Latest Blog: "Everything Human is ... - 11/18/2022
Investment Insights are written by Angeles' CIO Michael Rosen
Michael has more than 30 years experience as an institutional portfolio manager, investment strategist, trader and academic.
Among new year resolutions, losing weight tops the list for the majority of Americans. Actually, I made up that statistic, but in my defense, (a) it probably is true, and (b) it most certainly should be true.
As the chart below shows, 50 years ago, more than half the population was at a healthy weight, with about one-third overweight and less than one-in seven obese. The good news is that the percentage of overweight Americans hasn’t changed much over the past 50 years, it’s still about one-in-three. The bad news is that more than one-in-five migrated from healthy to obese. So maybe we can say that we don’t have too many overweight people, we have too many obese people.
There are many diseases and ailments that are positively correlated with weight gain, unfortunately, this correlation between weight and disease is not linear: the prevalence of weight-related diseases, such as diabetes, is multiples higher among the obese than among the overweight.
There are many causes/explanations for the alarming surge in obesity. Much of the popular media lay the blame with evil corporations (which, of course, is a redundant phrase, as all corporations are evil, by definition) that (literally) push down our throats high-caloric, high-fat, high-sugar processed food-like substances that we unwittingly and helplessly consume in ever-rising amounts. There may be some truth to this. But we also encourage the consumption of low-cost, high-calorie products by subsidizing food by cost, not by quality or balance, especially among the poor, including the 47 million receiving food stamps (see graph below).
I’m not sure what the plan is to reduce the number obese (there may be no plan), but I did see that our government does plan to adopt new billing standards. The International Statistical Classifications of Diseases (known as ICD) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). They recently released version 10 (sort of like Windows), which will now be adopted by the US government. Version 9 had about 14,000 different diagnoses codes and about 4,000 procedural codes. The “improved” Version 10 has nearly five times as many diagnoses codes (68,000 versus the 14,000 heretofore) and, impressively, more than 87,000 procedural codes (a 22-fold increase). Some examples of the new codes are (I’m not making this up):
• W5611XD: Bitten by sea lion, subsequent encounter
• W6152XA: Struck by goose, initial encounter
• V9130XA: Hit or struck by falling object due to accident to merchant ship, initial
• W2202XA: Walked into lamppost, initial encounter
• V9027XA: Drowning and submersion due to falling or jumping from burning water-skis,
• V9542XD: Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant, subsequent encounter
• V9603XD: Balloon collision injuring occupant, subsequent encounter
It’s clear that the new billing system will increase the demand for more capable (and expensive) software, as well as more administrative jobs, so that’s great. It’s not so clear how this reduces the number of obese, but I’m sure someone in government has a good plan that will be shared with us in due course.PRINT THIS ARTICLE
For What It's Worth 08-21-2017
In the summer of 1966, throngs of young people crowded the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to hear their favorite bands. ...READ MORE
Beach Reading 04-23-2022
The Lincoln Highway, Amor TowlesEmmett Watson is released from prison when his father dies to take care of his younger ...READ MORE
Digging Out 01-25-2016
The eastern United States was buried in snowstorm Jonas this weekend, from 42 inches (more than a meter for our non-US ...READ MORE
We strive build portfolios of best-in-class investment managers across all asset classes. If you would like to be considered for our portfolios, please contact us using our manager inquiries form.
- MANAGER INQUIRIES
SUBSCRIBE TO ANGELES' INSIGHTS
Get the latest investment information and stay on top of market trends.
How Can We Help You?Institutional Investors
Fully resourced investment office built to manage sophisticated client investment programsPrivate Wealth
Personalized discretionary portfolio and wealth management services powered by institutional processInvestment Management
Rigorous process and a flexible platform designed to meet client needsArticles & Insights
Latest insights and perspectives from the Angeles teamContact Us
Get in touch