Alumni News

Pollan '76 Weighs in on Health Care in the NYT

Following President Obama's speech on health care reform, author Michael Pollan '76 urged legislators to consider the impact of the food industry on the state of the current system.

Image of Michael Pollan

"The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care," he wrote in the September 10 New York Times. "Our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry."

Pollan cited a recent study that estimates that "30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care."

"Passing a health care reform bill, no matter how ambitious, is only the first step in solving our health care crisis," he concluded. "To keep from bankrupting ourselves, we will then have to get to work on improving our health—which means going to work on the American way of eating."

Read Pollan's entire op-ed here.