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Old 05-11-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
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Health screening rant

Just got my results from my insurance company's annual health screening, along with an automated finger-wagging about my BMI. Here are some of their recommendations for me:
  • Eat "healthy, low-fat food"
  • Get some exercise by doing household chores more vigorously
  • Reduce stress by having a sense of humor

It's true that I was born without a sense of humor, but that's a disability and I think they should be more sensitive about it.

And I do thirty minutes of cardio six times a week, so while dusting twice as fast wouldn't hurt, I'm not sure it's going to make me that much healthier.

Last year they didn't like my BMI either, so I signed up for a telephone "counseling" service in return for a discount on the insurance. I could rant all day about that craziness.

I tried to have an open mind, but the "counselor" started off by asking me how willing I was to make some changes, like walking around the block three times a week - without asking how much exercise I got in the first place! And at the time I was exercising even more than I do now, because I was biking eight to ten miles on sunny days!

I could not seem to get him to believe that I wasn't spending my days on the couch in front of the TV eating cake by the handful.

I used to think wellness programs were a great idea - until I actually experienced one
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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I agree!
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biancasteeplechase View Post
Just got my results from my insurance company's annual health screening, along with an automated finger-wagging about my BMI. Here are some of their recommendations for me:
  • Eat "healthy, low-fat food"
  • Get some exercise by doing household chores more vigorously
  • Reduce stress by having a sense of humor

It's true that I was born without a sense of humor, but that's a disability and I think they should be more sensitive about it.

now that is funny!
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
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You could laugh more at the telephone counselors with the vacuum running.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:09 AM   #5
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How frustrating. I have a similar survey through work (no medical tests involved), where they pay us for taking a health survey then give us a discount at the fitness center, and they offer "wellness counseling" too. I hate the survey. It asked it I was thinking of cutting down on my fat consumption. I said "no and I don't plan to". It didn't mention anything about cutting down on sugar consumption. I did say I was interested in getting help with exercise, but I did not check the box that I wanted nutritional or weight managment assistance. I am doing very well on those myself, thank you very much!

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Old 05-12-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
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Not to mention the counselor on the other end of the phone could have had weight and health issues also...I have seen a lot of overweight dietitians and doctors in my years.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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I would sign up for those "programs" and tell them what they want to hear just to get the discounts.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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This is Hi-larious, Bianca. Thanks for the big laugh, great way to get my day going.

It is SO irritating the amt of BS out there in wellness programs, health and fitness magazines for women, and on almost every major news site on the web when it comes to "healthy" eating. As Taubes would say, how can it be that 30 years of shouting "eat low fat and exercise to lose weight" has resulted in unprecedented obesity in America?

And then there's this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lterry913 View Post
Not to mention the counselor on the other end of the phone could have had weight and health issues also...I have seen a lot of overweight dietitians and doctors in my years.
YEP. A year ago I got a stern lecture from a Doctor on eating low fat and exercising more. She looked to weigh at least 30 pounds more than me. I hadn't read Taubes or started on this LC woe yet, but her holier than thou attitude just irritated the bejeezy out of me and I had to bite my lip not to say "And how's that working for you?"

I never returned to her. Now that I've read Taubes and started this woe, I know I will not tolerate a doctor that is not open to and educated about a LC woe. The best doctors, imo, say whatever works for you is a good way for you to lose weight.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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so sorry for y'all. must be difficult to face those annual medicals. i know how i feel when i must have a medical for a driver's license renewal.
(i'm sooooo glad i don't live in the good ol' us of a).
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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The health care system in the US is a royal mess.
Your insurance company has a financial stake in your health, but what guidelines do they follow? The same stupid government suggestions that led to the obesity epidemic in the first place. The fact of the matter is that big food/ big pharma control the nutrition/health debate. They get the government to endorse methods that maximize their profit.
What is good for them is not necessarily good for us.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
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THIS! vvvvvv


Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
The health care system in the US is a royal mess.
Your insurance company has a financial stake in your health, but what guidelines do they follow? The same stupid government suggestions that led to the obesity epidemic in the first place. The fact of the matter is that big food/ big pharma control the nutrition/health debate. They get the government to endorse methods that maximize their profit.
What is good for them is not necessarily good for us.
An example. Just read an interesting post by Dr. Eades on Magnesium. He tells his patients that if they're going to take just one supplement it should be magnesium, it's that important. So why do most Americans have no idea they're magnesium deficient, or what problems that may cause?

"Why are so many people deficient in magnesium? Because there are no single foods that contain huge amounts of magnesium, and because there is no single food containing large amounts, there is no magnesium lobby. Look at calcium. Thanks to the dairy industry, we are constantly told that we need to get enough calcium, and we’re told right where we can get it. Milk and cheese. Same with vitamin C. The orange juice people never let us forget. Not so with magnesium, so no one really thinks of it."

We really must be our own advocates, because the "experts" are woefully behind the available science, or bought off w/big money campaigns.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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how frustrating Bianaca. I am sorry. At least you/we can laugh about it.

I may not necessarily practice what I know (at least not yet...but I am starting the journey!) but when I hear friends/family and even strangers commenting on things that are just so grossly incorrect when it comes to nutrition...I just cringe and bite my tongue.

I am sorry you had to be subjected to that sort of treatment though.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Get ready.... because doctors are now getting mandates to provide "Counseling" to patients on BMI, weight loss, diet, diabetes (not to mention wearing a seatbelt, smoking cessation, safe sex) ... and if they dont DON'T, the docs will be penalized by the insurance companies.

What people want is a caring doctor, who sits with them and listens, and then provides recommendations. What you get with mandates is the type of protocol driving, formulated crap that is demonstrated above.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Blue Skies View Post
YEP. A year ago I got a stern lecture from a Doctor on eating low fat and exercising more. She looked to weigh at least 30 pounds more than me. I hadn't read Taubes or started on this LC woe yet, but her holier than thou attitude just irritated the bejeezy out of me and I had to bite my lip not to say "And how's that working for you?"
Years ago, I got a lecture from a doctor who wanted me to try some fad diet or other. She told me that she'd lost twelve pounds on it. "Then I gained it all back," she laughed.

I said "Are you saying I should try something that didn't work, and even left you worse off than before?"

Then I got told that I had a bad attitude, which I already knew and didn't need a doctor to tell me.

How many of these doctors do you think are asking skinny people what they eat? Because the last I checked, lots of thin people are living on junk food ....
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by avid View Post
Your insurance company has a financial stake in your health, but what guidelines do they follow? The same stupid government suggestions that led to the obesity epidemic in the first place. The fact of the matter is that big food/ big pharma control the nutrition/health debate. They get the government to endorse methods that maximize their profit.
What is good for them is not necessarily good for us.
You would think that since the insurance companies save money by keeping you healthy, they'd be keeping an eye on the research and sending their lobbyists to Congress to make sure the health guidelines were actually up-to-date.

Actually there's an idea ... I wonder if we could start the Facts-Based Insurance Company and make a fortune?
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #16
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I would sign up for those "programs" and tell them what they want to hear just to get the discounts.
I actually asked what I had to do to get the discount! Turned out I just had to complete three phone calls.

I did happily tell the guy about all the stationary biking, real biking, and general walking around town I did. At the time I was eating what I believed was a healthy diet - low-fat with not much meat (please don't laugh at me!) so I told him that, too.

Of course I didn't lose any weight with all that exercise and healthy carbs, but he couldn't say I wasn't following the program.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #17
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It's surprising health insurance companies don't wise up. The only possible conclusion that I've been able to come up with is, no matter how much they complain, they actually make more money when people are sick. If health insurance companies made more on healthy people, you can bet they would be using more productive strategies. Since this is people's contact point with the cost of health care, it's the only effective place to make changes.

Unfortunately, whether it's an insurance company or a national health care plan, bureaucracy is self-perpetuating and will do anything to keep itself alive. Even if that means keeping millions of people sick to justify the company's current budget.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:43 PM   #18
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Le sigh. Agree with all here.

At least my internist high-fived me when I told him I cut all the sugar from my diet. And he said exercise is a minor part of weight loss and to concentrate on what I eat.

He's a keeper.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geekin' in Utah View Post
It's surprising health insurance companies don't wise up. The only possible conclusion that I've been able to come up with is, no matter how much they complain, they actually make more money when people are sick. If health insurance companies made more on healthy people, you can bet they would be using more productive strategies. Since this is people's contact point with the cost of health care, it's the only effective place to make changes.

Unfortunately, whether it's an insurance company or a national health care plan, bureaucracy is self-perpetuating and will do anything to keep itself alive. Even if that means keeping millions of people sick to justify the company's current budget.
No, we really make more money when people are well. Honest.

We are a small insurance company and don't have wellness incentives. We have one particular self-funded plan that penalizes certain workers, but in general we try to discourage that tactic. As for the wellness guidelines mentioned previously in this thread, I think that the prevailing way of thinking is that the government has these guidelines, so it must be so. Progress is slow in this area across all industries. Out in the wider world, most doctors and RDs still prescribe to lower fat plans - even if they advocate reducing carbs. The insurance bigwigs aren't going to question the prevailing medical advice.

I usually keep my fingers away when my profession is mentioned, but I just want to assure everyone that we aren't cooking up some nefarious scheme to keep you in the hospital.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:16 PM   #20
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I usually keep my fingers away when my profession is mentioned, but I just want to assure everyone that we aren't cooking up some nefarious scheme to keep you in the hospital.
that's exactly what you want us believe .....muuuuhuuuuhaaaaahaaaahaaaaaa

j/k
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #21
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that's exactly what you want us believe .....muuuuhuuuuhaaaaahaaaahaaaaaa

j/k
You have discovered my evil plan .....
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:28 PM   #22
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lol....

I think I would lie to get a discount...no, I know I would. After all, they are lying when they tell us what to eat to get healthy...

I would find it very annoying (not really the right word but...) if they made assumptions without asking about my current lifestyle.

My doctor seems not to care much what I eat. He just sees that what I am doing is working. He knows nothing about nutrition so I'm happy he doesn't care. The only nutritional comment he made in the last year was that I eat bananas as snacks... I think my face went like this... ...at his suggestion but I managed not to say a word.

i'm already seeing changes in the doctor's offices that are clearly connected to the regulations being put in place for 2014. I'm not impressed.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #23
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:43 AM   #24
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My poor doctor doesn't get it...and I know that...but overall he's a decent guy who doesn't nag me so I keep him. The last time he asked me how I had lost so much weight, I said: "If I told you, your head would explode!"

He hasn't asked again.

But now he's at a loss because he can't automatically blame things on my being overweight...poor guy...
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by biancasteeplechase View Post
It's true that I was born without a sense of humor, but that's a disability and I think they should be more sensitive about it.
Bianca, you are HILARIOUS! For example, this made me legitimately laugh out loud!
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:13 PM   #26
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And they just sent out an e-mail saying that if you didn't hit your target numbers, you have to do the phone counseling. My husband forwarded it to me and said:

"Sorry babe, looks like you have to have some fool read a script out at you on the phone."
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #27
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And they just sent out an e-mail saying that if you didn't hit your target numbers, you have to do the phone counseling. My husband forwarded it to me and said:

"Sorry babe, looks like you have to have some fool read a script out at you on the phone."
lol... Your DH has that one right!

And the poor fool reading the script most likely does not believe a word of it but needs the paycheck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:15 PM   #28
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You know there is a reason they call it PRACTICING medicine!!!
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:32 AM   #29
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I wanted to jump in here, because this whole issue drives me totally crazy. I live in Quebec and our health system is provided by the government (anyone who doesn't have drug insurance through their employer is covered by government insurance, and it costs nothing to go to the doctor/have tests etc. in the public system) and so obviously our taxes are incredibly high, and the system is just a TRAIN WRECK.

The question asked at the top of the thread is a really good one: since insurance companies profit when people are well, why don't they look at the current science and put pressure on governments to revise their recommendations???? In every other domain the government is often beholden to big industry, which actually sets the agenda to favour their own profits. So what the heck is wrong with the insurance industry?????
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #30
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Quote:
The question asked at the top of the thread is a really good one: since insurance companies profit when people are well, why don't they look at the current science and put pressure on governments to revise their recommendations???? In every other domain the government is often beholden to big industry, which actually sets the agenda to favour their own profits. So what the heck is wrong with the insurance industry
I have actually pondered this. I think that this whole notion of preventive medicine is so new to our culture that the fact that the insurance companies are requiring doctors to address this issue in any form is encouraging. Over time, when they realize that the "low fat/high carb" woe is actually CREATING the obesity epidemic then I truly believe things will start to turn.
But I am a cynical sort of guy when it comes to big business profits. I honestly believe that the same super rich families who own/control big food corporations also control the big pharmaceutical companies and they like the way things are because it maximizes profit at both ends. They also control the government bureaucracy which is why stupid evil lies like the food pyramid are paraded around as the truth about healthy eating.
I mean just think about it. You get the government to say that high carb/ low fat is the healthiest diet and have them approve all the processing poisons so huge profits are made......this then causes an explosion in obesity, with it's associated diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. etc.......then you have the other industry you own create expensive medications to fight the conditons you created in the first place. All with the governments blessing.
It's really brilliant.
Evil, but really brilliant
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