Dr. Ludwig in the NYT: The toll of America’s obesity

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The obesity rates in the US are worse than ever, and the economic inequality continues to worsen. Can these trends be related?

In a newly published New York Times article Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Rogoff describe the obesity epidemic in the US as out of control, with no signs of abating. Low-income Americans and racial minorties have the highest obesity rates. Obesity and diet-related diseases are costing a fortune, the annual cost of diabetes alone in 2017 was $327 billion. With insulin now costing up to $900 a month it hits low-income people very hard.

It is vital to turn the obesity epidemic around. The authors are convinced that a healthy diet is key and that we know the broad outlines of what it contains:

The broad outlines of a healthy diet are clear. A recent study in JAMA found that people can lose meaningful amounts of weight and lower their risk of heart disease by limiting sugar, refined grains, and processed foods.

They suggest five steps for the government to take:

  • First, establish a federal commission to coordinate obesity policy
  • Second, adequately fund obesity research into innovative approaches for prevention and treatment, beyond the conventional focus on eating less and moving more.
  • Third, impose a tax on processed foods, and use the proceeds to subsidize whole foods.
  • Fourth, prioritize the quality of the nutrition in the National School Lunch Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Fifth, ban junk food advertising to young children, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and practiced in some European countries.

Read the full article here:

NYT / Opinion: The Toll of America’s Obesity

Earlier

Reflections on humans held captive in a carbohydrate culture

Cardiologist in The Washington Times: ‘Carbohydrates are killing us’

Type 2 diabetes

Low carb

7 Comments

  1. Annlee
    For an alternative view of the "income inequality" in the US, read Phil Gramm and John Early in the Friday Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page.

    Quote:

    When all transfer payments and taxes are counted, the U.S. redistributes a larger share of its disposable income than any country other than France. Relative to the share of income they earn, the share of income taxes paid by America’s high earners is greater than the share of income taxes paid by their peers in any other OECD country. The progressive dream of an America with massive income redistribution and a highly progressive tax system has already come true. To make America even more like Europe, these dreamers will have to redefine middle-income Americans as “rich” and then double their taxes.

  2. Angel
    We now have half the world over fed and the other half under fed and all are un-health. Go to North America and try to eat healthy - good luck with that.
  3. Helen
    Every time I speak to someone who has travelled to the US they all say the same thing: 1.Portions are HUUUGE, and UNHEALTHY and most people are obese.
  4. Max
    How about a ban like that of smoking on all junk food outlets ? How about "Obesity shortens life expectancy"
  5. Carol
    Yeah I was hatching an idea like yours Max. How about at least plain packaging (though I would prefer tobacco style scary packaging ie...this food leads to foot amputations just as surely as cigarettes) for junk food so that when the kids in our neighbourhood dump the junk food containers on the ground they don't continue blow around being an advertisement for the Golden Arches ie.... obesity and tooth decay????
  6. Tim H
    What Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Rogoff have not included in their recommendations is how to stop any great idea from being spun, twisted, manipulated, influenced and compromised by vested interests.
  7. Nosha
    Great article.

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