Impact of Insurance on Health Outcomes Relative to Obesity

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 1
Word count: 292
Topics: Childhood Obesity, Health, Medicine

From the logical perspective, financing of health care through insurance is supposed to make it easy for people to afford care, hence improve their health outcomes. Common sense stipulates that spending less money to access good health care even for the low-income earners is a significant boost to human health. However, there is a very small percentage of people who exhibit an improvement in their health outcomes due to health insurance (Lee et al., 2010). The largest proportion of individuals change their behaviors and choices in a manner that increases their BMI. As such, there is evidence to show that the support of universal health insurance coverage would not be the solution for the reduction of obesity as affordable medical care does not necessarily result in improvement in health outcomes. 

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Research evidence shows a strong relationship between BMI and health insurance. This implies that insured individuals are mostly heavier compared to their non-insured counterparts. This trend can be attributed to the fact that the insured individuals have the opportunity of taking more health risks (Lee et al., 2010). The ability to rely on insurance at any moment they need medical care reduces their liability, which reduces health consciousness. In this case, while non-insured individuals would more likely eat fruits and vegetables and work out, their insured counterparts are more likely to indulge in junk and unhealthy foods and shun exercise (Card et al., 2004). While both non-insured and insured individuals know that obesity is the leading causes of the primary chronic diseases including hypertension and diabetes, non-insured individuals know that they will be accountable for each penny spent for medical care, a worry that is non-existent for the insured individuals.

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  1. Card, D., Dobkin, C., & Maestas, N. (2004). The impact of nearly universal insurance coverage on health care utilization and health: evidence from Medicare (No. w10365). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Lee, J. S., Sheer, J. L., Lopez, N., & Rosenbaum, S. (2010). Coverage of obesity treatment: a state-by-state analysis of Medicaid and state insurance laws. Public health reports, 125(4), 596-604.
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