Childhood Obesity Epidemic

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Adult obesity is a growing problem. From 1962 to 2006, obesity prevalence nearly tripled to 35.1 percent of adults. The rising prevalence of obesity is not limited to a particular socioeconomic group and is not unique to the United States. Should this widespread obesity epidemic be a cause for alarm? From a personal health perspective, the answer is an emphatic "yes." But when it comes to justifications of public policy for reducing obesity, the analysis becomes more complex. A common starting point is the assertion that those who are obese impose higher health costs on the rest of the population—a statement which is then taken to justify public policy interventions. But the question of who pays for obesity is an empirical one, and it involves …show more content…

Once I turned 13, I spent an entire summer with my only goal being to improve my physical health, as a history of heart disease runs in my family. With heart disease comes obesity, so I’ll just say it: my family is historically fat. Obesity is a growing issue in the United States. Roughly one third of our country is obese, and that fraction is growing. There is an obvious social cost that comes along with being overweight, but I never had thought about the economic side until finding this article. Sure, the idea is that if you eat unhealthily and don’t exercise regularly you will get fat is a valid one, but could the U.S. actually incentives people to gain weight? Is there an obesity wage gap? This article gave me very good insight on the economic cost of being …show more content…

Basing their research on white males and females, the two look into the idea that cheap health care incentivizes people to become obese. The authors cite an experiment in which a groups of people were given free health care, cheap health care, and expensive health care for five years. The increase in obesity in these different groups was not statistically different enough to conclude the price of health care affected their decision on gaining weight. The two then look into other forms of free or cheap health care, looking for trends suggesting that there is a correlation between healthcare and obesity, but to no avail. They concluded that having Medicare, an extremely inexpensive health care for retired people, won’t lead to obesity because any people who suddenly became fat after 65 would likely die. Medicaid, another form of cheaper health care given lower income families, does not have enough benefits to incentivize obesity. At this point they conclude that Americans aren’t fat because of health care, and that obesity basically is a combination of genes and a lack of

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