Americans continue to fight rising healthcare costs. The government for America has changed the healthcare system under a bill called Obamacare in an effort to make healthcare more accessible for the citizens. Is the healthcare system really America’s problem with healthcare costs, or is Obamacare an effort to ignore the real problem?
America faces an obesity problem. Many Americans are over-weight or obese including children. As America’s waistline continues to expand so do the rising healthcare costs due to health-related issues associated with obesity. The growing problem requires a solution, but so far the solutions offered by America’s political system have ignored the real problem. Schools are changing the menu for children who buy school lunches, the mayor of New York placed a soda ban on any soda drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants (Reimer, 2012), and a few lawsuits have been filed against soda makers misplacing blame for health tragedies. The solutions proposed by the government have yet to shrink America’s waistline, and the reason is the government refuses to acknowledge that obesity is the problem.
America’s weight problem travels beyond the soda drinker or the child with a chocolate treat in their lunch. Americans live a fast-paced lifestyle with non-stop travel between home, work, school, children’s activities and the like. The fast-paced lifestyle is all-too-common and quick-meal solutions are a daily need for many Americans. Fast meals are often higher in fat, sodium and sugar. Fast meals are often less expensive than healthier choices. McDonald’s, for example, offers some healthy items on the menu, but a dinner salad in Colorado is closer to $6.00 while a double cheeseburger is only a dollar or two. The obesity problem continues to fester because too many people cannot afford the healthier dietary choices available in their fast-paced lifestyle. America must focus the marketing strategy for decreasing rising healthcare costs on the need for lower-cost health consumption choices. The lack of affordable healthy food choices is the problem for rising healthcare costs.
Danielle Gould from Forbes magazine offered “Americans know they are fat.” Her article offers two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one-third of children are cursed with the same problem. Obesity-related illness has a cost of $190.2 billion annually with research suggesting the cost will rise and increase to $549.5 billion annually by 2030 (Gould, 2012). Americans have a problem with their weight and soda bans and healthier school lunches will not fix the problem.
Health-related illness due to obesity is open to a wide-range of problems. Health-related illnesses include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, heart disease, stroke, gallstones, gallbladder disorders, gout, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, complications with pregnancy, poor reproductive health, bladder control problems and psychological disorders (“free-online-health.com,” 2009). The problem with current efforts to control America’s waistline is the idea that we can change how people feel about their health by controlling what they consume in certain public places, but what is needed is offering better choices at lower costs.
Schools offering better lunch choices is not a bad idea, but having a no-junk-food policy is not a good idea. Many fad diets restrict the junk food people can consume, but many of them also allow a “free day” to enjoy something less healthy. Schools could follow the diet mindset by offering healthy choices Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday while making Wednesday a “free day” to enjoy pizza, a sweet treat and the like. The more you tell people “no” the more they will want what is being denied to them. Schools should also offer gym and activity classes daily. Children have larger waistlines not only from their calorie intake but from lack of activity as well. It is my opinion that gym classes are just as important as math, language, history and science classes. Adults could also use more activity and the government can reward people who seek out additional activity resulting in additional calories burned.
A business analysis evaluates the attractiveness of a solution, as well determines profit, loss and cost projections for the solution. The risk analysis for changing a healthcare system versus producing healthier choices should be conducted. The government will never make every citizen happy, but the government should not control the food sent to school for children to eat during the day either. Americans must invest in producing healthier food choices at lower costs for consumption. Costs continue to rise for many reasons including over-consumption, rising transportation costs, as well the price to harvest fruits, vegetables and animals for our food supply. The plan to lower costs involves more than fertile ground for producing healthier choices, and all costs must be considered to find solutions. America must adopt the mindset to eat healthier while the government works to make a healthy lifestyle more affordable.
The government must discontinue the parental control they are trying to force on the citizens of America. The government controlling soda drinking in public, and food choices in schools will not shrink America’s waistline. Americans have created their own problems with healthcare costs and each person needs the cost options available to develop solutions. Americans must make a healthy lifestyle a priority and the government must concentrate on making healthier choices available and affordable. The real problem is simple and the costs likely lower than Obamacare or anything else the government has done so far. America you are fat and it is time to fix the real problem with healthcare costs!
Gould, D. (2012). A systems approach to solving America’s obesity problem. Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites/daniellegould/2012/5/11/a-systems-approach-to-solving-americas-obesity-problem/.