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Why It Is In Our Best Economic Interest to Fight Obesity

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Conclusion

Community schools are a good start to working to combat obesity, hunger, and poverty in America, but the idea should be expanded further to reach the children who are not attending school and are unemployed, as well as the families without children. Already some programs existóthe Child and Adult Care Food program that provides meals at child-care centers and homeless shelters, for exampleóbut these can be expanded further and enhanced. In order to ensure a better future for ourselves, our children, and our pocketbooks, concrete steps must be taken to promote obesity prevention, and to incentivize healthy decisions (and disincentivize unhealthy ones) for everyone.

Obesity-related disease, much like the cancer found in smokers, is for the most part preventable. Including prevention provisions in any health care laws is key, mainly because it promises to contain costs better than mere treatment of obesity-related ills. A 2008 study found that investing $10 per person in activities that work to improve health and prevent chronic diseases could save the country $16 billion annually.

The Affordable Care Act is a vital piece of legislation that not only addresses these prevention questions but also creates grant programs for schools to establish school-based health centers, which expand the premise of community schools to provide antipoverty programs along with academics to their students.

A third of our nation already suffers from preventable afflictions caused by obesity. As Duke University health professor Eric Finkelstein told The Washington Post, ďThe world has changed in ways that allow people to be that overweight.Ē Itís past time to reverse that trend, especially if we as a society donít want to sink under the weight of obesityís health care costs.

This post was originally published by the Center for American Progress.

 

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46 comments

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7:14AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:24PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Actually, people DO choose to become fat. with every fattening food they eat, with every skipped workout, with every bad choice. They choose that lifestyle. You do not simply wake up fat. Period. The people who CHOOSE this life look unhealthy and often look disgusting. They set a very bad example for their children. They are not healthy and sometimes are so large they have to draw disability. If they have a LEGITAMENT reason (thyroid issues ect) that is different, but even then there are others in their place who have chosen to take charge and be healthy

5:35AM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

Obesity is a public health issue. It would help to get more vegetables and fruit into "food deserts". Support your local soup kitchen and/or community garden. Willimantic is lucky enough to have both and needs both because it has a LOT of poor persons.

9:32AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Gee that's a tough one but it boils down to obese people are symbols of human greed and laziness and the human race should be collectively embarrassed to have so many fat slobs running around in the world when children starve every day

1:32PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

short term, there's money in obesity

7:28PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

So why are there so many poor people in this country? Seems that perhaps this is the first and foremost topic that should be addressed here. I don't see obesity as a problem in Europe. I do see it in Australia and the UK (ok, they're in Europe, but talk to a Brit, and they love their little island to be something different, and the rest of Europe mutually agrees with them). Back to the topic at hand. Maybe this country needs to omit the cheaper food option altogether. Could do loads of good for the environment, too. There, a double whammy. I actually think that once all the "non-foods" in the supermarket have gone, prices of real food will drop, as things such as corn etc. will no longer need to be grown in such mass production that there will be more room for a versatile garden of vege's!

3:20PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Beth and Monika, I doubt that anyone chooses to become fat.

What is at issue, is the fact that when it becomes abundantly clear that one is beginning to lose the battle of the bulge...they choose to do nothing but continue to eat all the wrong foods and too much of it.

Personally, I have a reoccurring nightmare, it goes like this.

I am in a WalMart store, innocently I am walking down an isle when all of a sudden I realize that I cannot exit the isle due to two rather large women, munching on full, uncooked chickens, one still had the feathers on it. While planning my escape, I turned, when I realize there are three more on the opposite end of the isle. Rats, I promised God that I would never again use his name in vain, at least not while eating. Unless the food was really good.

For a moment, I thought that I might be able to distract the herd and slip by, I reached for a case of Mac and Cheese, I threw the few boxes down but they bounced of the stock shelves and all of a sudden all 5 of these women moved in on the boxes, like a group of sub-compacts and there was this horrible sound, that of a crash.

The good news is the doctors feel that I might once again regain use my arms and legs.

God, forgive me, I have come to hate fat people. Save the nation, bring in the drones, level all WalMarts on a busy, 2 for 1 lard sale. That ought to rid of near ½ of the herd, though it might cause the earth to shift on its axis.

3:19PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Beth and Monika, I doubt that anyone chooses to become fat.

What is at issue, is the fact that when it becomes abundantly clear that one is beginning to lose the battle of the bulge...they choose to do nothing but continue to eat all the wrong foods and too much of it.

Personally, I have a reoccurring nightmare, it goes like this.

I am in a WalMart store, innocently I am walking down an isle when all of a sudden I realize that I cannot exit the isle due to two rather large women, munching on full, uncooked chickens, one still had the feathers on it. While planning my escape, I turned, when I realize there are three more on the opposite end of the isle. Rats, I promised God that I would never again use his name in vain, at least not while eating. Unless the food was really good.

For a moment, I thought that I might be able to distract the herd and slip by, I reached for a case of Mac and Cheese, I threw the few boxes down but they bounced of the stock shelves and all of a sudden all 5 of these women moved in on the boxes, like a group of sub-compacts and there was this horrible sound, that of a crash.

The good news is the doctors feel that I might once again regain use my arms and legs.

God, forgive me, I have come to hate fat people. Save the nation, bring in the drones, level all WalMarts on a busy, 2 for 1 lard sale. That ought to rid of near ½ of the herd, though it might cause the earth to shift on its axis.




2:57PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Beth and Monika, I doubt that anyone chooses to become fat.

What is at issue, is the fact that when it becomes abundantly clear that one is beginning to lose the battle of the bulge...they choose to do nothing but continue to eat all the wrong foods and too much of it.

Personally, I have a reoccurring nightmare, it goes like this.

Don't get me started about shopping at Walmart. All of a sudden you spot two rather large women blocking your path, you turn to flee and realize that there are 3 more, what you do?

9:13AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Actually Monica, you did say that.

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