Save on health care, fight obesityPublished 12:02am Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Firestorms of debate have rained down all across the nation over the issue of rising health care costs.
Just mentioning the Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare” by some, enflames the hearts of both supporters and critics alike.
Rather than flap our gums and create more global warming through all the hot air spent debating the issue, perhaps we should all point our eyes to our waistlines for a few seconds.
The result may be a whopping surprise. Americans are fat, and Mississippians are the fattest of all Americans.
Approximately 35 out of 100 Mississippi adults are obese. All too often, people — particularly the ones who are skinny — simply shrug their shoulders in apathy and think of the matter as a personal problem, not a public one.
It’s difficult to do so, as it seems logical — for those who have never battled food addiction — to simply suggest the problem will go away if people stop eating so much. But the causes of obesity are rarely resolved that simply. The issue is far more complex.
As long as public tax dollars help fund — in any way, Obamacare or not — health care, the crisis of obesity in America is a huge problem we must tackle.
The Centers for Disease Control just released new data showing where the worst obesity problems are, and Mississippi is at the top of the bad list, with most of its Southern neighbors close behind.
The CDC estimates that in 2008, medical costs associated with obesity approached $147 billion. That’s approximately $468 per U.S. citizen, per year, going to pay for obesity-related health care costs. It’s staggering.
Given what’s at stake — both in lives and dollars — why aren’t we treating the problem of obesity as the national emergency that’s what it’s fast becoming?