Being Overweight = Longer Life + Higher Medical Bills

Re: last week’s finding that overweight people may live longer. Here’s the rest of the story:

“The study looked at quantity of life, not quality of life, and that’s a very important distinction,” noted Dana Goldman, director of the University of Southern California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

A higher body mass index — a standard measure for determining whether people are overweight or obese — is associated with a number of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. These chronic illnesses are expensive to treat. If, as it now turns out, overweight people are living longer in addition to racking up more chronic illnesses, that means Medicare is on the hook for paying for more expensive people for more years.

Catherine Rampell. Critique of the study here. A defense of fat here.

Comments (5)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Frailty is correlated with mortality. People in poor health often cannot keep weight on. This would bias a sample when testing obesity against mortality.

  2. Jeff says:

    Yes, but higher medical bills paid by someone else.

  3. Jordan says:

    Good point Devon.

  4. Neil Caffrey says:

    “quantity of life, not quality of life”

    -I’ll always take quality over quantity. Always.

  5. Gabriel Odom says:

    Yes, we will all live for over a hundred years – as long as we are comatose and on life support.

    “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage” – Indiana Jones