William Saletan thinks about the future of obesity on America:
People on diets aren't losing weight. But people who get bariatric surgery are losing weight. Governments see this difference, and they're increasingly interested in paying for the surgery if, as evidence suggests, it's cost-effective. According to a study published last year in the American Journal of Managed Care, "Downstream savings associated with bariatric surgery are estimated to offset the initial costs in 2 to 4 years." So look out, fat folks. As we learn more about the intractability of your condition, the good news is that people may stop expecting you to diet or exercise your way to a thinner body. The bad news is, they may start expecting you to go under the knife.