Editorials urge efforts to reduce obesity

USA Today reports, “Ever wonder why health care costs keep rising faster than inflation? One major contributor is America’s struggle with weight.”

USA Today attributes obesity to the success of junk food producers at identifying what people want. It cites the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine study of the results of California’s regulations on junk food in schools as well as efforts in private businesses.

It concludes, “Food police? No doubt. And about as comfortable as undersized jeans. But a change of habit will be necessary if Americans are going to become fitter, and if that hidden obesity tax is going to come down.”

Bloomberg News in an editorial on obesity notes that according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, “the percentage of US adults who are obese appears to have plateaued” which it calls “positive news.”

The editorial suggests that the Food and Drug Administration look to the UK as a model in its “labeling requirements for packaged food.”

It makes several other policy recommendations to highlight calorie counts in food and suggests that “cities might want to try putting pressure on restaurants to limit portion sizes, aiming for a weight- conscious 700 calories per meal” as well as “a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.”

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