October 17, 2007

"Individuals can no longer be held responsible for obesity and government must act to stop Britain 'sleepwalking' into a crisis."

BBC reports.

32 comments:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Big Nanny Government. Going to tell us what and when to eat, how much to exercise and will punish us by taxes or other personal punitive measures. Watch out America. This is what government controlled health care looks like.

We are already on the slippery slope of losing the right to make personal choices. While I agree that smoking is bad, over eating not a good idea, cheap high fat foods are contributing to unhealthy lifestyles and people need to exercise more....do we want the government to be in control of every aspect of our lives. By allowing the government to provide health care, we have opened the door for them to dictate the terms.

What's next. Sex techniques that are approved by Big Nanny, who knows what is good for us. We've already been told that "things will be taken away from us for our own good." http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1845969/posts

I would like to reserve the right to make my own bad choices and the people of the United States should reserve the right to not have to pay for my bad choices.

Tim said...

The Socialist's Creed: ""Individuals can no longer be held responsible for _________ and government must act to stop - insert nation name here - 'sleepwalking' into a crisis."

Redistribution of wealth and freedom soon follow.

Too Cool for School said...

if we had socialized health care, we'd be banning big macs too. And even though our system is primarily private, we do have things like medicaid and medicare, so obesity is a taxpayer cost-item. Just sayin. Sorry to bog down the anti-big government rant with actual policy.

Roger said...

I have great difficulty with the term "epidemic." It conflates obesity, a condition, with a disease. That said, it is an interesting (apparent) paradox that in spite of the "epidemic" of obesity, that life spans of the societies most at risk for obesity are are increasing. I used the term apparent because obesity relates to an individual while life span is an aggregate number.

dd said...

unreal
lets let the central committee decide what we should drive what we should wear.........there is a reason Y the USSR fell (although Russia looks to be headed back down that road again).

whats up with liberals

what happened to the pursuit of happiness- even if that means eating an unhealthy cheeseburger....
what about liberty let me do as I damn please (as long as i dont directly harm or am at risk of directly harming others)

what is this crazy world coming to
I guess they want us all to become zombies

Dust Bunny Queen said...

we do have things like medicaid and medicare, so obesity is a taxpayer cost-item.

Creeping socialism. Like boiling the frog we won't notice until it is too late.

Joan said...

I'm reading Gary Taubes' brilliant, thorough Good Calories, Bad Calories which thoroughly debunks the idea that eating fat makes you fat.

It's the carbs, in disproportionate quantities, and it has ever been thus. There is abundant research to support this conclusion, and literally NO research to support the fat-makes-you-fat, fat-causes-heart-disease, and fat-causes-cancer theories that are accepted as conventional wisdom for the past 40 or so years. Yes, there is research on these questions, but not a bit of it proves what the authors said it did. Reading Taubes' book is depressing, as study after study is undertaken, does not support the fat hypothesis, and then the results are either discarded, discounted, or re-interpreted so as to allow the fat hypothesis to continue.

In the 1950s and for decades before, it was common sense that if you wanted to lose weight you'd cut back on starches and sweets. What changed? A few key players in medicine (medical research, actually, which is not the same thing), and government got an idea and held onto it like pit bulls. It turns out that idea was wrong, and you can see the results everywhere. Ancel Keys has done more to damage the health and fitness of the human race than any other single individual, ever.

Taubes deals with obesity in great detail. All research shows that the obese do NOT eat more than average-weight people. There is NO research that shows that calorie-reducing, even semi-starvation, diets work, EXCEPT when they are high protein and low carb, whether or not they are high fat. And for most people, exercise doesn't help you lose weight, because the more you move, the greater your appetite. This is not opinion, but results from numerous obesity studies.

Governments could get behind reduced sugar and refined carbs and have a positive effect. To date there have been no randomized, long-term trials of the different diets, although the many small studies, and very large prospective studies, support "it's the carbs" completely. Taubes' pleads for the large studies so that we can get a definitive answer and stop eating ourselves into obesity.

I wonder how long it will take. At some point reality will overtake the cognitive dissonance in the medical research community and they'll swing back around to interpreting the results they're getting rather than dismissing what doesn't fit their preconceived ideas.

I hate nanny-statism as much as anyone, but the "it's not their fault they're fat" is the part that I do agree with. For people with metabolic disorder, eating the so-called Standard American Diet will make them fat. Following the Food Pyramid's recommendations will make them fat. That is not their fault, it's their metabolisms. If governments got behind lowering carbohydrates as much as they have been behind low fat, it could have a profound effect on public health. Of course they have to admit they were wrong, first, which is the real problem, isn't it?

ricpic said...

If an obese person has a lifespan 9 years shorter and a severely obese person 12 years shorter than those of average or appropriate weight...what's the problem? Even if you buy into the socialist vision don't the obese cost "us" (society, the government) less than the citizen of average weight? After all, during the years of greatest drawdown, the so called golden years, they're dead!

Henry said...

Apparently, what makes obesity inevitable is "energy-dense and cheap foods, labour-saving devices, [and] motorised transport".

I think I'll take the risk.

Original Mike said...

dd asked: whats up with liberals?

As previously established in these chronicles, they're facists.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I have great difficulty with the term "epidemic." It conflates obesity, a condition, with a disease.

Of course it's a disease. When you are wingers going to learn???????

If YOU think that anyone chooses to be obese you're DELUSIONAL.

?????????????

Read more talk less.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sorry about that post. I picked up the new Luckyoldson keyboard at Worst Buy last night. I think I’ll take it back.

Original Mike said...

ricpic is right. The same is true of smoking. In an effort to gussy up their state-run health care dreams, the socialized medicine pushers like to gussy up their argument with an economic justification. But is doesn't hold water. We all die, and most will spend a big wad of health care dollars at the end of our life. Longer life means more expense, not less. They should stick with, "it's the right thing to do", not "it will save us money".

Roger said...

Original Mike--one of my profession's in jokes is that life has a bad outcome no matter what you do.

Original Mike said...

Roger - you're a physician?

Roger said...

Hoosier daddy: I think you've got it! BTW, there is human genome research being done on obesity--if indeed there is some genetic basis for obesity, then it may well be a disease. At this point, the DNA evidence isnt there.

Roger said...

no--epidemiologist.

Original Mike said...

Ahh. There's wisdom in that joke. It seems to be something that people often forget. I always liked: "In the long run, we're all dead." (Keynes) I try to keep reminding myself of that as I plan for retirement.

Long life is great for the individual. For society, not so much.

Ann Althouse said...

About that slow-boiled frog. It's been tested. The frog jumps out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

About that slow-boiled frog. It's been tested. The frog jumps out.

Ah..well. Another urban legend blown to he%%.

BTW: What kind of person tests this type of thing !! Just kill the frog and fry the legs. Much more humane...and tasty.

Simon said...

As others have said, this is perfectly rational once you buy into the state provided healthcare paradigm. If the state administers and pays your healthcare costs, then undertaking purely volitional conduct that increases your healthcare needs starts to look like cheating, like getting more than your fair share, like welfare fraud. And in due course, it starts to seem entirely rational for the state to limit its liabilities by regulating conduct. You might even call it something evocative like, I don't know, "the road to serfdom" or something...

Hoosier Daddy said...

There was a move out in the early 1990's called Demolition Man starring Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes. It was set in a future where society was this antiseptic utopia where all things bad: cigarettes, salt, sugar, fast food, meat, swearing were illegal.

Funny how 15 years later how much our society is moving toward looking like a Stallone B movie backdrop.

Too Cool for School said...

and here I thought we were moving towards the vision of the future depicted in Idiocracy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbxq0IDqD04

nick danger said...

There was a move out in the early 1990's called Demolition Man starring Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes. It was set in a future where society was this antiseptic utopia where all things bad: cigarettes, salt, sugar, fast food, meat, swearing were illegal.

Funny because a couple of hours ago I almost posted this but didn't:

"I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - 'Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?' I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing 'I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener.'"

Hoosier Daddy said...

"I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice.

So are most liberals up to the point said speech offends someone or those choices include trans-fats.

Original Mike said...

Hoosier Daddy: Just be grateful that all restaurants are not yet Taco Bell.

Pogo said...

In the April 18, 2004 NYTimes Magazine, Senator Hillary Clinton (D–NY) discussed the notion of “our collective health.” Citing productivity losses, health expenses, and national security, she endorsed a national policy to take into account social and environmental factors in designing neighborhoods and schools, to “control dangerous behaviors,” and to implement “required responsibility” for individual health concerns.

It's already happening in England. Control is the issue. Government surveillance of all children is being introduced: “a £224 million database tracking all 12 million children in England and Wales from birth.”

Doctors, schools, and the police will have to alert the database for a wide variety of concerns, such as whether children are eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and learning prescribed nursery rhymes. If a child fails to meet state targets, this could start an investigation. The information gathered “would include subjective judgments such as ‘Is the parent providing a positive role model?’, as well as sensitive information such as a parent’s mental health.”



Their soft fascism will come to these shores soon enough, i'm afraid.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just be grateful that all restaurants are not yet Taco Bell.

Given the open border mentality by both parties, I'm figuring they will be by 2015.

Chris said...

I lost 45 pounds over the summer, and it shows no signs of coming back. I did it with help from one of the Doctor Bernstein clinics, where I mostly got an education about food. I'd been trying to lose weight for years, but when I started eating better (not less) the pounds literally just dropped off. It wasn't hard at all.

I can agree that it's not someone's fault if they're obese UNTIL they get themselves educated - but then, even that's a personal responsibility. I don't see how government intervention is going to help, beyond mandating nutritional education in schools - which is something school boards shouldn't have to be ordered to do in the first place.

Pogo said...

Oh, the State can easily make you lose weight.

How? Poverty via socialism.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Cienfuegos, Cuba and Loyola University studied the effects of the economic crisis of Cuba in 1989-2000.
After the fall of the USSR, Cuba lost $5B per year, and with a third world economy, people began to starve.
Calorie intake fell from 2,899 kcal in 1988 to 1,863 kcal in 1993. Food intake thus dropped below nutritional requirements.

Conclusion on mass near-starvation induced by poverty?
"Population-wide approaches designed to reduce caloric intake and increase physical activity, without affecting nutritional sufficiency, might be best suited for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.“
"long-term population-wide interventions by encouraging physical activity and the reduction of caloric intake"

And it's true: Starve people or rats, and they live much longer. I have said it before: these people aren't joking.

Kev said...

About that slow-boiled frog. It's been tested. The frog jumps out.

I know that this is an urban legend, but I've used the term "boiling the frog" in my music teaching in the past (as recently as today!). The subject comes up when I talk about gradually increasing the speed of a piece of music by one or two metronome clicks a day; doing so helps the piece get played faster without the player even knowing it's happening.

(I do point out the legendary status of the "boiling the frog" concept, and I also often note that boiling would not be the best way to serve frog.)