Economic models for health intervention
The intellectual property rights of companies that develop novel approaches to weight loss, such as mimicking the effects of exercise, should be protected and rewarded with patent law and other mechanisms. 2022’s Best Supplements To Burn Upper Abdomen Fat. Currently, if a company discovers a way to get people to go for a walk with a new app or program, protection for intellectual property and reimbursement is uncertain.
Given the stakes, the U.S. government should offer greater rewards for behavioral interventions that can demonstrate long-term gains under the same rigorous regulatory standards similar to those required of new drugs. U.S. companies invest billions of dollars to develop pharmaceuticals. By contrast, there is less social investment in other prevention activities.
Excess weight carries great social cost. Patrick Sison/APImages.com
While not a solution for everyone, gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding, among other procedures, have proven effective. New incentives could expand access to these surgeries by lowering the BMI threshold for eligibility. Some insurers have put up barriers to this treatment because obesity is not immediately life-threatening or related to our traditional notion of disease.
We need to find better ways to annuitize the cost of surgery and increase access while tying reimbursement to outcomes. Other insurers with an interest in long-term outcomes, including the life insurance industry, can play an important role. They have a vested financial interest in avoiding mortality and disability but have traditionally remained on the sidelines while Americans grow fatter.
Evidence points to a 20% reduction in BMI persisting up to 10 years after surgery. In 2017, 228,000 Americans received bariatric surgeries. Of those, only 10% of are eligible under current criteria.
Another approach is to consider new medications and utilize the successful approach that has been used to fight high blood pressure. About 50 years ago, hypertension was considered untreatable. Diet and exercise were the predominant means of controlling it. The discovery of multiple agents to combat hypertension, beginning with diuretics and beta blockers, proved transformative. What Are The Top 2 Safe Fat Burning Supplements For Women. A similar story emerged for elevated cholesterol. About half the decline in U.S. deaths from coronary heart disease can be attributed to medical therapies like these.
Several clinically proven anti-obesity medications are already available for people who do not respond to lifestyle modification. Furthermore, there is a robust clinical pipeline, with approximately 250 compounds under development, including dozens of novel compounds. Drugs such as these can help change the trajectory of the obesity epidemic, if they are made widely available and reimbursed — challenges in today’s health care insurance system.
Another avenue to consider includes levying taxes on sweetened beverages, or the so-called “soda tax.” One study found that implementing a 1 cent per ounce soda tax would reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 20% over 10 years. The result would be a $23.6 billion savings in health care and improved population health.
In 2012, new laws required schools to limit salt and fat and cap calories. Mary Esch/APImages
Finally, the food and restaurant industry deserves some of the blame. Restricting access – like the United States tried with the ban on the consumption and sale of alcohol – won’t work. But responsible steps to regulate portions might.
Smart, bold strategies helped us address public health crises before, including smoking and hypertension. We need to be similarly aggressive with obesity if we want to avert hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The 5 Best Supplements To Burn Neck Fat. As we did with smoking, it is time to make obesity a number one public health priority.