Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do it for America

Eat, drink smoke and be merry for tomorrow you'll die...which will end up helping America.

According to Slate (and some researchers probably) all of the talk about the obese and smokers causing health care costs to rise are just plain hooey

The first paper, published by a Dutch team in the journal PLoS Medicine, challenges the basic assumption that fat people are more expensive to treat. It's true that if you compare two people of the same age and wealth, one slim and the other obese, you can expect the fatter one to have more chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. The fatter patient will also make more visits to the doctor, buy more prescription drugs, and otherwise ring up higher medical bills in a given year.

But this analytical approach—used routinely by Finkelstein and other obesity number crunchers—ignores one important fact: Obese people have shorter life spans. Since the elderly are by far the costliest patients, it's possible that early deaths save taxpayers money in the long run. In fact, fatal diseases almost always return net-cost savings to public health care. Smoking, which causes a host of particularly deadly conditions, turns out to be especially cheap—which is to say, government attempts to curb nicotine addiction have actually cost the United States money

If we somehow figured out a way to "cure" obesity—with a pill, an injection, or a law like the one they're proposing in Mississippi—we'd increase the burden on taxpayers. More people would make it to old age, hastening the Social Security crisis and pushing up the costs of Medicaid. Indeed, the analysis in PLoS Medicine revealed that lifetime health expenditures were highest for healthy-living people of optimum weight.

This chew-and-screw narrative feeds on itself. First, it inflates the numbers by ignoring the real effects of an aging population. Then it promotes bias by supplying phony evidence that heavy people are lazy, useless, and a drag on the nation. This in turn makes anyone who thinks he's a little chubby feel even fatter, which worsens his health and lowers his quality of life. As a result, he spends more money on medical bills and more days at home crying into a bowl of ice cream. And guess what? All of this only increases the cost of obesity!

So eat what you want, smoke when you want enjoy your lives, Sure they may be shorter but they will be fuller and by living and then dying early you'll be performing an almost patriotic duty by showing your love for America is so strong that you would sacrifice yourself in order to keep the tax burden down for us all.

I salute you.

And while you’re at it roll around in something disgusting and savor the germs because apparently germs may help our bodies fight tumors
Germs kill Cancer!

IN the 1890s, a New York surgeon named William Coley tested a radical cancer treatment. He took a hypodermic needle teeming with bacteria and plunged it into the flesh of patients.

After suffering through weeks of chills and fevers, many showed significant regression of their tumors, but even Coley himself could not explain the phenomenon.

today, some scientists think Coley had it right: Germs can teach our bodies how to fight back against tumors. Dr. John Timmerman, a cancer immunotherapy expert at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, says this revolution has produced "the most exciting sets of compounds in cancer immunology."

These scientists have not yet proved their case. But new studies are revealing that certain cancers may be reduced by exposure to disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and pharmaceutical companies are testing anticancer treatments that capitalize on the concept by using bacterial elements to boost the body's natural immunity.

The studies also imply that our cleaner, infection-free lifestyles may be contributing to the rise in certain cancers over the last 50 years, scientists say, because they make the immune system weaker or less mature. Germs cause disease but may also fortify the body, a notion summed up in a 2006 report by a team of Canadian researchers as "whatever does not kill me makes me stronger."

Which is why I don’t use antibacterial soup. I'm sure I'll get something weird one of these days but I want my body to be able to recognize it and kill it.

Swear it off healthy living and precautions people, do it for America

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