Does this sound familiar? You’ve been watching yourself all week (avoiding junk, skipping seconds) and still, your weight is exactly the same as it was a week ago-or worse, even inched up a pound or two. It’s hard to remember that weight loss is a long-term process, you’ve got to stay patient. But I’ve learned that focusing on just your weight can sabotage your motivation. So instead here are five other numbers to think about. Keep track of these and your overall health (as well as your weight) ought to improve.
1. Waist circumference
By now, you’ve probably heard enough experts blast BMI (body mass index, or a ratio of your weight to your height), saying it’s not a good measure of body fat and health. Instead, you should know how many inches your waist measures. That’s because the fat that accumulates around your middle is linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even death. One 2010 study examined more than 100,000 Americans age 50 and older and found that people with the biggest waist size had about twice the risk of dying as the slimmest.
Several significant forces in the last several years have been changing the way healthcare has and will continue to be delivered. The emergence of more unique ways to deliver care such as clinics incorporated into businesses and factories, the increased use of mid-level providers (nurse practitioners & physician assistants), the increase integration of technologies such as telemedicine and robotics and the shift from interventional reimbursement to outcomes reimbursement are just a few examples.
Compounding these are the ever-increasing costs of healthcare, the strain of funding Medicare on the U.S. economy, and the complications of insurance and healthcare payments under the affordable care act, ACA.
This has led to changes in how businesses intend to interface with the healthcare system going forward. CVS’s acquisition of Aetna will try to leverage healthcare delivery through their pharmacy structure. United Healthcare’s acquisition of DaVita hopes to leverage cost containment and resource control by directly controlling physicians. And the recently announced collaboration among Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and J.P. Morgan Chase presents a yet unknown structure whose stated goals is improved quality and less cost. How they will implement their strategy is yet to emerge.
The decline in hospital admission over