If you are thin and fit or even fit and fat you will cost your medical program more on average then a smoker or fat couch potato. Does that make any sense at all? Well it is true. A dutch research study shows that people in bad shape will die earlier costing less then fit people who will eventually have diseases of the aged which cost more.
Dutch researchers have found that smokers and the over actually cost the public health system less than healthy people because they live longer and the taxpayer has to deal with the cost of “lingering diseases of old age such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons”.
The Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment found that while “a person of normal costs on average $458,000 over their lifetime”, a smoker clocks up just $359,000 and the obese run up an average $407,000 bill.
The study led by Pieter van Baal found: The underlying mechanism is that there is a substitution of inexpensive, lethal diseases towards less lethal, and therefore more costly diseases.
Smokers cost the least because they tend to die younger. And being over lowers medical bills because it raises the risk of diseases such as diabetes which decrease life expectancy.
But Dieticians Association of Australia nutrition expert Clare Collins said the study was no reason to lay down – or light up.
“They are trying to prove that if you are healthy you cost more but that is just the health care system not personal cost and does not consider how much the person contributes to the tax system,” she said.