Prevention Funding Shifts From Anti-Tobacco To Anti-Obesity EffortsThe New York Times: "When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation decided in 1991 to take on Joe Camel, it became the nation's largest private funding source for fighting smoking. The foundation spent $700 million to help knock the cartoon character out of advertisements, finance research and advocacy for higher cigarette taxes and smoke-free air laws and, ultimately, to aid in reducing the nation's smoking rate almost by half. But a few years ago, the Johnson foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., added another target to its mission, pledging to spend $500 million in five years to battle childhood obesity. As the antiobesity financing rose to $58 million last year, a new compilation from the foundation shows, the organization's antismoking grants fell to $4 million. The steep drop-off in private funds illustrates the competition under way for money as public health priorities shift. In the race for preventive health care dollars, from charities and from federal and state government sources, the tobacco warriors have become a big loser" (Wilson, 7/27).
NPR: "The health effects of being overweight or obese are well documented. But new research also documents significant social and economic consequences of being overweight since high school. A new study shows teens who remain obese risk a lifetime of chronic health problems and poverty. Philippa Clarke, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, used national data that tracked 5,000 high school graduates for two decades. She compared one group of 40-year-olds who were normal weight at high school graduation but gained weight gradually over time with another group of 40-year-olds who were chronically overweight since age 19. Clarke says the chronically overweight were 50 percent more likely to be unemployed, on welfare and single. Her study didn't address why, but Clarke suggests these adults probably experienced discrimination as children that diminished their self-esteem and, in turn, their aspirations" (Neighmond, 7/28). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.