New epidemic: self-indulgence

You want health care reform?

Lose some weight, people!

The cost of health care is heavy in the news right now, and the only solution being talked about is yet another government-run program (straight from the bureaucrats that brought you the Social Security Administration, which a recent report says has been paying benefits to dead people and denying them to living ones it thinks are dead).

In truth, much of health care's problem is self-inflicted: According to the Trust for America's Health, about 70 percent of health-care costs involve chronic disease -- much of it traceable to obesity (and, no doubt, smoking).

It's the Baby Boom generation leading the way, too: In every state, baby boomers outweigh the older generation.

Boomers were always going to weigh heavy on taxpayers once they retired. But with obesity-related maladies exploding, the burden on the boomers' children will be that much worse.

The children of the Greatest Generation are now the Most Self-Indulgent Generation.

We get all in a tizzy about prospects for a swine flu epidemic. Well, no virus will ever approach the devastation our own self-indulgent behaviors are producing.

Nowhere is it worse than in the South, either. According to a new report from the Trust for America's Health, eight of the 10 fattest states are in the South. Georgia ranks 14th-fattest among adults; South Carolina weighs in at No. 5.

Boomers here are passing the plate to their kids, too: Georgia has the third-highest rate of child obesity in the nation; South Carolina ranks 13th.

What a shameful state of affairs. Boomers' parents and grandparents fought world wars and lived through the Great Depression, then used the sweat of their brows to spend the Soviet Union into ruin in the Cold War. And now their children's biggest challenge seems to be laying off the doughnuts.

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