10 September 2009

Insurance lobby now, food lobby next

Michael Pollan in the NY Times makes a good argument for including food in the debate about healthcare. I strongly feel we need available healthcare. At the same time, people need to take care of their own health and work at shedding the extra pounds. A couple excerpts from the article:

We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.

But so far, food system reform has not figured in the national conversation about health care reform. And so the government is poised to go on encouraging America’s fast-food diet with its farm policies even as it takes on added responsibilities for covering the medical costs of that diet. To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.


Anonymous said...

I have real mixed feelings on how or why our nation is over weight. Gota say, am one of those females, who have been blessed with all of the ailments of the nation, and yes one does lead to another, but do not think it is all, because of what we eat, personally think a good portion of it is because, our life styles have changed so much in the past 45-60 years, personally because I work full time, live in county, every thing that needs to be from here to there is a ride in a car. As well as sit at a desk for the better part of 8 hours a day. Now my husband is a farmer (organic veggies)- I go to farmers market at least once a week in and out of a pick up truck, lift and pull and drag. As well as push mow about 1/2 acre of grass every week. I cook a meal from scratch every day, so we do not eat much pre process food of any kind. And still both myself and husband have physical, or medical problems. I do beleive, that today they do a better job of discovering what ails us unlike many years ago, as well as things are caught earlier. My husband has never been overweight, and I am very short and puggy looking. Lots of irish & american indian, both of these nationality's are prone to certain issues.
I do not disagree, that fast foods as a daily diet are not a wise chose, but personally, think it has more to do or at least just as much with how much physical activity we as a nation, do daily now. Every thing is a push a button, and it's done. It's not good to sit on our butts at work or in front of a tv or computer. Food for thought.
Pat from Ny

Karlo said...

I'm sure much of the problem in the U.S. is being less active. I remember being in China ages ago when everyone rode bikes and noticing the muscular thighs on all the women, who were all thin. That said, I don't think it's realistic to think that Americans can exercise all the extra calories off. For most of us, we just don't have the time (or the ambition) to work out hard for the hour or more a day that it would take to burn off all the extra food. At any rate, I fully sympathize. I've been obese most of my life and have lately lost enough weight to be in the "overweight" category. I'd like to lose some more weight though and get out of the demographic destined to get adult onset diabetes. If you're part native American, I'm sure you're aware that you'll also need to watch out for diabetes. I've got it on both sides of my family and would really like to avoid getting it. Watching my uncle in the last stages of the disease has been a real wake up call.

Anonymous said...

And yes, already have type2 and have already had a heart attack at age 53, only by God's grace, did I even get to hospital, to find out I was having a heart attack. Not to mention, had one previously and never knew it. The company that I work for the nurse at work was on the ball. Never had any pain, was going to leave work and go home & go to bed. Am not ready to leave this world. So to Lois am forever thankfull.
pat from NY.