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Old 04-14-2013, 09:39 PM   #81
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That's why I said *ultimate* cause is behavior. Perhaps the environment influenced the behavior. But that is like saying I take no blame for going bankrupt through spending more than I earn for years on end and instead blaming it on the banks who lent me too much money (i.e., nearly free money and lax underwriting) or my next door neighbor who drives a 7-series BMW.

All the money in the world spent on advertising won't get me to smoke. Or most of my healthy friends, either.

But we're quickly heading into worldview and personal philosophy here, so let's just agree to disagree.
What i can guess about your worldview is that it is not the result of reading in the social sciences. From your description there is no such thing as a social problem, just individual problems. Seems ridiculously simplistic to me. My own preference is for a more nuanced view. If the economy is doing well and bankruptcies are at an historical low, say in 2004, for example and you go bankrupt, it's probably your own fault. If however, the Fed refuses point blank to regulate mortgage lenders or the rest of the shadow banking system and that unregulated shadow lending system grow to account for 75% of the lending in the economy to the point where, for the first time in American history, you can buy a house with no money down at all, and then when the housing market collapses you go bankrupt, I would say that, although you are very probably not as prudent as I am, the best explanation of the wave of resulting bankruptcies is not coincidence.

Here's a thought experiment for you: supposing all the traffic lights in a city were removed overnight, what would happen? Well, the collision rate would skyrocket, wouldn't it? However, not everyone would have a crash. If fact, it would generally be true that the people who did have accidents would be worse drivers than those who managed to avoid them. So, then who is to blame for all the crashes: the less careful drivers or the guy who removed all the traffic lights?
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #82
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From your description there is no such thing as a social problem, just individual problems. Seems ridiculously simplistic to me. My own preference is for a more nuanced view.
Wow. "Nuanced"--sounds well considered and smart.

Here's what a nuanced view doesn't look like:

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Doesn't mean that at all. It means the cause is environmental.
Dang. I would have thought "nuanced" might look something like: "Environmental factors, in toto, influence but do not explain all individual actions. To ascribe all individual actions solely to environmental (or, by some lights, societal) causes is to ultimately devalue individuals. If we absolve them of responsibility for their failings, they must surely be stripped of credit for their positive achievements. What type of world view is this? A world devoid of humanity! We shall not abide it!." (For more, no need to see social "science", instead ref "Determinism")
There, I've got it going. . . .nuanced, pompous, and overwrought, a great combination.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:13 AM   #83
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Wow. "Nuanced"--sounds well considered and smart.

Here's what a nuanced view doesn't look like:


Dang. I would have thought "nuanced" might look something like: "Environmental factors, in toto, influence but do not explain all individual actions. To ascribe all individual actions solely to environmental (or, by some lights, societal) causes is to ultimately devalue individuals. If we absolve them of responsibility for their failings, they must surely be stripped of credit for their positive achievements. What type of world view is this? A world devoid of humanity! We shall not abide it!." (For more, no need to see social "science", instead ref "Determinism")
There, I've got it going. . . .nuanced, pompous, and overwrought, a great combination.

The next time I suggest a thought experiment I'll have to remember to make more of an effort to determine if the necessary equipment is available. Lesson learned.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:22 AM   #84
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Some things are both an individual issue and a public health issue. They are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #85
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Some things are both an individual issue and a public health issue. They are not mutually exclusive.
+1

As individuals, we can easily and quickly control the individual side of the equation. This isn't as true with the other side.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #86
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Other than sedentary jobs, and neighborhoods where we are pretty much forced to drive rather than walk, what is the public health issue that forces us to be fat? No one has ever in my entire life forced me to buy junk food, or forced me to feed my children junk food, or laid me down and poured fructose syrup down my throat. If your children are being subjected to this kind of thing in school for example, send their lunch with them or get a higher class school. So if the junk food traps us with its incredibly powerful secret combination of flavors, textures and smells, we don't have to eat, feel, or smell it. If we don't have enough self control to walk by the Twinkies in the supermarket, go to Whole Foods or a Chinese market or a hippie co-op.

No one has forced me to watch commercials where my mind would be hypnotized by the superior intellects of the advertisers. For a long time it has been true that if you watch a commercial it is because you want to.

This entire premise is totally ridiculous, and it implies a citizenry that could not handle anything in a life that allowed choice.

Just wait until this brave new world comes along, and see how much choice we have to protect ourselves and our families from our ever loving and helpful government.

Ha
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #87
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what is the public health issue that forces us to be fat?
I think of the constant government urgings to obey a "food pyramid" full of wrong information pretending to be science-based. Isn't that a public health issue? Most people don't (or didn't until relatively recently) have the countervailing information available to them.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:50 AM   #88
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I wish I could return to the grocery store of my childhood in the early 70s. The fresh produce and meat sections were huge. Canned vegetables was huge. Bakery was small. Cookies and cakes were all hostess products. They had lots of products to support folks who did their own baking. Who can forget Swanson TV dinners in the aluminum tray. Eating one was a novelty. There was no-bottled water section, no frozen burritos. They had a potato chip isle maybe 6 feet long. So much has changed it like night and day.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:53 AM   #89
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I think of the constant government urgings to obey a "food pyramid" full of wrong information pretending to be science-based. Isn't that a public health issue?
Excellent point. The way I see it (after reading Taubes) is that science is not a straight line to truth. You have people like Ornish, that bought into an idea when the science was lacking data, but when the science moved on, he stayed pat. And there are thousands of other well spoken people in government and the private sector, that we respect, guiding us in a direction based on disproven theories. Ideas don't change in an instant, and frankly, we might need to just wait for these scientists to die off before we can move on, hehe.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:04 PM   #90
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I think of the constant government urgings to obey a "food pyramid" full of wrong information pretending to be science-based. Isn't that a public health issue? Most people don't (or didn't until relatively recently) have the countervailing information available to them.
I agree completely with this. But proponents of this "public health issue" frame are asking for government control and coercion, and claiming that food manufacturers are the cause of our fat. I agree with you that the most likely cause of our fat is too much listening to the idiotic prescriptions of our government. Being at least somewhat immune to being manipulated is again, as usual, key to maintaining well being.

Technically speaking, we are all subject to being manipulated. Best is to take control of that as best we can individually, and manipulate ourselves in more healthful directions. Humans are slaves to what they think their peers are doing. If we tell ourselves that our peers are thin, athletic individuals who choose healthful foods, we will tend to act the same way. If we shop in a co-op, we are more likely to buy the foods that other co-op shoppers buy, rather than the foods that 7-11 shoppers buy.

Many of us tell ourselves that we like scientists carefully weigh all the evidence, and make a reasoned choice. This tends to help us make the choices that people who did actually live this way might make, which usually will improve our resistance to external manipulations and our well being

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Old 04-15-2013, 12:31 PM   #91
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #92
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:38 PM   #93
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I agree with you that the most likely cause of our fat is too much listening to the idiotic prescriptions of our government. Being at least somewhat immune to being manipulated is again, as usual, key to maintaining well being.
So, maybe that food pyramid helped, in a way. If it did anything to encourage people to question centrally issued guidance and made them more likely to do their own research, that would be a good thing. It's not like we're short of information.
Education should consist primarily of learning how to gather and evaluate the information you need, and to put it together so that it becomes useful knowledge and advances your life. I'm not sure our present system does a great job of that.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:44 PM   #94
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Education should consist primarily of learning how to gather and evaluate the information you need, and to put it together so that it becomes useful knowledge and advances your life. I'm not sure our present system does a great job of that.
But the interweb is a pretty good tool for that...
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:54 PM   #95
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I am not talking to you.
Not sure who you aren't talking to...or why.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #96
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Not sure who you aren't talking to...or why.
Sorry. Intended a joke on the subject line. I shouldda stood in bed.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #97
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Ed, your posts can be cryptic. But you have a long way to go before you approach the famous Uncle Mick.

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Old 04-16-2013, 04:19 AM   #98
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I recently read an article predicting that by 2050 most Americans will be obese,and that people that are thin will be looked at as freaks.Also that,so many folks will have diabetes that it can bankrupt healthcare.I really hope this does"nt become reality.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:12 AM   #99
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Other than sedentary jobs, and neighborhoods where we are pretty much forced to drive rather than walk, what is the public health issue that forces us to be fat?
To me, sedentary lifestyle is the singular issue.

Granted, I'm only 26 years old, but I find that my weight correlates much more strongly to my level of physical performance than anything else. When I've been training such that I can run a 6:00 mile (and achieve other strength related metrics), I weigh 160 lbs at 9% body fat. If I take time off, and slip to only being able to run a 7:30 mile, I weigh 175 lbs at 14% body fat. I know it sounds like a chicken-or-the-egg question, but when I just focus on training for performance (actually trying to increase strength/speed/intensity of my workouts - not just time spent at the gym) my weight will largely take care of itself. I've seen plenty of other athletes maintain six-pack abs despite binge-drinking and eating in a way that would make some of you cry. When athletes get fat as soon as they stop training and competing, I think it has more to do with a change in activity rather than diet.

The discussion here about diet, and the discussion that's taken place over the last 30 years, tells me that we are still uncertain about a lot of stuff. When so many different approaches can potentially produce the same outcome, maybe the approach doesn't matter too much. Now, reference the Twinkie diet.

Tim
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #100
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To me, sedentary lifestyle is the singular issue.

Granted, I'm only 26 years old, but I find that my weight correlates much more strongly to my level of physical performance than anything else.
No doubt a sedentary life style is part of the picture. But so is age. At 26 your body is flooded with hormones needed to keep in good shape. At 50, well.... things slow done. This is not an excuse to be couch potato, just a reality of human life. At your age I could maintain a 30 inch waistline with no effort. In fact, gaining weight was difficult. Today, I am happy to keep a 'trim' 34 inch waistline.

While diet is important, it is usually not realistic to expect a working man or woman with family responsibilities to be able to exercise away excess calories. The time is just not there to work off the calories in a big meal. So diet become much more important.

I think your overall point is a good one - work on good health via training and diet and the weight will take care of itself. It just works a bit better at 26 than at 56.
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