Obesity: Mission Possible


Every family across the U.S. is confronting the
same questions as state governments and federal
agencies: why have we all gained so much
weight and what are we going to do about it
(1– 8)? The century-long, slow, silent, and deadly increase
in body weight now impacts every family in the U.S. The
world has caught the obesity bug, 1.5 billion times.
Obesity explains why Mom is injecting herself twice a
day with insulin and explains why health care costs have
erupted while the basic health care that U.S. prisoners get
for free is unavailable to 45 million free-living Americans.
The obesity explosion explains about three-quarters of
health care costs in the U.S. The future, the Centers for
Disease Control warn, is more alarming than the present.
Not only is it Mom who cannot afford basic diabetes
supplies, such as blood testing strips and insulin needles,
but now John, her 10-year-old son, cannot either. The “new
epidemic” of childhood diabetes will wash across America
in the wake of the heaviest young America has ever raised.
Obesity may cost $100 billion a year in the U.S., but that is
nothing compared with the price tag of childhood obesity.
When I grew up, I feared the doctor because I hated
needles. John will grow up using needles every day but
terrified as to how he will afford them. Without viable
solutions to obesity, health care will become the exclusive
right of the wealthy.

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James Levine