Thursday, September 23, 2010

We're getting fatter

And the U.S. is leading the way.

At least that's what the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmet said in its first-ever obesity forecast released Thursday that states that citizens of the world's richest countries are getting heavier.

According to the study, three out of four Amercans will be overweight or obese by 2020, which will then lead to skyrocketing health-care spending and disease rates. I'm trying to reverse that trend, eating a little healthier and exercising regularly. I'm still not where I'd like to be, but I have lost 20 pounds in the past 12 months.

The Paris-based organization, which brings together 33 of the world's leading economies, is better known for forecasting deficit and employment levels than for measuring waistlines. But the economic cost of excess weight -- in health care, and in lives cut short and resources wasted --- is a growing concern for many governments.

In the Associated Press story, Franco Sassi, the OECD senior health economist who authored the report, blamed the usual suspects for the increase.

"Food is much cheaper than in the past, in particular food that is not particularly healthy, and people are changing their lifestyles, they have less time to prepare meals and are eating out more in restaurants," said Sassi, a former London School of Economics lecturer who worked on the report for three years.

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