Understatement of the day

It is ironic that modern capitalist societies engage in public campaigns to urge individuals to be more attentive to their health, while fostering an economic ecosystem that seduces many consumers into an extremely unhealthy diet. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, 34% of Americans are obese. Clearly, conventionally measured economic growth – which implies higher consumption – cannot be an end in itself.

That’s economist Ken Rogoff, asking “Is Modern Capitalism Sustainable?”. And of course it goes beyond ironic; it’s tragic. Changes in policy that address that “economic ecosystem” itself are usually considered outside the realm of public health, which is exactly why public health folks have to (and do) engage on broader policy issues.

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12 2011

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