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Posted October 23, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Health care costs: Everyone's responsibility

Since 2000, health care costs for a typical family of four has risen 114 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
High blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and chest pain are four of the most expensive health conditions to employers. (CDC, April 25, 2011). Most importantly, these conditions are costly to individuals and families in terms of time and resources. No one likes to be sick or to be a burden to family members. No one wants to pay a higher premium that may result from health problems that could have been prevented.

More than one-third of adults in America are obese. Obesity also puts people at risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and chest pain. "In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight." (CDC, Aug. 13, 2012).

In the US, heart disease is still the No.1 killer for all groups of people. The annual costs for us as a nation exceed $286 billion dollars. (CDC, June 30, 2011).

An important part of the equation for reducing health care costs is diet and exercise, and only this can be controlled by each of us individually. What we consume, how much we consume, and how much we exercise is a matter of personal choice and responsibility.

There are many resources available to help us get back on the road to good health. The USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov can assist you in learning about a healthy diet and exercise plan. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss steps that you can take to improve your health.

Taking charge before a health problem develops can give you peace of mind and save you money.

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