By MARK BITTMAN
Here's some good news:
Seat belts save lives. So do vaccinations.
The world's population is living longer.
The childhood obesity rate has declined in parts of the United States.
Forget the fiscal cliff: we've long since fallen off the public health cliff.
We need consistent policies that benefit a majority of our citizens, even if it costs corporations money.
Chronic disease - to a large extent brought about by diet - is now the biggest killer on the planet.
Soda kills more people than guns - more people than car wrecks - only less dramatically.
Coronary artery and related disease, cancer, diabetes are so-called 'lifestyle diseases that can be avoided by arming people with information about killers like white sugar, white flour, and trans-fats.
Preventing chronic diseases can be furthered by policies regulating the quality of our food and the quantity of the nonfood we allow ourselves to ingest.
We should draft policy against:
Eating badly - consuming unprecedented amounts of nonfood, like soda - causes obesity.
Obesity brings about chronic disease.
Chronic disease kills, wrecks lives and wreaks havoc on our health care system and our economy.
We have the power, collectively, to further reduce disease and improve longevity.
Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company
NYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018
Dietary Seat Belts - NYTimes.com