Monday, February 04, 2008

The future of obesity

AP: Fat people cheaper to treat, study says.
Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday. It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.
Normally I wouldn't even blog about this, but when a scientist spontaneously uses the phrase, "the future of obesity," as a scientist spontaneously does in this story, recognition is demanded, perhaps a prize:

"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University who was unconnected to the study. He said that government projections about obesity costs are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas, and changing science.

"If we're going to worry about the future of obesity, we should stop worrying about its financial impact," he said.

Update: On the page's right sidebar: "Latest obesity news." Now I'll never get away from the computer.

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