"We have ways of changing behavior"

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Ann Althouse points to a “chilling locution” in a Wall Street Journal story about health spending: “Nearly 10% of Health Spending Due to Obesity, Report Says”

"Health care costs are dramatically higher for people who are obese and it doesn't have to be that way," said Jeff Levi of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, who wasn't involved in the new research.
"We have ways of changing behavior and changing those health outcomes so that we don't have to deal with the medical consequences of obesity," added Mr. Levi, who advocates community-based programs that promote physical activity and better nutrition.

The shiver comes from that, “we have ways of changing behavior.”

I got into a conversation yesterday about genetics and social engineering, the question of whether it’s right to “punish” someone for his genes, and how effective we should expect changes in the environment to be on any given behavior. I always try to point out that we already have social engineering, and always have had.