How Much of the Obesity Epidemic Is Real?
The Bad News and the Worse News

The bad news is that there is certainly a lot of obesity around. You can see it by looking at people in shopping centers or schools or anywhere there are large numbers of people.

But what do official counts of the rising number of obese Americans really mean? Consider: Durk points out that the new medical coding that requires doctors to assign numbers to patients that represent their medical condition is behind a phenomenon called “overcoding” where it is to the advantage of the doctor or hospital to code a patient as “obese” even if he or she is merely overweight to allow for increased reimbursement through government health “insurance” schemes or even private insurance. And perhaps the scariest part of this is that those designations follow the patient all the way from the doctor’s records for that patient to scientific research on obesity as a public health problem to government health surveys, with the designation “obese” being used to describe somebody only overweight making it appear that there is an epidemic of obesity.

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