Quick, what's the number one killer of Americans? If you said cancer, I'm going to give you a solemn nod and ask where you've been for the past 10 years. As of 2006 (so I'm sure you can imagine how much worse it is now) the number one killer of Americans is heart disease.
According to the CDC:
- Heart disease: 631,636
- Cancer: 559,888
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
- Diabetes: 72,449
Of the top six killers of Amercians, most of these can be linked to obesity. Americans who have these conditions and are still alive tend to depend strongly on health care to provide things like medications, surgeries and medical equipment to extend their lives.
So where am I going with this? Well, if the health insurance companies are claiming to be overburdened due to a decrease in healthy customers and the Federal government is volunteering to pick up part of the bill by offering a Federally sponsored option for the public, then the Federal government has a financial incentive (finally) to reduce the obesity epidemic. To be sure, there's a young generation of children who are already experiencing high blood pressure, diabetes and are basically securing themselves as part of that heart disease statistic.
In order to reduce it's own costs and not create a program with no hope of surviving, the Federal government will have to make sodas, candies, cookies, fast food, junk food and other highly processed, high fat, high calorie foods harder and more expensive to get and healthy food cheaper and more accessible.
What's next? Junk Food Reform?? *please, oh please*