Friday, May 14, 2010

Obesity Debate

May 9, 2010: Weight = 173.6 lbs; Coinage and Paper Money = $17.36, $11.26 in coins and $6 in paper money, a five and a one.

May 13, 2010:
Weight = 175.0 lbs; Coinage = $3.74.

May 14, 2010: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $2.03

Feature Entry: Obesity Debate

Marc Ambinder in the Atlantic Magazine has written a fact filled and sobering article about obesity and its cost to the American taxpayer. Obese Americans spend about 42 percent more on health care than so-called healthy weight people. Issues of personal freedom and the fact that obesity and improper diet are highly correlated with chronic diseases are the two factors that are driving the debate concerning obesity and health care cost. Ambinder indicates that chronic diseases account for three out of every four dollars spent on health care We all want our individual freedom, but is it fair that those of us that maintain our weight must help pay for high medical insurance to cover those that don’t?

On one side of the debate is a group that thinks that the obese lack the willpower to avoid overeating and gorging on fattening food. The other group blames the food industrial complex for creating and aggressively marketing so-called “hyperpalatable” foods, ones inexpensively processed that are sugary, or salty, and energy-dense. Some scientists believe that such foods change our brain chemistry with the results that make us overeat.

Should the government get more directly involved? In one sense, this writer is all for personal freedom and believes that overweight people with their self-indulgence and limited willpower are spoiling it for all of us. But another part of me sympathizes with those that believe that Americans are losing the calorie war because of environmental factors such as fast food, sedantary competition with physical activity, and unscrupulous advertising.

We can't all have six-pac abs, but in our next blog we will focus on what causes obesity and what we can do to address the issue. In the mean time hit the streets with a money walking program. With that and a few weights you will look like Joe Six Pac in no time.


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