The health care bill has caused quite a stir in the United States. Despite the inter-party bickering, the fact remains that Americans are generally unhealthy. They’re going to eventually have to follow doctor’s orders, and you can play it with exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Our health care system is ailing and Americans aren’t faring much better: the health of many U.S. citizens is going down the tubes. About 34% of Americans are obese, and children hold a 31.7% obesity rate. Yikes! This is a burden on the overall economy, says Marc Litchfield for Investment U, as the additional risk of associated illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and other problems, obese Americans cost the country $147 billion in 2008.
The cost of caring for these people is going to hit taxpayers, whether it’s in higher health insurance premiums or higher taxes.
You can harness this through investment by looking at the stores people hit when they want to make a change:
- When Americans change their diets, they often turn to stores such as Whole Foods (WFMI) or other purveyors of healthy and/or organic goods.
- Food distribution is another avenue to explore, as the agricultural powerhouses provides seeds and genomics to farmers. An increase in demand for vegetables should benefit companies such as Monsanto (MON).
- Check out stores that sell health and fitness equipment. Retailers such as Target (TGT), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) have aisles packed with hand weights, yoga mats, workout clothes and even some larger equipment.
For more stories about consumer discretionary, visit our consumer discretionary category.
- First Trust Consumer Staple AlphaDEX (FXG): Holds Whole Foods, Safeway (SWY), Del Monte (DLM)
- Vanguard Consumer Discretionary (VCR): Holds Target and Amazon
- Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO): Holds producers of grains and fertilizers.