Should Obese People Pay Higher Health Insurance Premiums Than People Who Are Not Obese?

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Body mass index Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: November 24, 2012
Writing Assignment #3: Should obese people pay higher health insurance premiums than people who are not obese? - Rishard Rheyas Obesity has become a serious problem with more than one third of adults being obese in the United States. Obesity is seen as a self-destructive behavior accompanied with smoking and use of other drugs thus, government officials and other business bureaucrats expressed the need to impose higher health insurance premiums on the obese. Obesity is not always due to the personal behavior of people and can be linked with the environment and genetics; I personally feel that obese people should not pay a higher health insurance premium compared to those that aren’t. Government officials and other business bureaucrats expect that raising the health insurance premiums for the obese would help reduce the mortality and overall health of the country however according to a study, individuals with lower BMIs tend to associate themselves with less favorable health conditions and mortality rates as compared to those with high BMIs. The body mass index (BMI) assesses one’s body weight relative to height. The weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared (kg/m^2). It correlates highly with body fat in most people hence is a useful, indirect measure of body composition. According to research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with increasing weight the risk of diseases also increases including cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease etc. A BMI between 25.0 and 30.0 is defined to be “overweight” and a BMI of over 30.0 is defined to as “obesity” (30 or more pounds overweight). Overweight and obesity result form an energy imbalance which involves consuming too many calories as compared to the amount of physical activity one does. The question lies on whether this issue is mainly because of psychological factor beyond an individual’s control or personal choices made by the obese individual. Genetics and the...
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