Monday, March 20, 2006

Health & Wellness

How the Feds are Making Bad for You Food,
Cheaper Than Healthful Fare

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount Americans spend on food as a percentage of disposable income has fallen from 15.4 percent in 1980 to 10.8 percent in 2004. But while we've spent less money on food, our waistlines have expanded. The obesity rate, after hovering around 15 percent from 1960 to 1980, surged to 31 percent in the last 25 years, USDA figures show. The percentage of overweight children tripled in the same time period. Meanwhile, incidence of type II diabetes, a diet-related condition with a host of health-related complications, leapt 41 percent from 1997 to 2004.

Attack of the Killer Corn

Why the heavily subsidized corn harvest amounts to an annual environmental calamity.This trend has hit low-income groups particularly hard. The obesity rates for "poor" and "near-poor" people stand at 36 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively, against an overall average of 29.2 percent for "non-poor," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. While the CDC doesn't break down diabetes rates by income, a look at the disease through the lens of ethnicity shows that those rates tend to align with economics: African Americans and Mexican Americans, for instance, have higher diabetes rates than whites, and lower median incomes.
Uninsured in America

This is one of 7 articles in the Chicago Tribune's
continuing series on health care in our country.

State Will Fill Senior Drug Gap
January 12, 2006.

Illinois will pay for medications for impoverished seniors and disabled consumers who are having problems getting prescriptions filled under Medicare's vast new drug program, officials announced Wednesday.