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Americans Head OECD's Obesity Table  
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2552 posts, RR: 6
Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

This obesity problem appears to be getting worse, especially in the US where obesity levels are set to rise to 75%of the population by 2020, another 10 years!

That figure is truly shocking and one which the Government should be highly alarmed about. With the cost of health care skyrocketing in the US, this is only going to make matters worse for everyone.

Action needs to be taken now, with Government intervention the only way forward IMHO.New taxes need to be put on junk /fast food and fresh food, eg, fruit etc needs to be made more accessible to the general population, without it things are only going to get worse.

The figures speak for themselves, Governments, not only in the US but all over the world, need to take control of this because its been proven that you cant leave it up to the general population to self regulate on junk food intake. If the price of these junk food items were to increase substantially, them I'm sure less people would be inclined to purchase them, opting for the healthier "cheaper" alternative instead.

What are your thoughts ?

http://www.smh.com.au/world/american...-obesity-table-20100924-15qmu.html


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
145 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2851 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3716 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Action needs to be taken now, with Government intervention the only way forward IMHO


A resounding NO.
Not the governments job.
Cuba has government intervention, an agricultural country that fed itself and exported now has to import 80% of its food with government intervention. Now there is a success story.

Okie


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2552 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 1):
Now there is a success story.

Whats the obesity rate like in Cuba then ?

Quoting okie (Reply 1):
Not the governments job.

Well if its not the Governments job to look after the welfare of its citizens, because as the figure themselves say the general pop cant or wont self regulate eating habits, then what ?



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3698 times:

Hey, I heard a report on the news a few months ago that claimed that Australians had taken over the role of being the world's most obese.

I am not sure if taxation is the best way to go. I remember a lot of noise in the UK when VAT was added to take-away foods. It hasn't had a dramatic effect on sales there. Of course cigarettes are heavily taxed in Australia, but you still get a lot of idiots lighting up, despite all the gory warning labels. Alcohol is also heavily taxed, but binge drinking has risen dramatically in recent years.

The problem with taxation is that it is like a drug. The more taxes the government raises, the more they want and Governments then have little to gain from stopping the source of their revenue, and that's happened with tobacco, alcohol and is likely to happen with junk foods.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Action needs to be taken now, with Government intervention the only way forward IMHO.New taxes need to be put on junk /fast food and fresh food, eg, fruit etc needs to be made more accessible to the general population, without it things are only going to get worse.

FUNDAMENTALLY disagree. There are community gardening initiatives, farmers' markets, and the like available in most US locales with significant population. The healthy food is there - the problem is people are not choosing to eat it. Part of the problem is cost, yes, but another is effort and the demands of our time-crunched lifestyle. As a country we need to have a serious conversation about what being healthy means and what we are willing to do to achieve it. Weight problems typically start early and physical activity levels are far too low - parents need to get their kids playing outside again and STOP THEM from spending hours on the computer and video game consoles from age 5 through leaving for college - it's just ridiculous.

If people get serious about their health (and most people are not until a doctor tells them they are teetering on the edge) and demand for healthier foods increases, those prices will come down in due time. Eating better requires dedication and consistent effort - it's not just a matter of money. Most people would find that eating better is actually more cost-effective if done right. I make turkey sandwiches on 10-grain bread with avocado and mustard and the cost to put those together a few times a week are far lower than eating out every day.

The other component is community based - people generally eat what their friends, family, and people around them eat. Until that changes, you can throw all the rules and whatever you want at the problem and nothing will change. All more regulation will do is increase costs for everyone, and that doesn't help anything.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7917 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

Basically the only thing a government could do is to make sure that kids at school are exposed to healthy food, not only to vending machines. Junk food and assoziated health risks should be a topic in class.

Other than that, influence of the government should be strictly limited i.e. to ensure proper labeling. Juice is juice and not some sugary stuff.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2851 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3692 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
New taxes need to be put on junk /fast food and fresh food,


The argument that taxing people to discourage them from eating fresh food and junk food is really good one.
That is exactly what they want to do to businesses and people who work and are successful, tax them to discourage business and prevent hard workers from becoming successful.
Wonderful analogy there works good for any debate on taxes.

Speaking of which of all the ideas on taxes, tax this, tax that, why has the alcohol industry been immune to tax increases.
If you want to decrease use and increase tax revenue, how about a $1.00 per bottle/can of beer, $5.00 for a bottle of wine, may be $15 or $20 for a liter of liquor.

Okie


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3684 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 7):
Speaking of which of all the ideas on taxes, tax this, tax that, why has the alcohol industry been immune to tax increases. If you want to decrease use and increase tax revenue, how about a $1.00 per bottle/can of beer, $5.00 for a bottle of wine, may be $15 or $20 for a liter of liquor.

Cigarettes too - still boatloads of smokers here in Hawaii, where a carton easily goes for $75.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2851 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3662 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 8):
Cigarettes too - still boatloads of smokers here in Hawaii, where a carton easily goes for $75.


I believe that was the first order of business of the Obama administration, I think they increased taxes like $2 per pack, which is why cigarettes are $75 per carton. It got a lot of play since Obama was still smoking, not sure if he still is.

Next thing you know they will want to tax unauthorized orgasms, you will have to get government approval to have one.

Okie


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2552 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3657 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 4):
Of course cigarettes are heavily taxed in Australia, but you still get a lot of idiots lighting up, despite all the gory warning labels. Alcohol is also heavily taxed, but binge drinking has risen dramatically in recent years.

Recent reports show that with the recent tax hikes smokers are kicking the habit and the new alco pop tax was lifted by a massive 70%.

That has to have had some effect on younger drinkers and any improvement is better then none IMHO  
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
There are community gardening initiatives, farmers' markets, and the like available in most US locales with significant population. The healthy food is there

Well the take up rate doesn't seem to be catching on real quick, as the report says the problems are getting worse not better and this is with farmers markets and the like as well as a more and more organic food being grown. The problem with organic here is cost, most people just cant afford the extra $$$ for it and walk away buying cheaper instead.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
As a country we need to have a serious conversation about what being healthy means and what we are willing to do to achieve it. Weight problems typically start early and physical activity levels are far too low - parents need to get their kids playing outside again and STOP THEM from spending hours on the computer and video game consoles from age 5 through leaving for college - it's just ridiculous.

Yes Yes and Yes

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
(and most people are not until a doctor tells them they are teetering on the edge)

This has not just occurred overnight, what have doctors been telling their patients before ? Maybe part of the blame should be on doctors then, maybe telling their patients that they wont treat them unless they lose weight or stop smoking etc ...

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
Most people would find that eating better is actually more cost-effective if done right.

Yes again, may people believe honestly that eating well cost a fortune so they opt for the junk instead. Dumb!

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
Other than that, influence of the government should be strictly limited i.e. to ensure proper labeling. Juice is juice and not some sugary stuff.

Well in Australia there are so many different types of labeling its all very confusing. Example, a product may be labeled "made in Australia" but all the ingredients may come from china or somewhere else, most of the time you have NO clue at all. So to say Governments must do this has not helped.

Quoting okie (Reply 7):
The argument that taxing people to discourage them from eating fresh food and junk food is really good one.

You haven't answered my question.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 2):
Quoting okie (Reply 1):
Now there is a success story.

Whats the obesity rate like in Cuba then ?

Any ideas ?

Quoting okie (Reply 7):
That is exactly what they want to do to businesses and people who work and are successful, tax them to discourage business and prevent hard workers from becoming successful.
Wonderful analogy there works good for any debate on taxes.

Things must be bad in the US if that's honestly the case then.  
Quoting okie (Reply 7):
If you want to decrease use and increase tax revenue, how about a $1.00 per bottle/can of beer, $5.00 for a bottle of wine, may be $15 or $20 for a liter of liquor.

Isn't this exactly what I was saying, if you want to decrease consumption increase the tax ?

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 8):
Cigarettes too - still boatloads of smokers here in Hawaii, where a carton easily goes for $75.

Yes the rate of smoking may still be high, but overall smoking rates are dropping in the western world.



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineZentraedi From Japan, joined Jun 2007, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3652 times:

Targeting junk food will not be any miracle cure.

One of the biggest problems in the US is simply portion sizes. Just look at what your obese people in the US are eating. It's not one regular hamburger w/ regular fries and a lemonade. It's two ultra triple deluxes with a double order of fries and half a gallon of milkshake and/or carbonated sugar water. That's what makes people fat.

Even worse is the culture that encourages overeating as if it were some sort of competitive sport.


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 1):
A resounding NO.
Not the governments job.

I am one of the biggest limited government supporters on this forum. But in this case... I disagree.

Before all else, I do not think that taxation is the answer. Putting aside my loathing hatred of any tax.... the simple argument against such taxes is that they disproportionately target the poor, who are disproportionately fat. Taxing them would not rectify their poor health habits, and only serve to exacerbate their situation.

However, I do see an important role that the government could serve, here. First it's helpful to acknowledge that this is indeed, a national problem, which the national government is uniquely suited to address. Homegrown efforts - along the line of what Aaron suggested - are certainly helpful, but their impact is quite limited.

The biggest problem to addressing our national obesity problem will be to reverse the increasingly lazy and sedentary lifestyles, many lead. There is no way we could force people into the gyms. So I think that like so much else in life, the biggest key to this problem will be preemptive education at young ages. Too many physical fitness and sports programs have been cut, or are currently underfunded. Getting children into active lifestyles, is extremely important. The government can help lead the charge to restore robust physical fitness programs. The government can also push the school meals program into a more healthy and well rounded menu. Better catered food, that targets their menus towards low fat/low sugar options, would help. Additionally, health and nutrition classes from a young age, are very important.

And basically, local efforts are insufficient to meet those needs. The only true power in this game is the federal government. The government could really bring the money and leadership needed on this issue.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8875 posts, RR: 40
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Let's start by removing subsidies to fast food and Coca Cola. . . i.e., corn growers in Iowa.

And taxation/regulation will definitely not work. People will simply get their carb fix from elsewhere if Coke is forced to cut sugar by 50% and/or if their price triples.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6109 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3617 times:

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 11):
Targeting junk food will not be any miracle cure.

One of the biggest problems in the US is simply portion sizes. Just look at what your obese people in the US are eating. It's not one regular hamburger w/ regular fries and a lemonade. It's two ultra triple deluxes with a double order of fries and half a gallon of milkshake and/or carbonated sugar water. That's what makes people fat.

Even worse is the culture that encourages overeating as if it were some sort of competitive sport.
Super Size Me was a revelation for me, I was jealous of that menu we don't get at the local McDo !  A few years before I went to Canada and already was surprized by the size of the sundae and McFlurry, I couldn't finish it, something that never happens to me.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently onlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3816 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
New taxes need to be put on junk /fast food and fresh food, eg

I agree, just as long as you make me, personally, the arbitrer of what is "good" and "not good" (basically, what I like and don't like). I am sure I could extract some decent campaign donations that way.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 4):
parents need to get their kids playing outside again and STOP THEM from spending hours on the computer and video game consoles from age 5 through leaving for college - it's just ridiculous.

Problem is the US sports culture is so competitive in things it really shouldn't be (like high school and college sports) that it discourages people that suck at sports from doing any type of physical activity.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 12):
Let's start by removing subsidies to fast food and Coca Cola. . . i.e., corn growers in Iowa.

Totally agree we should stop subsidies to farmers (in Iowa and elsewhere) but you also need to open the borders for cheap sugar from Brazil. Not sure what the net effect would be...



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

I never paid much attention, until I started traveling the world. Us Americans are very obese, and it sickens me! In the states every town has a McDonalds, or a Sonic or a (fill in the blanks). Fast food is everywhere you look. And we have been taught, to clean or plate, and not waste food. The oxymoron, I have always found humor in, is people ordering an Big Mac extra value meal, with a Diet Coke!

What we accept as normal is 10-20 lbs overweight, and someone with a normal BMI ( Body Mass Index), we call skinny. I will say it is quite embarrassing when I see fat Americans overseas, compared to the Europeans.

I think that we have become lazy when it comes to preparing good meals, and exercising. We drive everywhere we go, and rather than spending time outside, we sit on the internet for hours and/or watch TV.

Since I have been with a European woman that is normal size, it has pushed me to eat right and exercise harder. I have always worked out, but cared more about bulk, than being lean, I have since changed. Diet is what you eat on a daily basis, not what you do to lose weight.

What I find humorus now, is when traveling anywhere except the states, I constantly am asked where I am from in Europe? When I tell them I am an American, they are shocked and I say, "why, because I am not fat" ? That always gets a good laugh!
Stay Safe Everyone!


User currently offlineZentraedi From Japan, joined Jun 2007, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3569 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 15):
I have always found humor in, is people ordering an Big Mac extra value meal, with a Diet Coke!

Those soft drinks are a big part of the problem and often contain more calories than the actual meal. In fact, many Americans can lose weight by simply cutting sugary drinks out of their diet. I stopped drinking regular sodas in college and with no change in physical activity or the rest of my diet, I lost 15 pounds.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

The extra large portions sold in many fast food outlets ARE a problem. Most of us have been conditioned since childhood to finish the food on our plates (remember the stupid stories about starving children in Africa?). It has been scientifically proven that people tend to ignore the signals from the stomach that it had enough, and continue eating until the eyes tell them that the food is finished. It is also a leftover from our ancestors, who, like most animals, ate as much as possible when there was food available, because they could never be sure when the next meal would arrive. They might well have to go several days without food.

Jan


User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2701 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3546 times:

All this American talk of no government intervention over problems that affect the common good of society I find bizarre. The whole reason we organize ourselves with a government is to handle matters of the common good. People are no where near mature enough to behave in all of the positive ways required for a happy, healthy and sane society. Hence we have 'training wheels', laws, incentives and disincentives to improve the outcomes. Americans accept laws and taxes on cigarettes as it is obviously a question of the common good of society. Obesity is very similar. In France they noticed the appearance of obese children in primary school. There was a discussion and now junk food vending machines are banned by law within 200metres of a primary school. These kids are not mature enough to freely choose on this topic so the law serves a very valid purpose. Adult addicts of junk food and cigarettes a no more free than children in this matter. Leaving it to them OBVIOUSLY don't work. Tax food at a rate inversely proportional to nutritional value and you'll see a change of behaviour. Next step ban Super Size promotions (what is difference from cigarette advertising?). We must stop pretending we operate as a classical Greek democracy of philosophers and take a more realistic view of the general public and their degree of maturity.


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18703 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 4):

If people get serious about their health (and most people are not until a doctor tells them they are teetering on the edge)

Hah! I've given a diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension to a 15yo and he's still uninterested in changing his lifestyle. I have a 17yo patient with a BMI of >50 who won't even walk around the block. My colleague has a patient so heavy the scale won't read her weight and she keeps demanding a scooter because she can't get around.


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2851 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3496 times:

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 15):
The oxymoron, I have always found humor in, is people ordering an Big Mac extra value meal, with a Diet Coke!


That has always baffled Okie as well.
Give me the double super size with extra everything, pie sundae, and of course a diet coke.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 17):
The extra large portions sold in many fast food outlets ARE a problem. Most of us have been conditioned since childhood to finish the food on our plates (remember the stupid stories about starving children in Africa?).


Heard that too many times.

I had always been lead to believe that the normal stomach was about a pint. I generally look at my selection and figure that quantity/volume of food for a meal and never have counted calories, unless of course a special trip say to Ruth's Chris.

Okie


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3613 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 12):
Let's start by removing subsidies to fast food and Coca Cola. . . i.e., corn growers in Iowa.

Well, here's a topic on subsidies we absolutely agree on.  
Quoting Aesma (Reply 13):
Super Size Me was a revelation for me,

In this case, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend Food Inc. Another eye opener.

The Food industry and food chain in America, although it is happening in various degrees of severity in other developed countries, is controlled in absolute by a handful of corporations who have extremely powerful lobbies in the government. It is quite scary.

Quoting Mudboy (Reply 15):
compared to the Europeans.

In all honesty, the problem might not be that bad in Europe, but it certainly doesn't have an examplary record either.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
So I think that like so much else in life, the biggest key to this problem will be preemptive education at young ages. Too many physical fitness and sports programs have been cut, or are currently underfunded. Getting children into active lifestyles, is extremely important. The government can help lead the charge to restore robust physical fitness programs. The government can also push the school meals program into a more healthy and well rounded menu. Better catered food, that targets their menus towards low fat/low sugar options, would help. Additionally, health and nutrition classes from a young age, are very important.

Agreed. Education is the answer here. It must come from parents as much as from schools. I don't know about funding of sport and physical fitness programs, but I have noticed that that government is quite active in campaigning against the lack of physical activity in children on TV ads in the US. I'm not sure what effect they have though, they look a bit cheesy.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):

Hah! I've given a diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension to a 15yo and he's still uninterested in changing his lifestyle. I have a 17yo patient with a BMI of >50 who won't even walk around the block. My colleague has a patient so heavy the scale won't read her weight and she keeps demanding a scooter because she can't get around.

Not inspiring a lot of hope doc...perhaps TheCommodore is right about refusing further treatment. All of us are different though - one blood test with my LDL cholesterol over 150 when I was 23 was enough to get me to change how I was eating.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
The government can also push the school meals program into a more healthy and well rounded menu. Better catered food, that targets their menus towards low fat/low sugar options, would help. Additionally, health and nutrition classes from a young age, are very important.

Done on a massive scale, this would be fantastic, as well as getting all the vending machines out. But that would cost a lot of money. They'll need more kitchen staff in schools as well because one of the reasons cited for kids not eating vegetables is that they often steam them to save time and staff, which reduces them to tasteless mush.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6659 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3444 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
The government can also push the school meals program into a more healthy and well rounded menu. Better catered food, that targets their menus towards low fat/low sugar options, would help. Additionally, health and nutrition classes from a young age, are very important.



On tv we get the Jamie Oliver schools dinner program, this is the one he did in the US, it was amazing how negative the schools district was, the parents all came around, as did the principles of the schools but the district super responsible for the budget was against it on cost grounds, cheaper to feed the kids crap than to feed them healthy food. They forge that starting the kids down the unhealthy food road will lead to far more costs for society later on.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Hah! I've given a diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension to a 15yo and he's still uninterested in changing his lifestyle. I have a 17yo patient with a BMI of >50 who won't even walk around the block. My colleague has a patient so heavy the scale won't read her weight and she keeps demanding a scooter because she can't get around.



I'd be of mind to stop treating these people and let then eat themselves to death. Maybe for the morbidly obese insurance coverage and public heath care should be refused, let em die, survival of the fittest not the fattest.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Action needs to be taken now, with Government intervention the only way forward IMHO.New taxes need to be put on junk /fast food .


Cigarettes in the United States are heavily taxed yet people still smoke. Yes, the percentage of the population that smokes has gone down. However from knowing more than a couple people who smoked and quit the cost was not the main reason for doing so. The main reason were the health consequences. Having an extra thirty dollars per week in their pocket was an added benefit.

There's an another issue that is contributing to the obesity rates here in the states. That being the increasing level of sedentary lifestyle among children. Growing up I would spend my weekends running and playing with friends all day long. Now with the invention of home computers, the Internet, Play Station, X-Box etc kids are spending a lot more time planted in front of the computer or TV. How do you purpose the government address this issue?

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
fresh food, eg, fruit etc needs to be made more accessible to the general population,


Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is not an issue for most the population. Making the effort to consume it is.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 5):
Basically the only thing a government could do is to make sure that kids at school are exposed to healthy food, not only to vending machines.


I totally agree. Some school districts in the US are having the vending machines removed from school property. When I was a kid the fat kid in class was a rarity. Now it's become more and more common to see kids waddling home from school.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 22):
Done on a massive scale, this would be fantastic, as well as getting all the vending machines out. But that would cost a lot of money.


What ever the cost maybe it probably still cheaper than the $150 billion it costs every year to treat obesity related illnesses.


25 LMP737 : Unfortanetly our bodies are not designed for 24/7 access to food.
26 Aaron747 : Our breakfast/lunch/dinner cycle is not particularly healthy either as I've read most adults' metabolism assuming their other systems operate normall
27 mdsh00 : Government can't do much until people's attitudes change. In response to Doclightning's post, I've come across a patient with a BMI of 63...63!! That'
28 Post contains links DocLightning : OK. You now have triggered a rant: JUICE IS NOT HEALTHY. NOT EVEN 100% NATURAL ORGANIC JUICE. Don't try to bargain with me. Don't say that "oh, well
29 Post contains links ImperialEagle : Yes, there is a British chef, I think his name is Jamie Oliver. Anyway. he has been over in I believe Huntington, West Virginia (America's obeseity c
30 NoUFO : *Sigh* I didn't even metion juice was healthy ... You are right that juice contains a lot of sugar, almost as much as a (classic) Coke. But this is n
31 Post contains links NoUFO : Good news. I'm still looking for the country ranking list, as some other countries came pretty close to the U.S., most notably Britain and Australia
32 DocLightning : Juice contains vitamin C, and vitamin C only. That vitamin C is added artificially back into the juice. On the ingredients list, it lists "apple juic
33 Post contains links and images TheCommodore : Yeah I think I read something about that in the paper a while ago now. He was invited over to give advice on healthy cooking for school lunches but I
34 NoUFO : I know that ascorbic acid is the chemical name for vitamin C, but it is not added back into the juice, sorry, at least not over here - with the exept
35 DfwRevolution : 1. As a repeat Ironman finisher who was raised in Dallas and now resides in Houston, I take offense! 2. The climate in Dallas and Houston are a huge
36 TheCommodore : I'm pretty sure its the same here in Oz What if your a drain on the health system because of your lack of activity ? Doesn't that effect then everyon
37 Post contains images PPVRA : Completely wrong. We set up government to stop people from stealing. Whether the perp is stealing someone's life, liberty, or property. That is just
38 Post contains images photopilot : It's becoming a huge problem. NOBODY needs that damn "Supersize" stuff. But the answer bloody well better not be more gov't intervention. PEOPLE have
39 Post contains links DocLightning : There's also a major philosophical problem with the U.S. that consumption is good. It's not "manly" in the U.S. to worry about your waist size. A guy
40 Post contains images TheCommodore : What ? Set up and elect a government for "stealing" Maybe in Brazil but I can assure you its very different in the rest of the world. Governments are
41 PPVRA : Really? You never heard that the most basic idea behind government is to protect people's rights from those who infringe? Like throwing murders in ja
42 Post contains links bookishaviator : Apparently not: Alcopop tax fails to curb teenage drinkers As with obesity, it's far too complicated a problem to be able to solve it (or even to beg
43 Post contains links TheCommodore : Ah, but you didn't say that did you. you were going on about "stealing". And that's ALL you mentioned. Sorry, but I cant see where I ever mentioned c
44 Post contains links PPVRA : Actually. . Stealing someone's. . . life = murder liberty = slavery property = theft http://www.ukmedix.com/weight-loss/obesity-eu-problem.cfm It's a
45 Post contains links TheCommodore : No actually about it. Here is what you said I'll say it again. Governments aren't set up purely to stop people stealing from each other. There are ma
46 Post contains images bookishaviator : Sure, but they're valid results conducted over a three year period which might give a reasonable indication as to the ongoing success (or otherwise)
47 MD-90 : Let's start with ending the corn subsidies that encourage the use of nasty HFCS and end the tariff on sugar that causes Americans to pay twice the go
48 KiwiRob : If you enjoy swimming Doc is it really a sacrifice, it's just a choice. In the Pacific Islands it's a cultural problem, in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands
49 OzGlobal : A "free" society. Please, it's getting old. The American idea of capitalist user pays and every man for himself in all cases is not the definition of
50 OzGlobal : What about alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention. What about DUI, gun laws, nudity in public related laws, all enforced by the states? All these laws
51 Post contains images francoflier : I think you guys are bickering mostly over cultural differences. Juice in Europe tends to be an occasional drink, drunk in moderate quantities. Thus
52 PPVRA : I know what I said and I'm sure you understood what I said. The #1 reason they are set up is to deal with criminals. This is the most basic reason. L
53 KiwiRob : Are you sure about that, I worked at McDonalds when I was a teenager, some people I'm pretty sure were hooked on it, they would be there everyday. Pe
54 DocLightning : Well, that's like anything else. We can ban just about ANYTHING because it "might be addictive." Sex, gambling, drugs, cigs, booze, shopping, video g
55 OzGlobal : No, in the US smoking and alcohol consumption are banded in MOST public places by LAW. This is much more than "education", isn't it? Tobacco advertis
56 Post contains images TheCommodore : If I had understood what you meant then I'm sure I would have responded so Sorry but I cant accept that Governments are set up mainly to deal with st
57 DocLightning : You run into a problem because you start to travel a road that is paved with good intentions. We all know where that road leads, right? And why follo
58 Post contains links TheCommodore : No system is perfect, we all understand that and the associated problems that comes with it. If we can get that right and it wont be easy, then attit
59 Post contains images DocLightning : Define "nutritional value" and "low" and "high." Except more and more people are doing just that. And, while diet and exercise have very poor success
60 PPVRA : I acknowledge those facts, but that doesn't mean they are right. Bad laws have existed throughout human history. It doesn't get more basic than avoid
61 francoflier : No, but nothing does evolution better than nature. We, on the other hand, have little idea of the conscequences of tampering at a higher degree with
62 TheCommodore : I am not going to go into this or that about definitions of things, because will will be here all day, except to say that there are standards adopted
63 Post contains images Superfly : Are you guys & dolls having fun? Very true but bashing the United States is more fashionable. I find it comical that the thread was started by an
64 Post contains images Aviacsa737 : Good Im glad we are on the top of something. I personally cant stand this obesity obsession crap, and the attempt to make it illegal for people to eat
65 Zentraedi : You CAN eat delicious food and still be healthy. Just eat reasonable portions. When you eat two double whoppers, a bucket of fries dipped in thousand
66 Post contains images UH60FtRucker : Well first, you need to calm down. Getting emotionally bent out of shape doesn't help, and forces people to tune you out. Second, I don't think anyon
67 Post contains images Aviacsa737 : Thats because an increasing ampount of Americans also have asthma, not to mention that once you are out of shape getting in shape can be one of the m
68 DocLightning : I agree completely. But I have mixed feelings about taxing costly behaviors. I'm not totally for it, but not totally against it.
69 Post contains images OzGlobal : Precisely, and well put. As much as individualist notions of 'liberty' are populist in American political rhetoric, even the so called 'founding fath
70 MSJYOP28Apilot : I remember reading a study that said that Americans caloric intake hasnt increased all that much to levels that support the obesity in this country. T
71 francoflier : I think most are just mentioning the fact. Those Pacific islands have very small populations and are exceptional cases in the sense that they went fr
72 Post contains images Superfly : Your post is 100% spot on. One thing I am suprised that no one has mentioned is public schools cutting out P.E. (physical education / gym). Many publ
73 bookishaviator : Indeed. If anything, there is already a little too much government intervention in our lives (and I speak specifically of Australia here) - at some p
74 francoflier : Again, no need to get defensive. I fully agree that the American food culture has exported itself very succesfully. I have slight reservations about
75 Superfly : Not getting defensive, just mentioning a fact. Well they do very well and they do provide jobs for the local population. Best of all it dosen't compe
76 Post contains links and images Danny :
77 aerorobnz : I think that everyone should be left to fend for themselves. I hate that life is so regulated these days and that everything has to be made illegal i
78 Post contains links SurfandSnow : I encourage you all to read this article, which goes in to a bit more detail than that included in the original post. http://www.suite101.com/content/
79 Post contains images Aviacsa737 : No, YOU are wrong. What you are suggesting is an imposition of your own personal attitude on life. And its quite a stretch equating eating tasty food
80 Post contains images UH60FtRucker : ...But when you're acting hysterical, it just makes you look silly. After all, this is just an internet discussion. No laws will come of this! So may
81 ScarletHarlot : Seriously? I assume you must not have serious health issues that you developed as a result of childhood influences, or else you'd know that people wi
82 francoflier : I agree with your post. But when it comes to parenting, enduring tempers and tantrums is part of the game. You simply can't let kids get their way al
83 DocLightning : Um... we have plenty of sin taxes. Cigs. Booze. Gambling. Might be sooner than you expect...
84 Post contains images Superfly : Is there really a such thing as being out of shape? Technically round is a shape. People who are round are in shape because round is a shape.
85 dc9northwest : Quite right. That's part of what makes the difference between the US and Europe... In Kansas City, you have to use a car... You can sure walk, but at
86 francoflier : I find your lack of humanity disturbing... You are basically saying that people are right to just give up and that they should just die so as to rid
87 DocLightning : Fantastic! How draconian of you! Shall we ban smoking? Drugs? Alcohol? Skiing? Contact sports? I love it! Let's ban everything that could be possibly
88 ha763 : That is not an excuse. There are many pro athletes and gold medal Olympians that have asthma. Here's a short list: Jerome Bettis (former Pittsburgh S
89 francoflier : Why is everybody misinterpreting my posts that much? Is my english that poor? Is the internet some sort of magical gateway that somehow makes me soun
90 Post contains images TheCommodore : What has to be made illegal ? What are we talking about in this thread and what does the title say ? Obesity ! Where did I say "its the governments r
91 aerorobnz : we ARE no better than animals - we just arrogantly think we are because we have so far made a survival niche that currently works for us in the curre
92 Superfly : Wrong. Women don't care about your looks. It's all about charm and or money. You can be short, fat, bald and hung like a second grader and still be c
93 KiwiRob : I agree with you here, the number of ugly rich blokes with hot women is wrong damit wrong!!!
94 TheCommodore : We are not talking about banning anything. Get it, nothing at ALL. Well that would only work if we were responsible for our own health expenses, but
95 aerorobnz : exactly - everyone needs to pay for their own service. Health Insurance it is then... If they are uninsured/uninsurable so be it....
96 Superfly : No that's good. That gives ugly dudes incentives to work hard and make lots of money. Ugly women don't have that option.
97 TheCommodore : That really is a separate thread I think...... That is not the point Its the whole of society's problem when overweight/obese people become ill, just
98 Superfly : There is already a tax on junk food in the US. Isn't fast food taxed in Australia? It would not look good for the US government to tax the most inexp
99 Post contains images Aviacsa737 : Lock at the AirForce's officer admision admision requirements for OTS, you have to be with in a certain weight limit or you cant get in and they spec
100 TheCommodore : Well maybe its not high enough then. The whole idea of a high tax on junk food would be to turn people of buying it . Bad diet, increased health care
101 Superfly : So what would be a good tax for your satisfaction? Ok so what if people stop buying it, where will the government make up on lost tax revenue? The ec
102 KiwiRob : Nope they become lesbiens Golly 10 pounds, stop eating for a couple of days and after a few big dumps bye bye 10 pounds.
103 Superfly : ...or join a church.
104 Post contains images Aviacsa737 : I should probably clarify, im NOTagainst the encouragement of increased fitness programs, im against the whole policy of trying to FORCE (ant thats wh
105 francoflier : You're quite extreme. You don't sound very at peace with yourself though. Your display of anger and defensiveness through this thread seems to hint a
106 Post contains images TheCommodore : Superfly, That is for other's to work out, but I would imagine it would be based on perhaps higher tax for the most popular/consumed products, in a s
107 LMP737 : Do you have any supporting evidence that is what will happen? As I pointed out before taxes on cigareetes are high yet people still smoke. Yes, the p
108 Post contains images TheCommodore : Just look at things that are taxed at a high rate. it effects people spending patterns, from everything from investing to purchasing things. Sorry bu
109 Superfly : That said, there had better be a damn good reason for a new tax. Trying to get society to have a slimmer, sexier body is not a good enough reason. In
110 aerorobnz : Amen. If they did I'm moving to Thailand too. No issues with obesity for most of the world...
111 TheCommodore : What ? Think you had better re read the thread then, because Ive never said or implied an such thing. See you obviously have no grasp really what the
112 aerorobnz : Just about any food is 'junk food' if it makes up a large/unbalanced percentage of the diet....
113 TheCommodore : Don't split hairs Every body (except you it seems) has an understanding of what junk food is. Sweet, high fat, low energy foods. Got it.[Edited 2010-
114 Post contains images Superfly : Obesity is a personal issue, not society's issue. However, many talking heads in the media is making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. Of
115 Post contains images TheCommodore : No its not just a personal issue Superfly, it can effect all of society when these obese patients become dependent on government services like health
116 Superfly : They ultimately deal with the problem the most. We live in an un-perfect world. The minority of obese people shouldn't even been on the radar when it
117 LMP737 : If you are not willing to look at everything that is contributing to this problem then what's the point? Heck, if I thought raising the taxes on cert
118 KiwiRob : You make me laugh, the fact that it's gonna take you 2-3 years to get fit and loose 10 pounds shows that you aren't really that motivated to join the
119 photopilot : xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[Edited 2010-10-03 14:01:52]
120 photopilot : BMI RANGES %u2022Underweight =
121 photopilot : quote=TheCommodore,reply=111]See you obviously have no grasp really what the thread is discussing. If anything, its about a tax on "JUNK FOOD"[/quote]
122 TheCommodore : IMHO these are just excuses for some people. There are 10's of thousands of people who sit behind a computer every day of the week and they are not f
123 N1120A : Juice is just some sugary stuff, like Doc said. Ketchup is a vegetable - Ronald Reagan. And the caffeine is good for you. As said, its more biologica
124 Superfly : The touchy-feely stuff that doesn't cost money has not been cut. Musical instruments, band uniforms cost money.
125 N1120A : Art was also cut years ago.
126 Post contains links PPVRA : On the other hand, you don't sound at peace with yourself either. I say this because despite trying your best to give helpful advice to others, you d
127 Superfly : Art supplies cost money. Instead art was replaced by the lame touchy/feely stuff. BTW, how many bond measures have been passed to improve schools? It
128 N1120A : 1) They don't always pass 2) They are usually passed as a last resort to build, rebuild and repair schools because federal and state funds aren't doi
129 Superfly : I agree! Part of the problem is that when we were kids, the salaries that teachers earned was respectable. Their rate of pay hasn't kept up with the
130 N1120A : Sure. Teachers have always been underpaid, but at least they could buy a house and live a decent life. I have plenty of friends who grew up in two sc
131 Post contains images Superfly : Where I grew up, the teachers were considered the wealthier people and had nice big homes, drove nice big Lincoln Town Cars and Cadillacs and took va
132 Post contains images N1120A : 50 push ups is tough for a kid Aahnold. That said, given that we've kind of gone past a point of no return, using exercise-based video games like Wii
133 Post contains images Superfly : Ok, 25. Probably. Most were married to professionals. My 2nd. grade teacher was married to a Pimp. He walked with a cane, wore a cape and drove and E
134 N1120A : Hilarious. That suit is so 2005. As for false rumors, the proof is in the pudding. I think the lost economic output would be more interesting to exam
135 Superfly : Actually there is a new video circling around Facebook right now demonizing McDonald's. In order to watch it, you have to hit the "Like' button in or
136 N1120A : Not really. One of their managers falsely imprisoned and created a situation where her fiance raped an employee, and they took that to trial. They na
137 Post contains images Superfly : ...and McDonald's condoned this? Is this the reason behind the frivolous lawsuits and attack ads against the company?
138 N1120A : McDonalds knew such incidents were happenning all over the country and had not trained any of their people to stop. In fact, they were sanctioned hea
139 LMP737 : It's not an excuse, its part of the problem. A part of the problem that has to be addresed and not dismissed like you just did. And I bet you can fin
140 Superfly : So all of the other lawsuits against them is justified?
141 N1120A : You are exaggerating. Heavily. I generally don't think businesses should be sued for making people fat. People make themselves fat, usually. That sai
142 TheCommodore : And didn't I say for "some people"........
143 Post contains images Superfly : Ummm, no. McDonald's a very popular punching bag and a target for frivolous lawsuits. Well they can make their food nasty so fewer people would buy i
144 Post contains links TheCommodore : This an today's paper. Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia. And yet government has so far r
145 aerorobnz : Good - it keeps the mortality rate vaguely normal.... People live for too long these days otherwise..
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