OTHER VOICES

“The med­i­cal care costs we in­curred from obe­sity in the United States were about $147 bil­lion.”

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“Se­vere obe­sity isn’t merely a health haz­ard, it’s a health epi­demic in the United States. The strik­ing de­vel­op­ment is that there is no de­vel­op­ment. Health of­fi­cials have pub­li­cized obe­sity sta­tis­tics for decades. They’ve preached about the need for healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cise habits, par­tic­u­larly for chil­dren. The re­sult: Amer­ica’s still fat. This week, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion re­leased data that makes health of­fi­cials shud­der: More than one-third of adult Amer­i­cans and 17% of U.S. chil­dren were obese in 2009-10. The ram­i­fi­ca­tions, phys­i­cally and fis­cally, are sig­nif­i­cant. … This epi­demic is nei­ther new nor sur­pris­ing. … Food-re­lated leg­is­la­tion hasn’t worked. Rants about the evils of high-calo­rie fast foods haven’t worked. To­day, we’ll ap­peal to the hu­man el­e­ment: your health, and ul­ti­mately your life, may de­pend on it.”

—An­nis­ton (Ala.) Star “And don’t think the pain is just when we look in the mir­ror. Check your wal­let: In 2008, the (Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion) es­ti­mated the med­i­cal-care costs we in­curred from obe­sity in the United States were about $147 bil­lion. … And the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion pub­lished two stud­ies this week that show obe­sity re­mains preva­lent and per­sis­tent, de­spite what one of the re­searchers termed a ‘fair job’ our so­ci­ety is do­ing of ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about the risks as­so­ci­ated with ex­ces­sive weight. (Duke Diet & Fit­ness Cen­ter di­rec­tor) Howard Eisen­son summed it up when he said the bat­tle we’re fight­ing is a cul­tural shift.”

—Her­ald-sun, Durham, N.C.

“Sadly, how­ever, the pub­lic de­bate over the deficit is full of mis­con­cep­tions and false­hoods. … (One myth) is that Amer­ica has a gen­er­al­ized prob­lem of run­away spend­ing, one that re­quires cuts across the board. No. The truth is that we have a huge prob­lem of ex­plod­ing health­care costs, part of which shows up in Medi­care and Med­i­caid spend­ing. … We have a hu­mon­gous health­care prob­lem.”

—Prince­ton econ­o­mist Alan Blin­der in the Wall Street Jour­nal

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