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Subject: Regulating Nutrition rss

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Trey Chambers
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It blows my mind how much effort we put into regulating drugs and alcohol and give a total pass to food. Unhealthy food is BY FAR a larger contributor to death. About a third of us will die from heart problems, to which bad food is a huge contributor. Not to mention the various cancers it contributes to, another leading cause of death.

Additionally, anyone with a sweet tooth or cravings for junk food can speak to the addictive properties of food, similar to that of other illegal substances.

So why does food get such a pass when we are so zealous about restraining drug and alcohol abuse? Because it's edible? It provides calories?

What would I suggest? Nothing too radical (imho). How about a big tax on scientifically proven unhealthy ingredients, similar to how cigarettes are dealt with? Namely, sugar and other sweeteners. This tax would not apply to fruits, however. So for sugar cravings people would have the freedom to buy junk food and sweets at a premium, or shop in the produce aisles. I feel like this is a reasonable way to deal with the problem, and already has precedent in cigarettes.
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IIRC, some cities have taken some steps along those lines with taxes on big sugary soft drinks.
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Trey Chambers
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wifwendell wrote:
IIRC, some cities have taken some steps along those lines with taxes on big sugary soft drinks.


While I am glad they are being proactive, that doesn't affect candy or other desserts or junkfood in general. Plus you can just buy two mediums for an extra dollar to get the same sugar fix. Not much of an incentive to be healthy.
 
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Lola Granola
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I have no actual knowledge on this, but my thoughts wander to whether instead of sin taxes, we should be looking into correcting farm subsidies and getting food to reflect their actual prices, or subsidizing healthier foods, instead of corn which goes to syrup/HFCS to artificially cheap junk food.
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Andre
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I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.
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Trey Chambers
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abadolato01 wrote:

I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.


That would be a much more difficult and morally ambiguous area to regulate. How can you reasonably mandate how much a person is allowed to buy at a store?
 
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Trey Chambers
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LolaGranola wrote:
I have no actual knowledge on this, but my thoughts wander to whether instead of sin taxes, we should be looking into correcting farm subsidies and getting food to reflect their actual prices, or subsidizing healthier foods, instead of corn which goes to syrup/HFCS to artificially cheap junk food.


I don't think that would go far enough. Fruits and veggies are already pretty cheap. But even if they were dirt cheap, if junk food wasn't also more expensive I doubt it would make much of a dent in people's preferences.
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Andre
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Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.


That would be a much more difficult and morally ambiguous area to regulate. How can you reasonably mandate how much a person is allowed to buy at a store?


A difficult question to answer, food is like guns in this respect. If it's there and available, people will use it. I think yo uhave to incentivize people in some way, to recognize that it is in their own best interests to avoid over indulgence. Laughs, Americans respond to money incentives, doll out money to those individuals that manage to stay under the 'obese' category on the BMI Index, or some other agreeable index. It's a shame we should have to do that, but it might just work, people respond, in general, to anything that might increase the money in their pocketbook.
 
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Trey Chambers
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abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.


That would be a much more difficult and morally ambiguous area to regulate. How can you reasonably mandate how much a person is allowed to buy at a store?


A difficult question to answer, food is like guns in this respect. If it's there and available, people will use it. I think yo uhave to incentivize people in some way, to recognize that it is in their own best interests to avoid over indulgence. Laughs, Americans respond to money incentives, doll out money to those individuals that manage to stay under the 'obese' category on the BMI Index, or some other agreeable index. It's a shame we should have to do that, but it might just work, people respond, in general, to anything that might increase the money in their pocketbook.


I already provided an idea: regulate processed sugar and other sweeteners.
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Andre
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Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.


That would be a much more difficult and morally ambiguous area to regulate. How can you reasonably mandate how much a person is allowed to buy at a store?


A difficult question to answer, food is like guns in this respect. If it's there and available, people will use it. I think yo uhave to incentivize people in some way, to recognize that it is in their own best interests to avoid over indulgence. Laughs, Americans respond to money incentives, doll out money to those individuals that manage to stay under the 'obese' category on the BMI Index, or some other agreeable index. It's a shame we should have to do that, but it might just work, people respond, in general, to anything that might increase the money in their pocketbook.


I already provided an idea: regulate processed sugar and other sweeteners.


What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:


I already provided an idea: regulate processed sugar and other sweeteners.


I'd give a pass to sugar alone, but maybe tax premade stuff that has it?

Sugar used in baking, coffee, etc. seems relatviely benign.

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Trey Chambers
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abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.
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Trey Chambers
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qzhdad wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:


I already provided an idea: regulate processed sugar and other sweeteners.


I'd give a pass to sugar alone, but maybe tax premade stuff that has it?

Sugar used in baking, coffee, etc. seems relatviely benign.



Depends on the amount, some baking and coffee-based drinks use tons. If they only use a little, such a tax wouldn't hurt them much anyway.
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Andre
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Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.


Not a terrible idea, but I think you underestimate the pull corporate America might have on politicans that may induce them to 'turn the other cheek' on enacting such legislation. If I recall, Michelle Obama made an attempt to push for more nutritious snacks and lunches in schools, and I believe that that plan failed, mostly due to opposition from corporate America, that wanted the right to keep snack vendors (i.e., Fritos, Twinkies, etc) in the schools. In other words, the food lobby may be more formidable than you might think.
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Trey Chambers
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abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.


Not a terrible idea, but I think you underestimate the pull corporate America might have on politicans that may induce them to 'turn the other cheek' on enacting such legislation. If I recall, Michelle Obama made an attempt to push for more nutritious snacks and lunches in schools, and I believe that that plan failed, mostly due to opposition from corporate America, that wanted the right to keep snack vendors (i.e., Fritos, Twinkies, etc) in the schools. In other words, the food lobby may be more formidable than you might think.


Oh I know they are formidable. Just sparking a discussion.
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abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.


Not a terrible idea, but I think you underestimate the pull corporate America might have on politicans that may induce them to 'turn the other cheek' on enacting such legislation. If I recall, Michelle Obama made an attempt to push for more nutritious snacks and lunches in schools, and I believe that that plan failed, mostly due to opposition from corporate America, that wanted the right to keep snack vendors (i.e., Fritos, Twinkies, etc) in the schools. In other words, the food lobby may be more formidable than you might think.


That's proven by the way they ban healthful things while allowing unhealthful things. Of course the food industry owns the government.
 
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There's a number of issues when it comes to nutrition.

- There's a lot we don't know about how our bodies work. New discoveries are constantly made. Things change fast, and so the certainty of a lot of the knowledge is fairly low.

- The public understanding of nutrition and health, which is frankly horrible. And then you have a whole industry of scam artists peddling lies. Add in the conflation of beauty standards and health and it's just a huge fustercluck if misunderstandings and factoids.

- The psychology of eating. We as a society have a huge frakkin' eating disorder. Any promotion of healthy diets must take into account the psychological effects of the diet, and of the promotion itself.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Unhealthy food
If the North Vietnamese army locks you in a bamboo cage for four months, you'll find there are no unhealthy foods. Your digestive system is designed to convert anything ingested to the same biochemicals, which are then safely absorbed. Snake poisons are proteins, and if eaten they are digested as such.

Turrning now to diet and exercise, eat two small meals a day and run ten miles, and you should be fine. There are some tips as to how you can combine diet and exercise to their best advantage.

Your body can usually deal with heroin, cocaine, cigarettes and alcohol so long as you are exposed to them rarely. Its a constant daily assault that takes you out.
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.


Not a terrible idea, but I think you underestimate the pull corporate America might have on politicans that may induce them to 'turn the other cheek' on enacting such legislation. If I recall, Michelle Obama made an attempt to push for more nutritious snacks and lunches in schools, and I believe that that plan failed, mostly due to opposition from corporate America, that wanted the right to keep snack vendors (i.e., Fritos, Twinkies, etc) in the schools. In other words, the food lobby may be more formidable than you might think.


Oh I know they are formidable. Just sparking a discussion.


It's an interesting discussion, to be sure. But it also is one which seems to strike at the core of the left/right dynamic without really being a hot-button issue like guns or abortion.

We all know that unhealthy eating causes long-term damage. Even in the midst of doing it, people at McDonald's know that they are not doing themselves any favors. But at what point does the social engineering you are describing intrude on a person's right to choose? Yes, they can still buy them, but they are being forced to go through externalities that others aren't. They can do it, but their opportunity costs are being artificially inflated, reducing other freedoms. So when hyper-libertarians go off about how absolute freedom is the only real way to live, this is the kind of thing that would give them a facial tic. Yes, it would be good to encourage healthier diets. But when does it start being less about encouraging and more about compelling/forcing?

On the other hand, though, is the choice to be unhealthy is not without its own externalities. Insurance costs go up for everyone, heath costs rise, more of a strain on the health infrastructure, they are things that need to be factored in as well.

Mind you, I'm not stating what I think the answer to this is. I do think that right now we have markets influenced where unhealthy foods are unfairly subsidized. I would like to see corn subsidies go away and see what the HFCS-industry has to say about that. I agree that there are things we can and should do, I'm just not sure how heavy-handed we should be about it.
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GameCrossing wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


Yes, as I said, a tax. Much like the tax on cigarettes. A box of cigarettes costs cents to make. The companies charge a dollar or two. There's several dollars of tax on top of that. If we treat sugar the same way, our food's gonna get healthier.

High gas prices definitely hurt the gas guzzler industry. It's bouncing back a bit because gas is no longer as expensive. But I haven't seen a hummer on the road in ages, and I live in Texas.


Not a terrible idea, but I think you underestimate the pull corporate America might have on politicans that may induce them to 'turn the other cheek' on enacting such legislation. If I recall, Michelle Obama made an attempt to push for more nutritious snacks and lunches in schools, and I believe that that plan failed, mostly due to opposition from corporate America, that wanted the right to keep snack vendors (i.e., Fritos, Twinkies, etc) in the schools. In other words, the food lobby may be more formidable than you might think.


Oh I know they are formidable. Just sparking a discussion.


It's an interesting discussion, to be sure. But it also is one which seems to strike at the core of the left/right dynamic without really being a hot-button issue like guns or abortion.

We all know that unhealthy eating causes long-term damage. Even in the midst of doing it, people at McDonald's know that they are not doing themselves any favors. But at what point does the social engineering you are describing intrude on a person's right to choose? Yes, they can still buy them, but they are being forced to go through externalities that others aren't. They can do it, but their opportunity costs are being artificially inflated, reducing other freedoms. So when hyper-libertarians go off about how absolute freedom is the only real way to live, this is the kind of thing that would give them a facial tic. Yes, it would be good to encourage healthier diets. But when does it start being less about encouraging and more about compelling/forcing?

On the other hand, though, is the choice to be unhealthy is not without its own externalities. Insurance costs go up for everyone, heath costs rise, more of a strain on the health infrastructure, they are things that need to be factored in as well.

Mind you, I'm not stating what I think the answer to this is. I do think that right now we have markets influenced where unhealthy foods are unfairly subsidized. I would like to see corn subsidies go away and see what the HFCS-industry has to say about that. I agree that there are things we can and should do, I'm just not sure how heavy-handed we should be about it.


Not talking about outlawing anything, just taxing it.

And it's justified. Processed sugar added to junkfood no doubt adds billions to healthcare subsidized by us taxpayers.
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Trey Chambers
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sajberhippien wrote:
There's a number of issues when it comes to nutrition.

- There's a lot we don't know about how our bodies work. New discoveries are constantly made. Things change fast, and so the certainty of a lot of the knowledge is fairly low.

- The public understanding of nutrition and health, which is frankly horrible. And then you have a whole industry of scam artists peddling lies. Add in the conflation of beauty standards and health and it's just a huge fustercluck if misunderstandings and factoids.

- The psychology of eating. We as a society have a huge frakkin' eating disorder. Any promotion of healthy diets must take into account the psychological effects of the diet, and of the promotion itself.


We know adding sugar to things is unnecessary and contributes to heart disease and a myriad of other bad conditions. That much is fact.
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Snoo Py
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abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

I think, in the U.S., the equally tenacious and damaging issue to our health is the sheer quantity of food available to us. The underlying cause of most of our health problems is obesity. Look at these stats, taken from
https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

United States of America – 109,342,839
China – 97,256,700
India – 65,619,826
Brazil – 41,857,656
Mexico – 36,294,881
Russia – 34,701,531
Egypt – 28,192,861
Turkey – 23,819,781
Iran – 21,183,488
Nigeria – 20,997,494

and the following corroborated by the CIA website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... ;

1 Nauru 61.0
2 Cook Islands 55.9
3 Palau 55.3
4 Marshall Islands 52.9
5 Tuvalu 51.6
6 Niue 50.0
7 Tonga 48.2
8 Samoa 47.3
9 Kiribati 46.0
10 Micronesia 45.8
11 Kuwait 37.9
12 United States of America 36.2

The first shows that amongst the 774 million people in the world that are obese, the U.S. has almost 110 million of them, or 15% roughly.

The second shows the % of population that is considered obese. And yes, the U.S., although twelfth on the list, is amongst much poorer countries here.

Let's face it, Americans like to eat, and we are a fat bunch of people, overall. The easy availability of cheap food, both good and bad, is the real culprit. The answer is in portion control, and recognizing that we need far less than we actually eat, to subsist.


That would be a much more difficult and morally ambiguous area to regulate. How can you reasonably mandate how much a person is allowed to buy at a store?


A difficult question to answer, food is like guns in this respect. If it's there and available, people will use it. I think yo uhave to incentivize people in some way, to recognize that it is in their own best interests to avoid over indulgence. Laughs, Americans respond to money incentives, doll out money to those individuals that manage to stay under the 'obese' category on the BMI Index, or some other agreeable index. It's a shame we should have to do that, but it might just work, people respond, in general, to anything that might increase the money in their pocketbook.


I already provided an idea: regulate processed sugar and other sweeteners.


What good does that do if I can still buy my 12 boxes of Twinkies, what exactly do you mean by regulate? I assume you mean 'limit' by that, but I could be wrong? A tax on sweeteners will probably not work long term. The auto industry instituted a gas guzzler tax on luxury autos a few years back, but I don't think it put a dent in that sector of the industry.


A 100% tax on soda and processed sugary/fatty foods, to finance prevention campaigns and nutrition education.

 
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Lynette
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Instead of trying to regulate what people eat... perhaps consider making it easier for people to do things that are positive, like exercise more and eat healthier.

On the national level... while Federal Flexible reimbursement accounts can be used for many health care costs after you are sick, and even cosmetic treatments like braces and some plastic surgery... they cannot be used to fund gym memberships or exercise equipment. This has always really bugged me. The 1200 a year I spent to have access to a year round pool and place to lift weights was essential to my health, especially when working 60 plus hour weeks in the north. In winter going for a long walk after work is really not an option, it is dark, cold and often icy. Especially as a person who has been battling weight issues since childhood, regular exercise was more important to my health than not eating sweets or drinking soda (both things I don't do very often anyway).

On a local level, having facilities that even poorer people can access and afford should be a top priority, but rarely is. For example... my city is building a new city hall (at a cost of many millions) but pushes to have a year round public heated swimming area for the local school swim teams and general public use have failed to get funded year after year. So kids who want to be on swim teams have to be from families well off enough to pay fees to local gyms. And elderly people and poor kids are just SOL... no winter time swimming for them. When swimming is one of the absolute BEST exercises for the elderly to maintain muscle tone and bone density and kids love to swim, even ones who usually hate to "exercise" will often go swimming.

I have been to rich areas with beautiful parks that also had exercise circuits for public use. You walk this big circle in a lovely park and every 100 yards or so is some kind of set up to help do some specific exercises, with signs giving detailed instructions with pictures on how to utilize it.

Like These:






When I was a poor kid in a poor area... never saw anything like this in our area.

But 10 miles away in the upscale rich areas in parks were rich people lived, I saw them often. (I was a nanny to put myself though several years of my higher learning and got to spend a lot of time in upscale areas in my early 20s)

Poorer people often struggle more with health issues because they don't have the time and money to make exercising easily accessible nor enjoyable.

In addition... healty food costs MORE than junk food. We don't need a punative tax on sugar as much as a healthly food subsidy for those on limited budgets. An apple or orange often costs MORE than a candy bar.
Fresh fruit and veggies, and snacks like granola bars could be discounted for people getting SNAP and other food subsidies. So that they could afford to eat healthier if they wanted too.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Meerkat wrote:
Instead of trying to regulate what people eat... perhaps consider making it easier for people to do things that are positive, like exercise more and eat healthier.

In this article the AHA is cited to promote exactly that.

What also doesn't help in this discussion is the incessant distrust of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame K. The latest fad is replacing these with far more poisonous steviol glycosides. People aren't rational beings... though if we were we wouldn't have this discussion in the first place.
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Lee Fisher
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cymric wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
Instead of trying to regulate what people eat... perhaps consider making it easier for people to do things that are positive, like exercise more and eat healthier.

In this article the AHA is cited to promote exactly that.

What also doesn't help in this discussion is the incessant distrust of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame K. The latest fad is replacing these with far more poisonous steviol glycosides. People aren't rational beings... though if we were we wouldn't have this discussion in the first place.


What is the issue with steviol glycosides?
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