How Washington keeps America sick and fat
What Americans eat is making us sick on a staggering scale, but judging by federal investment in nutrition research, Washington doesn’t seem to care.
Diet-related illnesses like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise while heart disease remains the leading cause of death. Treating these intertwined epidemics is a top driver of ballooning U.S. health care costs.
But even in an increasingly health-conscious America, the federal government has devoted only a tiny fraction of its research dollars to nutrition, a level that has not kept pace with the worsening crisis of diet-related diseases. Studying the relationship between diet and health is such an afterthought that Washington doesn’t even bother tracking the total amount spent each year.