I have drawn the comparison between smoking and unhealthy eating before in this blog and I found an interesting new study that compares the two in this week's Los Angeles Times.
I am always thinking about what we can learn from the problem of Smoking in America. At one point, smoking was the biggest public health concern in our country. Just like we see with the food industry today, tons of large and powerful tobacco corporations had a lot at stake. There were major profits involved, but alarming numbers of people were dying.
This week, I found an article in the Los Angeles Times that really startled me.
In her article, Rising Obesity Rates Imperil Health Gains,
- We've put out massive anti-smoking PSA advertisement campaigns.
- We've flooded our schools with education programs to prevent our children from starting this deadly habit early.
- We've banned these hazardous substances from school grounds, from restaurants, and many public spaces.
- We've taxed the hell out of them to discourage people from buying them.
- We've sued the corporations that push these substances in billion dollar class action lawsuits to get a little payback for the costly harm their product has produced for our society and to our health care system.
- We've created aids from gum and patches to step by step programs and support groups to help people break their addiction and get their health back on track.