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Why Is Obesity Such An Issue For Insurance Companies

Jul 11, 2008
Whenever we fill in an application form for health insurance, one of the main aspects of your health they will ask is your weight and for information on your diet. Health insurance companies have their own set of guidelines as to what constitutes a healthy weight/height ratio but this doesn't give the whole picture as muscle weighs so much heavier than fat. This means that a person who, on paper, is considered overweight could be perfectly healthy. Adversely, a person who is within the healthy weight range could also have excessive body fat which brings health problems itself.

So, why do health insurance companies have such an issue with our weight? Well, carrying excessive weight puts the body under immense strain. It increases the likelihood that cancer will go undetected while they are hidden under a layer of fat. Lumps are not noticed and symptoms are put down to the everyday disadvantages to being overweight, thus not being picked up as cancer.

Being overweight also puts a huge strain on the body's internal organs. The heart has to work so much harder to pump sufficient blood and oxygen round the larger mass and diabetes is much more likely to occur when the body cannot convert the junk that is being put into it into anything useful. Obesity brings circulatory disorders such as blood clots into an ever increasing risk the larger a person is.

Added into all these factors is the difficulty of falling pregnant when overweight and the complications that it can lead to while pregnant. Obesity puts mother and baby at risk and will also lead to an increased chance of your child being overweight.

Of course, no one can deny that losing excess weight is easier said than done. But if you can make small changes to diet and exercise then you are on your way. Limiting the junk food, the processed food and fast food is a great start. Replace them with fresh fruit and vegetables and the occasional treat and the pounds will soon drop away.

Small differences to the way we move all help too. Walk up stairs whenever possible instead of taking a lift or escalator. Get a cordless phone and walk around while talking instead of sitting down. Stand and do the ironing while watching TV or even invest in some home gym equipment you can use whilst watching TV will all help. If you don't want to go to this expense, simply take a little time out of each day to walk, or even be a little more energetic when you're doing the housework - it all adds up to a healthier you.

It's no wonder that people have become overweight when you look at how our lifestyles have changed over the years. We now live in an age of convenience.
Convenience foods, convenience equipment, cars all designed to speed up what we can achieve in a day but at the same time making us fat and lazy. We feel conditioned to cramming a certain amount into our day but we also feel conditioned to look a certain way and it just isn't happening.

'Me' time is a phrase that has been coined by the media in recent years as one of the things that has gone out of the window in our crazy times and apparently it is something we should all be striving to get back again. However, that doesn't mean that we have to fill that 'me' time with sweaty gym workouts or five mile jogging sessions.

At the end of the day, to lengthen our lives and lower our health insurance premiums, we would do well to eat fresh and healthy and move a little more. It can't hurt to try.
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