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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/ot-quottwinkie-taxquot-16886094.aspx

Subject:  OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date:  3/12/2002  10:29 PM
Author:  SloanT Number:  63509 of 734508

Check out the link:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&u=/nm/20020312/sc_nm/health_obesity_costs_dc_1

Some interesting snippets:

The study found that obesity -- linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers -- raises a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.
(while smoking was 21 and 28, respectively)

and:

Obesity rates in the United States nearly doubled in the 1990s -- from around 12 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1998, when the study was conducted. In comparison, daily smokers made up 19 percent of the population and 6 percent were classified as heavy drinkers.

The recent Surgeon General's report said 27 percent of Americans are obese, and 61 percent are overweight.

People with a body mass index -- a measure of weight in relation to height -- of more than 30 are considered to be obese. For example, somebody who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds or more.


I wonder what the definition for overwieght is as I find it hard to believe that 61% of the population is overweight. I suppose I probably fall in that category. After all, I gained 40 pounds in college... :)

Finally, what RE's will care about:

In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase.

Further support for the argument that those who use more healthcare services should pay for it? Perhaps that would serve as a deterrent, much like a sin tax?

st
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