From ABC Australia comes Australia’s disordered eating epidemic:
[W]e are not in the midst of an obesity epidemic, as it is often claimed. We are in the midst of an epidemic of disordered eating. The solutions prescribed to combat obesity are often the same behaviours we as practitioners are diagnosing in those suffering from eating disorders.
The comments are a mix of good and bad, but don’t read them if you don’t feel up to the crazies.
Meowser kicked in a terrific debunking of the new “epidemic” of childhood type 2 diabetes.
Back in the US, Misleading claims about Safeway wellness incentives blows a few holes in the claims of Safeway CEO Steven Burd that the company’s wellness incentives (reducing insurance premiums for those below a certain BMI, blood pressure measurement, and/or cholesterol measurement) enabled them to keep health costs constant for four years.
A review of Safeway documents and interviews with company officials show the company did not keep health-care costs flat for four years. Those costs did drop in 2006, by 12.5 percent. That was when the company overhauled its benefits, according to Safeway Senior Vice President Ken Shachmut.
The decline had nothing to do with tying employees’ premiums to test results. That element of Safeway’s benefits plan was not implemented until 2009, Shachmut said. […] Today, costs are slightly higher than in 2005, Shachmut said.
So they cut benefits in 2006, had benefits increase through 2009, and they’re claiming it’s due to the wellness incentives introduced in 2009? There’s more, a lot more – for example, costs increased more than average during 2009 – you know, the year the incentives were rolled out – and the incentives plan is only available to the 28,000 nonunion office employees, which is a small part of Safeway’s 200,000 workers.
Of course, as Slate noted in The Fat Premium in October,
The fact that significant weight loss is nearly impossible to maintain poses yet another problem for outcome-based wellness plans. It’s a safe bet that any obese person who manages to score the Safeway discount in a given year will be back in the penalty a few years later. That means plan members are incentivized to enter a cycle of yo-yo dieting, which may actually increase their risks of cardiovascular disease (although not all researchers agree on the dangers of weight cycling).
Personally, I think Safeway’s been identifying too much with Catbert.