Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Posner takes on fat.

Political correctness has reduced the use of ridicule to enforce social norms.

All this said, the case for public intervention to reduce obesity is uncertain. The main costs of obesity, in increased illness and disability, are borne by the obese themselves, which greatly weakens the economic case for intervention. True, the obese are able to shift some of their medical and disability costs to others through the Medicaid, Medicare, and social security disability programs, which are subsidized health and disability programs that do not limit benefits to the obese even though the obese experience increased illness and disability as a consequence of their obesity. Yet the benefits of preventive health can be exaggerated. It increases the percentage of the elderly in the population, and the elderly are very heavy demanders of expensive--and subsidized--health care and pensions.
Yes, he did just say what you think he said.

I suggest reading the whole thing.

Here's a story from the UAE: New study will seek reasons for obesity.


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