A new study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that, if trends in obesity and smoking rates continue (obesity increasing, smoking rates declining), the net effect is that obesity will significantly impact life expectancy in the next 15 years. That doesn’t even take account of the lower quality of life — difficulty in walking, fitting into airplane seats or even behind the wheel of an automobile, or doing other mundane tasks.
We really have to find a solution to this increasing problem. Some say we pay too little for food. If food were more expensive, I’m not sure that people would eat less. Maybe we need to find better incentives. In the health care debate, why can’t we create positive incentives to attain or maintain a health weight?
Economic factors seem to play an enormous role in our eating habits. Let’s find ways to reduce costs for healthy foods and pay dividends for exercise.