Obesity
Nov 6 2009, 11:26 pm
By: Centreri
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Nov 9 2009, 2:16 am Centreri Post #61

Relatively ancient and inactive

Quote
McDonald's will be looking for loopholes so that they can still serve "delicious" food.
And the government closes these loopholes, because they were created to keep bad McDonalds food expensive. Problem?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/11/75-of-potential-recruits-too-fat-too-sickly-too-dumb-to-serve/

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Nov 9 2009, 2:28 am by Centreri.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 6:04 am MasterJohnny Post #62



Quote from Centreri
Quote
McDonald's will be looking for loopholes so that they can still serve "delicious" food.
And the government closes these loopholes, because they were created to keep bad McDonalds food expensive. Problem?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/11/75-of-potential-recruits-too-fat-too-sickly-too-dumb-to-serve/
Quote from MasterJohnny
Clearly I am not going to pay the taxes. I will go find loopholes. I think many people would also find loopholes as this society is seems dependent on food that is made with speed. I think most people would like a 3min microwaved meal instead of a 10min meal made with patience.

Yes there is a problem. I think the government is still run by the people. The government will not close them because society wants quick meals so McDonald's will probably win in finding loopholes.

That seems to be more reason why not to have a draft system but that is another topic.



Philosophy deals with unanswered questions. Religion deals with unquestioned answers. I am a Mathematician

Nov 9 2009, 7:20 am ClansAreForGays Post #63



Argue why it shouldn't happen, not how it can't happen.

And in the scenario where this food tax was passed, it wouldn't have been passed in the first place using your logic (or lack there of). Try and be serious and come back with something more than "gov. corruption, gg"


And just to be clear, I don't agree with Cent's crazy idea not giving the obese health care or taxing fat people more. Just the sales tax on shit food.




Nov 9 2009, 9:03 am CaptainWill Post #64



I'm probably going to repeat a lot of stuff others have said.
The reason why a person becomes fat (serious medical conditions notwithstanding):

1. Higher calorific intake than calorific expenditure.

The obvious solution is for people to eat less and/or exercise more; the problem is how to achieve this, and I believe some of the issues are cultural and not easy to overcome. The first and most glaring reason is purchasing power. In Western countries the real price of food, when combined with the average person's earnings, is very low indeed. People have the power to purchase more food, and the majority of them would be more inclined to select the cheapest foods seeing as they ostensibly represent better value for money. Unfortunately, the cheapest foods tend to be the most unhealthy, combining high amounts of carbohydrate with fat and additives which may have implications for a person's health. This cheaper food is often also easier and quicker to prepare, increasing the chances of people consuming it for the following reason.

People tend to be in a rush to do things in modern society. The emphasis is on quick rewards and instant gratification. We can be entertained by just sitting in front of a computer or TV - all we have to do is press a few buttons. We have invented a host of devices to make our lives less complicated and difficult. You can see why a person living in a society which promotes these values, whether consciously or not, will choose to go to a McDonalds and have a burger or buy a ready meal, rather than think of a meal, go out and buy all the ingredients for it, put them together in the right quantities and for the right length of time, serve it and only then eat it.

The crux of the matter is really that people have become extremely lazy because sadly sloth is a vice which society promotes by virtue of high purchasing power, multitudinous means of sedentary, often solitary entertainment, and the mantra that easier is better. You can even see this in the evolution of video games - which I would argue are getting easier and are more inclined to lead the player by the hand these days.

I don't know if there is any way to prevent this slide into profligacy short of changing our culture, which will take time and will not be easy. Making food harder to buy (e.g. by taxing fat) doesn't get at the heart of the issue.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 12:03 pm Vi3t-X Post #65



I suppose the least known argument is that people, food, and a bunch of other crap are interdependent, and reform, although not good in a short period, has a chance to make a big difference.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 9:05 pm Centreri Post #66

Relatively ancient and inactive

Quote from MasterJohnny
Yes there is a problem. I think the government is still run by the people. The government will not close them because society wants quick meals so McDonald's will probably win in finding loopholes.
Ah. Well, I'm sorry, that's not my problem in this topic. Complete democracy doesn't work well. People are stupid. They can easily be influenced by the media. If you listen to the people, your hands will be tied and many problems won't be solved, as tough solutions, possibly the only ones, would be rejected. I'm here to argue why this should happen, not that it will.
Quote from MasterJohnny
That seems to be more reason why not to have a draft system but that is another topic.
I wouldn't like a draft system, simply because that's a much bigger waste of government money for no gain. Conscripts aren't particularly useful on anti-terrorism missions, as shown by Vietnam or the 1st Chechen war. Might as well make a mandatory boot camp for fatties, it'll definitely cost less.
Quote from ClansAreForGays
And just to be clear, I don't agree with Cent's crazy idea not giving the obese health care or taxing fat people more. Just the sales tax on shit food.
I never said not to give obese people health care, and how can you be for food taxes but not taxing fat people? The latter course is definitely the more liberal of the two, because it localizes the punishment on those who are problematic for society, while the former course is more effective at creating a widespread culture of healthy eating. That said, actually, I think we should limit health care for fatties/unhealthy eaters/veryoldpeople, because the government really spends a lot of money just to extend lifetime by maybe a year. Maybe this is going too far, but I'm also looking at ways to cut our deficit. We're $12 trillion in debt, and rising.
Quote from CaptainWill
I'm probably going to repeat a lot of stuff others have said.
The reason why a person becomes fat (serious medical conditions notwithstanding):

1. Higher calorific intake than calorific expenditure.

The obvious solution is for people to eat less and/or exercise more; the problem is how to achieve this, and I believe some of the issues are cultural and not easy to overcome. The first and most glaring reason is purchasing power. In Western countries the real price of food, when combined with the average person's earnings, is very low indeed. People have the power to purchase more food, and the majority of them would be more inclined to select the cheapest foods seeing as they ostensibly represent better value for money. Unfortunately, the cheapest foods tend to be the most unhealthy, combining high amounts of carbohydrate with fat and additives which may have implications for a person's health. This cheaper food is often also easier and quicker to prepare, increasing the chances of people consuming it for the following reason.

People tend to be in a rush to do things in modern society. The emphasis is on quick rewards and instant gratification. We can be entertained by just sitting in front of a computer or TV - all we have to do is press a few buttons. We have invented a host of devices to make our lives less complicated and difficult. You can see why a person living in a society which promotes these values, whether consciously or not, will choose to go to a McDonalds and have a burger or buy a ready meal, rather than think of a meal, go out and buy all the ingredients for it, put them together in the right quantities and for the right length of time, serve it and only then eat it.

The crux of the matter is really that people have become extremely lazy because sadly sloth is a vice which society promotes by virtue of high purchasing power, multitudinous means of sedentary, often solitary entertainment, and the mantra that easier is better. You can even see this in the evolution of video games - which I would argue are getting easier and are more inclined to lead the player by the hand these days.

I don't know if there is any way to prevent this slide into profligacy short of changing our culture, which will take time and will not be easy. Making food harder to buy (e.g. by taxing fat) doesn't get at the heart of the issue.
I disagree. I think making food harder to buy does strike at the heart of the issue, at least as far to the heart as can be expected. The people get used to buying more healthy food, and that is changing the culture. If a small burger cost $3.00 instead of the current $1.00, the person won't be thinking 'Hey, I can get lunch for pennies!'. They might pay for a bit, but then they'll realize how much money they're wasting and look for alternatives. Coupled with a government-sponsored advertising campaign for healthy foods, slowly but surely, people will try to buy something healthier at a fast-food place, something that isn't taxed; and, home cooking or not, at that point, people are eating healthy foods. As for the culture of eating-quick, that can't be changed without losing American productivity. Personally, I'd follow the Swedish model (free education, social support, high taxes, happy people, etc), which would allow for adjusting the culture further in favor of home cooking, but this topic isn't about that.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 10:54 pm Vrael Post #67



Quote
I think making food harder to buy does strike at the heart of the issue, at least as far to the heart as can be expected.
On the converse side, it's entirely possible that people will just pay more and not change their eating habits at all. More gov't revenue though.



None.

Nov 9 2009, 10:58 pm Centreri Post #68

Relatively ancient and inactive

We both know that won't happen. And even if it does, we need to work down that debt somehow. ;)



None.

Nov 9 2009, 11:19 pm Vrael Post #69



Nevertheless, in a situation with a complexity such as this the alternative consequences should not be denied consideration. We're not gods here, we don't have perfect prediction skills, so each possibility should be given a fair evaluation. I'm not saying you have to necessarily explore it in this thread, but rather just because you say a thing will happen a certain way doesn't mean it will follow your ordinance.



None.

Nov 10 2009, 12:00 am Centreri Post #70

Relatively ancient and inactive

To some extent, it will work. If it doesn't, we repeal it and try instituting a fat tax. Stating something as obvious as that I'm not a god and that something has a teeeeeny chance of failing, because of that, is like me saying that you don't know that communism is less efficient because you don't have perfect prediction skills, or that we should take that there's a possibility that the Earth won't be here into consideration for every little thing. It's a non-argument.



None.

Nov 10 2009, 12:40 am Vrael Post #71



The situation you propose could have complexity that you aren't considering. Yes, the basic idea is that people don't want to pay more for a burger than they have to. No arguments there from me. However, there could very well be hidden factors. Maybe McDonalds is just so ingrained into the American lifestyle that people who buy there now will buy there despite tax raises. Maybe people will buy similar though slightly less unhealthy foods which escape the standard imposed by the government, or just eat more healthy food than usual and become fat, or they'll become fat because psychologically they feel as if the fat tax is protecting them from becoming so and they feel less need to excersize, or someone invents something new which decreases the average excersize rate for the average american (i.e. cars vs. walking/bike riding).

The point is, if you're truly interested in the outcome,
Quote from Vrael
Nevertheless, in a situation with a complexity such as this the alternative consequences should not be denied consideration. We're not gods here, we We don't have perfect prediction skills, so each possibility should be given a fair evaluation. I'm not saying you have to necessarily explore it in this thread, but rather just because you say a thing will happen a certain way doesn't mean it will follow your ordinance.
Sorry, didn't mean to bring my buddies Zeus and Apollo into this.

If this discussion is taken in the framework of a medium through which it has relevance to the people who are discussing it, instead of just some chat on an internet forum like this particular one really is, naturally the participants would want to know if their plan will work correctly, what possible weaknesses in the plan could be, what the consequences of instituting the idea would be, what the consequences of the plan failing would be, and so on and so forth. There could be relevant complexities that aren't being taken into consideration, obviously considering the case where the Earth explodes isn't one of them.



None.

Nov 10 2009, 1:43 am Centreri Post #72

Relatively ancient and inactive

A much better explanation, thank you. However, if you want me to take this into account, the most effective way to make me aware is to say it straight out. McDonalds isn't that ingrained into American lifestyle to justify paying 200% more. Saying that the taxes won't help at all in this area is ridiculous. Those who eat the slightly less unhealthy foods are doing what the tax is made for (albeit with reluctance), and I don't see how people who switch to healthy food would eat much more because of it. There's no correlation that I can see. Psychologically, if they feel that, there's still the fat tax to contend with, and I expect an advertising campaign for athletics as well (despite myself being very poor in that department :P). As for creating something new, that really IS outside of this context. It's not a relevant complexity, as you say.

Will there be complexities? Sure. Will they stop this from working at all? Of course not, and if it does, the government has the tools to remedy that.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Nov 11 2009, 4:36 am by Vrael. Reason: the answer was no



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Nov 12 2009, 2:03 am BeDazed Post #73



I personally don't think the taxes will work. First hand experience. Due to the high inflation of Korean Won here, the food price sky rocketed by over 150% (chips, ice creams, and etc.). Didn't stop me from buying the same amount I ate before. Of course, any country with sufficient economic prowess has population that can withstand some inflation, elevated food costs. And if taxes aren't enough, it's probably unnecessary or it isn't powerful enough (not just limited to taxes).
Although a possible suggestion could go in a way that the tax on fatty foods could be used for more health care, programs for the obese, and so on. I was thinking along the lines of making Physical Education a mandatory class, and requiring proper P.E. grades to graduate, except for the handicapped (obesity does not count). And I do suggest that obese students while in education have a mandatory 'slimming up' class after school- to properly graduate anyways. And even after graduating, giving companies the possibility to deny or to deny a raise against a person due to being 'obese' could be of use. And those are much more powerful than simple taxing.

Quote
Will there be complexities? Sure. Will they stop this from working at all? Of course not, and if it does, the government has the tools to remedy that.
I believe you are over-trusting the government. I personally do not like taking for granted that the government is the one thing that can solve anything- which is converse to the truth. Of course, the government is partially meant to solve problems individuals or small groups cannot accomplish- but does not mean that the government can solve everything. Otherwise, no country would really be suffering from nearly the same problems as any other countries are facing.



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Nov 12 2009, 2:12 am Centreri Post #74

Relatively ancient and inactive

All food prices skyrocketed, not just unhealthy foods. Of course, you saw no advantage to eating healthy foods if they were as or more expensive as unhealthy foods. As for the rest, those are other possibilities.
Quote
I believe you are over-trusting the government. I personally do not like taking for granted that the government is the one thing that can solve anything- which is converse to the truth. Of course, the government is partially meant to solve problems individuals or small groups cannot accomplish- but does not mean that the government can solve everything. Otherwise, no country would really be suffering from nearly the same problems as any other countries are facing.
A strong government can do it. The current US government might be strong enough to do it.



None.

Nov 12 2009, 2:27 am BeDazed Post #75



Quote
All food prices skyrocketed, not just unhealthy foods. Of course, you saw no advantage to eating healthy foods if they were as or more expensive as unhealthy foods. As for the rest, those are other possibilities.
I think you meant if the healthy foods cost the same amount of money as any other unhealthy food, then there is no advantage to eating unhealthy foods. The reason why people eat a lot of unhealthy food is because other than being tasty (I hear foods with lots of transfat are tasty. (I think it is a first hand experience for me because I love margarine. And its full of transfat and cholesterol.), they are also cheaper- even with the inflation.

And I don't think the US government is an exception. Stronger a government, stronger the problem. Plus the state does not use all of its money on solving one problem, but rather many of its problem at the same time. Likewise, a big country is more likely to be exposed to more problems in proportion than compared to a small country. So the pressure each country takes is more or less likely the same or nearly. There are many other issues to take care of other than obesity. Even though the way I view is more pessimistic, I don't think hoping a government can do it is going to solve the current problem at hand.



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Nov 12 2009, 2:31 am Centreri Post #76

Relatively ancient and inactive

.... Not only is that irrelevant, since I'm arguing about the merits of doing this, not whether it will be done, but it's also inaccurate, since it doesn't take an extreme effort on Congress's part to set up some alphabet soup organization to go through different products, find the tax category they fit in, and implement it.



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Nov 13 2009, 12:31 am KrayZee Post #77



Japan is awesome. /topic



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Nov 14 2009, 6:07 pm l3lack-l3ahamut Post #78



I'll first start off by saying that I disagree with the higher food taxes. I am currently 30lbs overweight according to the BMI chart, which really doesn't matter anyways. I understand the current problem with health insurance. Whenever it gets reformed it is something that needs to be looked at. In such a case I would suggest based on your annual physical, your doctor would send a documented evaluation to your insurance company and based on that you would given a predetermined rate based on some overall score. Healthy people would obviously gain from this because they would receive a higher score and in turn have to pay less. Obese people will have to shell out the money for being obese. I think this would be a major deterrent and hopefully make people realize it's worth the effort to exercise.

On the other hand, lets say your tax passed, sure people might stop buying fatty fast food. McDonald's now has less customers, less income, and most importantly less need for employee's. The same would occur at many other places. The economy would not be gaining enough benefit to counteract this major increase of unemployed citizens. Let's face it, our economy is not in a position to take such a huge blow, we are already at 10.2% unemployment as of October 2009..



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Nov 14 2009, 7:43 pm Centreri Post #79

Relatively ancient and inactive

Good. Let MacDonalds burn, and let healthier alternatives emerge from the rubble. If we're at the point where our economy depends on us being fat, something has to change.



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Nov 15 2009, 3:43 am EzTerix Post #80



Let the obese people eat what they want to eat. They'll see the error in their actions eventually. They won't wake up till they're diagnosed with some sort of disease coming from obesity like heart disease, it's just stupid. All the healthy food choices are all around them, it's not that hard to go and find some healthy food to eat.



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