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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 05:14 PM   #141
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
It is a serious mistake to confuse correlation with cause and effect. A decreasing social acceptance and perception of smoking may have had a lot more to do with declining smoking rates than taxes.
Or maybe it was the warning labels.

I think fat people already have to live with the social stigma, health issues, etc. Yet we still have a growing obesity epidemic. We could do worse than apply basic economic principles to the problem.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 05:48 PM   #142
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
We could do worse than apply basic economic principles to the problem.
Low income people have a larger obesity problem than the middle class. Basic economic principles don't apply here.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 05:53 PM   #143
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by dmpi
Low income people have a larger obesity problem than the middle class. Basic economic principles don't apply here.
Sure they do! Sugary processed food is cheap. Fruit is expensive. Which is more appealing to po' folk?

And here's a more controversial thought. One of the biggest factors in success (and wealth) is the ability to delay gratification. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that poor people might be less likely to delay gratification and focus on long-term health goals. And they're more likely to focus on the short-term gratification of eating.

Bottom-line: we've done nothing to address the problem so far. Try something. If a tax doesn't work, repeal the tax and try something else.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 05:55 PM   #144
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by wab

Try something. If a tax doesn't work, repeal the tax and try something else.
Try this: each two-bit expert learns to mind his own business.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 05:59 PM   #145
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Try this: each two-bit expert learns to mind his own business.
Jeffy, the depth of your intellect is exceeded only by the richness of your expression.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 06:35 PM   #146
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Re: The obesity epidemic

..

So holding someone accountable about unhealthy lifestyles in an anonymous forum using general statements constitutes "unwarranted pride" and "taking cheap shots". That's interesting.

Placating people and telling them that they're loved anyway results in them doing 2 things about the problem; jack and squat.

I realize sympathy has its place, but rarely does it solve problems

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 06:52 PM   #147
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Re: The obesity epidemic

I have no problem with anyone with a lack of will power. Heck when it comes to certain things we all probley have a lack of will power at something.

I do have a problem with someone who has no will power and looks to blame every thing and anything they can for their problems or go thru the motions of attempting to take some action but thats all it is ,its going thru the motions.

Then they will whine how they tried soooooooo hard and see nothing works.

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 09:11 PM   #148
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Or maybe it was the warning labels.

I think fat people already have to live with the social stigma, health issues, etc. Yet we still have a growing obesity epidemic. We could do worse than apply basic economic principles to the problem.
Yes, but that misses the point. I don't necessarily disagre with the idea of applying basic economic principles to the obesity problem. It may help. I am not against using both positive and negative economic approaches (ie. tax incentives for losing weight and higher cost on unhealthy, fattening food). But it is still a mistake to look at the correlations between tobacco costs and smoking and assume that cost is the cause of that observed effect. There were a lot of things going on during that timeframe. Hollywood went from glamorizing to demonizing smoking. Stop smoking campaigns swept across the country. Lots of money was spent educating people about the dangers. Major profile lawsuits were taken up against the tobacco companies and some of those companies were involved in scandals. Even those warning labels may have had some effect. Even with all that for several decades, some people still smoke.

It seems to me that obesity may be even tougher to diminish. It probably makes sense to apply every weapon we can in the battle against obesity. For most people, smoking is not immediately pleasurable the first time. It takes awhile to be able to inhale smoke without choking. The same is not true for food. Smoking is not required to live -- not even a little smoking is required. We all have to eat. We can pass rules and regulations to outlaw smoking in restaurants and public places, but we can't outlaw eating in restaurants. In the case of smoking, we can treat any smoking as bad or too much. Eating is very different. All tobacco brands can be treated as unhealthy, but some foods in some amounts are not only healthy, but required.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 09:19 PM   #149
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
But it is still a mistake to look at the correlations between tobacco costs and smoking and assume that cost is the cause of that observed effect.
Sin taxes have become very popular from this belief, and a lot of taxing authorities have been imposing them in many places over a number of years on a bunch of sinful substances.

While I agree that correlation doesn't imply causality on the first occurrence, I wonder how many times or how many different places it needs to occur for statisticians to be convinced that there is causality. We already know that politicians are convinced on the first attempt!
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 09:23 PM   #150
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 09:44 PM   #151
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by Nords
. . .While I agree that correlation doesn't imply causality on the first occurrence, I wonder how many times or how many different places it needs to occur for statisticians to be convinced that there is causality. We already know that politicians are convinced on the first attempt!
We have to choose between statisticians and politicians?

That is not a comforting thought.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 09:53 PM   #152
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Hollywood went from glamorizing to demonizing smoking.
Yes, I mentioned that there were other factors at play, but the evidence of price effects is strong. That's why I showed that when a state *decreased* cig taxes to address smuggling, cig consumption *increased.*

I didn't mention the Hollywood effect, since AFAIK, sloth and gluttony have never been considered to be very sexy. I think people understand that lack of exercise and overeating is bad for you. I don't think this is an issue of message or labeling or social pressure.

The issue here is how do we counter the effect or short-term rewards (food and sloth) for long-term benefits. I think one answer is short-term pain that directly offsets the short-term rewards.

How about this: BMI > 30 means we take away your car and TV set! Yeah, I didn't think you'd like that idea, so a junk-food tax disincentive combined with a healthy-food incentive might fly better.

I think we could combine that with other incentives as well. Rather than a tax break, just make gym membership free for anybody who is overweight. Maybe have a new version of the "special olympics" for overweight kids. We could do lots of things. We're currently doing nothing.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 10:01 PM   #153
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Re: The obesity epidemic

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question658.htm

1. How much power does a computer or a TV consume?
2. Can a person generate that much power with a bicycle?
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 10:03 PM   #154
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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1. How much power does a computer or a TV consume?
2. Can a person generate that much power with a bicycle?
I was hoping somebody would bring up the Soylent Green solution.

There's a lot of energy stored around the waists of Americans. This could fix our dependency on foreign oil.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-02-2006, 10:44 PM   #155
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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1. How much power does a computer or a TV consume?
2. Can a person generate that much power with a bicycle?
No matter how articulate an engineer you may be, if you try this quite logical approach to energy conservation then your spouse will still call you a @$#%ing nuke. Even if you offer to buy the bikes for your spouse & kid out of your own paycheck.

But I don't want to tell you how I learned that.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:11 AM   #156
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Re: The obesity epidemic

....We do have a BIG problem in the US with obesity. It is getting worse and there is virtually NOTHING being done to solve it. Like Doctor Phil says "how's that working out for you". It seems to me that we should be trying lots of different things just to see if one or a combination of them will work. Wab's "fat tax" would certainly be worth trying. I would think that calling it an incentive plan rather than a "fat tax" might make it a little easier to promote and get legislated. Ideally it would be a combination of taxes on unhealthy high fat foods and incentives for eating healthy foods and losing weight. I think exercise is as much a factor as overeating in the problem and any plan should include incentives for exercising. Gyms have been mentioned in some posts here. I hate gyms. I am sure that exercising in gyms is right for some people but I would rather burn my calories outside seeing the world and doing exercise that is fun. It has to be a lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating rather than dieting and temporary exercise plans. BTW, I also hate running, blame it on 20 years of running in the army. Education is a big part of the problem. I would love to spend my nursing career educating people about healthy lifestyles rather than working in a hospital treating the symptoms of their unhealthy lifestyles. Unfortunately virtually all the money paid to nurses in the US is paid for treatment rather than education and health promotion.
....When I was flying army helicopters we always blamed the victims in accidents. It was the only way that we could go back out and fly after we had lost friends in accidents. I lost my closest friend in an accident where he was a passenger riding in the back of a Huey. For the longest time I actually did blame him for going along on a flight that he did not have to be on. The human mind works in very funny ways. When we were in Saudi Arabia before Desert Storm we had a lot of night accidents. True to form the chain of command actually blamed them each one after another on pilots cowboying and not paying attention to safety rules. I may only be half bright but after six or eight accidents were blamed on cowboying even this died in the wool cowboy took things real slow and easy at night. We still had accidents. Finally the chain of command admitted that perhaps we were having a problem with night vision goggles in the desert and that perhaps we did not "own the night" as we had been claiming for some time.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:41 AM   #157
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab

We could do lots of things. We're currently doing nothing.
Who are "WE" in this discussion? Some kind of modern-day Ku Klux Klan or Nazi Youth movement?
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:47 AM   #158
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I was hoping somebody would bring up the Soylent Green solution.

There's a lot of energy stored around the waists of Americans. This could fix our dependency on foreign oil.
I like this idea but most folks would think it's a kroc.

JG
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:52 AM   #159
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
We could do lots of things. We're currently doing nothing.
I agree, as long as we doln't end up with the government forcing people
into lifestyle changes, which I'm afraid is coming. Actually, I see no end to it. Today it's smokers and fat people. Tomorrow?..........
use your imagination.

JG
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 05:10 AM   #160
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
I agree, as long as we doln't end up with the government forcing people
into lifestyle changes, which I'm afraid is coming. Actually, I see no end to it. Today it's smokers and fat people. Tomorrow?..........
use your imagination.

JG
JG is exactly on point here. Exactly!!! Who is "we" if it is not the govt? Heaven forbid . . . yearly weigh-ins ultimately at the point of a gun?
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