Obesity: Dubble-yoo-tee-eff?

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#1
So I watched an episode of the lovely Penn and Teller's "Bullshit" the other night concerning fast food and I have to say it was pretty entertaining and quite interesting to say the least. They've never hid their bias in their shows but they still brought up a lot of good points including concepts of Americans just being unwilling to change their diets as being the core of the problem and not the food itself. The food is clearly not healthy, but watch the episode if you have the time (it's on Youtube so I'll post the vids in the below spoiler). It's about 30 mins but worth the watch. It is also NSFW due to some language and a few seconds of great tits. But nothing overtly sexual.

You've been warned.


I thought I'd share my opinions though as to what methods the US is trying and how they're failing.

TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX! - It's always been a stupid concept, "Tax the fuck out of the people for something they love and use your PR time to claim it's about preventing some sort of action or usage of something". The suits on Capitol Hill know it never works but they know it gets them paid so why fix what isn't broken? Perfect example: Cigarette taxation. Money doesn't deter most people from paying for cigarettes because it's something they want on a physical and psychological level. Not to mention, most of the people eating fast food are eating it because it's all they can manage or because it's what's most convenient for them. So once again, you're taxing people that really can't pay much more out of their pockets than they already are. Taxing has always been a way for the government to just bring in more money, not a way of solving problems.

Not to mention, look into how much the government gives to corn farmers to realize they really don't give a shit about obesity. Corn gives us high fructose corn syrup, one of the most demonized ingredients in the entire food world . . . and your tax dollars are going to the production of it, while at the same time, the government wants to tax you for buying it. See a problem yet?

Calorie counts on menus -
Once again, it's been shown that Americans are actually pretty good at knowing what they're eating and how bad it is for them. So it's not too clear what line of thinking this "answer" came from but it's not helping anyone. Maybe in fifty years of repeatedly seeing this information it may scare people into changing but this is not something that will have any effect anytime soon. Sure, we'll have small percentages of people turning away and changing their habits, but guilting people only goes so far.

What are your thoughts? How can you possibly stop obesity? Why do we constantly focus on fast food? Aren't there other more prominent factors?
 

Iris

rainbow 11!
#2
One thing that could help is instead of focusing on the adults who can't be helped (but can only help themselves) focus on those we CAN help. Such as kids. Try to give public schools healthy AND edible food for lunch. Have the kids learning about health at a young age... Don't give them the complicated stuff, but merely promote what they can understand at their age.

Instead of make PE a one year thing in high school, make it a four year thing.

I know in my high school we had to take a life management class and then one other gym class. Totally to one school year, with half of it being physical activity.

Yeah, they can just not dress out. But give them more of a punishment, call home, write them up.

I don't think there is anything we can really do for adults and such. But we can help the kids.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#3
The problem is, a lot of schools teach health quite extensively and have good programs for teaching a healthy, active lifestyle. Even school lunches are way better than they used to be. I think the point you made that really hits home is the concept of PE or free time. Kids don't get nearly enough physical education anymore and they get nothing in terms of time to be outdoors and just run around. It's a lot healthier for the mind than the physical body even. But we've got these idiotic politicians for decades now that think if we just cut free time and increase schoolwork, our kids will do better.
 

Rectify88

Registered Member
#4
Yeah, I mean it still surprises me how much time is actually not spent learning in class. Like taking the school days into account and all that.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
#5
Please stay away from my kid. It is not the place of government, schools, or any other busybody association to tell my daughter how much or what to eat, nor how much or what kind of exercise to engage in. This idea that "society" needs to affect individual choices is ridiculous elitist thinking and a sign of what is wrong in our country.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#6
Please stay away from my kid. It is not the place of government, schools, or any other busybody association to tell my daughter how much or what to eat, nor how much or what kind of exercise to engage in. This idea that "society" needs to affect individual choices is ridiculous elitist thinking and a sign of what is wrong in our country.

Your daughter is lucky enough to have parents who care about her. What about those kids whose parents don't really care/can't be arsed to make good life decisions for their kids? Don't we as a society have an obligation to make sure everyone has a chance to be healthy? After all, we'll be burdened by the long-term financial costs of obesity, regardless of what type of health care system we have.

It's not all about you and yours. We're all in this together.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
#7
Your daughter is lucky enough to have parents who care about her. What about those kids whose parents don't really care/can't be arsed to make good life decisions for their kids? Don't we as a society have an obligation to make sure everyone has a chance to be healthy? After all, we'll be burdened by the long-term financial costs of obesity, regardless of what type of health care system we have.

It's not all about you and yours. We're all in this together.
So will you tell your daughter's fat friends parents how to raise their children? I just don't see that as the proper role of government or school. Where does school raising our children and usurping parental authority end? Apparently they think we are too stupid to raise our children properly. You know, passing out condoms, administering pregnancy tests, arranging abortions without parental knowledge or consent?
 
#8
So will you tell your daughter's fat friends parents how to raise their children? I just don't see that as the proper role of government or school. Where does school raising our children and usurping parental authority end? Apparently they think we are too stupid to raise our children properly. You know, passing out condoms, administering pregnancy tests, arranging abortions without parental knowledge or consent?
This article is a year old, but are you saying we as a society should have allowed the mom to continue ignoring her son's weight? You don't think this mom may have been just a little "too stupid to raise her son properly"?

S.C. case looks on child obesity as child abuse. But is it? - USATODAY.com

Sometimes, intervention is a necessity.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#9
So will you tell your daughter's fat friends parents how to raise their children? I just don't see that as the proper role of government or school. Where does school raising our children and usurping parental authority end? Apparently they think we are too stupid to raise our children properly. You know, passing out condoms, administering pregnancy tests, arranging abortions without parental knowledge or consent?

dude, some people are too stupid to raise their children. Children don't come with an automatic 20 extra IQ points for the parents. It's like Keanu Reaves' character in Parenthood said "you need a license to buy a dog, drive a car, hell you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father". So what do we say to those kids whose parents don't give a crap? "sorry your parents are losers, kid, but it's not our place to help you. Good luck with life and all that"?

No, I'm not going to tell my daughter's fat friends' parents how to raise their kids, but maybe the fat kids will have a chance if they learn in school how to make good nutrition and health decisions.

What about the kids whose parents don't teach them about responsibility when it comes to birth control? Do we just let those kids go ahead and become teenage parents and not have a chance to make something of their lives?

Do we really care so little about others that we'll let our society crumble around us because it's not our responsibility? Again, we are all in this together.
 
#10
But back on topic: TAX, I agree the government solution to everything is tax. It has never solved any problem but gives politicians more power and influence over our lives.

Calorie counts only add to the cost of our food.

There is one simple solution to obesity: stop consuming more calories than you burn. Step away from the fries and put down that soft drink.