Around the world, city planners are embracing outdoor exercise and installing fitness equipment in public parks. Realizing that an active and physically fit population is healthier, happier and probably more likely to reward their fitness-promoting politicians with votes, it just makes good sense to jump on the fitness bandwagon.
Especially considering that over the next 50 years, the cost of obesity and related illnesses to the U.S. economy could be as much as US$650 billion – equivalent to about 5% of current annual U.S. GDP.
Q: And how much of that $650 billion is going to be spent on the prevention of obesity?
A: I would guess that the bulk of this money is going to be spent on trying to correct problems that may have been preventable in the first place….with outdoor exercise equipment, better access to healthy food and a ton of education and motivation (brain washing).
We already know that individuals from lower income populations have higher rates of obesity. And since those higher rates of obesity lead to higher rates of diabetes, heart disease & cancer, we can expect that the social cost of not promoting healthy living is going to end us costing ALL of us.
Maybe it makes better economic sense to provide access to free fitness equipment and even subsidize healthy food…if it ends up reducing the overall health burden related to obesity….and extending and improving the lives of millions of people.