Lyman, a professor of medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute.
The problem arises from doctors using outdated dosage caps from the initial trials for these drugs. Griggs and her co-authors have published new guidelines aimed at making sure even the heaviest cancer patients get the full treatment they need.
And it’s not just in cancer. Another study found that fat patients are often under dosed with antibiotics.
So even if the fat patient can afford the treatment sometimes the doctor does not prescribe medication in size-appropriate dosage. So treatment lasts longer or fails.
And now my favorite.
The estimates for how much healthcare costs have increased because (wait for it) we have had the nerve not to die (as so often predicted). The audacity! Fat people are told over and over and over how deadly our fat is – and then we don’t die! We live to a ripe old age, when healthcare costs dramatically increase whatever the size of the patient.
Maybe we should stop calling us morbidly (of, relating to, or caused by disease; pathological or diseased) obese to lively obese, or better yet, naturally fat human.