Obesity Update – 2007/7/28

Obese spend $1,400 a year more on health care. They account for almost 10% of health care spending.

Childhood obesity rates: Texas is number 1 (one in five obese); Wyoming comes in 50th (one in ten obese).

Less than 10 percent of men are able to lose their “beer belly.”

A tough economy causes people to pack on the pounds.

Health insurance makes you fat. (HT to Jason Shafrin.)

Comments (4)

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  1. Greg says:

    I notice that there are again calls for taxes on fattening foods. But why be indirect? If there is a social case to be made for discouraging obesity, why not tax fat people directly, based on their weight or BMI?

  2. Tom H. says:

    Greg, have you not noticed? We’re not even close to taxing obesity. We are subsidizing it.

  3. Bart Ingles says:

    If they want to tax fattening foods, they should slap a tax on anything with “low fat” on the label.

    Then again, they could probably slap a tax on any food carrying a label.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    The United States is arguably one of only a few countries in the world so wealthy that a recession causes people to gain weight. Possible explanation: Calorie-dense foods like beans, pastas and rise are what economists refer to as “inferior goods” compared to more costly foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. As income falls, people substitute the lower-cost fattening foods for higher-cost healthy foods. Also, food functions as a substitute entertainment for more costly leisure activities. As money becomes tight, people apparently cut back in other ways and boost their food intake. Or maybe they just eat when they’re nervous!