Sample Essay on Costs Attributable to Obesity

Obesity

There are different costs that are linked with obesity epidemic. Bearing all medical costs attributable to obesity to the government and private insurances would mean a lot of unfairness to these bodies. These costs include transportation costs, direct medical costs, human capital costs, and productivity costs. The annual total medical costs of obesity are relatively very high and this would mean a huge burden on the part of the government and private insurances should they bear these costs. For fairness to prevail, the best policy would be sharing these costs among payers. The costs should also be shared according to different categories, e.g. prescription drug spending, non-inpatient, and inpatient. Medicare, private insurers, and Medicaid should bear some of the costs while individual patients bear other costs. For instance, the patients should bear transport costs, while insurers bear some portions of direct costs. This will help to cater for a large number of individuals suffering from obesity. A good example of cost sharing was observed in 1998 where Medicaid and Medicare financed roughly half of the medical costs of obesity.

The high incidence and prevalence of obesity in the US can be attributed to factors such as poor eating and nutrition habits. Most of the citizens in the US have a preference for fast foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, and snacking habits, which increase the chance of being obese. Other factors that contribute to the prevalence of obesity include sedentary behaviors and physical inactivity, genetics, socio-economic status, among other factors. Concerns on obesity have been on the rise, where individuals, the government, and other organizations have taken the initiative to create awareness regarding obesity epidemic. Individuals have annual screening for obesity to ensure they are safe or for early treatment if diagnosed positive. The citizens have embraced healthy eating and nutrition habits, while obesity victims have embraced physical activities e.g. exercises in their livelihood for fitness.