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Nation Digest: Clinton Plans to Tour Seven African Nations

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DIPLOMACY

Clinton Plans Tour Of 7 African Nations

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to travel to Africa next week on a seven-nation tour, the State Department said Monday.

Clinton is to begin her trip on Aug. 5 in Kenya, then travel to South Africa, Angola, Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.

A highlight of the trip will be a forum in Nairobi on U.S.-backed development in Africa. She also plans to meet in Nairobi with Sheikh Sharif Amed, the president of Somalia's transitional government, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

Coming after President Obama's visit this month to Ghana, Clinton's trip will mark the earliest in any administration that both the president and secretary of state have traveled to Africa.

-- Associated Press

HEA LTH

Obesity-Related Costs Raise Alarm

Obesity-related health spending has reached $147 billion a year, double what it was nearly a decade ago, says a study published Monday by the journal Health Affairs. The study found that obesity-related conditions account for 9.1 percent of medical spending, up from 6.5 percent in 1998. During that time, the obesity rate rose 37 percent.

The research shows that medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone of normal weight. The higher expense reflects the costs of treating diabetes, heart disease and other ailments far more common for the overweight, concluded the study by government scientists and the nonprofit research group RTI International.

RTI health economist Eric Finkelstein offers a blunt message for lawmakers: "Unless you address obesity, you're never going to address rising health-care costs."


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