Excess Weight, Excess Health Care Costs


We are striving to give everyone the information they need to be health and reduce health care costs. Weight is a huge issue in this country and often times a sore subject with many. None of us want to be told what to do and how to live our lives and that includes me.

Here are some stark realities of how excess weight can hurt us physically and financially through health care costs and health insurance premiums.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently put out this research note(PDF), demonstrating that in recent years health care costs for overweight and obese people have escalated much faster than for the rest of us. This is something to think about, considering that out of 216.8 million American adults, 58.9 million of us are obese (that’s 27%) and 75.7 million of us are overweight (another 35%). Oh, and we’re quickly getting fatter. We added 10 million more obese people just between 2001 and 2006.(1)

The numbers the AHRQ gives are these(1)

· Between 2001 and 2006, average health care expenditure for normal weight people increased from $2,607 to $3,315—a 27% gain.
· For overweight people, the average cost rose from $2,792 to $3,636—an increase of 30%.
· And for obese people, the average amount paid increased from $3,458 to $5,148—a gain of 49%.

Being overweight makes a person a good target for all diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Kidney failure, Arthritis, Stroke and even Cancer.(2)

There are many increased costs of being severely overweight with the additional cost of health care and medications running as much as $1,429 per year more than those without weight issues.(3)


Why are we too heavy as a society?

There can be many reasons why we are too heavy as a society.

· Use of too many pre-packaged foods – little or no time to cook
· Busy schedule – work, family, school
· Bad eating habits – large portions, eat too late at night
· Substitution for other issues – eat when stressed, eat to cover up other issues

These or other issues may need to be addressed as well if you are going to able to use food and nutrition in a positive way to control your weight and reduce your risk and exposure to health issues and health care costs.


What can you do to start?


We are not proponents of fad diets. Those of us with weight issues need to look for ways to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise as a way to be healthy and well for life.

We do have some ways that we recommend to get this process started. Below are some systems that we have researched and believe they can be of help to many who want to make changes. All of these systems will help provided the proper nutrition to aid in you efforts to obtain an ideal weight along with a support system to help you along the way.

· Ideal Protein Weight Loss – Dr. Rena Wong and her staff nutritionist will educate and support
· Nine or thirty day cleanse diet – with nutritional coaching
· Control It – eight week diet monitored by a staff nutritionist

These are tools to help a person start toward reaching and ideal weight goals. No program by itself will help you achieve lifelong weight- control without some type of increase in exercise or physical fitness. Many of these can be incorporated without much time or expense but can have a dramatic impact on your success even if you have some physical limitations.

· Walking
· Yoga
· Tai Chi
· Biking
· Pilates


Ava Waits, Founder of Parisian Picnics

We have asked Ava Waits, the founder of Parisian Picnics, to be our staff consultant in the area of nutrition. Ava does not promote fad diets as part of her process in helping people eat for health and wellness.

I have a couple of health issues that have made it more difficult to exercise the way I used to when I was younger. I work long hours in my business. Couple that with the stress of starting my own business in the worst economic times in my lifetime as I tend to eat when I am stressed. I have to come to grips with this issue myself.

I took an hour and had a consultation with Ava. She was very thorough in her approach to helping me come up with ideas to design a program that I can work around my issues of health, time and stress to help me get my weight off. She has designed a program specifically to meet my needs to give me a better chance at success.

If you are not certain of an approach to follow to help you with your weight issue, I recommend a consultation with Ava as it may help you as well. You can follow Ava and see what approach she uses to help her clients through the following sites.



In Summary

Weight can be a touchy subject for many of us. My goal is not to insult anyone including myself. It is intended to be honest and forthright about issues that we will all need to face eventually. Those of us who are overweight cost more in health care that those who are not overweight.

As we struggle to provide health insurance and health care to everyone and the costs keep rising, there will be more and more pressure to charge a higher rate for those who use the health care system more. Anything we can do to stop and reverse this trend is to our individual and collective benefit.

If you have any questions or need more information on any of these programs, contact myself or Ava Waits.

Here’s to your health.

John J Barker

(1) Overweight and obese people drive up health care costs – The

Jul 9, 2009 We added 10 million more obese people just between 2001 and 2006. …. they drive up the costs of health care, can make for an uncomfortable


(2) Can being Overweight Prevent You From Obtaining Health Insurance …

5 answers – May 4, 2010 With the new health care bill you can not be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions (such as being overweight or obese).

(3) Real cost of living with obesity? $6454 a year – Books – TODAY.com

Dec 29, 2010 Being overweight can contribute to many diseases and chronic conditions, Add together the higher annual costs of health care and


Additional Resource


“Forced to be Fit” CBS Evening News, November 6, 2007