Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thank you Susan for your insights into health care reform. Last month, after reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, I suggested that one way to control health care costs in the US would be to reform agricultural policy. A couple of days ago, Michael Pollan had an op-ed in the NYT advocating this approach. Here's a taste:
No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.
That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.
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The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care.
HT: David Bell
UPDATE: Coincidentally, Susan's Creo en Dios post today also mentions the misuse of food.