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Obamacare and Oreos

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Why should we be interested in the new study indicating Oreos produce reactions in the brain similar to morphine and cocaine? Because there are major public health implications for high fat-sugar foods, especially if it is proven they are addictive.

According to research conducted at Connecticut College, the combination of sugar and fat was found to be more addictive than either of the two drugs. Data collected was not only behavioral, which accounts for why humans find Oreos irresistible, but neurological.

Obesity and end of life care are two of the biggest cost drivers for healthcare in the U.S. Inherently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) redistributes costs while avoiding the difficult questions around these cost buckets. But, there may still be a window of opportunity to address the obesity problems head on.

Obamacare increases food stamp funding, low income food programs, and food labelling. Although not intended to tackle obesity, if these programs are implemented correctly, we may actually be able to see a drop in consumption. Our dearly beloved (and highly addicting) oreos may be left to crumble.

Can Obamacare help tackle the root causes of Obesity?

Between NIH and University Studies, we know which foods really are the most addicting and the worst for our health. There are some pretty clear ways to drop a couple belt sizes, and a few dollars from the now overpriced health exchanges.

  • Prohibit food stamps from being used to purchase foods that are highly addicting. (Publications in the NCBI indicate that addiction may actually be the driver behind Obesity)
  • Prohibit food programs from using trans-fats. (According to the leading training manual for physician specialties ‘Trans fats have no known nutritional value’)
  • Push the food labelling provisions aggressively to call out the dangers of foods that tend to become addictive. (sodas in particular)

At the same time, we need to increase access to general medical information.

There are several ways to do this via the Affordable Care Act:

  • Increase reimbursements for Internal Medicine specialists
  • Increase state tax credits or incentives to develop focus on Internal Medicine training
  • Encourage Nurse Practitioners and PAs to provide levels of education that were previously provided by Internists

In the meantime, please limit yourself to one oreo. Thanks.

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