I did a Google search this morning on obesity and weight loss surgery, and search results included headlines like “Which Obesity Surgery is Right for You” and “Weightloss Surgery on the Rise as Obesity Contributes to Coronavirus Complications.” United Healthcare and Cigna have seen an increased demand as much as 24% to 40% compared to last year for for bariatric surgery.
These headlines are troubling, given nearly 40%+ of adults are now obese.
Only one in three children are physically active every day. And today, nearly 20% of children under 18 are now obese.
The Enabling of Obesity
As adults, we are not doing children any favors by enabling the victim mindset. Take California, for example — this past year, California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed suspending the physical fitness tests at the state’s schools over concerns that they promote bullying and body discrimination. California ranks 24 in overall prevalence with 30.5% of children considered either overweight or obese.
A child runs a mile 90 seconds slower than 30 years ago.
When I was a kid, school was so different. We had a fitness test with us doing a rope climb to the gym ceiling. It was awful and it taught me humility as it took me countless attempts to get up, and I was not a skinny or a graceful kid. And today, I am grateful for the experience because it made me stronger.
If we talk about obesity, we are fat-shaming. Jillian Michaels was slammed for speaking out against obesity.
Profits over People
Obesity is a big business. In 2008, Obesity-related medical care costs in the United States were an estimated $147 billion. Today, The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illnesses are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.
Insurance providers, including Medicare, will cover obesity-related surgeries, including excess skin removal.
Thanks to instant gratification, we are a pill first society when it comes to staying healthy. The U.S. weight loss market is now worth a record $72 billion, while less than 5% of adultsparticipate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Instant results always win.
Being Healthy isn’t Profitable
The problem is, being healthy isn’t profitable for insurance companies, doctors and the weightless industry; so my running shoes, gym membership, and a bike that keep me healthy are not covered by insurance. People like me, who bust their ass to stay healthy, aren’t rewarded by our health insurance or our community for driving costs down.
And diet and exercise do work; I am a walking example of what hard work, consistency, and discipline can do. Since August of 2018, I am down nearly 30lbs, slashed my cholesterol by almost 40% without a single pill or surgery. My blood pressure sits around 90/68, and I have a resting heart rate ranging from 40 to 50. I weigh in at around 140lbs at 5'10" post-surgical menopause at age 42.
I had my ovaries removed and gone through a double mastectomy with reconstruction in my 30s due to a BRCA1 gene mutation and needed to take steps to ward off cancer. Had I been obese, the lifesaving surgeries I went through would not have been an option due to how invasive the process is, it comes with real risk. I was under the knife for nearly four hours during my mastectomy. And that was only surgery 1 of 3.
Like everyone else, I have not had an easy 2020. My 2020 could make someone’s head spin. And despite those mishaps, I have logged nearly 1,100 running miles, 1,350+ cycling miles, and 41+ miles swimming. I don’t subscribe to the victim mindset; I keep going. And I have a Strava log to prove it. Because of hard work, I consistently place in the top 5% of my age group in road races. Just last month, I finally ran a sub 24 minute 5K!
The “Essential” Businesses of COVID19 and “Science”
2020 has been eye-opening; Look at where our values are; churches and gyms are not essential, but Content Moderators for Facebook in India and Planned Parenthood in the United States are deemed”Essential” while gyms, church and in classroom teaching are not.
We have people on social media mocking nuns for supporting President Trump. Lawsuits has been filed in NY by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups due to New York Gov. Cuomo’s order to limit size of gatherings at houses of worship is unconstitutional.
Many members of the Democratic Party. like athletes, Hollywood and doctors have been vocal on the “we believe in science” message that contradicts real science like diet and exercise. Never mind that obesity is bringing on extra complications for COVID and just 6% of all COVID deaths are from healthy people without underlying health issues or as a result of the lockdowns, twelve states now have an adult obesity rate of 35% or higher. Countless studies have been done to verify diet and exercise are the most effective ways to boost your immune system.
2020 has opened my eyes to seeing the world in a new way with the endless hypocrisy. #maga