To Cut Health Costs, Fix the Food Industry

Obesity 'accounts for nearly a tenth' of health-care spending
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 10, 2009 1:32 PM CDT
The Big Carl from Carl's Jr.   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – There’s an “elephant in the room” when it comes to health care reform: American health care costs a bundle in large part because we’re so fat, writes Michael Pollan for the New York Times. President Obama has touched on the issue, but the country hasn’t, and that’s because the food industry is “even more powerful” than health insurers.

As it stands, “the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.” Meanwhile, the health industry is cashing in on treatment of diseases like diabetes. But things will change when reform requires insurers to take all comers “at the same rates.” Then the health industry will have a “powerful interest” in fighting obesity and diet-related disease.