As one of a very buoyant build, I was interested to read an AP report this week of results of a study that contradicts the commonly-held assumption that fat people and smokers soak up an unfair proportion of public health dollars. In fact, the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment found that these populations run up less health care costs than the average citizen. The reason? We die sooner.
During the time we are alive, however, the obese and the nicotine-addicted do require more health care than others, with obesity the more expensive of the two. However, life expectancy of smokers is seven years less, the obese four years less than the svelte non-smoker.
Total projected life health expenses for smokers were projected at $326,000, the obese at $371,000, while the fit will rack up $417,000 in medical bills. These figures are based on the Dutch health care system, but should hold true in proportion to the U.S. system.
So show a little respect for those of us committing suicide by smoke, or hari-kari by Ho-ho. Without us, your health care costs could skyrocket.