Yep, that’s a bona fide AP headline.
My sister J. sent an e-mail with the following overview:
Apparently the researchers didn’t see it coming — but it turns out thin non-smokers are the most expensive to treat in the long run (vs. fatties and smokers) because, duh, they live longer. The difference over a lifetime is tens of thousands of dollars per person. Smokers have the most lung cancer (NO!), fatties have the most diabetes (NO!), and the skinnies have the most strokes (Oh, reeeealllly?).
I can see it now: NORMAL WEIGHT NON-SMOKERS COSTING THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY BILLIONS BY LIVING LONGER AND HAVING MORE STROKES!
Actual quote from the article:
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.
People who live longer cost the health care system more? YA THINK?
Of course, in keeping with what we write about all the time here, I am awfully curious about how the researchers defined “obese.” As far as I know, only extremely fat people and underweight people have been shown to have a risk worth mentioning of earlier than average death, while garden variety “obese” folks aren’t much worse off than the “normal” ones and, of course, “overweight” is the best BMI category to be in, longevity-wise. So the fact that this article — if not the study itself — takes it as read that obesity = early death is… curious.
Still, it’ll be nice to have this link the next HUNDRED THOUSAND TIMES someone bitches about how much fatties are costing the health care system. I mean, I’ve always said that regardless of health care costs, if you really think you’re gonna outlive me by that much, don’t you feel guilty about all the fucking social security you’re going to suck? There’s a CRISIS, people! But this is the icing on the cake.
On the other hand, my latest response to those people has been that I don’t even want to engage the question of who’s costing the health care system “too much,” because I believe in universal health care; I believe that every human being should have the right to whatever medical care he or she needs, for whatever reason; and I believe discussions of who deserves adequate health care and who doesn’t are prima facie fucking repugnant. There’s that, too.
And on that note, I gotta go vote.