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Old 06-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #61
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But I will make two points here: (1) you still have to factor in the savings in old age pension plans to make an honest estimate of the public social costs of bad lifestyle choices (I'll assume this one does), and (2) public policy should focus on public costs, not other costs borne by employers and private insurers. Employers and private insurers can deal with their own added costs. In other words, the government shouldn't tax someone to make up for the loss of productivity caused by a private employer (or at least shouldn't do so more than the projected loss of tax revenue from the added productivity).
We may well be in agreement here, but I'm not sure about (2).

IMO all these costs are essentially "public costs." Government taxes and fees are clearly public costs, but all private costs are borne by the public when we buy their products and/or services. Again, we may agree, but to me it's largely a fallacy when someone suggests that private companies can fend for themselves re: costs as if the public escapes paying. Any cost that hits all private companies, might as well be a tax on the public. People like to talk as if private companies will have to eat additional costs, but that is rarely realistic, they will almost always be passed through to the public sooner or later. The only exception is when those costs hit private companies unevenly, as sometimes happens thanks to loopholes etc. (Counter example: If somehow employers are relieved of health care costs through health care laws, we'll pay those costs through taxes or some means, obviously they will not go away. It's essentially a public expense either way.)
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:43 AM   #62
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That's the way it works. Create the disease and then make money on the cure.
Nonsense. There's no money in "curing" disease. "Treatment," now that's the pharmaceutical cash-cow. Keep 'em coming back for more, and charge it to the insurance company for years on end.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #63
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Nonsense. There's no money in "curing" disease. "Treatment," now that's the pharmaceutical cash-cow. Keep 'em coming back for more, and charge it to the insurance company for years on end.
I have to agree; I should have said, create the disease and then make money treating.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:13 AM   #64
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Several posters have said that it may not be processed food, but the portion size that did us in. I tend to agree.

Take for example frozen dinners. We do not buy these, but I have picked some up in stores to examine them. Well, there's some meat there, accompanied by some starch. And there's some frozen veggie. Being frozen means that they need no preservatives. And all the good stuff like fiber and mineral is still there, right? Perhaps it lacks some vitamins, but that is readily remedied with a daily vitamin.

So, what's wrong with it?

Signed someone who may just stock up on frozen dinners for his possible solo RV trip through Alaska.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:47 AM   #65
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Several posters have said that it may not be processed food, but the portion size that did us in. I tend to agree.

Take for example frozen dinners. We do not buy these, but I have picked some up in stores to examine them. Well, there's some meat there, accompanied by some starch. And there's some frozen veggie. Being frozen means that they need no preservatives. And all the good stuff like fiber and mineral is still there, right? Perhaps it lacks some vitamins, but that is readily remedied with a daily vitamin.

So, what's wrong with it?

Signed someone who may just stock up on frozen dinners for his possible solo RV trip through Alaska.
Subject of some debate (here in fact), but many processed foods have a lot of added sugar and other simple carbs (highly processed flours, etc.), which provide calories and less nutrition (vitamins, minerals, etc.). Sugars and simple carbs spike blood sugar, less so with complex carbs. My point is not to indict HFCS (other than the subsidies), the argument goes that more and more simple carbs in whatever form seem to correlate with higher incidence of obesity and diabetes. I am sure there are plenty of online sources that will dispute that.

I don't want to debate the topic, I'm simply responding to your message FWIW.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #66
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I have never really understood the "being served big portions made me fat" argument. Either way, I'm the same "amount" of hungry, and get full at the same time. If my plate was too full to start with, I save some for later. Hard to believe that my mother was the only one in the world who taught her kids that simple rule.

The portion ingredients matter much more, IMHO. If all that's in front of you is starchy, fatty, sugary glop (whether homemade, or brought home in a box), you're still going to eat till you're full - in the process, taking in more calories and less nutrients.

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Several posters have said that it may not be processed food, but the portion size that did us in. I tend to agree.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #67
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I have never really understood the "being served big portions made me fat" argument. Either way, I'm the same "amount" of hungry, and get full at the same time. If my plate was too full to start with, I save some for later.
Maybe not exactly, Amethyst. Research has indicated that it can take 20 minutes for the "full" signal to be sent from your stomach to your brain. So if you start with a healthy portion size and eat it all, you might still feel like you could eat more, for another 20 minutes or so, until your brain gets the message that you really are full.

However, if your plate is overflowing, then when you reach "enough," your brain hasn't gotten the signal yet, so you continue eating. By the time the "full" signal gets to your brain, you've already overeaten.

This is also a good argument for eating slowly.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:14 PM   #68
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Maybe not exactly, Amethyst. Research has indicated that it can take 20 minutes for the "full" signal to be sent from your stomach to your brain. So if you start with a healthy portion size and eat it all, you might still feel like you could eat more, for another 20 minutes or so, until your brain gets the message that you really are full.

However, if your plate is overflowing, then when you reach "enough," your brain hasn't gotten the signal yet, so you continue eating. By the time the "full" signal gets to your brain, you've already overeaten.

This is also a good argument for eating slowly.
+1. And we have to remember that the ridiculous portion sizes have been brought to us by --- ourselves, as much as anyone else. Restaurants increased portion sizes because we rewarded them with our business for doing so.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Amethyst
I have never really understood the "being served big portions made me fat" argument. Either way, I'm the same "amount" of hungry, and get full at the same time. If my plate was too full to start with, I save some for later. Hard to believe that my mother was the only one in the world who taught her kids that simple rule.

The portion ingredients matter much more, IMHO. If all that's in front of you is starchy, fatty, sugary glop (whether homemade, or brought home in a box), you're still going to eat till you're full - in the process, taking in more calories and less nutrients.

Amethyst
I would tend to agree with you on your second paragraph. I love the starchy food group and can eat massive portions of it in one sitting, and still be hungry a few hours later. However, if I eat an egg sandwich for breakfast ( which I don't like too much ) it will keep me full until almost dinner. The first paragraph, I must be different, if I really like something, I will keep shoveling it in way past the full stage. Especially when I am at a restaurant. That is why I eat at home mostly because I control my portions better.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:37 PM   #70
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Yes, there are exceptions to everything. For example, I (and others I know) can stand in front of the freezer and eat ridiculous amounts of ice cream at one time, since it doesn't fill you up. It's plain depressing to measure one measly cup of ice cream into a bowl and try to be content with that. Well, the industry is making the ice cream cartons smaller all the time, so I guess that's a healthy trend

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I would tend to agree with you on your second paragraph. I love the starchy food group and can eat massive portions of it in one sitting, and still be hungry a few hours later.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #71
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... many processed foods have a lot of added sugar and other simple carbs (highly processed flours, etc.), which provide calories and less nutrition (vitamins, minerals, etc.). Sugars and simple carbs spike blood sugar, less so with complex carbs...
It is not possible to defend people whose lunch consists of a 64-oz soda and a big bag of Doritos, and I would not take on such task. I think nobody is so dumb to not know that such a diet is not good for them. Their lack of will must be overcome by themselves.

What I was suggesting was that there are other "processed" food items that may not be necessarily bad for the consumers who do not want to cook everything from scratch. I was suggesting that foodstuff such as frozen dinners, cured meats such as ham, salami, sausage, and even bacon (gasp!), can be part of a balanced meal, if consumed in moderation and supplemented by some fresh fruits and veggies.

But even those or even home-cooked meals would not help one avoid obesity if one keeps gorging himself. Large portions do play a part, maybe a big one too. My closest friend is obese, and he eats all good home meals prepared by his wife. He does not snack on potato chips, or drinks soda by the gallon, yet his weight is detrimental to his health and he always knows it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:10 PM   #72
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What I was suggesting was that there are other "processed" food items that may not be necessarily bad for the consumers who do not want to cook everything from scratch. I was suggesting that foodstuff such as frozen dinners, cured meats such as ham, salami, sausage, and even bacon (gasp!), can be part of a balanced meal, if consumed in moderation and supplemented by some fresh fruits and veggies.
Absolutely. We keep some Amy's or Kashi's frozen meals in the freezer that we'll eat for lunch in a pinch.

Sorry if I misunderstood your earlier post...
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:17 PM   #73
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Another interesting lecture on why so many of us are obese.

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #74
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That's fine. Then what is your explanation for the trends (refer to post #18 if you like)? Not only has obesity increased dramatically in the US, it seems to be getting worse relative to other industrialized nations (increasing faster in the US).

Processed is a relative term. Presumably you'd agree that a Twinkie is more processed than a banana? And presumably you'd agree there are more processed foods available today than generations past?
I've been listening to Anti-Cancer on audiobook. The author of this points out that the way animals are raised has changed significantly since WW2, with corn and soy-based feed largely replacing the grazing and foraging that was typical in the past. This in turn leads to an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in the meat, milk and eggs produced by the grain-fed animals. He attributes the rise that has occurred since WW2 in obesity, and in many kinds of cancer, at least in part to this nutritional imbalance. One of the studies described in the book ompared two groups of people. One group ate products from animals raised under current practices, the other group ate products from animals fed in such a way as to retain a healthier fatty acid ratio. Even though both groups ate the same number of calories, the people who ate products of grain-fed livestock ended up heavier than the group who didn't. (I've forgotten whether the "grain-fed" group gained weight, or the other group lost weight.) He also points out that the rate of obesity is rising even in babies under a year old, and with that age group you can't blame obesity on Big Macs, sedentary lifestyle or any other "personal responsibility" factors. I don't say personal choice is irrelevant to obesity, but there has also been a change in the composition of the food itself which is at least contributing to the problem if the author and the studies he cites are to be believed.
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