The Politics of Fat

Experts say our expanding girth is killing us and costing the health-care system billions. But is this a problem government can solve? Or should?

These are fat times in politics. Literally. Nearly 400 obesity-related bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country last year--more than double the number in 2003. A quarter of them were passed into law, up from only 12% two years before. In Washington the word obesity appears in 56 bills introduced during the current Congress; this, the Wall Street Journal points out, is fast catching up with the number containing the word gun. Surgeon General Richard Carmona says obesity is a greater threat than terrorism. Some public-health advocates have begun urging the government to put a warning label on soft...

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