Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Straight from the "So Studies Like This Are Why My Insurance Premiums Are So High" Files, we learn from AP the amazing fact that:
Fat Workers Cost Employers More
And how do we know this? Because "obesity experts" say so. Uhhh, ok.

Anyone who spends any time online knows that the "news" headlines always include "a study" indicating something horrible and disastrous about children, fat people, old people, or smokers. Or fat, old children who smoke. They've got it the worst.

Now I don't know for sure that insurance companies underwrite these "studies," but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess they do. Because if you look at these "studies," they always conclude with something that's self-evident, and usually quite favorable to insurers' desires to reduce the number and expense of claims:
"Smoking during work hours is just as unhealthy as smoking at happy hour"

"Children who do homework while eating chocolate are more likely to smudge the paper, resulting in lower grades"

"Old people die more often than young people. And if they're fat or they smoke, they're probably dead already"
And someone is spending millions, if not billions, to fund these "studies." Because those obesity experts, they don't come cheap.

Your premiums at work, baby! (Not to mention, from time to time, your federal funds as per the instructions of the insurance lobby.)

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Anonymous Applesaucer said...

I applaud your skepticism re the headlines. I agree that it's important to know who's paying for the study. I see from the article that it's the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is a federal agency (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/about.html)

Not sure if that actually makes the study any more credible but...

"they always conclude with something that's self-evident, and usually quite favorable to insurers' desires to reduce the number and expense of claims..."

Irrespective of how you feel about insurance companies generally (I'm ambivalent about how they operate in the US), I'm not sure why you'd be begrudge the insurance companies' pointing out self-evident things that decrease their costs. When their costs increase, yours do to, one way or another.

If they can either (1) contribute to an environment where people stop getting so fucking fat; and/or (2) charge such people more for their premiums than they charge you, they can stop charging YOU for others' health problems.


10:50 AM  
Blogger George said...

I think you get to call yourself a sex expert just for the delightfully prurient headline for this entry...

12:42 PM  
Blogger DWilkers said...

My wife is the Corporate Annual Reports Manager for a multi-billion dollar insurance company Mike - she's their head CPA type, is in charge of their aggregate financials and statutory reporting. They don't pay for this stuff the government does.

Insurance companies are smart enough to know if you walk in front of a bus you're more likely to die, etc, without doing studies (and, you know, wasting money that could be given to execs as bonuses). In fact its fascinating the things they figure out with their teams of actuaries.


I'm about to attempt to install Windows Vista BTW, so I bid you all a fond farewell. I hope to see you all in the next life. *sniff*

1:39 PM  
Blogger DWilkers said...

Huh. I'm stunned, that was easy. This is actually a pretty nice OS too, I like it. Easiest Windows install ever for me.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Cool. I heard of others having trouble. Do you not run a lot of programs?

5:33 AM  
Blogger DWilkers said...

I do run a good bit of stuff. I'm not having any software issues at all.

The only real problem I had was with the Home network. I have 2 other computers running XP and the Vista machine took a long time (several hours) to recognize them. I also have one piece of hardware that it steadfastly refuses to acknowledge. I put it on a machine with an AMD 64 3500mhz proc and 2 Gigs ram and an ATI X850 vid card - not top of the line nowadays but not a pig either.

Otherwise it went realy fast, very smooth. It has a really nice look and feel too. It uses a lot of resources, mine is idling right now with 27% of the ram in use, so a bit more than 512 megs ram used by the OS (wow).

One weird thing is I had intended to upgrade to get the 64 bit OS but the retail package only comes in the 32 bit version. You have to send off to MS to get a 64 bit install disc ($10) which I am waiting for now.

6:55 AM  

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