In a recently published paper, "Rand Report On Consequences Of Obesity," two Rand researchers, health economist Roland Sturm and psychiatrist Kenneth Wells, examined the comparative effects of obesity, smoking, heavy drinking and poverty on chronic health conditions and health expenditures.

Their conclusion: Obesity is the most serious problem.

In fact, when compared with normal-weight individuals of the same age and sex having similar social demographics, obese people suffer from an increase in chronic conditions of approximately 67 percent.

MSNBC calls obesity the newest public health enemy in a recent news bulletin. Weight issues are spreading to virtually every country in the world just as doctors are winning the fight against a number of other vexing diseases, according to MSNBC.