We seem to be breaking down, wallowing in our debilitation and lack of willpower. There is a group of people in America that on one hand opines that we Americans should be allowed to slowly kill ourselves through unhealthy food, and on the other hand complain about increasing taxes for the costs of affording the results of said unhealthy living. You should not be able to have it both ways; either support unhealthy living and pay taxes because of it, or don't support unhealthy freedom and don't pay taxes for it.
Look, we've got problems, and people need to start caring before America develops its own heart attack, per se.
Overweight and Obesity in the U.S. « Food Research & Action CenterAdult Overweight and Obesity in the U.S.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Flegal et al., 2012). In general, rates of overweight and obesity are higher for African-American and Hispanic women than Caucasian women, higher for Hispanic men than Caucasian and African-American men, higher in the South and Midwest, and tend to increase with age (Flegal et al., 2012; Gregg et al., 2009; Sherry et al., 2010). Research also shows that the heaviest Americans have become even heavier the past decade (Beydoun & Wang, 2009).
Supposedly 2/3 of all U.S. adults are overweight/obese. That's insane.
Obesity Costs America $4 Billion Per Year At The PumpNow is also the time when many of us look down and realize that the laps on which those laptops sit aren't as flat as they used to be. We've picked up a few pounds over the winter -- pounds that become increasingly harder to shed as we get older. But weight gain isn't just a problem for folks trying to squeeze into last year's swimsuits; it's also a problem for those of us trying to cope with today's high gas prices. According to an article at MSN, America's increasing obesity rate has led to a huge increase in fuel consumption. All told, those extra pounds lead up to $4 billion in extra gasoline costs.
How much is this costing us? According to Sheldon Jacobson at the University of Illinois, obesity forces America to use a whopping 938 million gallons of gas more than we would if we were a leaner, meaner nation.
This directly affects the cost of our gasoline. This likely affects our airlines in some way as well.
Health Buzz: 42 Percent of Americans Will Be Obese in 2030 - US News and World ReportObesity in U.S. Projected to Grow
America's weight problem is likely going to get a lot bigger: 42 percent of adults will be obese by 2030, and about one-quarter of that group will be severely obese. That's according to a projection released Monday at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Weight of the Nation" meeting in Washington. Today, about 34 percent of American adults are obese, and 6 percent are severely obese, which is 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Extra weight hikes the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and cancer. And it adds billions of dollars to health care costs. The projections "indicate that even more people will be losing loved ones and others will be suffering sickness and living lives that fall short of their promise because of obesity," Patrick O'Neil, president of the Obesity Society, a group of weight-control researchers and professionals, told USA Today.
The supposed projection for obesity in America is that 42% of all adults will be obese by 2030, and 1/4 of that group severely obese. The next 100 years if nothing is done...?
We need to act. If sin taxes "don't work" then perhaps we need to start applying regulations, because obviously education isn't reaching enough people. Charge people through their insurance for being obese. Don't feel sorry for them, because they know what they're doing. Don't charge them obscene amounts of money; start it very gradually, and moniter those results. Incorporate a "sin" tax as effectively as possible, like a scalpel. If taxing sugar and salt doesn't work, target doughnuts and fried food. Target what this group of people is inclined to devour.
Add some sort of gradual and minute benefit to those with the foresight of healthy eating. Wean the fat man off the nipple of the taxpayer, and wake up the taxpayer who supports unhealthy behavior yet complains about rising taxes.
You may think you have the freedom to kill yourself, but you don't have the freedom to kill America's future.
If there are valid links that showcase the results of Europe's regulation of healthy living that'd be deeply appreciated.