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Keep eating! Obesity could save the economy …

Saboteur is all about challenging common wisdom. If you want a soapbox for your point-of-view, we offer you a chance to air it here. We don’t have to agree, but we do get to decide if it’s sufficiently out-of-the-box and interesting. Submit your entries to harriett@snoety.com.

Cheer up, budget hawks!  Obesity will save you …

Is there a bright side to America’s obesity plague?

Yes!  Thanks to our fat citizens, it looks like reigning in our nation’s ballooning budget deficit may be in our future.

The vast majority of our $3 trillion budget goes to defense, health and income security. Foreign aid, the arts, farm subsidies, education, national parks – all are just grains of sand in comparison. Since it’s unlikely that Defense funding or Medicare will be cut, our best bet for managing the budget lies with declining American life expectancy.

This wouldn’t seem likely in the 21st century, except that obese & overweight Americans now constitute approximately 70% percent of the population. Forty-five percent of our children are now considered to be overweight or obese. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (2006), being overweight raises the risk of early death 20 to 40 percent. And for the obese, the risk of death is two to three times higher than for those that are not overweight!!

A more recent study noted in that same Journal found that fat kids are more than twice as likely to die prematurely – before age 55 – of illness or self inflicted injury.

Age 55: That’s more than a decade before most Americans claim Social Security. It is nine years before Medicare eligibility kicks in and more than makes up for the $117 billion plus these folks are costing the country currently.

There’s an upside to everything. Suddenly, our golden years seem more financially secure.

Joan Breibart

Joan Breibart is the regular contributor to Snoety’s Saboteur.  She is an inventor with several exercise and diet patents, but she is best known for taking the moribund Pilates Method in 1991 and evolving it into the #1 trend in fitness. She has worked in product development and marketing in beauty, cosmetics, hair products/services and diet and exercise.  She tells people she is in the “appearances” business.  And, to quote Joan: she “uses the body as a lens to view society.”  She is not universally popular; she forces people to think — (all of which is why we like her.)

Joan currently has an iApp, 80 Bites, that Apple named as a “Pick,” and which has been featured on The Today Show, in the iphone website, DailyApps.com, US News Health and Frappster, among others.  She is co-founder of Diet Directives, a consultancy “designed to end your dysfunctional relationship with food” and PhysicalMind Institute.  Joan is based in New York City.

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1 Comment
Devin says: December 3rd, 2010 at 2:31 pm

How much economic value does a healthy person create versus one who is horribly unhealthy?

How much does it cost the entire health care system when people eat themselves to death?

How many honest businesses can’t succeed because people with lots of style but no ethics sell horrible products to the American people.

It’s not rocket science: if people are unhealthy, our economy is unhealthy…. Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe if we push as much corporate products onto the American people as possible, everything will be alright. Lipitor for the poor – OxyCodone for the rich. Then everyone’s happy!

If I wanted to read snarky comments about how hopeless the situation is, I’d read the New York Times.

Seriously, have we all forgotten that people can CREATE value in this world instead of simply consuming it?

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