100 lb. Club - Could the government prevented you from becoming obese?




CLCSC145
06-02-2009, 03:24 PM
I was just reading this article in Newsweek (http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/06/01/is-the-recession-making-americans-fatter.aspx) about how a poll showed that there was a jump in the number of obese people in the US this last year.

The article goes on to ask what the government is doing about it saying, "Governments are stepping in to help encourage people to make healthier choices: In some states, the government has taken an active role in battling the bulge by banning trans fats, while the Senate is contemplating a tax on sugary drinks. In Italy, local governments are offering cash incentives for those who lose weight. But even with incentives, the odds are against those who've already gained weight, including the newly obese as reported in this Gallup survey. "We don't see a lot of decline in aggregate terms of population levels," says Clarke. "We're just seeing a steady increase."

My political beliefs lean heavily toward less government involvement in our daily lives so this just irked me. Looking back on my life as a fat person, no government program could have prevented it and I would not have expected it to (and in fact resent any meddling in my life by them!). I accept full responsibility for my unhealthy actions and despite the outcome, appreciate that I have the freedom to make my own choices, even bad ones.

Do you believe the government could or should have saved you from obesity? Or do think that it's a matter of personal responsibility and the government should stay out of it?


matt_H
06-02-2009, 03:29 PM
My beliefs are probably very similar to yours. I'm responsible for the choices I've made in life (including what foods I ate and how much I've exercised).

I'm all for educating the public about making healthier choices, but I don't believe in big brother telling people who is best *for them*.

rochemist
06-02-2009, 03:33 PM
Government keep me for obesity? NO (I echo the sentiments of the above about government)

I chose the food and exercise for me, but hey if they want to offer an incentive for me to take it off, no shame in getting paid to do what I am already doing.


kiramira
06-02-2009, 03:38 PM
No. It serves as an excuse for lots of people, IMHO, to eat poorly and not take responsibility for the consequences.

It is so interesting to see that if you look at obesity and ask the question "why?", sociologists say that society is to blame. Doctors view it as a health issue. Psychologists/Psychiatrists say this is an inner battle. Addictionologists say this is a diease of food addiction. Economists say it is an economic issue. Government views this as a policy and taxation issue. And this brings to mind the old adage:
"If you are a hammer, every problem is a nail"!
meaning that those agencies view the problems through their narrow persepectives that their training provides, and maybe the REAL problem isn't being addressed.

Anyways, I say to heck with all of that! I am old enough to take responsibility for my actions. I ate too much. I moved too little. I got fat. Now I have to deal with the consequences. And I choose to move beyond the "whys" to acting on it...

Now, I'm all for the governemental tax credit for kids' sports costs that those in Canada get! I wish it applied to all gym memberships! Or any sports activity. Any tax break would be great! And junk food in schools is just wrong, on so many levels...

Kira

cfmama
06-02-2009, 03:40 PM
The government could NOT have prevented me from getting fat. HOWEVER I am ALL FOR reducing HFCS and transfats in prepackaged food. Especially when it`s marketed towards children.

Slashnl
06-02-2009, 03:44 PM
No, the government has nothing to do with my situation. I wish they were a lot less involved in our daily lives. I don't have a problem with them providing education, but do not mandate changes.

We are responsible for our choices. We need to make sure WE know what we are eating and what we give our kids.

wish4fit
06-02-2009, 03:45 PM
I'll play devil's advocate and disagree here. I'd like to see more regulation over food in the US. Much of what is sold in American grocery stores these days was not even classified as food 50 years ago or didn't even exist as food. If we weren't so bombarded with junk at every corner and had more options for healthy foods (esp in restaurants) I truly think the obesity epidemic wouldn't be as bad as it is. While I agree that we all have choices, many of us experience obesity and weight gain before we even reach adulthood - before we have the maturity to make good eating choices. I don't advocate for getting rid of ice cream and potato chips, but I do think our government can do a better job of keeping things like trans-fats and high-fructose-corn-syrup of the shelves. We know these things are terrible for the human body and actually increase the likelihood of obesity. We have perfectly delicious real fat and sugar and we are clear on the risks. Aren't those good enough?

slimmingsi
06-02-2009, 04:02 PM
i'm going to disagree i'd imagine the drill is the same there as here. junk is cheap quality costs. for example should you choose to go to maccy d's for example milk costs the equiverlant of 2.50 a pint. where as you can get a mega soda for half that.

in the shops its the same you can pick up chocolate bars for 30p but a flapjack or something similar is at the cheapest 50p.

at the very least the government should tax all junk food and drink so they are sold at a comparable price to healthy foods. this will make it a straight choice for the consumer over diet and taste as opposed to budget.

TJFitnessDiva
06-02-2009, 04:05 PM
I think the government is responsible for me being as fat as I was (just joking! Just wanted to know what it felt like to blame the gov for something that wasn't in their control :lol:)

It's sad to even consider that the government would have to step in on something like this. It amazes me at the sparkling business ethics these food companies have...all in the name of the almighty buck.

The bad stuff is cheap, the public is uneducated about their health and the majority has this "might as well die eating this yummy fat drenched food!"...on one hand I say ban the unhealthy crap but is that really the answer?

On the other hand I would love to see the blinders ripped off of people's eyes. Kind of like what my mom did when she caught me trying to smoke when I was 13 (she's a retired nurse)...what did she do? Took me to the basement of Charity Hospital in New Orleans and showed me this nasty black lung in a jar, then she showed me a regular lung. Not a nice tactic but it worked ;)

slimmingsi
06-02-2009, 04:13 PM
the only way you can achieve this is parity on price which means taxing junk food into line with health food.

a family on a budget is more likely to buy bulk junk food meals that are cheap and have spare cash to put aside for other things than to buy more expensive quality food.

matt_H
06-02-2009, 04:18 PM
Si, taxing junk food would be the most regressive of taxes. It will end up making poor people poorer. The key here is education, not government intrusion.

Delphi
06-02-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm all for less government, but when situations become an epidemic then perhaps it's high time someone take some initiative. Especially, starting with our children and educating them and getting them more active in school. I'm all for incentive programs for losing weight. It may not be your cup of tea, but it may for the next man. Tax breaks, for gym costs and lower prices for healthier food. I would be all for taxing junk food. That's the problem now. Low income families, especially larger families tend to buy in bulk, and what they are buying isn't healthy rather something that will last more than a day. More bang for their buck! This is where the governments focus should be. Finding a way, for lower income families to actually afford healthy food's.

Rosinante
06-02-2009, 04:19 PM
I think the government should take a radical and proactive approach to healthy eating with the banning of outlets that sell sometimes literally life threatening foods - as in ready meals, restaurant meals etc, not the banning of individual foods, if people choose to deliberately create gutbusters for themselves, who can help?
I also think there should be an insistence on healthy eating education from cradle to grave, the kind that's unembarrased, matter of fact and factual. Sure people can choose bad choices but I truly believe most peoples' bad choices are made out of genuine ignorance, not malice.
Of course, it needs a change of mindset in the population though: too many people reject advice from all sides as a matter of free choice. I'm not convinced we should allow people the free choice to kill themselves/burden the health service.
I think our government should be less prescriptive about very many things but take things like the nation's health extremely seriously.

TJFitnessDiva
06-02-2009, 04:22 PM
Yeah but taxing junk food is just going to have them buy it at higher prices just like people that smoke just fork over the extra cash. Sure there are a few that quit but not clearly as close as the ones still paying.

Just think....
Without educating ourselves in the beginning we have no idea what to really buy right? We start off with lettuce, etc that we know are typical diet foods, the lucky few in weight loss come here or have other help and we find guidance/education that helps us on the journey. Is it worth it to the people if they tax all this stuff? No unless they totally jump up their health campaign....but I have a feeling that the government would be just like the greedy food companies. They'd like that money coming in too much.

kiramira
06-02-2009, 04:27 PM
Why not tax the crap even if it doesn't stop people from buying it, then take the tax money and funnel it into improving/esablishing universal school breakfast/lunch programs and after school sports programs? And public health education? Give kids a chance at health 2 meals of the day and estabishing a healthy view of exercise...

Kira

slimmingsi
06-02-2009, 04:31 PM
junk food tastes good all the education in the world will never override the chemical high of bad food.

as for regressive tax perhaps taxing junk food and using the revenue to subsidise healthy food making it cheaper there by making it a better option.

the only reason atm it would be regressive is that bad food is currently cheap food which is why its purchased.

for all those intersted in the true cost of food there is a book called eating. will dig it out and get author details in a bit but essentially it looks at the actual cost of say a cheap factory chicken. is costs X amount per pound less than an organic one but then they factor in the enviromental costs to the tax payers for the damange this type of farming does etc. very interesting read.

TJFitnessDiva
06-02-2009, 04:36 PM
There are so many other things that that money would go for. Nothing is as simple as it could be with the gov and I think most people realize that.

I'm all for tax breaks though but hoping for funded programs to be formed is a bit of a stretch. At least in our lifetime.

I'm trying not to be jaded as far as the government helping but with the things I've seen happen in NO the past few years has seriously got me doubting the whole system from local on up to the national level. It's easy for them to make promises but the people who are just waiting for the Gov to help with this is totally fooled.

rocketbunny
06-02-2009, 04:44 PM
I think taxing junk food goes a little too far, but I'm all for legislation which forces restaurants to put nutrition information prominently on their menus (ie right next to the food). Even if it isn't always completely accurate, it gives people an idea of what they're putting into their mouths.

slimmingsi
06-02-2009, 04:50 PM
but what good is that infomation if one is considerably cheaper than the other and has all the good tasting junk people are programmed to eat. ever had a fast food meal and felt wonderful till about half and hour later? then you feel awful and only more junk food makes you better?

i'm all for nutritional info but it means nothing compared to money. and the perceptions of cost i.e more on the plate for less money equals better value

Qualera
06-02-2009, 04:52 PM
There is nothing the government could do to have stopped me from being overweight. My problem is eating too much of whatever it is I am eating. I generally eat healthy, just too much of it.

I do think agree that if the government wants to spend money to encourage health, the schools would be a good place. Improving the quality of food served in the cafeterias would be a good first step. They also need to bring back daily PE classes in elementary schools.

It would also be good, if they are going to subsidize food at all, to make good food choices cheaper. They already subsidize beef and other meats. It would be better to make vegetables cheaper (especially fresh produce) and let meats cost a little more. I get tempted to buy junk food because it is cheaper than eating well, and money is very limited.

Thighs Be Gone
06-02-2009, 04:57 PM
I would like to see more incentives for companies to produce healthier foods. I would also like to see a bigger push towards preventive medicine--healthy weight being one focus of that. For instance, seeing a nutritionist isn't covered by my insurance even when I was obese. Maternity care is offered but birth control methods or family planning are not. I would also like rewards for attaining and sustaining healthier weight. If healthier weight individuals are statistically less likely to have medical issues that should be factored into insurance rates. It can be compared to high-risk drivers and the cost of car insurance.

Yep, the government is directly responsible for my mishap with the buttercream cake! Hehehe.

slimmingsi
06-02-2009, 05:01 PM
the bottom line is its not the governments fault its ours regardless of country however. with obesity being a problem now and people not working through weight and weight related problems its affecting the economny on a growing scale (no pun) so essentially it is becoming the governments problems i know over here for example the basic training of some of the forces has had to be increased in duration due to the poor shape of raw recruits

Alana in Canada
06-02-2009, 05:29 PM
Food in the U.s. is extraordinarily complicated at the governmental level.

Just to put my views on Government out on the table: I do not think that the government needs to "interfere" with people and tell them what to do, nor is the government "responsible" for obesity.

But lobbies are extremely powerful in the U.S.--especially those related to food. If U.S. citizens do not rear up and tell their representatives in government to listen the THEM, then they will listen to the lobbyists--and things like food containing HFCS will be labelled "natural" because there is no countervailing common sense pressure to do otherwise.

An imbalance exists as well between the advertising budgets of say, fruits and vegetable producers and candy bar manufacturers. The government could up the budgets of fruit and veg manufacturer's for advertising. Might be difficult to do poitically--but maybe not.

Another approach to the same problem may be simply banning all food advertising from kids' shows.

mandalinn82
06-02-2009, 05:37 PM
In my opinion, right now the government is ENCOURAGING obesity. While I don't think it's the job of the government to PREVENT overeating, I do believe there is a responsibility for government programs not to encourage overconsumption of cheap, unhealthy calories, which is what is going on now.

The reason HFCS appears in so many foods, and those foods can then be marketed so cheaply, is that HFCS is a byproduct of corn. The government pays farmers to produce more and more corn through subsidies...way more than is needed for more common uses. So the excess gets pumped into corn byproducts like HFCS, which are sold on the cheap because they are essentially being paid for by the government.

The government isn't passive on consumption now...food subsidies and lobbying have ensured that the government is actively encouraging overproduction and overconsumption of cheap calories. So my ultimate goal would be to eliminate that intervention altogether. Of course, doing that would put farmers out of business, which would be similarly bad, so I do think that some sort of healthy food subsidy program would be useful to help transition the farmers cranking out fields of corn destined for junk food toward farming something that would help, not harm, the health of the American people.

rocketbunny
06-02-2009, 05:41 PM
I would like to see more incentives for companies to produce healthier foods. I would also like to see a bigger push towards preventive medicine--healthy weight being one focus of that. For instance, seeing a nutritionist isn't covered by my insurance even when I was obese. Maternity care is offered but birth control methods or family planning are not. I would also like rewards for attaining and sustaining healthier weight. If healthier weight individuals are statistically less likely to have medical issues that should be factored into insurance rates. It can be compared to high-risk drivers and the cost of car insurance.

Actually, some companies do look at this stuff. My health insurance is higher cost because I'm past a certain weight limit (so that's an incentive). Also, my health insurance covers birth control but not maternity care (I'll have to add that as an option when I decide to start having children).

MugCanDoIt
06-02-2009, 05:44 PM
I dont blame anybody but myself. Im the one who stuffed my face so many times I ballooned to an unhealthy weight.

ANOther
06-02-2009, 05:50 PM
In my opinion, right now the government is ENCOURAGING obesity. While I don't think it's the job of the government to PREVENT overeating, I do believe there is a responsibility for government programs not to encourage overconsumption of cheap, unhealthy calories, which is what is going on now.

The reason HFCS appears in so many foods, and those foods can then be marketed so cheaply, is that HFCS is a byproduct of corn. The government pays farmers to produce more and more corn through subsidies...way more than is needed for more common uses. So the excess gets pumped into corn byproducts like HFCS, which are sold on the cheap because they are essentially being paid for by the government.

The government isn't passive on consumption now...food subsidies and lobbying have ensured that the government is actively encouraging overproduction and overconsumption of cheap calories. So my ultimate goal would be to eliminate that intervention altogether. Of course, doing that would put farmers out of business, which would be similarly bad, so I do think that some sort of healthy food subsidy program would be useful to help transition the farmers cranking out fields of corn destined for junk food toward farming something that would help, not harm, the health of the American people.

Corn biomass is used to make plastics; subsidize corn for that purpose. (Every school child learns how George Washington Carver found zillions of uses for peanuts and other Southern crop biomass; were any of those findings ever put into mass production?)

kiramira
06-02-2009, 05:57 PM
But I'm still responsible for eating the wrong food. And not moving enough. Me. No one else. I chose a Big Mac over the salad. I chose Dr. Pepper over bottled water. Me. Me. Me.
I can't solve the govermental issues nor those of society nor those of lobby groups. I CAN control my right hand which holds the fork...
Kira

sunflowergirl68
06-02-2009, 05:57 PM
Ok, so unhealthy food is cheap, but people still CHOOSE to buy and eat it.

I don't like that there are so many foods available that are unhealthy, but it's mainly our choices that determine our health.

@wish4fit: Yeah, sure we are bombarded with unhealthy foods, but we still choose to eat them. No one put a gun to my head and forced me to eat Cheetos.

Maybe the government can encourage people to eat healthier and exercise more, (**** I'd like a cash incentive to lose weight) but it's not their fault that junk food is cheap.

sunflowergirl68
06-02-2009, 05:58 PM
And, FTR, healthy food isn't expensive at all. Produce is very cheap.

sunflowergirl68
06-02-2009, 06:01 PM
but what good is that infomation if one is considerably cheaper than the other and has all the good tasting junk people are programmed to eat. ever had a fast food meal and felt wonderful till about half and hour later? then you feel awful and only more junk food makes you better?

And you still CHOOSE to eat more.

It's still their choice to go buy more or only buy junk food. Healthy food isn't expensive at all. It's very affordable.

Alana in Canada
06-02-2009, 06:06 PM
Maybe the government can encourage people to eat healthier and exercise more, (**** I'd like a cash incentive to lose weight) but it's not their fault that junk food is cheap.

Ahh, but it is. I think that's the point Mandalin and I were trying to make.

The reason HFCS appears in so many foods, and those foods can then be marketed so cheaply, is that HFCS is a byproduct of corn. The government pays farmers to produce more and more corn through subsidies...way more than is needed for more common uses. So the excess gets pumped into corn byproducts like HFCS, which are sold on the cheap because they are essentially being paid for by the government.

Mandalinn, thanks! You put that very well. It reminds me of a stat I read somewhere that something like 300 calories a day are produced in the US over and above what people need to consume (exports factored in). Those 300 calories thus need to be purchased (and consumed) by someone--and so the constant barrage to eat and eat and eat.

I'm trying to remember the name of the author I read who educated me about this. Wish I could remember. Marian something maybe? :dunno:

mandalinn82
06-02-2009, 06:18 PM
I definitely agree that people are responsible for what they put in their own mouths. Ultimately, that is where responsibility lies. But I do think that the current farm subsidies system is "broken" in a way that damages the food supply, which encourages and contributes to obesity. And if that subsidy program could be modified in such a way that moved the government money already being spent from crops used primarily to make junk to crops used primarily to be eaten with minimal processing, I think that would be a positive thing.

Sunflower - vegetables ARE cheap in CA, particularly in farming areas, like we are both in. I am always amazed when my friends from out of state and non-farming areas come to visit, and comment on how much my basket of produce would cost them after it traveled cross-country from the area in which it's grown to where they live. I remember once I bought my produce for the week at a farmstand while a friend was visiting from the DC area. She commented that my $60 worth of produce would have cost her around $150 to purchase at her supermarkets. It blew my mind...I'd never be able to afford to eat the way I do if I didn't have access to CA market prices.

And it's even worse in some cities or neighborhoods, where access to produce is limited to what can be purchased at a ridiculous markup at a convenience store, unless you have access to a car to drive into a more suburban area. The average cost of a healthy diet increases dramatically as you move further away from the sources of production, either into an inner-city area or to a state away from where the bulk of US produce is grown.

kaplods
06-02-2009, 06:23 PM
Could the government have prevented me from becoming obese?

Maybe, maybe not, but I'm willing to accept help from anywhere I can find it - and be grateful for it (not blaming anyone if I can't or don't use the help).

I'm not sure why it's assumed that if there are governmental programs aimed at treating/preventing obesity, that it means that the government is accepting full responsibility or blame for obesity - and absolving all individuals from any responsibility.

There are governmental programs for all sorts of things. The "arts," are a perfect example. I don't believe anyone assumes that art would not exist without government, and I think stipends for weight loss would be a better use of governmental funds than stipends for writers and artists. But, governments (at least democratic republics "of the people") support what it's people value, and we value education and the arts, so we fund them. I think it's certainly reasonable for us/the government to value the physical health of citizens as much or more than eductation and fine arts.

I agree that governmental programs can't solve the obesity epidemic, but there are ways it can, and should be part of the solution, starting with undoing some of the damage that has been done by government. Withdrawing subsidies for the production of empty calories would be a great start.

I don't "blame" anyone for my obesity. I don't even blame myself, at least not in the "you're a bad person, Colleen - a bad, bad person" way that I was taught to. I've learned that there are a lot of factors that contribute to obesity, and they are not the same from person to person. I can not claim poverty as one of my factors. Well, I guess indirectly, I can. I was raised in a middle class family only one generation removed from abject poverty. Getting too much to eat, had never been a concern, so my parents and grandparents didn't really know how to deal with an obese child (I was the first, and to this date only person in the family to have been overweight as a child, as an adoptee I do wonder if there is a genetic component - not that I'm looking for a place to lay blame, just curious - and wonder if weight issues "run" in my bio-family).

Understanding every factor, even for myself is probably impossible, but knowledge is power, and I think the "risk" of providing excuses is a lot lower than the risk of providing individuals with power. Excuses don't find people, people find excuses. Discovering that there may be genetic factors to some obesity did not make me give up and blame genetics for my weight, but it did give me insight as to why I might have been such a freak all of my life, where appetite and weight were concerned. While some people may use genetics as an excuse - they would have found some other excuse if there had been no research finding genetic factors.

Likewise, federal, state, county, and city governments, corporations, health insurer's, employers, community and charity groups, neighbors, individuals, families...... all can be part of the solution without taking any blame. By acepting asistance from any of those sources, I'm not handing over responsibility for my weight loss to someone else.

I don't think that governmental regulation or programs need to be expensive or invasive to be helpful. Much of it, governmental programs already do, and have done for decades - improving their effectiveness and efficiency should be part of the process.

mandalinn82
06-02-2009, 06:28 PM
I know that Marian Nestle wrote on the topic in "What to Eat". Michael Pollan has also done some writing on this, in "The Omnivores Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food".

JulieJ08
06-02-2009, 06:33 PM
Do you believe the government could or should have saved you from obesity? Or do think that it's a matter of personal responsibility and the government should stay out of it?

I'm less irked by the government doing something than by having the issue framed as black or white, one extreme or the other.

kaplods
06-02-2009, 06:36 PM
I'm less irked by the government doing something than by having the issue framed as black or white, one extreme or the other.

I agree this is not a black and white issue. The government providing help for obesity does not mean the government is shouldering the blame or taking the responsibility for obesity. It's not necessary to be the source of the problem, to be part of the solution.


And, FTR, healthy food isn't expensive at all. Produce is very cheap.

As already said, this is not universally true. Firmly intrenched in the middle class, and always having had easy access to affordable transportation, I have never been unable to afford or access healthy food. However, in working in social services and law enforcement (as a probation officer), I worked with many people who were not as fortunate.

There are many people who not only have no reliable transportation, but also no reliable method of food storage. Yes, most poor families do have electricity and a refrigerator, but I still worked with many who frequently had their utilities (voluntarily or involuntarily) turned off during hard times. Many had no transportation, and had to buy from convenience stores, or small grocery stores in which healthier foods were quite expensive, or not available at all.

Only the wealthiest countries have obese poor. It's both to our credit and our shame that our poor are more likely to have obesity and food-excess issues (like high blood pressure, diabetes...) than the general population and the wealthy.

Tai
06-02-2009, 07:22 PM
The government didn't make me obese; I did a wonderful job of that all on my own. I take full responsibility for my poor food choices and sedentary lifestyle.

Produce in my area is extremely expensive. I have room in my maintenance calories to eat more if only it were more affordable.

Schmoodle
06-02-2009, 08:04 PM
I guess I still don't get it. DC was mentioned and I see Tai is MD, as am I. There are farming communities all around DC. I go to a great farmer's market. Last week I brought home a HUGE bag of leaf lettuce, packed and stuffed as full as they could get it - $2. My DH and I ate salads every day for a week from that bag. In the summer I get 3 zukes or cukes or green peppers for $1. Friends of mine in the city join co-ops. Yes, grocery stores can be expensive, for that reason produce is one thing I rarely buy at the grocery store. But a store brand box of frozen spinach or bag of broccoli is still a huge bargain. How is this more expensive than junk? I just don't believe it is - in this country at least. Now, not having transportation or access, that's a different issue.

Oh, and to answer the original post, I don't think the government had anything to do with my obesity. Since it is a national health issue, however, they should try to be part of the solution.

sunflowergirl68
06-02-2009, 08:18 PM
@kaplods: I'm poor and I've always managed to have access to fruits and vegetables. If someone doesn't have access to transportation, how on earth are they getting to the unhealthy food? If they can go to where the unhealthy food is, there is no excuse for not being able to get to where the healthy food is. And, most fast food places offer salads and lower-calorie options.

I just don't believe that smaller grocery stores have more expensive healthy foods. I shop at a small grocery store and I live in a more rural area, and it's still inexpensive. And if you live in a city, you can walk. I walk to buy my food. And there's always the bus. And there's always a farmer's market somewhere, and that is extremely cheap. I got a bag of spinach for $1 and it lasted a week.

I just think a lot of people like to make excuses. If they want to eat healthy, they'd find a way. Plus, many cities have food pantries and many churches are more than willing to help people get healthy food, and there's always food stamps. Sometimes you might have to go out of your way.

And if for some reason produce is more expensive where you live, it's easy to cut from another area of your expenses to allow for more money for groceries. I've had to do it. Also, frozen veggies are really cheap and they last long. Most people aren't dirt poor, and if they are, they are getting government help.

I guess I just hate it when people make excuse after excuse. I am fat because I ate unhealthy and didn't exercise. I chose to eat unhealthy.

Daimere
06-02-2009, 08:21 PM
.I'd never be able to afford to eat the way I do if I didn't have access to CA market prices.

And it's even worse in some cities or neighborhoods, where access to produce is limited to what can be purchased at a ridiculous markup at a convenience store, unless you have access to a car to drive into a more suburban area. .

Thank you for mentioning that. I live in Kentucky and what is locally grown is tobacco most of the time. Even the farmer's markets are still pricey. Right now, my boyfriend refuses to buy me bananas from Kroger or Walmart because he wants it from the farmers market to save 10 cents a pound but they don't have any yet.

mandalinn82
06-02-2009, 08:33 PM
It's interesting to see different perspectives on this.

A friend of mine works with kids who live in a neighborhood where the only food option within walking distance is a dollar tree. It sells no produce, period, but it does have an aisle of convenience foods, chips, and soda. The only food access to the neighborhood without getting SOME form of transport is this store. This is in Sacramento - despite being surrounded by farms, there is an access issue. And that's when they feel safe walking (daylight hours). These kids live in a gang area where you can't BE walking or on the bus after hours. It's a real problem in inner cities. The same people saying "Walk to get your food" also say "Well, walking is free exercise". Which is true, unless your life is endangered walking in your neighborhood. I personally have never had to live in a neighborhood where I felt that unsafe, but lots of people do, because they have no choice.

Food banks do pass out food. Unfortunately, a lot of the donations that come in are the processed, canned, sodium-filled stuff that they can store. Many food banks don't have access to refrigeration, so they can't keep produce or fresh foods as long. They do get some grain staples, but its not like a food bank is a full service grocery store...you take what you can get, and what you can get often isn't healthy, because people donate canned product.

For the record, I was fat because I ate too much and made bad choices. I grew up with every choice and advantage, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean that other people are genuinely subjected to circumstances that make obtaining healthy foods and eating a healthy diet really, really difficult. And I do believe that anything that can be done to improve access for those people would be money well spent.

kiramira
06-02-2009, 09:04 PM
You know, frozen or canned veggies are still better that Frito Lays any day of the week. As per http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002095.htm

Vegetables fresh from the farm or just picked are more nutritious than their frozen or canned counterparts, but frozen and canned vegetables are an acceptable nutritional alternative. Just be mindful of the amount of salt added to canned vegetables; try to buy those without added salt. And, don't overcook any vegetables.

So the rationale that it has to be FRESH or it is CRAP is misguided.
I recall when fresh romaine lettuce was $5.99 a head due to frost conditions killing the source of this produce. I didn't head over to the frozen pizza section in response -- I bought spinach instead..

And if those in underpriveleged areas have weight issues and want to address them, they will find a way. Food banks give out canned foods, and there is nothing wrong with canned veggies if that is the best that you can get. It sure beats McDos any day of the week. You can get a great workout in your own home -- you don't have to go outdoors to get fit. You can improve your fitness in your own living room.

And like I've said before, US poverty levels are around 12% of the population. For these people, there definitely are barriers to health. But not all of those living in poverty are overweight/obese. So why are some and not others? And IF we assume that all 12% in poverty have weight issues, what is the excuse for the other 54% of the population that is overweight/obese? These people have access to services and transportation...So, yeah there are obstacles. But IMHO nothing is impossible nor insurmountable. Lots of people have done greater things under much worse circumstances...you just have to take responsibility for the problem if you want to solve it, because no one will solve this for you any time soon, not the government, not social policy, not the corporations, and not your family. You really are on your own path on this one...

JMHO. I'll bow out of this now...
Kira

cfmama
06-02-2009, 09:14 PM
I don`t know if this has been brought up yet but...

In regards to packaged food and being full of HFCS and trans fats. There are TONS of foods on the market that mascaraed themselves as being healthful. Granola bars, `fruit` snacks, applesauce cups (sugar added ones)... now we are all intelligent people who have knowledge and the internet on our side and can research or even THINK to research healthier options... but there are MANY who don`t research or CAN`T research or who just plain don`t KNOW that these things are bad for you.

For this reason I believe that HFCS, unnecessary trans fats etc should be banned. Taken out of food completely.

mandalinn82
06-02-2009, 09:19 PM
Kira, FWIW, I agree with that you're saying completely...that if losing weight is a priority to you, you can do it, and that no one is going to solve the problem for you. And in answer to the original question posed, I don't think that the government could have prevented me (or most people) from gaining weight in the first place.

I do think, though, that if government subsidies for corn were reduced or redirected to more healthy crops (green beans to get canned and sold in convenience stores, even, or apples to make apple sauce, or etc), it would be easier for people to make healthy choices in the face of adversity, which might, along with education and determination to make better choices, make a difference in nationwide obesity rates over time.

Hello Nurse
06-02-2009, 09:23 PM
This is a difficult issue for me. Speaking for myself and my life, I take full responsibility and would not appreciate the gov telling me what to eat.

On the other hand, I am a school nurse in an urban district and my school is in a very poor neighborhood. Many kids are overweight because for some parents, it is cheaper and easier to eat junk than to buy and prepare healthy meals. Don't flame me here, I personally believe that eating right is cheaper, you can't get much cheaper and healthier than dry beans and rice. However, many working families don't have the time or even cooking skills to prepare these types of meals. Produce is expensive, chips are cheap. I think that some kind of tax on unhealthy items (or better yet, how about subsidies to bring down produce prices!!!), would help these families make better choices. It could have a huge effect on the generation coming up now, who by many people's estimates will be the largest in US history and possibly the biggest financial drain on the country.

Of course, education is needed for the parents AND kids, and believe me, I am doing my part every day on that end!

kaplods
06-02-2009, 10:04 PM
I think there's still such a stigma regarding obesity, that people talk in terms of blame. Making it a moral issue, when it's a multi-faceted problem. I had all of the advantages, and my parents did their best and I was an underweight 4 year old, and an obese 5 year old. I was precocious, and was reading before kindergarten and reading adult weight loss books by 8. I've been trying desperately to get my weight under control most of my life, and have been told and believed I was entirely "to blame" since age 5.

I've also been told my parents were to blame, because they failed to prevent my obesity. Yet, if their parenting was to blame, why weren't my brother and two sisters overweight? Being adopted, of course I wonder if there's a genetic component.

Two factors for me, that I found made weight loss efforts a walk in the park compared to my earlier struggles were a change in my birth control, and finding reduced carb eating. Low-carb dieting has such a bad rap, that it's not surprising that I hadn't seriously considered it a sustainable option. In fact, I didn't consider it even after my doctor recommended it, until I got a second opinion (from a doctor who had lost nearly 100 lbs on it, herself).

I just know that if it was this difficult for me, with all of the advantages I had - and how much effort I put into it and still failed, I can barely begin to imagine how difficult it must be for people who don't have those advantages. It isn't that any factor is an excuse, but obstacles mount, and largely the assumptions that are made regarding personal responsibility often assume that people have resources that they may not. Addressing those obstacles won't do the work for anyone, but they can help people find the information and motivation to put in the work.

Often what we thing is common knowledge isn't. As a probation officer, I met a woman - normal in appearance and behavior - who couldn't keep a job because of tardiness. Turns out she didn't own an alarm clock, and her parents had never owned one either. She was afraid to buy one, because she didn't think she could figure out how to use it. It took months for her to feel safe enough to confide in me. I didn't laugh at her, or yell at her, I told her to buy the cheapest alarm clock she could find at Walmart, and if she couldn't figure out the directions, she could bring the clock in to my office and I'd help her. I met dozens of adults who couldn't read, and were so ashamed of it, they wouldn't admit it, and were so skilled at hiding it that their families often didn't know either. One man pretended to check his children's homework every night, so they wouldn't know he couldn't read. He wasn't just afraid that he was too dumb to learn how to read, he KNEW he couldn't learn to read. I was able to get him into an adult literacy class by making a bet with him that he not only would learn, but that he wouldn't be the only "old man" in the class (he was probably no older than I am now, 43).

It's easy to say "pull yourselves up by your bootstraps," but sometimes a helping hand, really can make a difference. It doesn't mean that the person isn't responsible for their own lives, but a little assistance sometimes goes a very long way.

One of the things I did as a probation officer was find resources for people who didn't know they existed. Yes, I had obese clients, one who didn't know the bus stopped only three blocks from her house, so she didn't have to buy food from the bar that was across the street (sometimes she ate out of the dumpster). I also had normal weight and underweight clients who were just as malnourished, but because it didn't "show" as easily, it went undetected and unaddressed longer.

Jennelle
06-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Well, the government is the sole supporter of the Federal School Lunch Program, which is an absolute load of nutrition nonsense so I don't know that the government even KNOWS what it's doing when it comes to nutrition. My entire teaching career has been spent in schools where 90%+ of the student body is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and the schools where I taught (including a high school) had a federal breakfast program.

A typical breakfast consisted of a slice of Texas toast with melted "cheese" on it or microwavable silver dollar pancakes with "butter" and "syrup" with a choice of milk (including chocolate milk or strawberry milk) or 4 oz. of fruit juice (which at least was 100% no sugar added). A typical lunch consisted of baked chicken, fake mashed potatoes and gravy, a white roll, corn or butter beans (lima beans to you northerners!) drowning in "butter," and applesauce. Carb-heavy, to say the least - no wonder my students used to fall dead-asleep in 5th period! In the case of these breakfast/lunch programs, I absolutely do believe the government shares the responsibility. I know many of you won't believe me, but many of my students depended on school food as their sole source of daily nutrition.

As for me, I'm completely responsible for my obesity. No one forced me to eat all those foot-long Coneys at Sonic! :lol:

Couch
06-02-2009, 11:24 PM
I don't think the government could have stopped me from becoming overweight - but I think it could have made it easier to lose weight. I live in a more socialised country, and I'm not adverse to government intervention, and I would have appreciated any help I could get.

For example, we have a government sponsored quitline for quitting smoking, why isn't there something similar for losing weight? Our major government science organisation CSIRO put out a diet a few years ago that was based on scientific studies which they could use as guidelines. And I agree with better food regulation. Some of the things that call themselves "diet" are ridiculous.

kaplods
06-02-2009, 11:53 PM
I think that "too much food," is really such a recent problem, it's caught our society off-guard. Not only at the societal or cultural level, but even at the family, and sometimes individual level also. My parents and grandparents had experience in making sure everyone had enough to eat, but not a lot of experience in making sure we didn't have too much. It also illustrates that a "healthy meal" is not universal. Schools want to be able to provide the same meal to all of the children - but the children are such a wide range of ages, activity levels, weight/height rations, health issues, there is no meal that is adequate and "healthy" for all of the kids. Each grade level, at least should have a different lunch, but even within grade levels, the height/weight/activity level/caloric needs are going to be so different that it's almost inevitable that some kids will get too much food and some will get too little. I think that mostly, schools have erred on the side of "too much," out of force of habit. Having too many fat kids, really is a very recent problem. When I was a kid, I was a FREAK, often the only "fat kid" in the class and almost always the only fat girl.

Misora
06-03-2009, 01:11 AM
Could they? Absolutely. Food could be a control substance. Gardening forbidden. Australia's already discussed taking obese kids away from their enabling parents 'for their own good' and giving them to people who presumable will care about nothing but getting them in shape. The bigger question is should they. I happen to think there are worse things than being plus sized. Almost any problem is preventable if that's your only goal and darn the consequences. I of course think you end up with a bunch of people who still know absolutely nothing about nutrition and with no motivation but who happen to maybe weigh less. I find the pride comes not from wearing a small size but from having earned it .But hey that's me.

sunflowergirl68
06-03-2009, 03:01 AM
True, sometimes it is an effort to eat healthy. But I hate to say it, it goes go down to survival of the fittest. People can make an effort, sometimes it might be a larger effort, but if they want to be healthy, truly, they will find a way.

The most I agree with about government intervention is getting cheap, healthy food in schools at little or zero cost to the students and their families. Then they get a healthy lunch at least.

sunflowergirl68
06-03-2009, 03:03 AM
This is a difficult issue for me. Speaking for myself and my life, I take full responsibility and would not appreciate the gov telling me what to eat.

On the other hand, I am a school nurse in an urban district and my school is in a very poor neighborhood. Many kids are overweight because for some parents, it is cheaper and easier to eat junk than to buy and prepare healthy meals. Don't flame me here, I personally believe that eating right is cheaper, you can't get much cheaper and healthier than dry beans and rice. However, many working families don't have the time or even cooking skills to prepare these types of meals. Produce is expensive, chips are cheap. I think that some kind of tax on unhealthy items (or better yet, how about subsidies to bring down produce prices!!!), would help these families make better choices. It could have a huge effect on the generation coming up now, who by many people's estimates will be the largest in US history and possibly the biggest financial drain on the country.

Of course, education is needed for the parents AND kids, and believe me, I am doing my part every day on that end!

I do think that's unfortunate, but there's nothing that the government can really do about that, except for providing cheap and inexpensive school meals. Taxing unhealthy food won't healthy food closer to those with no transportation.

rochemist
06-03-2009, 08:40 AM
http://www.sweetsurprise.com/

Food is my livelyhood. You have no idea how misconception has changed the landscape and how most people try to demonize this thing or that as the thing that makes us obese (HFCS, transfat, etc). Our world has become more automated, mom's cook less from scratch meals, you sit your butt down in front of the TV or computer and you live there. All of these things have contributed, not one food monster. Just like no one gains a 100 pounds in a day the obesity crisis wasn't built in one.

I live and believe no food is good or bad, nor does eating it make me good or bad. I need to eat all foods in moderate portions and move my butt to lose weight.

The big book of dieting:
EAT LESS, MOVE MORE!

(PS. I think the government would have a hard time enforcing a move your butt program)

synger
06-03-2009, 08:57 AM
Ok, so unhealthy food is cheap, but people still CHOOSE to buy and eat it.

I don't like that there are so many foods available that are unhealthy, but it's mainly our choices that determine our health.

@wish4fit: Yeah, sure we are bombarded with unhealthy foods, but we still choose to eat them. No one put a gun to my head and forced me to eat Cheetos.

Maybe the government can encourage people to eat healthier and exercise more, (**** I'd like a cash incentive to lose weight) but it's not their fault that junk food is cheap.


Anyone who watches kid's TV for any length of time knows that there are already a lot of messages out there for kids to eat healthier and exercise more. My daughter gets it at school, too. If I ask her which is healthier, a cookie or an apple, she knows the right answer.

While knowledge of how to shop for and cook less expensive healthy food may be useful, it doesn't do any good if people aren't willing to make those changes.

synger
06-03-2009, 09:06 AM
I agree this is not a black and white issue. The government providing help for obesity does not mean the government is shouldering the blame or taking the responsibility for obesity. It's not necessary to be the source of the problem, to be part of the solution.




As already said, this is not universally true. Firmly intrenched in the middle class, and always having had easy access to affordable transportation, I have never been unable to afford or access healthy food. However, in working in social services and law enforcement (as a probation officer), I worked with many people who were not as fortunate.

There are many people who not only have no reliable transportation, but also no reliable method of food storage. Yes, most poor families do have electricity and a refrigerator, but I still worked with many who frequently had their utilities (voluntarily or involuntarily) turned off during hard times. Many had no transportation, and had to buy from convenience stores, or small grocery stores in which healthier foods were quite expensive, or not available at all.

Only the wealthiest countries have obese poor. It's both to our credit and our shame that our poor are more likely to have obesity and food-excess issues (like high blood pressure, diabetes...) than the general population and the wealthy.

This is very true. One of my dear friends and her husband lost their apartment early in the recession when their landlord lost the building. They lived out of their car for six months, coming to visit us once a week or so for laundry, showers, and a home-cooked meal. I had never considered before the problem with no cooking and worse, no refrigeration. They had to eat every meal "out", meaning either from a bag or can, or from a restaurant. They couldn't plan on storing leftovers.

It's a whole different, harder set of challenges when you're homeless.

Trazey34
06-03-2009, 09:08 AM
As bewitching a notion that someone/thing could have 'saved me', I don't buy it for a second. I mean, labels on pretty much everything are staring people right in the FACE... or easily available anywhere... what else do you NEED lol... unless the prime minister came personally and knocked the food out of my mouth, I doubt it would happen! Canada is different from the states, in that we're coddled pretty much "cradle to grave" as we like to say - but I think they'd draw the line at!

One thing I've often thought would be a good idea -- along with our sweet free (well, 'free' is a bit of a misnomer, our taxes are scandalous LOL) healthcare -- maybe governments could provide FREE GYMS, or a reduced rate at least for poorer people. In Holland where I have some family, there are bicycles all over the city and people apply for a bike card, and you go to the kiosk and swipe your card and you have a bike for the day!

I think some "thinking outside the box" is going to have to happen, and with SO MANY challenges facing the world and the U.S. especially, I think it might fall off the radar...but something has to be done, half the world is starving and the other half is morbidly obese - something's outta whack for sure!

synger
06-03-2009, 09:11 AM
I don`t know if this has been brought up yet but...

In regards to packaged food and being full of HFCS and trans fats. There are TONS of foods on the market that mascaraed themselves as being healthful. Granola bars, `fruit` snacks, applesauce cups (sugar added ones)... now we are all intelligent people who have knowledge and the internet on our side and can research or even THINK to research healthier options... but there are MANY who don`t research or CAN`T research or who just plain don`t KNOW that these things are bad for you.

For this reason I believe that HFCS, unnecessary trans fats etc should be banned. Taken out of food completely.

This is the reason why education might actually work to a degree. I still remember when cholesterol was a big bugaboo, and I saw a jar of peanuts that proudly claimed "No Cholesterol!". Of course it didn't have any cholesterol... only ANIMAL products contain cholesterol! But that doesn't mean that peanuts are the best choice of food all the time.

What is "good" and "healthy" changes emphasis every decade or so. Now we're seeing signs of "whole grains" and "fiber" on everything... but you still have to read the labels to see exactly what you're getting.

And that takes education in label reading, in the most current health news, etc.

From my experience, obese people tend to be among the most well-informed on health issues. We know a lot about what's healthy and what's not, especially as it relates to weight loss. But DOING it is where the disconnect is. I'm not sure how the government could do better with that, and I'm pretty sure I don't really want them getting that involved.

slimmingsi
06-03-2009, 10:01 AM
how about stopping school buses for kids who live withing 2 miles of the school. my school was 2 miles away up hill and down dale as we'd say here and it only took me about 35 mins each way

synger
06-03-2009, 10:21 AM
how about stopping school buses for kids who live withing 2 miles of the school. my school was 2 miles away up hill and down dale as we'd say here and it only took me about 35 mins each way

that only works if the parents don't take up the slack and drive the kids. *points to herself* My daughter's elementary school is only four blocks away, and her dad drives her most mornings... mostly because they're always running late. And our church is only three blocks away, but we always drive it. Again, because we're running late, and because we usually have bags of books to carry.

LittleMoonRabbit
06-03-2009, 10:27 AM
This is the reason why education might actually work to a degree. I still remember when cholesterol was a big bugaboo, and I saw a jar of peanuts that proudly claimed "No Cholesterol!". Of course it didn't have any cholesterol... only ANIMAL products contain cholesterol! But that doesn't mean that peanuts are the best choice of food all the time.

What is "good" and "healthy" changes emphasis every decade or so. Now we're seeing signs of "whole grains" and "fiber" on everything... but you still have to read the labels to see exactly what you're getting.

And that takes education in label reading, in the most current health news, etc.

From my experience, obese people tend to be among the most well-informed on health issues. We know a lot about what's healthy and what's not, especially as it relates to weight loss. But DOING it is where the disconnect is. I'm not sure how the government could do better with that, and I'm pretty sure I don't really want them getting that involved.

I'll agree here too, that education is the one way I believe the government can really help. My mom and I had a conversation a while back about food when I was growing up, and she was telling me how she felt bad because she was giving us foods that she THOUGHT was healthy. She didn't know that fruit juice is almost as bad as soda, or that granola bars aren't actually that healthy.

That being said, I really feel that we all have a personal responsibility to take care of ourselves. I don't blame my parents for being over weight. In the end, I believe much of weight management is about portion control. Yes, we should be eating balanced diets... but if we have 5 servings too many of even the healthiest foods every day, we can all still end up obese. That's more of a self-control issue.

I wouldn't trust the government to tax unhealthy food and actually use the money for health programs. Our economy is in such bad shape, the majority of that money would probably be sent away for use by military programs or bailout programs, or some other use that is completely unrelated. I would rather take my own, hard earned money that I save by not buying junk food, and investing it into my health on my own.

Glory87
06-03-2009, 10:37 AM
On the other hand, I am a school nurse in an urban district and my school is in a very poor neighborhood. Many kids are overweight because for some parents, it is cheaper and easier to eat junk than to buy and prepare healthy meals. Don't flame me here, I personally believe that eating right is cheaper, you can't get much cheaper and healthier than dry beans and rice. However, many working families don't have the time or even cooking skills to prepare these types of meals. Produce is expensive, chips are cheap.

That's interesting - has anyone ever read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America? (http://www.amazon.com/Nickel-Dimed-Not-Getting-America/dp/0805088385/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244039741&sr=8-1) I read this a few years ago and some parts of it really opened my eyes. Basically, the author decided to try to do different minimum wage jobs and try to "live".

One of the things she mentioned was the infrastructure of eating cheaply. Sure, rice and beans are cheap. But you must have a stove, a pot to put the beans in, a spoon to stir the beans, spices, etc.

time2lose
06-03-2009, 02:47 PM
I am like the others that don't think this is a black and white issue.

For the most part, it is my fault that I got as obese as I did. I think that I had some influences that I could not control or did not know how to control, but if I had not eaten the huge portions of junk that I ate, I would not have gotten so large. ......My fault and my responsibility, not that I was bad or evil but I was very unhealthy........

I also do not believe that government can solve all our problems. Too often, for my taste, the government acts like the parent that needs to make the decisions for us children. I don't want the government as my parent.

I don't think that additional taxes on certain foods will solve the problem and will penalize people that can not afford the penalty.

On the other hand..........

some of the things that the government now require, such as nutritional information on food products have been a huge help for me. Back when I first counted calories as a teenager it was very difficult to get the calories in many items.

I think that the government should provide some protection for us, such as truth in advertising. Products advertised as "healthy" should have to back up those claims.

My 2 cents worth :)

Glory87
06-03-2009, 11:26 PM
Refuse to Regain had a pretty good post today that I thought was applicable (A discussion of the book The End of Overeating - which I have on hold at the library, hope it comes soon!):

http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog/2009/06/dont-get-me-started.html

*snippet*
"Why is it that we consumers are the ones who wind up bearing the burden of control? A small section toward the end of the book suggests that “we” must learn to redefine food and the people who make it. If we change the way we look at bad foods, Kessler suggests, and start to look at them as we now look at tobacco, society can change. The problem with the comparison of food and cigarettes is that the tobacco industry has always been a miniscule force when compared to the behemoth food industry.

An article in one of this month’s medical journals echoed similar themes to those laid out in Kessler’s book. “Recently,” it states, “there has been growing support for the idea that we can train our appetites to match our energy expenditure, overcoming physiologic and environmental urges to eat.” The article then goes on to poll various obesity experts and asks, “Can human beings retrain their appetite? If so, how?”

***
All of these suggestions, all of these tricks, tips and machinations are in the service of giving us strategies to battle a food giant run amok. Worse, they suggest that our own weaknesses are to blame for the problem. I am completely bewildered by the fact that the responsibility of the food industry continues to be ignored. Its role in creating our current environment is so huge, so all-encompassing, that its invisibility in this discussion is almost incomprehensible"
*snippet*

I share her outrage and absolutely adored this blog post.

ICUwishing
06-04-2009, 10:07 AM
Incredi-thread! I love all these viewpoints, and the research that everyone has done! Personally, I got myself fat all by myself. I took the second and third helpings, chose to curl up with a beer and a book instead of hoofing it to the pool, and decided to cave to the slippery siren song of the double cheeseburger.
That being said, and because no one's tapped the conspiracy viewpoint yet, I took away from "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and other sources that the US cannot AFFORD to have everyone get healthy any more. There's too much of the economy tied up in mass food production, in acute healthcare related to nutrition-linked disease and accelerated aging, and too much corruption in the government driven by the lobbyists for the pharm and food industries.

The only way to change this is with your dollar, your pen, your e-mail. Write to the company with the crappy fake ingredients, and say, "I'm sorry, I'm taking my business elsewhere because you are using *this* ingredient, and I'm going to inform everyone I know about what this stuff does."

I don't think the government is going to step in, unless somebody dismantles or at least reorganizes the FDA. When cherry producers are sued by the government for linking to studies on their websites that PROVE that a natural food can improve health - and statements are made in court that "only DRUGS are allowed to say they improve health" - it's pretty darn clear that the government is completely incapable of saving anybody from anything.

slimmingsi
06-04-2009, 02:17 PM
and because we usually have bags of books to carry.

and?

i used to hate fridays cos it was the heaviest day for me. my rucksack used to weigh around 20lb+ sports kit towles shoes etc. then sciences books (very thick).

its good exercise and as my dad says character building