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Institute of Medicine says the Human Environment is Making us Fat

Institute of Medicine says the Human Environment is Making us Fat

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Picture of a highway in which fast food ads are featured:KFC, Wendy's and Taco Bell among others. Taken in Bowling Green, KY.

Obesity: In a 478-page report, the Institute of Medicine laid out a strategy for reducing obesity in the United States. Instead of focusing on personal nutrition, as many past efforts have, this report recommends transforming the human environment by making car-centric cities better for walking, and by raising the prices of fast food, reports Sharon Begley for Reuters. The report also showed that slowing the increase in obesity could lead to significant health savings, reports Judith Graham for Kaiser Health News.

Health Access: High costs are making it harder for normal Americans to access health care, whether they have insurance or not. And that means that people are having to delay or forgo basic treatment, reports Phil Galewitz for Kaiser Health News.

Health Savings Accounts: Personal health savings accounts, which allow patients to pay for some treatment directly and increase the incentive to shop around, could save employers billions, but they also cause patients to skip some preventive treatments, reports the AP.

Long-Term Care: Only about 8 million Americans have long-term care insurance, primarily because it is too expensive for most people to buy, reports Marilyn Geewax for Kaiser Health News.

AIDS: Cuba's strict policies has led to an AIDS rate of 0.1 percent, one sixth of the US rate. The country forced HIV positive people into quarantine until 1993, but now relies on other techniques, reports Donald G. McNeil Jr. for the New York Times.

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Image by Ross Uber via Wikimedia Commons.


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