30 July 2007

The Remarkable Expanding Waist

CNN has a remarkable interactive map showing how the nation's collective waistline has expanded over the past two decades.

The overall trend lines are clear. In 1995, there were no states that reported having more than 25% of its citizens being obese. By 2004, that number had jumped from zero to nine.

As the debate about health care rages in this nation, it seems, there are a lot of people stopping at Burger King on the way home from the debate. Obesity drives up the cost of health care in this country - an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2004 reports the cost of obesity at $75.1 billion/year. If Americans are not making healthier lifestyle choices while incurring the high cost of American medicine, its hard to fathom better choices with a federal bureaucracy solution.