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Life Insurance Is A Weighty Issue

Dec 18, 2007
Turn to any popular publication these days and it will be plastered with numerous glossy photos of stick thin celebrity's. How do these people get life insurance? Inside, the notion that thinness equals beauty is dominant with tips on how to look like the stars, how to lose that last half stone and how to dress to look thinner.

Articles abound with stories of liposuction, boob jobs and stomach stapling. Celebrities are slated for still having a few extra pounds weeks after childbirth and unflattering comparison pictures are ruthlessly sought after to belittle the star.

Looking like a 'real' person, has been lost along the way. It is no longer acceptable to have curves unless they are surgically enhanced and pointing defying gravity. A multi million pound industry has been built up around 'helping' people to lose weight. Alongside this, the incidence of obesity has risen at an alarming rate. How do the two go together?

The Western world has become thoroughly obsessed with looking a certain way. Promoting the opinion that being over a certain size makes you less of a worthwhile person is a dangerous and untrue idea. The more people, and women in particular, are targeted with this idea the more obsessed we become with food.

This preoccupation with food has taken us away from the idea of food for fuel and it has made it the enemy to be resisted at all costs. For some, the more you try to resist something, especially something that your body can't do without, the more you want it.

On top of this, particularly in the US, it has become a status issue to have the biggest, the best and the most. Greedy fast food chains are making portions ever huger. Therefore, people are being bombarded with images of how the media think we should look and then bombarded with ever bigger portions of food.

For many this is a losing battle. Continuous cycles of bingeing and dieting are playing havoc with people's health with dangerous and costly results. Life insurance, if you can get it with an eating disorder of either obesity or anorexia, is not cheap.

For many young people with low self esteem, having the perceived slur on their character of carrying around 'normal' weight is unbearable. These are the ones prone to anorexia and it can be no coincidence that the majority of them are female.

Anorexia is a mental illness which includes self inflicted starvation, vomiting and excessive exercise to the point of exhaustion. Throughout the life of this illness, much physical damage is done. Brain, heart and kidney damage are just a few of the things that cannot be reversed even once the sufferer is eating normally again.

Depression is a major side effect of anorexia, although many report to having had emotional trauma or depression before the eating disorder began. The incidence of suicide linked to depressed anorexics is relatively small, 2 - 5%, but suicide attempts are much higher.

It is possible to recover from anorexia but it can have lasting effects. These will cause problems in the future for any life insurance that a former sufferer may wish to take out. Insurers like to back low risk clients and anorexics do not fall into that group.

They come with the added threat of future Osteoporosis as well as heart disease and any undisclosed anorexia, from however young an age, can cause a company not to pay out in the event of a long term illness or death from any other factor.

It also affects the family's chances of reasonable insurance rates too. A female with a close relative who has ever suffered anorexia is 10 - 20 times more likely to become a sufferer herself. This is reflected in life insurance rates.

Insurance companies have their own guide to ideal weight ranges. Doctors claim these tables to be rather low and they do not really account for build. However, sticking to a reasonable diet and a sensible weight range can modify your life insurance premiums.
About the Author
Health expert Shaun Parker looks into the premium differences for life insurance on mental illness sufferers.. To find out more please visit http://www.theidol.com/
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