Obesity Weighs on Everyone

You look in the mirror or you step on the scales and then say to yourself, "I must go on a diet." How you go about losing your unwanted weight is essentially a personal matter. And whether you are successful or not in taking off excess weight has primarily been of interest only to you, your family, and your doctor.

But the obesity battle is being taken to the US taxpayers. Currently, it is estimated that almost 64% of American adults are either overweight or obese. A new study released by the CDC estimates that taxpayers paid about half of the $75 billion spent in 2003 on obesity-attributable medical expenditures. This works out to $150 to $200 per taxpayer.

Comment: These numbers give new meaning to the phrase, "Am I my brother's keeper?" How should we react if we see an overweight person ordering a high-calorie, super-sized meal in a fast-food restaurant? It would seem that now we need to watch not only our own weight but the weight of our neighbors as well.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

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