In today's NYTimes, Michael Pollan writes that no discussion of health care reform, costs, and so on should overlook "...a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet."
It's obvious, it has been said and written before, but there it lies, maybe less like an elephant and more like what an elephant leaves behind after digesting a good meal.
When Foodie Spouse and I applied for a slightly different health insurance policy several years back, we were asked if we smoked--no, never--and if we "used alcohol." Nothing was asked about our diet, nor about our level of physical activity. I asked the asker why her company was not interested in knowing any of that.
You can get better auto insurance rates if you show evidence of being a safe, skilled driver. My health care provider apparently could care less that we might be a better risk for them than an inert couple hooked on fast food and soft drinks.
But, as Pollan points out, once the pre-existing condition loophole is removed with the passage of a proposed health care bill, "... health insurance companies will promptly discover they have a powerful interest in reducing rates of obesity and chronic diseases linked to diet."
According to Pollan, currently it costs the country $147 billion to handle obesity in the United States.
Yesterday evening, out walking with the terrier, I watched young parents leaving the neighborhood soccer fields with their kids after practice. A pretty, seriously overweight blond mother looking well shy of 30, and her hefty 6 year-old daughter climbed up into their Jeep, the mom with some effort.
This is not only nuts, it's irresponsibly sad.