Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years, an alarming public health development that is contributing about $150 billion a year to the overall cost of U.S. health care.
Almost one in five children aged six to eleven are seriously overweight, making them highly vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes and other serious illnesses.
At the same time, Congress and the Department of Agriculture are spending more than $1.28 billion annually to subsidize the crops that are used as additives in manufacturing cookies, candies, soda pop and other highly popular junk food that arguably are among the primary contributors to childhood obesity. The sweet, fatty and calorie-rich Hostess Twinkies alone contain 14 ingredients made with highly subsidized processed ingredients, including corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and vegetable shortening--How Billions In Tax Dollars Subsidize The Junk Food Industry
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 increased discretionary funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to $1.818 billion, an increase of over $68 million compared to FY2015. This robust funding will allow the institute to expand promising research toward improved treatments and move us closer to a cure for diabetes.
Why is this a problem? I noticed a trend in the percentage of adults with diabetes. The CDC data is clear. Start with 1995 and what do you notice? The heat map on the far right of the image is quite informative.
The story of our health, our populations, and disease needs a 360 perspective. Context is everything.