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FitBit Data May Help Insurance Companies Reduce Your Premiums

fitbit-flex

It’s all about perspective.

Ten percent can be a large or small amount, depending on the context of what it represents. If we’re talking about unemployment, 10% is unacceptable. If we’re talking about income tax, paying only 10% would be a blessing.

For today, we’re avoiding politics and the economy and instead, talking about the 10% of Americans who use wearable tech fitness trackers to monitor and track their daily activity, food intake, sleep, and exercise. This 10% of Americans make up a group of people that health insurance companies are examining closely to determine more accurate ways of calculating insurance premiums. On average, your premiums fluctuate once each year, which usually means added cost. That added cost doesn’t always have anything to do with you, and is often part of a re-rating of the group pool you’re a part of, like the company you work for.

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

What if your premium was calculated based on how you, as an individual, actually live? What if your premium fluctuated because of choices you make regarding your individual health and not because of others in your insurance pool dragging you down?
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More than 80% of Firefighters in the U.S. Are Overweight or Obese, But What’s Being Done?

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A new study out of the CDC finds that 82.5% of firefighters in the U.S. are overweight or obese, a figure alarmingly higher than the rest of the general population, which hovers around 67%. The study found that, of 1,002 firefighters who participated, 854 had a BMI over 25%. A BMI under 25% is considered to be “normal.”

The main purpose of the Centers for Disease Control’s study was to determine whether firefighters were receiving recommendations from their health care providers regarding their weight and whether they needed to gain weight, lose weight, or simply maintain their current weight. The study found that 69% of them, despite having visited their physician in the last 12 months, received no recommendations or advice.

This is especially problematic, considering that data from earlier this year by Johns Hopkins University found that cardiovascular problems are the leading cause of death (45%) for active duty firefighters. They attribute that staggering statistic to the high stress factor of the job and poor lifestyle habits surrounding it.

What can be done to reduce obesity in our first responders?
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TED-MED and Dr. Richard Besser Host a Candid Chat about the 1 in 3 American Children Who are Obese

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Quick Stats About Childhood Obesity

  • Nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese
  • 8.4% of children 2 – 5 years old are obese
  • 17% of children 6 – 11 years old are obese
  • 20.5% of children 12 – 19 years old are obese

This afternoon, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on Google+ Hangouts as part of TED-MED to discuss childhood obesity. Dr. Besser is a pediatrician and the Chief Medical Editor at ABC News, and the author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, a comprehensive health guide that will both inform and surprise as he deciphers fact from fiction for nearly 70 confusing medical questions.

Dr. Besser assembled a discussion panel for today’s session, including:

  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association
  • Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
  • Elissa Epel, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Lisa Simpson, President and CEO, Academy Health

The group began by talking about stress and the effect it has on health, both in children and adults. Stress is biologically potent and causes us to overeat sweets. Research shows the combination of stress and overeating is “the most dangerous combination,” Elissa says. One of the challenges the group agrees on is taking the research and putting it into practice. Very little is happening so far to create actionable programs that make a difference.


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Crystal and Lior Collins Lost A Combined Weight of Almost 200 Pounds – “We Finally Found the Perfect Balance”

Sometimes in life you meet that special person who fills your heart in all the right places, and you find that you want to be with them all the time. It didn’t take long for Crystal and Lior Collins to find this cozy place. Unfortunately, cozy became sedentary, and they both resumed old patterns of unhealthy eating.

After an embarrassing party epiphany, they decided to take the weight off the way they had put it on, together. Now, they have a combined weight loss of almost 200 pounds.

Crystal and Lior Collins

Crystal admits she and her husband, Lior, both struggled with weight problems in middle and high school. “Separately we were able to lose weight,” she said. “So when we started dating in 2003, we were finally under control in the weight department.” Unfortunately, the couple spent their free time focusing on what Crystal calls their only hobbies, “eating and drinking.”

The Wii Fit Voice Is Harsh

The pair knew they were eating too much and not getting enough activity but nothing spurred them into changing their habits. In 2007, while visiting with friends, Crystal became fascinated by their new Wii Fit gaming system. Eager to try it out, Crystal stepped on the pad, only to hear the machine say, “Oh. You’re obese.” Lior wouldn’t go near it.


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Survey Says: Most of Us are Wrong About Our Weight

Honesty is always the best policy, but when it comes to our weight, many of us may fudge the facts a bit. A new survey indicates that less than 40 percent of Americans report being overweight, though research shows the actual statistic is much higher.

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We first heard of this news from our friends at Shape Magazine, and then checked out the survey results ourselves. Not only do just 36 percent of Americans see themselves as overweight, of those people, less than 20 percent are actively trying to lose weight.


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