Another study reports on the costs of obesity. Just dropping down to European levels would save $100 billion in extra medical costs. Reports Nurse.com:
Older Americans are significantly more likely than Europeans to be diagnosed with and treated for chronic diseases, the journal Health Affairs found in an online study. Obesity and smoking were found to be major factors. If the United States could bring its obesity rates in line with Europe's, which would be a decrease from 33.1% to 17.1%, it could save at least $100 billion a year in healthcare costs, according to Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, study author and chairman of Emory University's Department of Health Policy and Management.Isn't it time to get serious about the obesity crisis? Since socializing health care means all of us would have to help pay the fat bill, it's time we took a more radical approach. We should socialize food. The government should take over the restaurant industry and ban private kitchens. It could create standardized meals, filled with nutritious offerings. "Excessive" eating, and eating of "unhealthy" foods, could be banned. A special food police could enforce the law. It would have to close down illegal private restaurants and raid private homes in which food was being served. The agency could hold "voluntary" community weigh-ins. Special facilities--call them "Eating Assistance Clinics"--could be set up to house, er, "help" recalcitrants who insisted on eating badly or excessively. Questions of individual liberty and constitutional authority shouldn't detain us. These measures would be intended for people's good. And who worries about what the Constitution says any more? What an opportunity. We could make people healthier and save health care dollars at the same time! Now, which presidential candidate will be courageous enough to run with this idea?