Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SC Bill would increase premiums on obese workers

At left: In case you needed any more proof that R. Crumb could predict the future. (from Zap Comix, several eons ago.)

In our sordid state news today:

SC Bill would increase premiums on obese workers
The Associated Press • February 10, 2009

COLUMBIA — Obese public employees would have to pay an extra $25 monthly for their state health insurance under a bill up for debate in South Carolina.

The measure sponsored by GOP Sen. Greg Ryberg of Aiken is on the agenda Tuesday in a Senate subcommittee. It would tie the surcharge to employees' body-mass index, a weight and height measurement.

The proposal follows a vote last August to increase health insurance premiums of public workers who smoke. The smoking surcharge is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2010. It was approved by a five-member board that oversees the state budget.

Smokers called it an unfair increase, since smoking isn't the only bad habit that increases health care costs.

South Carolina has among the nation's highest rates of obesity and diabetes.
As always, South Carolina loves to be first in all things. You've undoubtedly noticed by now!


More from recent Blogdonia excursions:

Lauren's post on class and feminism, titled Context.

Our state bird is disappearing. From TreeHugger: Is It Still a Carolina Wren If It No Longer Calls Carolina Home?

Attention local folks! (Upstate SC and Western NC) Please help save the Burton Street neighborhood, currently in the corporate cross-hairs as bureaucrats haggle over how best to expand I-26 in Asheville. Mountain Xpress has been doing a bang-up job of covering the proposed "Downtown Master Plan" for Asheville. (((applause for excellent work)))

Please, please, please do not ruin Asheville!

And finally...

Antiprincess's precious littlest patriarch, Wolfgang! Beware adorable baby picture!!! YOU COULD DIE FROM THE CUTE! (((makes gurgly grandma noises)))


Meowser said...

They must have missed the Women's Health Initiative report then. This was a HUGE HUGE HUGE longitudinal study undertaken by the government (NIH, HHS, all that alphabet soup). They studied over 40,000 postmenopausal women over an 8-year period and divided them into two groups -- one of which was put on what was considered to be a "healthy" diet (lots of fruits and veg, lots of whole grains, very little fat, almost no saturated fat) and one of which was told to eat whatever they wanted.

They were sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that the "healthy diet" control group would have huge decreases in weight, huge decreases in cardiovascular disese, huge decreases in cancer. They found nothing. Nothing. Nothing. The total weight decrease for the "healthy eating" group was about a pound and a half on average. In eight years. Even though these women were monitored to make sure they stuck to their diets, and ate over 360 calories a day on average less than the "eat what you want" group.

They ballyhooed the fact that they found a 17% drop in ovarian cancer rates for the "healthy eating" group. That sounds impressive until you realize how few cases of ovarian cancer were actually diagnosed during the survey. (And also that ovarian cancer is one of the most strongly genetically linked forms of the disease.)

They hated the results so much they tried to bury them, and mostly succeeded; they released the results to JAMA (you can see the abstracts on the WHI's site), but name me one mass-media source that had the stones to report on it. There wasn't one. We can't tell women it's okay for them to eat what they want and that they don't have that much control over their weight! The world will collapse!

And in case anyone thinks a low-carb diet and exercise will always do the trick, they should know that JAMA also published a study in 2007 showing that participants in Atkins and Zone, as well as in LEARN and Ornish, were followed for 12 months, and even with increased exercise, it was found that most people lost some weight the first six months and gained it back over the next six, even though they stuck to the plans.

So how are they gonna get all those people thin and keep them thin for life? I'm not sure I want to know.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I have very fond memories of Asheville and would hate to see them make the same mistake there that they did in San Diego, when they essentially destroyed Little Italy to expand the I-5.

Dori said...

Has anyone ever considered that the only reason obese people as a group tend to have higher health costs is be cause of the pathologicalized view of obesity in the medical industry? I have had to fight doctors to NOT be treated for my fat, and had to fight to be treated for issues that were not related to being overweight at all.

Seriously, we blame people for being fat when there is no solid evidence of a consistent choice that makes someone obese.

JoJo said...

Yeah that's just bullshit. I eat extremely healthy, tons of fruits/veggies and very small portions and I'm still very overweight. I'm so sick of the fat phobics in this country.