Something Michelle Obama really ought to know

Michelle Obama is on a campaign to reduce obesity in the US. And given her background in the health care insurance industry there's something that she really ought to know which she apparently does not:

And this isn’t just about our children’s health; it’s about the health of our economy as well. We already spend an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. Just think about what those numbers will look like in a decade or two if we don’t start solving this problem now.

The thing she ought to know being that the more grossly flaccid lardbuckets there are the lower the total health care bill will be. For we discussed back here the point that lifetime health care costs for smokers, boozers and those with rolls of sweaty flesh dripping from them are lower than those for the supposedly healthy who live longer lives.

The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.......Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on. The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

There are all sorts of reasons why we might be happy for government to encourage this healthy eating. People might really be too dim to understand the private costs of it all. It might give an unelected busybody something to do with her life. But given that obesity does not increase health care costs we cannot justify fighting obesity by claiming that doing so will bring health care costs down. For it simply ain't true.