NEW YORK The simple fact is — there are more fat people in this country than there are skinny people. Some 66% of Americans field a body-mass index above 25, according to the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. And as part of that figure, there are more than 72 million Americans who are clinically obese, with BMIs over 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Consider the number of chronic disease states around which carrying excess weight on the body is a contributing factor — heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis, among others — and you can just imagine the accountants over at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services trying to figure out how to squeeze those ever-fattening healthcare costs into future budgets.
“Policies that keep people healthy and prevent disease must be central to our efforts,” stressed ADA president Jessie Pavlinac. “It is exciting that Congress and the White House are both discussing true changes to the way the U.S. delivers health care. In particular, it is clear that prevention will take on a large role.”
A healthcare system that stresses the promotion of health and wellness so that disease-state management would be less necessary actually spells opportunity for retail pharmacy. Future Medicare beneficiaries may not need as many pharmaceuticals going forward, but they would have a greater need for reliable healthcare information that could be provided by one of two trusted healthcare professionals already in that retail setting — the community pharmacist and the convenience-care clinician.