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Big Fat Blog(22 posts)

Big Fat Blognova
Jun 28, 2002 7:17 AM
More than one site like this out there. Basically advocates and apologists for obesity.
a waste of free speech and electrons nmDougSloan
Jun 28, 2002 7:19 AM
sorry, that was a bit intolerant :-) nmDougSloan
Jun 28, 2002 7:27 AM
There is a crisis coming...nova
Jun 28, 2002 7:36 AM
with the majority of Americans now being both sedentary and overweight. Somthing like 1 in 80 American males weighs 300 pounds or more, 1 in 200 American women are over 300 lbs. (saw that on or - and I don't believe everything I read...)

Adult Onset Diabetes -AOS- is up 70% in Amercans between the ages of 30 and 39 over the past couple of decades (wonder if that stat was adjusted for popluation growth...)

AND, AOS is showing up for the first time in pre-pubescent children in recent years.

I don't think we should legislate good health, but health care costs are going to skyrocket in the coming decades. These folks should pay more for health insurance premiums to help keep our costs in check.
social engineering taxation?DougSloan
Jun 28, 2002 8:50 AM
So, why not treat food like cigarettes -- tax the heck out of it on the theory that people will then buy less, be healthier, and use the tax money to fund educational programs and health care costs?

It seems we can't find a happy medium between fear of little girls becoming anorexic (which is horrible -- I'm not making fun) to mimic supermodels and obesity. Are we simply a nation of extremes?

article about that...nova
Jun 28, 2002 9:17 AM
There is an article about just that in the recent issue of Men's Health. (hey! it was a gift subscription) Burger King, Wendy's, McDonalds, etc. would be treated much the same as the tobacco companies. (heavy taxes, strict advertising restrictions, etc.)

Based on the info I have, I don't agree with that approach. But then, I used to smoke (yeah, just admitting that is like having a big red "LOSER" tatooed to my forehead) and smokers pay higher insurance premiums for obvious reasons. That makes sense, and I agree with it. Why should the insurance companies bear the financial burden caused by my decision to suck poison into my lungs?

But now we are talking about the food which sustains our lives. We MUST eat, (no one MUST smoke) and there is no excuse for not having responsibility for what you put in your mouth, chew, and swallow, especially now that so much information about healthy lifestyles is available.

The overweight and obese are in the majority, the fit are in the minority. But print, TV, film, fashion runways, etc. are populated entirely by fit-looking people. The anorexics of the world are caught in the psychological wasteland of commercial imagery which DEPICTS everyone as being slender and by popular definition sexy. But shut the TV off, and reality is much different. No wonder children get confused, and begin to binge and purge.
ok, a fat taxDougSloan
Jun 29, 2002 7:35 AM
Yes, on your body. The government determines your ideal BMI, then you are taxed on increments over that.

No, I'm not serious. The airlines couldn't even get away with that, and it actually makes some sense (more weight means more fuel required).

I've saved $12,230 over 12 years by quitting smoking (nm)Kristin
Jun 28, 2002 10:09 AM
yeah but you probably spent it on bike a wash (nm)ColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 10:19 AM
Not sure what I spent it on, but its sure not in the bank (nm)Kristin
Jun 28, 2002 10:20 AM
well...super sized mcdonalds meal is cost-effectiveColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 10:18 AM
you gotta admit that for $5 you can get a real stomachload of food from mcdonalds. if you're eating out you often pay extra to eat healthy food. same with places like costco/sams club. you ever notice how cheap all that crappy junk food is? no wonder people buy that junk for their kids. it's easier than cooking and likely cheaper to boot.
Sin and Consumption TaxesJon Billheimer
Jun 28, 2002 11:35 AM
The problem with the tax-the-bad-stuff policy is that it simply addicts all levels of government to new revenues which results in more and bigger governments and more taxation hypocrisy. This is hardly a conservative or libertarian approach. It's just more patronizing social engineering. And the ultimately desired social result, e.g. fewer fat people, will never materialize.
Jun 28, 2002 11:44 AM
and you can see how well the "tax the cigs and booze" have done to curb their use.
Nation of extremesStampertje
Jun 28, 2002 3:37 PM
I have often wondered just that. It seems to me that Americans are often overdoing things. Bigger is better, in more ways then one.

My girlfriends parents are a prime example. They frequently eat takeout and my girlfriends brother (15) almost exclusively eats KFC and Taco Bell for lunch. When "Dad" makes pancakes on Sunday he goes completely overboard and we're usually left with a stack to feed a hungry pack of long-distance racers (mind you they're good pancakes). Every now and then they go on a diet and eat nothing but carrots and lettuce until they give up. It never works. And when they finally got the idea that excercise might be good they started out by going to the gym 2 hours *daily*, even going past midnight if they didn't have time during the day. Needless to say, they couldn't keep that up.

But it applies to other things, as well. Most people either seem to ride a $100 WalMart bike or a $2,000+ road monster. Need a bigger house? A bigger car? Why not a castle? Some child psychologist argues that kids need praise to gain personal confidence and there's not enough room in the house to keep all the gold stars, but when somebody decides that all this praise is numbing them they can't get a compliment for pushing their grandparents out of the way of an oncoming truck.
How much of this is really true? How much of it is just what you see in the media? How much of it is *because* of what people see in the media?
The Dutch have elevated compromise and middle ground to a dogma, which isn't always good, but I have never seen people so extreme as in America. Why is there not more moderation?
Nation of choicesStarliner
Jun 29, 2002 8:57 AM
One could say that America's virtue of freedom and choice is also its vice. For marketers, the media is a key channel for reaching the people with messages of persuasion which don't always lead one to health and prosperity. Consumption, not moderation, is the message that people get. And people who are plugged into commercial media sources are in my view more likely to be impulsive and less thoughtful about their choices than people who are less plugged in.

Compared to European cultures, the American culture is much younger and consequently less weighted down by traditional customs. You should expect to find a lot of things happening here which seem strange.
Good pointStampertje
Jun 29, 2002 12:37 PM
Tradition dictates that excess is bad. That doesn't mean Europeans can't choose to be excessive - plenty of us are. But it leaves less room for blatant promotion of consumerism, credit card shopping, and late night double bacon cheeseburgers.

And yes, a lot of things here do seem strange to me :)

mini-rant: why can't I use my credit card at supermarkets in the Netherlands?
a waste of free speech and electrons nmcritmass
Oct 9, 2002 9:05 PM
Dubya's wag the dog need for all-out war with Iraq that places young American soldiers in imminent and unnecessary risk is predicated on his fear that the Republicans will lose BIG-TIME on Nov. 5th due to the flagging U.S. economy. He views his legacy in these terms; the American people deserve better of their leaders.

CIA views Saddam Hussein as a "very low" threat to US in the "foreseeable future"
without provocation.

"Intelligence community feeling pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books"

For all you Dickhead Armey fans, an example of his (lack of) character
Remember Prohibition? :)nova
Jun 30, 2002 4:16 AM
I don't, but I've read about it.

Seems that didn't work, despite the fact that it was an amendment to the friggin' consitution (which works overall, for the most part)
the drug war isn't working eitherColnagoFE
Jul 1, 2002 12:04 PM
and you don't too many politicians stumping to make drugs legal even though the drug war is a massive failure by most people's standards ...bad news recently where they now say you can test all high school students who participate in extracurricular activities involuntarily. high school is getting to be more and more of a police state these days IMO. Check your rights at the door. Why do they even bother studying about civil rights when it doesn't apply to them?
Jul 1, 2002 12:36 PM
Is the failure to achieve a goal sufficient justification to abandon the goal? What if murder were rampant? Would we legalize killing?

If parents took more responsibility for their children the high school police states would not be required, in my view. Enough parents have to some extent made the schools surrogates for all parenting that the schools must act accordingly. If the parents don't know what their kids are in to, the schools must. In loco parentis.

killing does not = drug use IMOColnagoFE
Jul 1, 2002 1:26 PM
That's the key here...pretty much everyone is against killing. Most people have smoked pot at one time or another and probably had a good time doing it. Never lead to stronger drugs. Maybe ordered a cheese pizza because they got hungry. The funny thing is that some drugs such as marijuana are thought less harmful than the legal alternatives of alcohol and nicotine. When was the last time a stoned person went crazy and started a bar fight? Why spend billions of $ in our money fighting something that most people would not consider very harmful? Even harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin still flow freely into the country despite the efforts of the US to stop it. The only people benefitting from the drug war are the drug traffickers who can make incredible profits because the drugs are illegal. With legalization there would be much less violence over "turf" and such. And addicts could get help instead of jail time.
libertarian hereDougSloan
Jul 1, 2002 4:12 PM
Hey, I'm with you, at least to the extent of being consistent. To me, alcohol+tobacco=marijuana. What's the difference?

An assumption of libertarian philosophy is that people can be educated to make intelligent decisions for themselves. If a 14 year old is made addicted to LSD, we have a problem. Also, part of the problem is that many people really aren't all that intelligent, or at least make a lot of really stupid decisions. Drawing the line at how stupid we will let people be is a big problem.