Friday, November 20, 2009

Solving America's Obesity Problem

Under the direction of the Obama administration, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department is in talks with South American medical specialists on a new weight loss therapy for overweight Americans. Details of the new program can be found on page 1,789 of the Senate version of proposed health care legislation. It is one of the few instances in the bill where market forces are leveraged to solve a huge national problem.

This article describes it fairly succinctly:

Peruvian Police: Gang Killed People for Their Fat
Peruvian police says gang killed people for their fat,allegedly for use in cosmetics
By ANDREW WHALEN Associated Press Writer
LIMA, Peru November 20, 2009 (AP)

Police say a gang in the Peruvian jungle has been killing people and draining fat from the corpses to sell on the black market for use in cosmetics, although medical experts say they doubt a major market for fat exists.

Three suspects confessed to killing five people, but the gang may have been involved in dozens more, said Col. Jorge Mejia, chief of Peru's anti-kidnapping police. He said one suspect claimed the gang wasn't the only one doing such killings.

Mejia said two of the suspects were arrested carrying bottles of liquid human fat and told police it was worth $60,000 a gallon ($15,000 a liter). The fat was sold to intermediaries in Peru's capital, Lima, and police suspect it was then sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, Mejia said Thursday, but he could not confirm any sales.