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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:38 AM

NPR: "Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss" (aka Obese People Pay More $$$)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/20/172098418/money-replaces-willpower-in-programs-promoting-weight-loss

Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

(snip)

Studies show monetary rewards are effective in helping people who want to quit smoking or taking illegal drugs, says economist John Cawley of Cornell University. But food is different. People need to eat, and going back to old eating habits is a lifelong challenge. Cawley's research shows three quarters of people give up on diets, even if they stand to gain a lot of money.

Employers and health insurance companies are experimenting with ways to structure financial incentives as well as disincentives to encourage weight loss.

(snip)

"All of us are paying the consequences of these unhealthy behaviors, so it actually does make sense to set up incentive programs to force people making these choices to take into account the costs that they're imposing on society," he says.


I, like the majority of Americans, currently weigh more than I would like. How lovely that my husband's employer (where we get our health insurance) will get to voice their opinion on that in the future.

Discuss.

54 replies, 2463 views

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Reply NPR: "Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss" (aka Obese People Pay More $$$) (Original post)
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 OP
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #1
pipoman Feb 2013 #9
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #15
pipoman Feb 2013 #22
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #10
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #13
pipoman Feb 2013 #17
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #20
pipoman Feb 2013 #26
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #19
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #23
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #25
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #28
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #31
NutmegYankee Feb 2013 #35
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #46
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #50
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #16
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #18
pipoman Feb 2013 #30
NMDemDist2 Feb 2013 #2
pipoman Feb 2013 #7
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #3
pipoman Feb 2013 #6
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #14
pipoman Feb 2013 #4
sadbear Feb 2013 #27
Glitterati Feb 2013 #5
LisaLynne Feb 2013 #8
Glitterati Feb 2013 #12
nolabear Feb 2013 #37
Glitterati Feb 2013 #38
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #40
Glitterati Feb 2013 #41
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #42
Glitterati Feb 2013 #43
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #44
Glitterati Feb 2013 #47
HappyMe Feb 2013 #34
Bonobo Feb 2013 #11
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #21
pipoman Feb 2013 #32
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #39
MadHound Feb 2013 #24
Cal Carpenter Feb 2013 #29
cally Feb 2013 #33
IdaBriggs Feb 2013 #36
spinbaby Feb 2013 #45
Glitterati Feb 2013 #48
spinbaby Feb 2013 #49
Glitterati Feb 2013 #51
spinbaby Feb 2013 #54
hedgehog Feb 2013 #52
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #53

Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:46 AM

1. Good. Why should those of use who take care of ourselves have to subsidize those who don't?

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:11 AM

9. I hope you don't develop

arthritis..don't worry, they'll find something you aren't perfect in, your time is coming. Why do you think there is group health insurance?

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Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:27 AM

15. Why do you think that people with more accidents pay more for car insurance?

The purpose of group insurance is to spread risk over a large group of people. That does not mean that the risk must be spread equally.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:34 AM

22. So then I guess you believe African Americans

should pay more too, eh?

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:15 AM

10. Interesting. My family (including me) are currently healthy.

At what point do you believe you should have to subsidize my so far non-existent extra costs?

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:23 AM

13. Bring overweight isn't healthy

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:29 AM

17. Neither is riding a motorcycle, skydiving,

scuba, playing sports, refinishing furniture, restoring cars, eating red meat, fried foods, soda, smoking pot,..need we continue?

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Response to pipoman (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:31 AM

20. Some activities carry more risks than others

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:36 AM

26. Yep, and your activities will come right after

you lobby in favor of rating up other's activities..

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:30 AM

19. My heart is fine. My lungs are fine. My blood pressure is fine.

My eyes are fine. My cholesterol levels are fine. My kidneys are fine. Etc.

Being overweight has little to do with my overall health.

Cancer isn't healthy. My extra padding may be unattractive to many people, but studies are showing that weight is more of a correlation than a causation of health issues.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:34 AM

23. Do you exercise?

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:35 AM

25. I have active (almost) six year old twins - what do you think?

ON EDIT: I work two full time jobs (one paid/one volunteer), am (usually) happily married, don't do illegal drugs, don't drink to excess, home school my children, and drive them to gymnastics, lego robot, karate, swim/ice skating and religion classes.

I don't have time to be unhealthy! Lol!

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:41 AM

28. Then it would not apply to you

The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:49 AM

31. "who do not exercise" - who gets to define what that is?

I haven't been to the gym in nearly a year, and to be fair, my chauffering duties have sent me through the fast food drive-thru more often than I, an advocate of nutrition, am comfortable with. I am flirting with the karate classes my children are attending, but I don't like push-ups. My weight fluctuates with the season.

Someday I will be "old" but I attribute my good health more to "good fortune" than something I have controlled (although pregnancy was definitely a choice).

"Not dying" is a definite indication that one will have future health costs.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:42 AM

35. How do you prove exercise?

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:50 PM

46. Exactly. This will be the sticking point

Then they'll have to have gym membership proof, but wait, membership isn't enough, we need the logs of when you actually went, but wait, what if you just sat around while at the gym? We will need to see you exercising, and monitor your heart rate, but wait! What if you try to fool us and send someone else to exercise for you, no, now we have to microchip you and follow you around all damn day!

Slippery slope imho.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #46)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:56 PM

50. +1. it's an excuse to track people, as all this crap is.

 

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:29 AM

16. Should that same thinking apply to those who by choice take risk of injury others do not?

Motorcyclists, those who play 'contact sports' or other high injury activities such as skiing?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:30 AM

18. Yes

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:49 AM

30. You must really love the pre-existing condition limitations

on most health coverage, eh? More 'fuk'em, they shouldn't have gotten sick'..how progressive..

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:46 AM

2. i think that would only be fair if they had a gym and gave folks time to use it



as for dependents, they shouldn't have any control on that except to pay for the dependents gym membership

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:07 AM

7. How about rating up because of

high cholesterol? Is that "only fair"?

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)


Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:06 AM

6. Fine and dandy..

'It ain't my vice, fuk'em' attitude will soon be on your doorstep..

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:26 AM

14. I am currently healthy. Haven't required any "extra" health care

since the twins were born six years ago this Sunday. (I weighed less pre-pregnancy.) Neither my husband or I are on any type of prescription medication for *anything* (nor are our children, who have only been to their pediatrician for annual check-ups and stitches/swallowed a penny in two years).

My blood pressure is on the low side of normal, and my cholesterol levels are low. Research is also showing weight is a "correlation" not a "causation" of many health issues (ex: healthy "fat" people can live long happy lives, while unhealthy skinny people can die young -- weight is one of *many* factors impacting longevity and health).

At what point do I get to put forth a study showing people with brown eyes or blood type O are at a higher risk for a wide range of medical conditions or ailments?

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:05 AM

4. I remember a lot of people

thought the enshrinement of higher premiums for smokers a few years ago was perfectly just..now it's fat people, next it will be anyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low blood sugar, arthritis, migraines, etc. Then will come genetic screening...the slippery slope described by people rated up for smoking is coming/here..

Oh, and how truly conservative some on this board can become when this topic comes up..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:36 AM

27. Just wait...

some DUers will be advocating for eugenics and genetically modified children next.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:05 AM

5. First, they came for the smokers

We tried to warn you.

Oh well, it's your turn now.

What's next? Oh, I think I know....."pooping out babies one can't afford"

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:09 AM

8. Naw, I think it will be drinking next.

We can start a pool!

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:18 AM

12. They've already done drinking

Ever tried to get auto insurance with a DUI history?

I haven't, but I've heard tale of the nightmare.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:50 AM

37. That's not drinking. That's drinking and driving.

Just sayin'.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #37)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:53 AM

38. John Ashcroft

Mitt Romney

Shall I continue the list of people who were part of government that were teetotalers and felt no guilt in demanding the rest of the country adhere to their morals?

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:57 AM

40. The "drinking and driving" crew have already displayed disregard for public safety.

I find it hard to equate "needs to lose a few pounds" with the same lack of concern for public safety as a drunk driver.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:32 AM

41. I don't know what to say. You give someone like this

an inch and they take a mile.

Did you REALLY think they were going to stop with smokers? Really?

So now they're goring your ox and you're all outraged?

Don't expect smokers to come to your defense.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:45 PM

42. Smokers impact the health / well being of those around them.

Obese people do not affect the health / well being of those around them (unless they offer to share cookies).

The smoker fight is not "you can't" but "you can't do it HERE".

The two seem very different to me.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:49 PM

43. Oh, BULL!

My sister tells her son, "don't worry, we'll be fat together."

Go ahead, justify your smoker soap box, while we smokers hold the Fat soap box for them. You've got it coming.

Yet, you still display the superior attitude. Have fun.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:28 PM

44. Obese people are not giving the people around them cancer.

Cookies, maybe. Cancer, no.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:02 PM

47. Heart attack, diabetes, sure

cancer, probably not.

But, that's OK. Obesity is right up there next to cigarette smoke for death from heart attack

Bad eating habits affect the entire family, not one.

But, that's OK, keep making excuses. Evidently, it's your turn to pay more.

Welcome to the club.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:20 AM

34. Agreed.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:17 AM

11. GATTACA. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:31 AM

21. On our way there, aren't we? The *risk* starts to define the *life* --

The reality of whether or not a person is healthy or not seems non-relevant.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:18 AM

32. And all this support right here on a supposedly liberal board..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:53 AM

39. A herd of cats - or is that a "pride" of cats? We are all so very proud

and opinionated.

As a non-smoker, I *love* not having to deal with public smoking. Smokers, of course, see this as an infringement on their rights, while I see it as an affirmation of my right to breathe in public places.

If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their own homes, I don't object.

Want to drink? Don't endanger other people by driving drunk or being an idiot (assaulting other people/destroying property/acting the fool). I'm good with that. If your alcohol use causes problems in your family (ex: your children regularly end up taking care of you, instead of the other way around), you should probably stop drinking, but that is only my business if you neglect/abuse others.

My "extra fluff" really isn't anyone else's business. The whole game of "you will cost more" needs to just stop. Dead people are the cheapest to insure. Sigh.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:34 AM

24. Yep, the devil is in the details,

 

First smokers are going to be forced to pay more, now anybody deemed "overweight", next probably drinkers or those engaged in high risk activities.

Wait until the ACA really kicks in, complete with barely regulated provisions that allow the insurance industry to jack up insurance premiums because hey, you are legally required to purchase health insurance.

This is going to be a disaster, but what else can you expect from a health "reform" program that started its life out under Nixon, was adapted next by the Heritage Foundation, then by Romney before being passed into law and signed by a center right president.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:41 AM

29. Fucked up. Slippery slope.

And right on the heels of reading this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014403802

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:18 AM

33. Having to pay the NRA if I did not lose weight

would work for me. I'm tempted to try it but with an anti climate change group or crazy anti women's rights.


From the article:

Last year, Demel pledged on a website called StickK to shed a pound every week. And if he failed, he agreed to fork over $5 to a cause he dislikes. The selection of "anti-charities" spans the political spectrum; Demel chose the National Rifle Association. When he thinks about them, "my blood boils. I get really angry," he says.

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Response to cally (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:44 AM

36. I won't lie - that would be motivation for me, too! Lol!

However, it isn't one of my "top" priorities at the moment. Taking care of "myself" in the way of "exercise" doesn't even crack the top ten on my "to do" list!

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:44 PM

45. The statistics are dismal

Almost no one who loses weight through dieting keeps it off. And, yes, I've heard all the "but you have to make a lifestyle change" lines. The fact is, the human body is designed to maintain its weight, dieting usually fails, and most people who diet wind up weighing more than if they had never dieted. I know that after years of "successful" dieting with Weight Watchers, I went from 10 pounds over my ideal weight to over 100 pounds overweight. Fact is, dieting doesn't work, and employers should not be allowed to penalize those who aren't successful at it.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:11 PM

48. Did you extend the same sympathy to smokers who tried to quit and failed?

If not, shame on you.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #48)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:52 PM

49. What makes you think I don't?

You assume to know my opinions? I don't smoke but have had enough friends who's struggled to quit that I'm entirely sympathetic. The statistics for quitting smoking are better than those for losing weight, by the way.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #49)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:56 PM

51. LOL, because it's DU

There's not even any sympathy for southern DUers whose homes are destroyed in tornadoes.

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Response to Glitterati (Reply #51)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:25 PM

54. I like to believe that most of us are kind

Sympathy and an understanding of another person's viewpoint are, I think Democratic values.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:06 PM

52. The difference between smoking and being obese is that are proven methods

to assist people to stop smoking. To my knowledge, no one has demonstrated a method to help a majority of people to lose weight and keep it off. Gastric surgery reportedly works for some, but also leaves others with life long problems. Some people lose weight with gastric surgery only to gain it back!

There are people out there who consume huge amounts of sugar who do lose weight when they stop doing so. There are also other people who do everything right and still gain weight. There is evidence that many of the trace chemicals in our environment are messing with our metabolisms. We need actual scientific research in this field, not simple repetition of stuff everyone knows. At one time, everyone knew that malaria was caused by breathing the bad air near swamps!

Until we have actual scientific confirmation and not simple hearsay, it is too soon to penalize people over their weight.


Anecdotal evidence here: A few years back, I was losing strength ad stamina despite daily exercise. after being told by one doctor that I just needed to work through my fatigue, another doctor did some bloodwork and found a series of markers for autoimmune disease. A script for hydroxychloraquine resolved the fatigue issues for most days although I still deal with the occasional flares.

There are lazy people out there, but I suspect most people would be more active if they had the means and abilities. Give people the time and the access to facilities before penalizing them!

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Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:12 PM

53. Healthy people end up costing more at least in the long run.

Healthy people live long enough to rack up costs in really really expensive diseases. They also collect social security benefits longer and so on and so forth. But, I would never suggest healthy people should pay more in SS taxes or more for health insurance. But, I would suggest that people take a long view of other people's health and think about is it really their problem. If it isn't then I would suggest buggering off and stop punishing people for not being the way you want them to be.

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