Bush on Health Care, Biggie-Sized

“Bush To Discuss Health Care During Visit To Wendy’s,” Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV reported. Their headline wasn’t a joke — Bush really picked the headquarters of the nation’s third-largest burger chain as the place to sell his health care schemes to the American people.

President Bush has talked about how curbing obesity is essential to reducing health care costs. From his 6/22/02 radio address:

Americans who are obese spend approximately 36 percent more on health care services than the general population. They spend 77 percent more on medications.

The problem is especially pronounced among young people. Obesity rates among America’s children have doubled since the 1970s, and childhood obesity has been shown to increase the risk of asthma, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.


Wendy’s is part of the problem. Last week, the fast food joint announced it “will focus more attention on younger consumers as it tries to turn around the trend at its hamburger restaurants.” Research shows children are susceptible to the types of advertising Wendy’s will use to convince children they need 960 calorie kids’ meals. “Research indicates that the ads children are exposed to do influence their choice of foods,” the Kaiser Family Foundation found.