Just walk around the streets and you will notice there is an epidemic of obesity in the U.S. To be sure, NYC is less fat than places like Maryland where I regularly visit. In NYC more people walk so the exercise pays off in less girth being carried around. However, in car dependent Columbia Maryland the number of obese people is staggering and very unpleasant to look at, and costly to the tax payers. In the current debate over health care it should be noted that all told, 9% of health care spending last year was spent on obesity related costs – this according to the Urban Institute. Half of that bill was footed by taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid. I propose increasing the health premiums for all obese people. Also taxes should be imposed on sugary soft drinks and high fat fast food. It's time Americans slim down and taxing the hell out of them just might be the answer.