More Fat Stuff


Fat stories spring eternal. Here's one about a Rand Corp. study warning that obesity may be more detrimental to health than smoking or "problem drinking."

If Americans continue to get fatter at current rates, by 2020 about one in five health-care dollars spent on people aged 50 to 69 could be due to obesity—50 percent more than now, the Rand Corporation study found.

In 2000, 14 percent of money spent on health care for U.S. men aged 50 to 69 went to obesity-related complications including diabetes and heart disease. In 2020, that could rise to 21 percent, the researchers said.

"Improvements in medical care, public health and other health behaviors have dramatically reduced disability among older Americans in the past," Roland Sturm, a Rand Health senior economist who led the study, said in a statement.

"But the continuing increase in unhealthy weight has the potential to undo many of these health advances."

"If the obesity trend were to continue through 2020, without other changes in behavior or medical technology, the proportion reporting fair or poor health would increase by 11.7 percent for men and 14.1 percent for women compared to 2000," they wrote.

Whole thing here. That's a huge "if" statement these researchers are making. If there's one bet worth making, it's that medical technology will be a whole helluva lot better in in 2020 (a year most proactively memorable for its animated Partridge Family series).