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In March 2004, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona called attention to a health problem in the United States that, until recently, has been overlooked: childhood obesity. Carmona said that the “astounding” 15% child obesity rate constitutes an “epidemic.” Since the early 1980s, that rate has “doubled in children and tripled in adolescents.” Now more than nine million children are classified as obese.1 While the traditional response to a medical epidemic is to hunt for a vaccine or a cure-all pill, childhood obesity has proven more elusive. The lack of success of recent initiatives suggests that medication might not be the answer for the escalating problem. In recent years, policymakers and medical experts have expressed alarm about the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States. While most agree that the issue deserves attention, consensus dissolves around how to respond to the problem. This literature review examines one approach to treating childhood obesity: medication. The paper compares the effectiveness for adolescents of the only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for longterm treatment of obesity, sibutramine and orlistat. This examination of pharmacological treatments for obesity points out the limitations of medication and suggests the need for a comprehensive solution that combines medical, social, behavioral, and political approaches to this complex problem. Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006).
Review By http://www.rightfulreviews.com/ The Legatum Institute’s 2010 Prosperity Index ranks 110 countries, covering 90% of the world’s population. To build its index Legatum gathers upward of a dozen international surveys done by the likes of the Gallup polling group, the Heritage Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Each country is ranked on 89 variables sorted into eight subsections: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.
I n spite of public controversy and warnings from regulators, a few national and regional banks are routinely making payday loans, marketed under more appealing names. As shown by previous research and discussed here, these loans are promoted as a short-term solution to a financial shortfall, but in fact they keep borrowers trapped in extremely high-cost debt for a significant portion of the year. Bank payday loans are structured in the same way as other payday loans. The bank deposits the loan amount directly into the customer’s account and then repays itself in full, plus a very high fee, directly from the customer’s next incoming direct deposit of wages or funds such as Social Security checks. If the customer’s direct deposits are not sufficient to repay the loan, the bank typically repays itself anyway within 35 days, even if the repayment overdraws the consumer’s account, triggering high overdraft fees for subsequent transactions. The great majority of banks do not offer payday loans, but as of August 2013 we are aware of at least six that do: Wells Fargo Bank, U.S. Bank, Regions Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Bank of Oklahoma and its bank affiliates,1 and Guaranty Bank. The federal prudential banking regulators—who have long expressed concern about payday lending and who stopped banks from partnering with non-bank payday lenders years ago—have recently expressed serious concern about bank payday lending and proposed guidance that would put in place important protections. In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released initial findings based on its analysis of bank payday data, expressed concern based on those findings, and indicated that it will take further action to address those concerns. CFPB’s findings are noted throughout this chapter, and the supervisory developments are discussed in the Legislation and Regulation section at the end.
Internet Payday Lending: How High-Priced Lenders Use the Internet to Mire Borrowers in Debt and Evade State Consumer Protections November 30, 2004 Executive Summary • Payday lending has expanded from check cashing outlets, pawn shops and payday loan outlets to the Internet. Loans are marketed, delivered and collected online at rates and terms that mire cashstrapped consumers in repeat borrowing at extremely high costs. Finance charges are in the $25 (650% APR) to $30 (780% APR) per $100 borrowed range, with built in loan flipping in many contracts. • Web sites marketing and/or delivering small loans are growing rapidly, with numerous referral sites feeding applications to actual lenders. Lenders are hard to locate, identify or contact. Some are licensed in their home states, while others hide behind anonymous domain registrations or are located outside the United States. • Banks are involved in Internet payday loans through the Automated Clearing House System (ACH) used to electronically deliver loans to consumers’ bank accounts and to withdraw payments. County Bank of Rehoboth Beach, DE, participates directly in Internet payday lending. • Internet payday lenders bypass state usury laws and consumer protections by locating in lax regulatory states and making loans without complying with licensing requirements or state protections in the borrower’s home state. State regulators, notably in Kansas, New York and Colorado, are beginning to enforce state usury and small loan laws against lenders making loans online to state consumers. • Payday loan applications made online expose consumers to privacy and security risks as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal financial information are transmitted to lenders, often over unsecure web links. Privacy policies do not protect privacy. • Federal electronic banking laws and industry self regulatory rules for use of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system do not adequately protect consumers who use electronic fund transfers to borrow and repay loans from bank accounts.
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