Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Obesity and Smokers Cost Health Care System Less in the Long Run

An interesting new study on the costs of health care. I've done a little more research and I have linked the think tank and the study to which they are referring.

LONDON — Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday.

It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

“It was a small surprise,” said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. “But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more.”

In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Peter said...

I have to question the economic model used for this study. Who did he exclude? What variables are missing? I would think there is some motive behind this like the big evil T corporations, but I could be mistaken.

Tue Feb 05, 11:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jarrett said...

Heh. This kind of thing has come up way before this study. We got a big taste of it in tobacco litigation.

Apparently, when the tobacco companies were being slapped with the costs for the health care expenses of however many sick smokers, the tobacco companies were stuck making the ballsy argument that they had saved the taxpayers' money by killing off smokers before they got to the age where they'd start to tax the health system.

Then again, that kind of argument came about because the tobacco companies thought the court would be reasonable. The governement literally changed the law that completely relaxed the burden of proof for them in their case alone, and the Supreme Court said it saw nothing wrong with that. I'm all for the sovereignty of Parliament and all, but that crosses more than a couple of lines.

Wed Feb 06, 11:41:00 PM EST  

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