home
RSS
Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?
September 19th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Obesity is a huge problem in the United States, and it’s linked to serious illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.

A new report suggests that by 2030 nearly half of all Americans will be obese, and these expanding waistlines will translate into billions of dollars of health care costs. The study authors advocate for nationwide interventions to get children and adults to be more physically active and eat healthier.

More than 400 readers commented on the story. The most popular reader comment came from Joe Skinner, who says:

This is something I've been saying forever, the problem isn't "Romneycare" or "Obamacare," it's fat Americans who are the problem and they are more willing to blame politicians for health care cost problems than to say the 300-pound reading on the scale might have something to do with it.

Bruce Force responded that weight loss alone won’t solve the problem:

I agree that we are responsible for our own health but I think this obsession with losing weight is the wrong way to go about it. When we talk about fitness, we never talk about skills and that's unfortunate because that what being fit is about: developing skills in order to survive.

Chichetr proposed the radical measure of taxing overweight people per pound, a comment that got 59 “likes” :

I'm sick and tired of seeing my fellow Americans waddling around from fast food restaurant to fast food restaurant, their giant bellies swaying and bulging out under their shirts. It's absolutely shameful.

I propose that we start charging health care costs by the pound. How many of these people do you think are going to keel over from 1, 2 or 3 heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disorders of every kind? The list goes on and on. How many of these people can actually PAY for the tremendous health care costs associated with their weight? Not many.

I as a taxpayer, I refuse to pay for these people. Tax the overweight and obese NOW!

But pgauthi responded with a more pragmatic approach:

Those of us living in the real world realize we can't just let people "take responsibility," because we have decided that everyone has the right to emergency treatment. So as much as it pains me to pay for the lazy obese I would rather pay for their preventive care than for their emergencies.

I would love it though if medicare tax and/or health premiums were based on BMI and cardiovascular fitness.

Delishus Cake represented the point of view that the high cost of healthy foods compared to fattening foods is part of the problem:

If fresh fruit was affordable year round and a salad didn't cost the same as 4 double cheeseburgers people might not be so fat. Low income people typically choose whichever option looks to be the most bang for your buck. If you've got $4 and you want to eat are you going to buy a salad or 2 double cheeseburgers, a large coke, and a fry?

But halfthestory argues the opposite viewpoint:

So tired of hearing the "it costs too much to eat healthy" argument. Plan your budget and buy healthier foods ... fast food is not much cheaper and is much less healthier. It's a lifestyle change and not a financial issue in most cases. It's just easier to justify when you say "it costs too much".

Chemical BPA linked to children's obesity

Finally, the usage of body mass index as a measure of obesity is imperfect, as readers such as CatMagnet noted. Height and weight are the factors that go into calculating BMI, but for some people that is not an accurate assessment of whether they are healthy.

On Twitter, science writer @miriamgordon responded to the story by citing this New York Times article from Tuesday, which notes that obesity as we know it may not be the whole story: “In study after study, overweight and moderately obese patients with certain chronic diseases often live longer and fare better than normal-weight patients with the same ailments.”

Part of the problem is that if you measure obesity with body mass index, you are ignoring other potentially critical measurements of health, including metabolic abnormalities, lean muscle mass and body fat, the article said.

Another science writer, @daviddespain, responded with an article he had written on his blog suggesting that young Asian-American women may be improperly categorized as healthy using the traditional BMI scale; they may have low BMI but high body fat percentage.

The state-by-state obesity data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not take these deviations from the traditional BMI picture into account, nor do the 2030 predictions.

More from CNN: Is your doctor's role changing in the fight against obesity?


soundoff (1,349 Responses)
  1. ThomasBot

    onlinepharmacy

    May 11, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Richardbak

    suhagra supreme suppliers canadian pharmacies canadian pharmacy cialis 5 mg supreme supplies in india cialis free sample canadian pharmacy cialis 5mg canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg online canadian pharmacy Click Here ed drug prices no prescription tretinoin

    May 11, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ArnoldoLoP

    healthy man pills

    May 11, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RafaelAtofe

    new healthy man viagra review online pharmacy

    May 11, 2021 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Danielsax

    canadianpharmacy

    May 11, 2021 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dennismor

    canadian pharmacy

    May 11, 2021 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Douglasovefs

    nizagara 100

    May 11, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg

    May 11, 2021 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Richardbak

    order cipro online supreme suppliers canadian pharmacy cialis canadian pharmacy 24hr canadian pharmacy cialis viagra samples cialis canadian pharmacy 24h supreme suppliers mumbai india paxil canada pharmacy no perscription Canadian Health Care canadian ed drugs on line retin

    May 11, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Billy Harriss

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 11, 2021 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ArnoldoLoP

    healthy man viagra offer

    May 11, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RaymondElupt

    canada pharmacy online

    May 11, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Douglasovefs

    where can i buy nizagara?

    May 12, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ThomasBot

    on line pharmacy

    May 12, 2021 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Richardbak

    supreme suppliersmumbaiindia canadian pharmacy no prescription canadian pharmacies mail order supreme suppliers viagra vs cialis vs levitra samples online pharmacy supreme suppliers in india canadian pharmacy no prescription Canada Pharmacies Free Shipping e d drugs cheap tretinoin without prescription

    May 12, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ArnoldoLoP

    healthy man

    May 12, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RaymondElupt

    sky pharmacy online

    May 12, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Douglasovefs

    nizagara

    May 12, 2021 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Richardbak

    supreme suppliers viagra canadian pharmacy canadian pharmacies online supreme suppliers in india cialis free samples canadian 24 hour pharmacy supreme suppliers canadian pharmacy online Canadian Health Care best online pharmacy for ed india pharmacies retin a

    May 12, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Douglasovefs

    buyingnizagaraonline.com

    May 13, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ThomasBot

    pacific care pharmacy

    May 13, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Richardbak

    supremesuppliers canadianpharmacy.com north american pharmacy supreme suppliers mumbai india cialis free samples canada pharmacy supremesuppliers canada pharmacy without script Canadian Health and Care Mall Reviews erectile dysfunction medications cheap where can i buy tretinoin online uk

    May 13, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dennismor

    canadian pharmacy 24

    May 13, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Douglasovefs

    buying nizagara on line

    May 13, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JosephNam

    canadian online drug stores

    May 13, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. PrestonAbede

    pfizer viagra online canadian pharmacies viagra fast shipping usa

    May 14, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. ArnoldoLoP

    healthy man complaints

    May 14, 2021 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bobbyoffek

    Online Pharmacy non prescription pharmacy

    May 14, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jamesraire

    online pharmacy no prescription canada

    May 14, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. DavidAdess

    rhine inc viagra

    May 14, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Brianwit

    cialis online no prescription

    May 14, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Dennismor

    canadapharmacy1

    May 14, 2021 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy cialis

    May 14, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Bobbyoffek

    Online Pharmacies No Prescription paxil canada pharmacy no perscription

    May 14, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. EdwardSwogy

    skypharmacy online

    May 14, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jamesraire

    canadian pharmacy no prescription

    May 14, 2021 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. stornobrzinol

    excellent put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector don't realize this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers' base already!

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. PrestonAbede

    buy viagra online supreme suppliers mumbai viagra price

    May 14, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DavidAdess

    rhine inc palghar india

    May 14, 2021 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dennismor

    online pharmacy www

    May 15, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Brianwit

    cialis without a doctors prescription

    May 15, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Bobbyoffek

    online pharmacies canadian non prescription pharmacy

    May 15, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jamesraire

    canadian online pharmacy

    May 15, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. PrestonAbede

    viagra ca suhagra supreme suppliers online viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. cyclomune

    buy cyclomune cyclosporine pharmacology

    May 15, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Dennismor

    cialis online pharmacy

    May 15, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JosephNam

    canadian pharmacy 24h

    May 15, 2021 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Brianwit

    cialis without a prescription

    May 15, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jamesraire

    my canadian pharmacy no script

    May 15, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. combigan

    buy brimonidine buy combigan online

    May 16, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to BrucePaumn


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.