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Old 10-25-2007, 10:47 AM   #91  
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Good Morning . . . well, almost good afternoon (here) but you know what I mean.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:11 PM   #92  
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A few pages ago we had some discussion about societally making some slow changes in an effort to reduce the obesity problem. In the process of searching for somthing different I came across this link. I'm not sure what to think about some of these ideas.
http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/consumer/a/aathinner.htm
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:01 PM   #93  
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Hey Spinymouse,

Yes, I went and read that too. Let's begin a discussion here:

How far should government go to protect citizens from the dangers of obesity?

I tend to agree that candy and soda machines ought to be taken out of public schools. Children don't need to be able to purchase junk foods at school. When I was in school there were no such things, and somehow we survived...

I also think it would be useful to know the fat and sugar content of foods at fast-food chains. Some places, like Subway, already post some of this information. It might not make any difference in people's choices--at least it would be a more informed choice.

But some of the ideas are pretty far-fetched. A tax break for slim people? And how exactly do we enforce that? Weight audits?

Jump on in with this discussion! What would be going too far?

Jay
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #94  
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Definitely some good points in that little article . . .

I agree on taking pop and candy machines out of the schools. In fact I'd go one further and eliminate hamburgers, french fries and other 'junk food' from cafeteria menus as well . . . of course, it might be hard to get the kinds to eat healthier foods, but eventually they'd learn. Personally I won't eat at any restaurant that does not provide nutritional information and I think insisting on that is a very basic need. People do, of course, still have free choice.

It is, however, a bit difficult to fall back on a comparison to the non-smoking campaign, because . . . as the article mentions . . . smokers were harming those around them as well as themsleves. Overeaters (at least adult overeaters) are harming only themselves. What parents are doing to their children by passing on terrible eating habits is another problem altogether. One that I fear no amount of legislation can alter - at least not in the short term.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:32 PM   #95  
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I agree too with keeping the sodas and junk food out of schools. Then it occurs to me to expand that concept into the post-school world. What about keeping it out of vending machines at work?
Not that this would solve everyone's problem. I am fat and we don't have a vending machine at work. (I have a different set of fat-causes than junk food.)
But it might reinforce the idea that the junk is not standard fare.
Speaking of standard fare, what is the deal with the custom of having donuts of all things at meetings at work? I don't even consider donuts to be a food. I mean, I don't think donuts should be outlawed - HA - but customary? That's even counter-productive to working; it's not even neutral.
Yet the Big Brother thing is downright scary. How far do we want to take that? I get creeped out knowing there are surveillance cameras all over public places and who knows where else.
I don't know where to draw the line about these things. But I agree about providing nutritional information for restaurant food!
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:00 AM   #96  
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Well, I had this idea that those people who want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet could do so, if they had proof of financial responsibility. That is, post a bond, have special insurance - that sort of thing. That way the cyclist can exercise his right to become a quadriplegic/maim himself without costing the tax payers huge ammounts of money. I don't know if this translates to being obese. The cyclist certaily has a choice to wear or not wear a helmet. Does the obese person have a choice to be fat? I'm not sure. Maybe the difference lies in the idea that smoking, drugs, overeating could be considered addictions or medical condition in the case of obesity, and helmet/no helmet is more of a political/stupidity issue. In my case, I think I have a choice, but maybe some don't and who is to make the decision?

I have read a ton of stuff about obesity since I started my journey. It seems to me that, ultimately, nothing works on a large scale. They have done studies about food in school and it seems like education, lack of availability of empty calories doesn't really bring about any lasting change.

Another idea I had was to tax prepared food, candy and soda. They already tax liquor and cigarettes plenty, so why not the other stuff? I used to work in a low income housing project. The residents felt like they were being treated like second class citizens by the commodity program. They didn't want to cook from scratch, because it was somehow demeaning, if you can believe that. They wanted to buy tv dinners like "normal" people. If tv dinners were taxed, I think the "normal" people might change some of their habits - thus becomeing role models .

No one has to eat Lunchables, TV dinners and diet Coke, so taxing these things does not punish one segment of society more than another.

Anyway, I don't think giving a tax cut for being thin, or charging the obese more for insurance is going to work, but taxing coke or tv dinners will at least make some money for the government to spend on health care for the folks who still insist on eating the stuff.

Ha! Can you imagine the scanner at the check out being programed to measure fat/High fructose corn syrup/weight of each shopper (by a pad on the floor) etc, and charge accordingly?
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:01 AM   #97  
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Another thought: How do kids learn not to eat bad foods and make better choices, if they are only presented with good choices? Or is there really any way to prevent those bad choices? Are parents just forestalling the inevitable?

How does one learn not to eat the donuts at business meetings?

Jay
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:21 AM   #98  
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Good Morning . . . this discussion . . . but definitely agree it will be hard to decide where the line needs to be drawn. Just one quick comment for me this morning -- in Utopia, we wouldn't have to worry about people making (and teaching) good choices regarding food (or anything else for that matter) because the bad choices simply wouldn't exist. However, do we really want Utopia?????

See you later . . . time for me to wander off into the 'real' world.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:47 AM   #99  
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Although I believe our society needs to evolve to where certain customs about food are changed to be more healthy, I do have a problem about judgment of good and evil is concerned when it involves health care costs. I say everybody should be taken care of regardless of whether their problem was caused by risky behavior. Because otherwise where do you draw the line? "Sorry, Mrs. Jones, we aren't going to cover the cost of your little kid's broken leg because he climbed that fence when you specifically told him not to, and we don't cover injuries caused by blatant disobedience." It could get weird.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:22 PM   #100  
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In other words, Spinymouse, it is a knotty problem. I don't like the good and evil judgements, either. That's why I like taxing junk food - good little democrat that I am. Make the food "bad", not the eaters.

It seems ok to me to say that you can refuse to wear seat belts, helmets etc, if you take care of your own medical expenses. but it doesn't seem ok to not treat the kid with the broken leg. It is like punishing the kid for being a kid!? So what is the difference, really? I don't know.

JayEll, that is the same idea as not letting kids watch tv at home. The very first chance they get to watch - they do.

In a way, parents are forstalling the inevitable, but, ultimately, I think kids will come back to good habits as they mature. my children are almost 40 and they have pretty decent eating habits, now. I always tried to encourage nutritious eating and I think they learned something from it.

Hmm...how do you learn not to eat donuts at meetings? Wear a muzzle? Actually, I think all that sugar might make for a less effective meeting, but maybe that is an old wives tale.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:10 PM   #101  
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Dear All,

I have been thrilled with this conversation, simply because you all see the gray, not the 30 -second -sound -bite -black- and -white.

I especially get twitchy when it comes to the education of our kids ( I am in education-- post secondary, not K-12, and administration-- not teaching, but it is all so inter-twined, and NOT black and white)

We had a big forum today on what needs to happen to advise our kids on the career opportunities (the sky is the limit for those willing to take technical, work-based programs) and how to engage parents. We in education are now being forced to not only teach to NCLB test requirements (No Child Left Behind, with all due affection and respect) but also to teach "soft skills" such as showing up on time, working when you are supposed to, etc. It boggles my mind that k-12 is willing to take on the other tough parental issues that it does, or that some districts step up to do. Education was never meant to be the parent...*sigh. What to do?

There are such awesome education and work opportunities for ANY student willing to take advantage....well, any student with the support (in every sense of the word) at home..

That is my soap box for the day......as I said, it was BIG forum..lol
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #102  
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Hey maryblu! I'm glad you're enjoying it. We've gone on to thread #3, but feel free to bring this topic up again there, if you like.

Hard to believe that schools are expected to teach those types of ethics--showing up on time, etc.

One of the best things I learned in Jr. High was in a math class. The teacher got some blank checkbooks from a local bank, and for a week we had checkbooks with imaginary balances and worked through our statements.

I'd like to see some of that done more now--it would be different, of course--computerized debit/credit cards--but the same practical principles.

Jay
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:03 AM   #103  
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Here's a link to #3 gang . . . http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125860
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