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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 07:25 AM   #161
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Gumby I disagree with the first part of your statement, a semantic really. It's not that the person chooses to be overweight it's that they chose not to do the things necessary to be fit. If you ask a group of overweight people I'd guess most want to lose the weight, but when they are told exactly what to do they fall of the wagon fairly quickly. Eating whatever you want and not exercising is much easier than monitoring your food intake and calories expended. No amount of tax is going to replace that unwillingness to take action.

I think I would agree with your first statement if the only people overweight had some medical problem preventing them from losing weight. Unfortunately that is not the case. Many people don't see their weight is a problem and until they do nothing will motivate them to lose the weight, others see the problem but lack the desire to do anything about it.

The problem with a junk food tax is all junk food is made from healthy food. What is to prevent a person from making potato chips in their home with out paying the tax? Are they going to tax jail because they made the chips? I can see it now, sorry little Johnny you can't have a birthday cake this year we don't have the $40 to pay for the ingredients. All junk food is not bad. The over eating of junk food is bad so taxing it is rather useless. The overeating of any food is bad, so let's tax it all.

The second part about starting in school I agree with. The last school my son attended had no recess and only had P.E. on Friday. Now that's really teaching a kid the value of fitness. Something I remember from being in school was P.E. seemed to be basically an organized recess. Maybe if actual healthy living was taught in physical education it would serve a better purpose.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 07:50 AM   #162
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2006
Who are "WE" in this discussion? Some kind of modern-day Ku Klux Klan or Nazi Youth movement?
Oops, I do believe the fat lady has sung. As it were.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 08:23 AM   #163
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab

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.


I'll go back to what I said when this thread started (and before I had the meltdown): Let us have a national initiative to fight obesity and addictive disorders. Tax cigarettes even more and use that money to help finance free nicotine substitutes. I am OK with some sort of bad food tax. One easy target would be trans fats, which is unequivocally bad for you. Tax those McDonald's fries. Tax those candy bars. But earmark money into subsidies for good for you food, the fresh fruit and vegetables. This won't be enough, because you can get fat even eating foods that are good for you and that you prepare at home. So, we need to help people find ways to motivate themselves. Exercise once started can be a good motivator. With the government initiative, doctors would be encouraged to prescribe weight loss programs and exercise programs for the obese. One problem is shame--people won't much want to exercise with a bunch of gym rats. Start gyms specifically for people who are more than a certain BMI. My town has a hospital with a very fancy health club. Have hours just for people who are obese. Have hours just for women and just for men. Subsidize through tax deductions and sliding fees.

Increase the number of public health nurses or have public nutrition classes that can be prescribed by physicians. Employers can send their employees. Nothing should emphasis shame, but instead emphasize that this is a public health initiative to improve American's lives. Encourage employers to let employees take time from work to exercise. People waste about a third of their work time anyway.

There is a woman who wrote a book on improving school lunch programs and what they have done in Berkeley California to have healthier lunches that kids will eat. Follow her program.

Physical education in the schools should be changed dramatically. Again, the emphasis should not be shame but success. Spend time and ask a kid what do you want to do. Ride an exercise bike? Run the track? Get them moving and competing against themselves instead of others.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
Many people don't see their weight is a problem and until they do nothing will motivate them to lose the weight, others see the problem but lack the desire to do anything about it.
I think most overweight people know their weight is a problem and desire to do something about it, but feel hopeless. If we removed some of the shame from the process and focused on holding someone's hand and walking them to the nutritionist and the gym, we might help people find motivation in themselves. A taste of success can go a long way in building new habits. Much like the AA model, we can enlist people who used to be too heavy or used to be out of shape as sponsors.

I am not in the health business, yet I can think of many ideas to promote public health. There is much positive we can do if we just do it. Crisis of motivation for us all.



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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 09:14 AM   #164
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by jeff2006
Who are "WE" in this discussion? Some kind of modern-day Ku Klux Klan or Nazi Youth movement?
Jeff, I have read your posts on this thread and they are very inflammatory and don't do anything to advance the discussion. I can't even tell where you are coming from. You just seem upset. What's the deal?

I strongly disagree with Lets Retire and what he has said on this thread. But at least he articulates his position and you get an idea of why he thinks the way he does.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 09:16 AM   #165
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Martha--The BMI thing won't work. It doesn't take into consideration body make up. A 300lbs bodybuilder can have a higher BMI than a 150 obese short person. However, If you are going to have to go to a doctor then have them do a water displacement test to determine fat content. People over a certain fat percentage would be eligible for your gym.

P.S. I still disagree with most of your plan, but just trying to be constructive.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 09:20 AM   #166
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Fair enough on the BMI. Though when someone is obese, the doctor knows it and most often the obese person knows it, so I don't think we have to get too fancy.

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 09:55 AM   #167
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Re: The obesity epidemic

FWIW, a simple measurement of abdominal circumferenceis almost as good a predictor as BMI regarding adverse health outcomes. You measure at the narrowest part of the abdomen from a frontal view.

40"/35" (male, female; non-Asian[lower for them]) are high risk markers for diabetes, hypertension, etc., with a less steep risk at lower numbers. For heart attack risk, waist-to-hip ratio is an even better predictor.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 01:33 PM   #168
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Re: The obesity epidemic

...As an ultraconservative "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" self reliant old curmugeon I actually find myself strongly agreeing with much of what Lets Retire AND Wab AND Martha have to say. If people would exercise more and eat less and fundamentally change to a lifestyle of healthy living rather than fad diet and exercise programs Americans would lose weight and keep it off. I am also a very pragmatic person. If what we are doing is not working then we need to be doing something different. Wab's "fat tax" and the different things that Martha mentions sound like excellent ideas to me.
...I am going to stoop to answer Jeff2006's inane post about who are we. We are Americans. A group of people who have often in the past worked together to solve OUR problems. I am the last person who would advocate the government intruding into people's personal lives and forcing them to do anything. I am strongly in favor of giving Americans incentives to live healthy lifestyles. Financial incentives work in lots of interesting ways. Just look at the tax code and the US economy for a whole bunch of examples. And like Martha says, what are you so angry about?
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 02:54 PM   #169
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Re: The obesity epidemic

If holding people accoutable doesn't work and is morally wrong, then maybe you should consider a different religion besides christainity, because the bible is literally filled with this sort of guidance.



you forget the ..... "in my opinion." We don't agree.


Yes they do. I could choose to be fat in 2 years if i all of a sudden became apathetic about what i ate and quit exercising. Very few things are not within my control.

Disclaimer: If you know of someone who has excessive amounts of food forced down their mouth against their will, then i will concede that they dont have a choice.

...........

I just think we live in a society now where everyone can blame someone or something else about their problems; basically anything but themselves. You want to talk about morals, explain to me what is morallly right about absolving ourselves from all of these responsibilities; including this subject matter?


Trust me, i'm still working towards it.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 02:55 PM   #170
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Re: The obesity epidemic

I'm conflicted about this one. My liberal, use government intervention to fix problems streak says incentives to eat well or a tax on junk food might be sensible if the problem with childhood obesity is serious enough (e.g. comparable in danger to teens and smoking). My libertarian streak tells me to oppose government stepping into our personal business like what we choose to eat. I guess I would need to see good evidence of serious food-business abuse akin to the tobacco companies and good evidence that interventions would be both useful and fairly unobtrusive before I would come down on the intervention side.

Back to the "they could do it themselves if they only chose to" willpower argument, while technically true it is still a lousy argument. Many of the self satisfied skinny folks who raise it have problems of their own -- e.g. a propensity to cancer or heart disease. I bet many of you are on Lipitor to keep cholesterol down. I could say to you that if you would only exhibit a bit of willpower and adopt a draconian diet you too could have low cholesterol. In the meantime your irresponsible behavior results in the need for massive spending on heart research programs that drive up my (cholesterol free) health care costs -- shame on you.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #171
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Re: The obesity epidemic

FWIW:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5399762.stm

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 03:07 PM   #172
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Re: The obesity epidemic

I'm currently fighting an addiction to coffee (and the caffeine it contains), but would i even consider blaming someone besides myself? How ludacrious would that be? Its my fault, i'm harming myself by doing it (urology issues), and I'm the one that needs to stop.

Addiction it may be, but it is still my fault and my problem to fix; not societies.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 03:26 PM   #173
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon
I'm currently fighting an addiction to coffee (and the caffeine it contains), but would i even consider blaming someone besides myself?
Of course not and most obese folks don't blame other people or society either. But, like you, they have a problem they can't seem to get under control.

BTW, I beat the caffine habit by using discipline, will power and self control. It was no problem. If you're having a problem, there must be something wrong with you. But, thanks for not blaming me.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:12 PM   #174
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
My libertarian streak tells me to oppose government stepping into our personal business like what we choose to eat. I guess I would need to see good evidence of serious food-business abuse akin to the tobacco companies and good evidence that interventions would be both useful and fairly unobtrusive before I would come down on the intervention side.
This is why I lean more towards positive incentives, like tax deductions and subsidized programs to encourage healthy eating and exercise. I think one fat we could tax fairly freely is hydrogenated fats, or trans fats as they are unequivacally unhealthy. Though they make food taste good. McDonalds pledged a few years ago to move towards removing transfats from cooking oil. They haven't because the french fries don't taste as good. Well, tax them fries.

Oh, and let's get those commercials off the air where some company claims you can lose weight by taking one supplement or another. Where is the FTC? This stuff is bunk. I think people have a lot of misleading ideas on weight loss that don't help solve the problem. Like reliance on goofy supplements. Like ideas that certain foods burn fat. A deficit of 3500 calories a week is required to burn one pound of weight. You can eat 500 calories a day less, exercise 500 calories more, or some combination, but no matter what you need a calorie deficit to lose weight.


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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:21 PM   #175
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

Oh, and let's get those commercials off the air where some company claims you can lose weight by taking one supplement or another. Where is the FTC? This stuff is bunk. I think people have a lot of misleading ideas on weight loss that don't help solve the problem. Like reliance on goofy supplements. Like ideas that certain foods burn fat. A deficit of 3500 calories a week is required to burn one pound of weight. You can eat 500 calories a day less, exercise 500 calories more, or some combination, but no matter what you need a calorie deficit to lose weight.


Or how about NuriSystem's commercials with the woman stating she was a *fat* size 10 and now she's a 4. Or NurtiSystem's rib sticking *man* meals that elude to fact that weight loss makes you more manly/sexually desireable. I want to throw my shoe at the TV any time I see NutriSystem ads. What kind of bozo's think up this crap? :P
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:26 PM   #176
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
This is why I lean more towards positive incentives, like tax deductions and subsidized programs to encourage healthy eating and exercise. I think one fat we could tax fairly freely is hydrogenated fats, or trans fats as they are unequivacally unhealthy. Though they make food taste good. McDonalds pledged a few years ago to move towards removing transfats from cooking oil. They haven't because the french fries don't taste as good. Well, tax them fries.

Oh, and let's get those commercials off the air where some company claims you can lose weight by taking one supplement or another. Where is the FTC? This stuff is bunk. I think people have a lot of misleading ideas on weight loss that don't help solve the problem. Like reliance on goofy supplements. Like ideas that certain foods burn fat. A deficit of 3500 calories a week is required to burn one pound of weight. You can eat 500 calories a day less, exercise 500 calories more, or some combination, but no matter what you need a calorie deficit to lose weight.


I gotta say it........Martha, your posts are so sensitive and thoughtful
(kind of the opposite of mine) . I would like to say that you are a
big reason I opted to return, but this would certainly not help or benefit
you in any way. Keep on doing what you do. The world
needs people like you.

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:37 PM   #177
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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What kind of bozo's think up this crap? :P
I agree it's crap, but that is free enterprise at work. Some people
will buy the line and buy the product. Profits will follow.
This is our system. Flawed as it is, I greatly prefer it to others.

My gosh! Just turn on your TV. It's about 99% "crap". But, many
are watching and thus profits are created. A real life example:
Today I stopped by a broker that I use for some of my stuff. Somehow we
got onto TV. One of the office staff got a bit gushy about
'Dancing with the Stars'. This is an intelligent woman. I have seen
the program but could not watch regularly without a barf bag.

JG
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:43 PM   #178
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Re: The obesity epidemic

Obesity surely takes a terrible toll on the health, happiness, and self-confidence of tens of millions of Americans. Still, I'd like to think Americans are free to do stupid/self-destructive things without government interference. Ride motorcycles, engage in hazardous sports and hobbies, drive little cars, and run with scissors.

Of course, to the degree the govt (i.e. us taxpayers) provide health care, self-destructive behavior becomes everyone's business. Some view this as a good thing, others think it is another good argument against such "free" health care.

They can have my doughnut when they apply the paddles to my cold, dead chest.
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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:50 PM   #179
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Re: The obesity epidemic

I'd really love to see a ban on marketing of food to kids. I don't see how it can be justified by any measure. Many other countries don't allow it. These food companies are predators on kids but the general consensus seems to be that it's "great capitalism" and "the good old American way".

Meanwhile, we bend over backwards to protect our kids from many, many other dangers. Why aren't we just as willing to protect kids from commercial exploitation?

As long as there wasn't an obesity epidemic among kids, food companies could argue that there was "no harm", but it's pretty obvious right now that there is major harm.

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Re: The obesity epidemic
Old 10-03-2006, 04:53 PM   #180
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Re: The obesity epidemic

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Originally Posted by samclem
Of course, to the degree the govt (i.e. us taxpayers) provide health care, self-destructive behavior becomes everyone's business.
Not just goverment-sponsored health care. Company-sponsored health insurance is also affected. Healthy people subsidize the sick, and the obese are significantly more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses.

And don't get me started about the obese and air travel.

But probably the biggest issue is that obesity in kids has increased by a factor of 4 in the last 25 years. Do you want to blame the kids (or their parents) or do something to help them?
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