Remedies for the Obesity Epidemic: Can We Afford Them? Do We Want Them?
Author(s)Davis, Sheila P.
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AbstractThis paper challenges readers to consider the ethical principle of beneficence, the moral obligation to act for the benefit of others, in addressing the obesity epidemic. One thought provoking question asked is: are we ready to trade jobs for lives if obesity reduction resulted in a significant revenue loss? Currently, the obesity epidemic is estimated to cost $117 billion annually. Stated differently, this epidemic possibly generates $117 billion annually. Readers are warned that unless drastic, wide sweeping efforts are instigated on a societal scale, the obesity epidemic will win out. This is especially pertinent for children. Epidemiologists have determined that at least one out of every three Caucasian child and one out of every two ethnic minority child born in 2000 and beyond will become diabetic unless as a society we do the right thing in terms of aggressively implementing solutions which we know to be effective in curbing the epidemic. Lastly, 14 governments, policy-oriented remedies are presented and 13 family-related, obesity reduction/prevention remedies are shared. Readers are left with the challenge of deciding if we as a society can afford the remedies and if we really want the remedies. Davis concludes with the reminder that we have a moral obligation to help those, especially children, who suffer for this life threatening epidemic.