Nation O' Fatties

August 24, 2005

Research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that nearly 25% of American adults are obese. The report lists the states with the highest rates of obesity. I wasn't surprised to see they were overwhelmingly republican strongholds--the map of fat/not-so-fat looks not unlike the red state/blue state divide in the last election. Yet another reason for the northeast and west coasts to secede. Although my only affiliation with Oregon is that I have a bunch of stuff in storage there, I was still proud that in a sea of rising obesity rates, it was the ONLY state to remain level.

This report (and the implications, since the obese have much higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, etc... and are a burden to taxpayers and the health care system) calls to mind a debate we had on AM.org a couple years ago about taxing the fat. I still maintain we should have a scaled tax based on body mass index--if you fall in a specified range, you can take a credit; if in a "danger" range, your tax increases. I suppose you could make the case for taxing all sorts of lifestyle choices which would become hopelessly complex. But, obesity has clearly become an epidemic in America, and maybe a financial incentive/penalty is the only way to get people to put down the mayo sandwich and take care of themselves.

Overbeck will like this one:

"The trust called for ... designs for cities and suburbs that encouraged walking."

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Good Morning!