KP’s Ray Baxter Talks Weighty Issues

KP’s Ray Baxter Talks Weighty Issues


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Kaiser Permanente is a different kind of health system, as we all know. It has been a major funder of the HBO Series Weight of the Nation — reviewed by Kristin Molven in a companion piece on THCB today. Matthew Holt interviewed Raymond Baxter who is Kaiser’s Senior Vice President of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy about the role KP plays in community and policy issues, and what we know and what we should can and should do about obesity.

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2 Comments on "KP’s Ray Baxter Talks Weighty Issues"

Sep 13, 2012

Obesity is becoming a serious issue for some. But by having the motivation to lose weight, proper diet/exercise and self discipline, one could achieve a healthy and fit body. People just need to have the will and motivation. :)

Barry Carol
Aug 17, 2012

KP is doing a lot of good and interesting work on the obesity issue. My question is how much has it moved the needle, at least in CA, so far and how much is it likely to anytime soon? By contrast, thanks mainly to much higher taxes, the percentage of the U.S. population that smokes is the second lowest in the world while we have the highest percentage of obese people defined as a BMI >30.

Baxter made the interesting point that the cost of calories declined over time. Since the end of World War II, there was a huge decline in the percentage of income middle class families need to devote to food. While a tax on cigarettes or alcohol is admittedly much easier to administer than one on unhealthy food, we should probably increase our efforts to tax unhealthy food, starting perhaps with soda, while increasing subsidies for healthy food.