Month: January 2015

Public Policy Must Address Obesity, and Local Governments are Taking the Lead

Current rates of obesity and poor diet in the United States cannot be sustained. A recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute examined the economic costs of obesity and concluded that obesity rates have reached “crisis proportions.” Two-thirds of adults and one out of every three children under age 18 are overweight, triple the rate 40 years ago. The consequences are devastating. Diet-related diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, once affected only adults but now are increasingly common in children. U.S. healthcare costs associated with obesity total $190 billion annually, $14 billion of that devoted to caring for children. Once a child becomes obese, he or she is likely to suffer from obesity for life. As a result, today’s children may be the first generation to live fewer years than their parents.