How does society go about fighting obesity? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-27-2005, 11:46 AM   #1
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How does society go about fighting obesity?

Well, how do we? Obesity in the U.S. is quickly becoming the most costly health care issue. It's become as costly as smoking and will soon surpass it. I've also read recently that the obesity levels in Europe and Australia have also been going up dramatically. Sure some people are genetically prone to carry a little more weight, but the sad truth is that too many people simply are couch potatos and overeat.

There are a few ideas:

--Make gym costs tax deductable or partially subsidized by goverment to get more people there. Americans are paying nearly 100 Billion per year in obesity health related costs, so I believe this would be a good investement.

--Why is it that junk food seems cheaper than healthy food? If I want a bag of salad mix, I could just as well go buy a frozen pizza for myself--they're usually cheaper. I believe that junk food should have a sin tax on it. What would I consider junk food? candy, regular soda, potato chips, cookies, ice cream...those sorts of things that have really no nutritional benefit. That sin tax could be used to subsidize farming, which would lower the price of your fruits, grains and veggies and make eating healthy a cheap thing to do.

--As for fast food, I'm unsure. Do I think people should be able to sue McDonalds for "making them fat?" Absolutely not. But fast food is a huge part of the problem...maybe something as simple as putting calorie/fat/carb content on the package of all their products might educate people to just how bad it is to scarf down their double quarter pounder with cheese, supersized soda and supersized fries. Maybe a lot of people are stupid and just don't know this stuff is bad for you?

--Most importantly, school's need to start focusing on nutrition and health. Being someone who was overweight in high school, I can remember we had no education whatsoever on nutrition other than the flawed "food pyramid." I had no clue why I kept gaining weight.. Kids need to be educated on how many calories they need, how to keep track of calories, what foods to avoid and how simple the whole idea of weight management is--if you eat more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight if you eat less than you burn, you'll lose weight. So very simple.


That being said, I'm off to the gym. I'm curious to hear some other thoughts on this issue.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:49 AM   #2
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I feel guilty now.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:52 AM   #3
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Originally posted by bsp77
I feel guilty now.
Why's that?
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:57 AM   #4
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Last time this came up I was furious that anyone would want to control individual's eating habits (even advocating the gov't do it) or even taxing them. The rationale was obesity is a large health problem. True. But....

...would you tax or deny care to an AIDS patient who got it through unprotected sex or drug use even though he knew he was taking risks?

...would you deny care to a smoker with lung cancer or emphazema (sp) because they ignored the warnings and anti smoking campaigns?

...would you refuse care for a drunk who was injured driving drunk even though he had heard all the don't drink and drive speeches?

Of course you wouldn't. You'd say someone was cruel and outrageous for even suggesting it.

So why only pick on fat people? Don't like fat people?

Of course bad eating habits lead to poor health. So do a lot of other things like the ones I've mentioned. You can't control every single person's lifestyle, nor should anyone try.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:04 PM   #5
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
Last time this came up I was furious that anyone would want to control individual's eating habits (even advocating the gov't do it) or even taxing them. The rationale was obesity is a large health problem. True. But....

...would you tax or deny care to an AIDS patient who got it through unprotected sex or drug use even though he knew he was taking risks?

...would you deny care to a smoker with lung cancer or emphazema (sp) because they ignored the warnings and anti smoking campaigns?

...would you refuse care for a drunk who was injured driving drunk even though he had heard all the don't drink and drive speeches?

Of course you wouldn't. You'd say someone was cruel and outrageous for even suggesting it.

So why only pick on fat people? Don't like fat people?

Of course bad eating habits lead to poor health. So do a lot of other things like the ones I've mentioned. You can't control every single person's lifestyle, nor should anyone try.
Ummm you didn't read my post did you? It doesn't make much sense to what I was saying.

As for your last 2 points. "Don't like fat people?" Well, if you'd have read my post you'd have seen that I was very overweight at one point and did something about it, so I have a lot of sympathy for people who are obese because I know the self-consiousness and vicious cycle it can be.

We shouldn't try to stop people from being fat? This is costing nearly 100 BILLION a year! That's like saying we shouldn't try to get people to use condoms to prevent aids or we shouldn't try to get people to quit smoking!
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally posted by ImOuttaControl



We shouldn't try to stop people from being fat? This is costing nearly 100 BILLION a year! That's like saying we shouldn't try to get people to use condoms to prevent aids or we shouldn't try to get people to quit smoking!
Care to wonder how many billions AIDS is costing the world? Or smoking? Or what about people just getting hurt doing jackass stunts? See no one is making a big deal out of those lifestyle choices, so that's what I mean, why are the health problems caused by obesity being targeted? In the end, you CAN'T force a person to eat, drink, smoke behave or have sex responsibly.

and I'm really surprised that anyone (not targeting anyone in this thread just FYM in general) who is so gung ho about keeping gov't out of private lives would even suggest it.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:12 PM   #7
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Why's that?
I haven't been jogging recently and have been eating a lot of crap. You just reminded me that I should be jogging.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:17 PM   #8
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And why has an argument started here? I didn't see anything offensive in the original post, just cause for discussion.

I, on the other hand, will be offensive. Most (not all) obese people need some more self control. Not saying that I am perfect, I need some more control myself. But if I started getting really overweight, I would do something.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:18 PM   #9
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I'd say we're obese for a few reasons:

1) We're a large country with a good proportion of the nation unable to get anywhere, except via driving. I'd be curious to know urban obesity rates versus rural/suburban obesity rates.

2) Food consumption. We consume a lot of food, and most of it is unhealthy and nutrient-deficient. Why must "health food" be in a special section of stores and cost more? All food should be "health food."

Of course, some people are genetically obese, so there are special needs required for them. However, I would say that many more are obese, due to the factors above.

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Old 01-27-2005, 12:22 PM   #10
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You can't force, but once again I'm going to say education is key.

We are a society that is bombarded with so many conflicting images and ideas as adults. Atkins, SouthBeach, Low Fat, No Carb, this image is healthy no this is, etc.

I don't think taxing or whatever will change a thing. We need to educate our children early on so that when they are adults and obese they don't ask themselves why? And when they are bombarded with several conflicting diets they will be able to approach them in an educated manner.

I think it will be a long time before we really get anywhere with this problem. We have some that are force feeding us images or waif-like women and bulked up men and saying this beautiful. On the other hand we have overweight people saying this is what a person should look like, there is no problem with this.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:27 PM   #11
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Exercise. Plain and simple.

People know McDonalds isn't good for them and they eat it anyway. I know a salad is better for me than a pizza, but I will choose the pizza every time. I don't want to have to pay a sin tax for my stupidity.

Anyway, exercise is the key. Americans love the image of athletics, and the image is precisely the problem. Sports and exercise are seen as this elite thing to participate in. Look at the sports culture within our kid's schools. It's all about who's good enough to play and make it to the top, not about the love of the game and the need for exercise.

I did a huge research paper on the sports culture, and obviously I can't say if this is true across the board, but from what I was reading, Europe approached sports with a different outlook. Average people did it because it was healthy and fun, not because they wanted to compete.

We should do that. Have kids, all kids, participating in some kind of athletic activity--anything they want, and let them enjoy it. No pressure on making the cut, on winning the games, on keeping up these incredible schedules, making the school proud. Emphasize it for fun and health. (And don't favor it above academics!)

That's all well and good for kids, but what about adults? I do agree that cities should fund more recreation centers and parks for such purposes. From my own experience, I would love to hit the ice whenever I wanted, swim, or have a park close where I could walk and rollerblade comfortably. I could join a gym, but I loathe those places. There simply isn't any place for me to go.

Americans will probably solve their obesity problem when we run out of oil.
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:28 PM   #12
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Get Bush to launch a WAR ON OBESITY.
(sorry)
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:38 PM   #13
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Education never works. Look at anti drug, anti smoking, responsible drinking, safe sex, etc. People KNOW the things they're eating aren't healthy. They eat them because they taste good and it makes them happy.Some people are even addicted to food. Nothing is going to stop them until each individual person makes the decision because THEY want to, not because they were forced.
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:50 PM   #14
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Actually it is pretty cheap to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Apples, oranges, bananas, etc. are mcuh better snacks than pre-packaged salty/sugary fat bombs and cheaper to buy ( writing this as I munch on my double-stuff oreos.)
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
Exercise. Plain and simple.

People know McDonalds isn't good for them and they eat it anyway. I know a salad is better for me than a pizza, but I will choose the pizza every time. I don't want to have to pay a sin tax for my stupidity.

Anyway, exercise is the key. Americans love the image of athletics, and the image is precisely the problem. Sports and exercise are seen as this elite thing to participate in. Look at the sports culture within our kid's schools. It's all about who's good enough to play and make it to the top, not about the love of the game and the need for exercise.

I did a huge research paper on the sports culture, and obviously I can't say if this is true across the board, but from what I was reading, Europe approached sports with a different outlook. Average people did it because it was healthy and fun, not because they wanted to compete.

We should do that. Have kids, all kids, participating in some kind of athletic activity--anything they want, and let them enjoy it. No pressure on making the cut, on winning the games, on keeping up these incredible schedules, making the school proud. Emphasize it for fun and health. (And don't favor it above academics!)

That's all well and good for kids, but what about adults? I do agree that cities should fund more recreation centers and parks for such purposes. From my own experience, I would love to hit the ice whenever I wanted, swim, or have a park close where I could walk and rollerblade comfortably. I could join a gym, but I loathe those places. There simply isn't any place for me to go.

Americans will probably solve their obesity problem when we run out of oil.
I agree with most all of your post, except for the part about the sin tax. I'm not saying this is a huge tax or anything, just that maybe those candy bars might cost a couple cents extra, then use that money to bring down the prices of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
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