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Institute wants better evaluation protocols for health programs

The Institute of Medicine has recommended increased monitoring of obesity prevention efforts in Georgia and across the country. The recommendation comes in the wake of the Institute's recent collaboration with HBO in making a four-part series on Americans' weight and health issues.

According to the Institute, there may be a lack of follow-up in current obesity initiatives. The reasons for this vary from funding difficulties to lack of leadership. Regardless of the reason, the Institute hopes that better evaluation methodology may allow legislators with the information necessary to respond to health programs.

Social Security disability benefits are one example of a federal program that might benefit from better data regarding obesity prevention programs. Although obesity is generally not considered a disability standing alone, it might lead to other health issues that are more serious. 

By understanding potential preventive measures that might be taken, agency officials will be provided with more context for assessing the recuperation time surrounding obesity-related disabilities like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver and gallbladder diseases, and even cancers.

Preventive health measures have the potential to benefit both employers and workers alike. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control estimated that obese patients spent $1,429 more in extra medical costs, compared to patients within normal weight ranges. SSDI payments can help those who are no longer able to work, but preventive health initiatives might have the potential to make a difference much sooner in individuals' lives. As a Social Security disability lawyer might agree, the SSDI application process is often an extracted affair. The time often required in preparing satisfactory evidence might be spent now on preventive measures.

Source: medpagetoday.com, "Track Obesity Prevention Policies, IOM Says," Kristina Fiore, Aug. 5, 2013

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