Medicaid payment for Diets – A Flawed Plan Based on Flawed Data


Obesity fears and inflated statistics have tipped the scales against sound judgment, leading West Virginia Medicaid program to use tax dollars to pay Weight Watchers weight loss services.

The methodology used to calculate the state government $ 100 million in annual costs linked to obesity is based on flawed methodology that leads to flawed data. Unfortunately, this unsound data has been used to justify paying Weight Watchers and contribute to increase the enrollment of health benefits group Unicare.

West Virginia has started a trend that will be followed by other countries, especially countries with higher obesity rates, such as Alabama. This plan categorize lifestyle-induced problems that disease, if successful, could lead to higher insurance premiums, more prescription and over-the-counter weight-loss drugs, increased harassment supplement and food manufacturers and marketers and the lawsuit against anything that contains calories.

Obesity contributes to social problems and health complications, but it is not a disease. And as such, measures to reverse the effects of poor lifestyle habits should not be paid for with taxpayer money. Taxpayers already pay the cost of treating diseases such as diabetes and heart disease worse by being obese; we should not have to pay for programs that are not medical treatment. There is no study that supports the hypothesis that obesity causes the disease. It is a fact that losing weight is not a cure for the disease.

The “more than $ 100 million in annual costs linked to obesity” is misleading and intended to justify the increase in Medicaid spending. Since the method used by the government and approved by the obesity industry to determine who is overweight or obese is illogical, it follows that the assertion that two-thirds of adult West Virginians are overweight or obese is also illogical. The $ 100 million in annual costs linked to obesity is misleading.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement used to put people in the overweight and obese categories with only individual height and weight. A person is considered overweight if you have a BMI of 25 or higher; a BMI of 30 or more makes you obese, meaning that statistics over 65 percent of Americans overweight is processed.

method does not differentiate weight from muscle mass and weight from fat, nor where the fat is located on the body of the individual. For example, using this method, actor Tom Cruise who is 5 feet 7 inches and £ 201 will have a BMI of 31, which will make him obese. Actors Will Smith, who is 6-2 and 210 pounds with a BMI of 27 and Pierce Brosnan (6-2, 211 pounds, BMI 27) are overweight. Michael Jordan at 216 pounds and 6-6 with a BMI of 25 is also overweight

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains this counterintuitive results by saying: “. Overweight may or may not be due the increase in body fat. It can also be due to an increase in lean muscle. “The CDC changed the standard to measure and define overweight and obesity in 1998; it also abandoned the practice distinguish between men and women.

By the same flawed methodology, the government recently turned its attention to children, stating that “obesity is a concern because overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents and this greatly increases the number of years over which they are exposed to the risks associated with obesity. “

Another flawed statistics, the number of deaths due to excess weight. The CDC recently lowered its program from 365,000 to 112, 000 deaths a year, citing “the general difficulty associated with attributing deaths to obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity and separate different methodology.” The methodology used is based on the assumption that if a person dies of overweight, the person died due to excess weight. Using this logic, the motorcycle is “overweight” and gets hit by a truck will be included in the number of deaths caused by excess weight.

The New England Journal of Medicine know that talk is flawed and that reported the number of deaths caused by excess weight “is by no means well established. Not only is it derived from weak or incomplete information, but it is also called questioned the methodology of the difficulty in determining which of the many factors contribute to premature death. “

cost of obesity in the United States, said that $ 117 billion, was based on a single study conducted in 1998. The authors acknowledge that methodology resulted in the “counting the cost” that “would blow the budget.” But even if they were able to control for double counting of costs, the result would still be wrong, because they use flawed definition of obesity.

Unfortunately, these are the numbers and methodology the government, drug, food and supplement industries use in their marketing. Organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, cure Committee for Responsible Medicine and the American Obesity Association use these flawed statistics to support the classification of obesity as a disease. The West Virginia government is using this flawed “science” as a basis for its decision to use Medicaid funds to pay Weight Watchers through Unicare, companies that want to increase their share of the 300,000 to 370,000 West Virginia residents covered by Medicaid.

It is the final movement among a cross-section of Americans to classify obesity as a disease. If successful, we can expect the pharmaceutical industry to develop more diet drugs like Xenical, Meridia, Acomplia and Alli have their serious side effects. Health insurance provided would be made to pay for treatment for obesity based on flawed statistics, would cause premiums to skyrocket. Medicaid and Medicare will be used to pay for questionable treatments of obesity.

There will be increased targeting supplement and food manufacturers and marketers to make the claim that certain foods can help to combat obesity. Gyms and other exercise programs will probably be banned to claim that exercise can prevent and reverse obesity. And we can expect an increase in lawsuits against party products and the market for offering products that cause obesity.


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