A report released by the Center for Disease Control today (http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/AdultObesity/) reinforced a well-known fact – Americans are fat. About 10 years ago, the U.S. government laid out its Healthy People 2010 Goals and Objectives; a set of health goals for the Nation to achieve over the first decade of the new century. The program included 467 health improvement objectives and 434 sub-objectives in 28 focus areas to be achieved by 2010. One of those goals was for states to lower their prevalence of obesity to 15% of their residents. News Flash: They All Failed! In the year 2000 (in the year two thousand) not one state in our great land had a prevalence of obesity greater than 30%. 10 years later, 9 states share that auspicious honor, with Mississippi taking the cake (pun intended) at 36.8%. Colorado is at the opposite end of the scale at 18.6%; even those granola-eating, tree-huggers couldn’t make weight.
On a serious note, obesity is a serious problem. Physical and mental issues aside, being overweight is expensive. According to the CDC report, medical costs for the obese are an average $1,429 higher per year and medical costs associated with obesity cost our country a cool $147 billion. The Director of the CDC was quoted saying: “We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity. If we don't more people will get sick and die from obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death.” This is why I thought that on July 15 the FDA panel that reviewed Vivus’s Qnexa would, after cost-benefit analysis, recommend approval of the most effective development stage weight loss drug out there. An elevated heart rate and disorientation are serious side effects, but dead Americans can’t be much better. Perhaps Arena (NASDAQ:ARNA) will have better luck at their panel review on September 16.
Disclosure: no position