Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled its annual report on Household Food Security in the U.S. According to a press release on the USDA website:

In 2008, 17 million households, or 14.6 percent, were food insecure and families had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year. This is an increase from 13 million households, or 11.1 percent, in 2007. The 2008 figures represent the highest level observed since nationally representative food security surveys were initiated in 1995.

Contrast this with “America’s Health Rankings,” a new study by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. It asserts that obesity will cost the U.S. $344 billion a year (or about 21% of total health spending) in medical-related expenses by 2018, due to costly conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Per USA Today:

These calculations are based on the projection that in 10 years 43% of Americans adults may be obese, which is roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight, if obesity continues to rise at the current rate.

A representative from United Health Foundation told the newspaper that “this report is an urgent call to take much more aggressive action to deal with key disease risk factors such as obesity and smoking.”

Alas, in today’s era of “proactive” government, recommending “aggressive action” might be a dangerous thing. If there’s enough food in the country (since some Americans are eating too much) yet some are going without, it should be easy enough to redistribute that through the wisdom of government, right? Seems to have worked in the past elsewhere

Coming soon: the food czar.