Are Babies Worth Getting Fat For?

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An average middle-income family with a child born in 2008 will spend about $221,000 on expenses relating to raising him or her through the age of 17. The money, according to the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, goes primarily to housing, then food, and child care/education. The costs are even higher than that in the "urban Northeast." "Children also have many benefits," cautioned USDA economist Mark Lino. "So you have to keep that in mind." Yeah, benefits like the joy of shelling out thousands more for college, which isn't even included in this calculation. [NYP]