by Marion Nestle
Feb 5 2008

Healthy people are too expensive for society?

As suggested by the story in today’s New York Times, we can expect to hear much fuss about a new study showing that obese people and smokers cost less to treat.  Of course they do.  They die sooner. Healthy people are expensive say some Dutch economists in this new study.  Economists have an interesting way of looking at such things; all they care about is money.  But what about quality of life?  Shouldn’t that count as economic value?