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Letter: Childhood obesity and health care: We should focus on the reasons for rising medical bills

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Two overweight women hold a conversation, Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in New York. Two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese and some 17 percent of children and teens are obese.

Mark Lennihan, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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On the heels of current finger-pointing articles about the reasons for childhood obesity, Amy Donaldson astutely yet simply demonstrated how parents have a frontline responsibility and impact on the health of their children ("The Fight against Childhood Obesity Starts at Home," Oct. 2).

For several decades now, the incidence of obesity has grown in scope and attention. Researchers have linked childhood obesity to everything from fast food and inactivity to antibiotics and Bisphenol-A — all controllable contributors.

Obesity-linked health problems, both seen and unseen, plague bodies, minds and now wallets. With the recent interest in political debates on health care reform, shouldn't our attention be focused on all the reasons for our rising medical bills? Within five years, providing obesity triggered health care could cost Utahns more than $2.4 billion.

If the increasing costs of health care are so much our own doing, then why aren't we as interested in reform that will support our schools, ourselves and our children in making real changes we can count on?

We need more physical activity at home and in school. We need healthy options on our tables and in vending machines. Only then will we begin to feel fiscally and physically well.

Charles Dunn

Syracuse

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