Staff Editorial

Tackling obesity crucial to nation’s long-term health

Health care has been in the headlines consistently since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

Americans need and want insurance to secure their health lives, but what if you could cut the cost of your doctor visits by improving your health naturally?

Obesity-related issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure affects millions of American everyday and solving this matter can not only save you money, but can also add years to the U.S. life expectancy rate.

Americans spend an overwhelming $150 billion a year to treat these obesity related conditions.

Granted not all health problems arise from obesity, but the staggering number is serious enough for a need to implement some serious policies.

The Texas Health Institute reported in 2006 that one in six children in the U.S. were obese, roughly 16 percent of the population at the time. In Texas, the number of obese people more than doubled to 27 percent in 2005 from 12 percent in 1990.

The Texas Department of State Health Services predicts the number of obese adult Texans will rise to 20 million by 2040.

First lady Michelle Obama has made a strong effort to promote her strong passion on a related topic, childhood obesity. Her remarks at a meeting of the National Governors Association on Feb. 20 stressed how important solving childhood obesity is for the future of America.

Michelle Obama, who established the “Let’s Move” campaign to tackle this matter, made a valid point during her speech by mentioning that this phenomenon is new. How did we get here? Lack of physical activity is one, but the No. 1 reason is fast food.

Eric Schlosser wrote in his New York Times bestseller, Fast Food Nation, that Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food in 1970, but spent more than $110 billion in 2000.

Finding the times to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal every day can be very difficult for the average individual, especially during a tough economic times. But doing so can help people save money.

If there’s nothing you can do about not being able to afford healthcare, than at least there’s something you can do to improve your health.

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