NATIONAL DIET

Presidential Prescriptions

The presidential plate may be full of pressing issues like the economy and health care, but why not throw public health on there, too? President Obama has lately been signaling that a major public health initiative is in the works that will try to convince Americans to turn off the television and put down their hamburgers. Other plans involve more grocery stores and walking paths in impoverished areas, as well as nutrition counseling, Politico reports. Many of the men and women who will execute these plans are the same people who have spearheaded movements to prohibit smoking in public places, ban trans fat, and force restaurants to post calorie information. But how will this holier-than-thou attitude go over with Americans who aren't ashamed of their beer guts and big pile of nachos? The key may be convincing them that public health is an economic issue, as diseases tied to an unhealthy lifestyle cost $2 trillion.