pronoblem baalberith
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Michael Pollan's op-ed in the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/opinion/10pollan.html?_r=2...
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pronoblem baalberith
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bjlillo wrote:
Government intervention begets further government intervention to eliminate our freedoms. Are you surprised by this?


Please define freedom.

How much does freedom cost?
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If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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Fire a blank round in Times Square and see how much freedom you have.
 
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Jeff Jones
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bjlillo wrote:
Government intervention begets further government intervention to eliminate our freedoms. Are you surprised by this?


I suggest you read Pollan's book "In Defense of Food" before you assume that he's not right on target here.

A "Free" society assumes that people can make freely their decisions based on actual data not the ginned up version that is being fed to us by agribusiness and the processed food industry.



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Paul DeStefano
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I would love to see a system to tax people based on weight.
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bjlillo wrote:
Government intervention begets further government intervention to eliminate our freedoms.


They could start by eliminating one form of government intervention -- subsidies for corn that helped create the ubiquity of corn syrup in our food system.

I recommend King Corn to anyone interested in learning about this massive shift in our national diet and some of its consequences.
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Kafka wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Government intervention begets further government intervention to eliminate our freedoms. Are you surprised by this?


I suggest you read Pollan's book "In Defense of Food" before you assume that he's not right on target here.

A "Free" society assumes that people can make freely their decisions based on actual data not the ginned up version that is being fed to us by agribusiness and the processed food industry.





I am sorry, but you are incorrect. Americans "know" all of this. As a group we choose to ignore it. Smoking causes cancer. Fat people die of heart attacks and get diabetes. We know this. We know other stuff too. Oil is a bad source of energy. It pollutes, it gives money to bad people, it's finite. We "know" all the bad stuff. As a group however, we choose not to know. I am not all into psch stuff. I am sure there is a name for it. Heck, maybe I "know" and am just doing what we seem to be good at. Not caring what the truth is and living however we want, without regard for each other, our future or the future of our children... Other than the unborn children I mean. We give a crap about them. 10 seconds outta the womb we quit caring, but while still in it, we will fight tooth and nail.
Anyway, your wrong. Information won't change Americans. You could print "This hamburger is killing your fat ass stupid" on Bigmac's in glowing letters and they would still shovel them in.
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True Blue Jon
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This is what the smoking warning labels look like in Europe:



I couldn't find a picture of the one I have:

Quote:
Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence
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Geosphere wrote:
I would love to see a system to tax people based on weight.

I would be happy with just balancing out airplane tickets. Right now, a person weighing 150kg gets to bring an extra 20kg in baggage. That mean I (at 70kg) should be permitted 100kg in baggage. After all, it's all about fuel consumption, right?

I'm not holding my breath.
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lizardbaby wrote:

Anyway, your wrong. Information won't change Americans. You could print "This hamburger is killing your fat ass stupid" on Bigmac's in glowing letters and they would still shovel them in.


True. @ 5:15

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Jorge Montero
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bjlillo wrote:

I'm not saying the opinion piece is wrong. I agree that his scenario is a likely outcome. I also realize that what we currently have in the food business barely resembles a free market. Agri-business currently uses the power of both federal and state governments to get all kinds of subsidies from the taxpayers and/or mandates imposed on consumers for their products.


Wake up: The free market does not exist. If zombie Adam Smith rose from his grave, I'm pretty sure he'd agree too. It never existed. If the government is not distorting it, competitors that have a major size advantage would.

So the question is not if a market is distorted, but if the distortions created by each agent are good for most people. In the case of agriculture, pretty much every country in the world has built some form of protectionism around it, because of its strategic value: If large amounts of your food supply came from overseas, and a local financial crisis occurred, creating major devaluation, you could face a starving population. There is also issues of bad weather or plagues that could lower the expected food national output, leading to starvation. We have all kinds of examples from the history books. That is why every government distorts their local market to guarantee that food remains plentiful and cheap.

Now, the problem with those subsidies in the US is that, instead of being done to cheapen the healthiest foods, making them more available, they are on some of the least healthy. But you'll never get rid of all subsidies, because no government wants to ignore the strategic implications of having a food surplus.
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bjlillo wrote:
quozl wrote:
I couldn't find a picture of the one I have:

Quote:
Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence




While that one is "cuter", the package I have looks more like this:

 
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quozl wrote:
This is what the smoking warning labels look like in Europe:


Not everywhere in Europe, and the labels themselves haven't made that big of a difference in consumption. If anything, it was making teens want to try it more.

What has been changing the habits has been to ban, or at least limit, smoking in bars, and raising the costs of cigarettes above what teens can afford: Many manufacturers had brands targeted at teens that cost between 1 and 2 euros a pack. Making the cheapest brand go up to 1.85 raised consumption by 4.5% in a matter of months.
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Drew1365 wrote:
After we tax people for being fat, can we develop a tax based on IQ so that stupid people, who are a drain on societal resources, have to pay more for this privilege?



After your recent post I've been examining my RSP behavior and trying to cut way, way back on my insults.

Which makes this post of yours rather unfair, possibly even spiteful.
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I sat through a day-long departmental retreat today. I am a post-doc at the University of Washington. Our keynote address was delivered by Christopher Murray (Professor, UW Global Health Director, UW Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation). He talked quite a bit about how disease is evaluated in the world, and some of the data presented shed some light on our situation in the USA. I will try to recreate some of the graphs he showed to illustrate some interesting points in another thread, but here I just wanted to pass along his professional opinion on the health care bill proposal and our eating habits:

He said that if we ban trans-fats (as NY has already done) we would save twice as many lives as the proposed health care fixes will (30,000/year). This is because the bill focuses on the financial strains that the system is imposing (which are significant), while contributing very little to improving care, or stressing prevention.
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slowcorner wrote:
....He said that if we ban trans-fats (as NY has already done) we would save twice as many lives as the proposed health care fixes will (30,000/year). This is because the bill focuses on the financial strains that the system is imposing (which are significant), while contributing very little to improving care, or stressing prevention. ....

I'll say upfront that I am in Australia and we have a national health system. I support its continuance unless something better can be found.

A major problem of national tax payer funded health care is that by removing the possibility of future massive disastrous personal debt, individuals are less likely to take care of their own health in terms of correct weight, exercise, not smoking and sensible drinking.

Finding solutions to this problem may become vital to having a successful economy.

Now the caveats; this same effect of lack of heed of future consequences seems very likely to occur with "single price" private health insurance, and the absolute size of the increased "heedlessness" I don't know.
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
After we tax people for being fat, can we develop a tax based on IQ so that stupid people, who are a drain on societal resources, have to pay more for this privilege?


I've heard the state lotteries called a tax on the stupid.
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Rather than taxing them, I think fat people should be put to death, thereby eliminating the drain on our planet's limited resources which they cause by eating all the food and taking up all the space.
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berserkley wrote:
Rather than taxing them, I think fat people should be put to death, thereby eliminating the drain on our planet's limited resources which they cause by eating all the food and taking up all the space.


Well, after being put to death, I think they should be used as fuel so that while being eliminated as a drain on our planet, they actually serve a useful purpose as their BTU value can help light our homes without having to drill for oil or mine for coal.

which reminds me...

...I really have to start that diet this week...
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desertfox2004 wrote:
berserkley wrote:
Rather than taxing them, I think fat people should be put to death, thereby eliminating the drain on our planet's limited resources which they cause by eating all the food and taking up all the space.


Well, after being put to death, I think they should be used as fuel so that while being eliminated as a drain on our planet, they actually serve a useful purpose as their BTU value can help light our homes without having to drill for oil or mine for coal.

which reminds me...

...I really have to start that diet this week...


Ouch! Out satirized by the Master!
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berserkley wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
berserkley wrote:
Rather than taxing them, I think fat people should be put to death, thereby eliminating the drain on our planet's limited resources which they cause by eating all the food and taking up all the space.


Well, after being put to death, I think they should be used as fuel so that while being eliminated as a drain on our planet, they actually serve a useful purpose as their BTU value can help light our homes without having to drill for oil or mine for coal.

which reminds me...

...I really have to start that diet this week...


Ouch! Out satirized by the Master!


...though I find my idea is not entirely original. A quick Google search reveals...



Of course, there is a bit of a difference, as my idea is to use fat people of any age to power our world, while Exxon wishes to burn old people. I'm sure we could use both and end our dependence upon foreign oil virtually overnight.
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Geosphere wrote:
I would love to see a system to tax people based on weight.


You know that would destroy the gaming industry, right?
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Tim Thorp
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Quote:
"This hamburger is killing your fat ass stupid" on Bigmac's in glowing letters and they would still shovel them in.


I'd still eat them, just out of spite. And I can't stand Big Macs.
 
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Pinook wrote:
slowcorner wrote:
....He said that if we ban trans-fats (as NY has already done) we would save twice as many lives as the proposed health care fixes will (30,000/year). This is because the bill focuses on the financial strains that the system is imposing (which are significant), while contributing very little to improving care, or stressing prevention. ....

I'll say upfront that I am in Australia and we have a national health system. I support its continuance unless something better can be found.

A major problem of national tax payer funded health care is that by removing the possibility of future massive disastrous personal debt, individuals are less likely to take care of their own health in terms of correct weight, exercise, not smoking and sensible drinking.

Can you (or the aussie government) demonstrate that fear of bankruptcy is a "major" motivator in people's fitness & health levels? The american model certainly suggests it is no deterrent at all.
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The number one thing most people can do to improve their health is to lose weight. Unfortunately it is one of the hardest things anyone can do. I think it's harder than quitting smoking. You don't have to become skinny to enjoy the health benefits either. A reduction of 5% of your body weight has dramatic effects on reducing blood pressure, and decreasing your chance of developing diabetes.

I went to KFC the other day because I forgot my lunch. I stood behind an obese woman who was ordering her food using the KFC 'lingo' that the employees use. I thought that once you start to talk about the food there with that much familiarity, you're probably eating there too often...

Maybe the answer is starting earlier with parents. I've seen so many babies clutching french fries in their chubby little fingers, with juice in their sippy cup and a bag of cheesies in the stroller. I've learned that a lot of parents just don't know any better and so their kids grow up thinking that junk food and multiple meals a day at MacDonalds is normal.
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