That’s Bullocks

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Commenting on my entry about USA Today, Sarabeth said:

Sorry to say this, but that’s bollocks. Being overweight causes lots of problems. Anyone who has been overweight knows this. Okay, so obesity may not cost lives, but it does cost money in medical costs from treating high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.

No one would have ever called me obese before I lost weight. I was only 15 pounds over a healthy weight, but even at a young age (and I’m talking 30) my body did not like being overweight. My cholesterol was high, now it isn’t. My arthritis in my feet was worse, now it is much better. I complained of being uncomfortable all the time, now I’m happy with how my body feels.


The truth of the matter is, there is no PROVEN fact that being overweight causes high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol. There is some correlation with obesity and these diseases, but correlation does not mean causation. No matter how much they say it on television, it doesn’t make it true.

Obesity does NOT cause disease. There have been no studies that have shown that obesity causes any diseases. It may aggravate some, but that is an entirely different story.

We all need to have a discerning eye when we see these reports on the news. The major news outlets are owned by big businesses that have an invested interest in the insurance industry. The insurance industry is weighted with the high cost of health care right now and are desperate to find a scape goat.

The health insurance companies have chosen obesity as their scape goat. If we don’t get the insurance companies in line, they will be denying coverage to their paying members who are overweight. Mark my words.

I’m sure you feel better because you have lost weight. I feel better now that I’m thinner. Neither of our examples are PROOF that obesity causes disease. I am grateful that I am living life thinner and I encourage anyone who wants to take that journey to do so. Until there is a study that wasn’t funded by the insurance moguls that proves that obesity causes diseases, I’m not going to let them spout that rubbish. That’s what’s bullocks.

Laura Moncur


4 Responses to “That’s Bullocks”

  1. Mark Says:

    If the obese are scapegoats who are actually low risk, how would eliminating them from the insurance pool help the insurance companies financially?

    There’s a relatively low barrier to entry to forming a non-life insurance company in the United States. Many boutique insurance companies in the U.S. have only a few employees, mostly marketing people. Everything else is outsourced: underwriting, product development, claims processing, call center. I’m sure there are some clever, entrepreneurial insurance executives looking to go their own way who would have caught on to the opportunity of covering the obese, if it really existed.

    I would suggest that the reason the media harps on the risks of obesity is that it is the mainstream view, not because of a conspiracy, but because most of the evidence supports it. Whether it’s the 112,000 or the 400,000 figure, that’s a lot of people dying. And that doesn’t include the living one-legged diabetes patients like the woman whose picture was in the NY Times a week or so back, who would be dead in prior decades — if insurance wasn’t paying for her expensive treatment. And the dead also don’t include the obese people who are “alive” getting sponge baths and diaper changes for 24 months longer than the non-obese do at the end of their lives.

    To rephrase your blog entry, no matter how much they say it in the 100 blogs in the fat acceptance blogoshpere, it doesn’t make it true.

  2. Sarabeth Says:

    And my reply email was this:

    Laura, You appear to be someone who really does her research, so I’m not going to debate you on finer points at this time. Three kids get in the way of me getting all my ducks in a row for that! However, I’m not just a person who watches television for information on scientific research. I was a biological researcher before I had children, and I still keep up with the literature. While you say there is some correlation of disease with obesity I counter to say that there is quite a bit of correllation and the American Heart Association in 1998 made the bold statement that obesity causes heart disease. The obese, diabetes-ridden Native American population (as well as other populations with similar genetic compositions) is a great example of extremely high correlation of obesity and disease. I should also point out that the insurance industry used (and still does to some degree) cigarette smokers as a scapegoat, and look how effective that has been on reducing smoking. After all for most of us, controlling our weight and food intake is something we can control. There are not that many genetic anomalies out there who are unable to control their food intake and food choices.



  3. Laura Moncur Says:

    The point of the USA Today story was that RESEARCH has proven the media wrong.

    From USA Today (which is what sparked this debate):

    “Obesity researchers who have long sounded warnings about excess weight were alarmed when a government study suggested that weighing too much may not cost as many lives as previously believed and may actually provide some health advantages.”

    I worked in the health insurance industry for five years. I KNOW that this is where they want to take the future. They will allow overweight insureds to happily pay their premiums for years, but then deny them coverage when a major claim comes in.

    “Clever” insurance companies haven’t even figured out how to cover self-employed people yet. The system is far more broken than you know.

  4. Sarabeth Says:

    Laura, I agree with you that any person who has paid health insurance premiums should not be denied coverage simply for the reason that they were obese or had an obesity related disease.

    I cannot find fault with an insurance company that does not want to insure an obese person in the first place.


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