Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 14 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 137

Thread: The obesity epidemic-should it be a higher priority issue ?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Wherever I can see
    Posts
    16,730
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default The obesity epidemic-should it be a higher priority issue ?

    More evidence is clearly coming about about the bad effects of obesity:


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    the Guardian, March 18th
    Moderate obesity shortens lives by three years and the seriously obese will die 10 years before they should, according to a definitive study by Oxford University researchers....

    MSNBC, March 13th

    Childhood obesity reaches epidemic proportions. It's a condition which increases the risk of some deadly diseases - including

    Telegraph, March 17th
    Family who are 'too fat to work' say 22,000 worth of benefits is not enough


    Telegraph, March 13th
    Chocolate should be taxed in the same way as alcohol to control Britain's obesity epidemic, a medical conference has heard.
    But a motion calling for the introduction of a chocolate tax was defeated by only two votes by doctors at the British Medical Association (BMA) conference.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Currently given our social welfare & socialised medicine it is clear that obesity is a public policy issue. Yet it is perhaps only recently that it is starting to attract serious, concerted attention.


    1. Should we tax obesity ?
    2. We run gruesome dangerous driving ads on TV, should we run similar dangerous eating ads ?
    3. Should we have a minister for obesity control ?
    4. Would shedding a few fatties dig us out of the recession ?
    5. Should exercise be prescribed by doctors ?
    6. etc


    cYp
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member 20000miles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Blumenau
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    IMHO, fatties are becoming the new flavour of the month for policy makers. First, it was smokers who paved the way for massive government intervention in the market and the further dismantling of property rights.

    No doubt, fatties will provide the impitus for more wide ranging legislation. All in the name of "public safety" and the "public good". Cyp correctly notes that it is only becuase we have socialised medicine that this is a public issue. In the end, this is an intervention to solve an intervention.

    I've already gone through this elsewhere.

    The most commonly cited arguments for a system of taxing fatty foods or subsidising exercise is that the poor health of the obese will impact negatively on others, that is, we all have to pay for their treatment. This however is a sham reason, and is not a genuine “externality”. If the nationalised healthcare system currently in place in the UK were removed the “externality” disappears, along with the moral hazard.

    The new scheme provides an incentive for fat people to lose weight, however few of us realise such incentives already exist in the free market. The government can only supress them.

    It’s worthy to note that it was Ludwig von Mises who first realised that government interventions in the economy do not solve market distortions, but rather distort the market further. The government can either repeal its policy or try to intervene more. It most often chooses the latter.

    The frightening thing about government healthcare is not the inefficiencies and the poor quality and the fact it just doesn't work. The scary thing is that it permits the State to dictate both how we are treated and how we live our lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post

    Currently given our social welfare & socialised medicine it is clear that obesity is a public policy issue. Yet it is perhaps only recently that it is starting to attract serious, concerted attention.


    1. Should we tax obesity ?
    2. We run gruesome dangerous driving ads on TV, should we run similar dangerous eating ads ?
    3. Should we have a minister for obesity control ?
    4. Would shedding a few fatties dig us out of the recession ?
    5. Should exercise be prescribed by doctors ?
    6. etc
    cYp
    So, in order:
    1. No. And how would this be done? Who decides the cut-off points?
    2. No, but this is the only logical conclusion of such policies. The government does it with cigarettes and driving, fatty foods are next.
    3. We already have a Health Commisar.
    4. That's one way to solve world hunger.
    5. It probably already is.

    But here's another one:

    Q: Should obese people who require 2 seats on an aircraft pay for one seat or two?
    Last edited by 20000miles; 19th March 2009 at 06:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Wherever I can see
    Posts
    16,730
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    This issue is becoming more topical with 2 Sunday times stories today


    High-fat diet puts children at risk

    Irish youngsters are eating 50% more than their recommended saturated fat intake, increasing the possibility of heart disease

    Irish people have far too much saturated fat in their diets, with 94% of children, 89% of teenagers and 79% of adults eating more than the recommended daily intake, new research shows.

    Brenda Power: Sorry but being fat is a choice, not a disability

    Bernadette Treanor is claiming discrimination against an insurer who loaded her premium because she was obese
    [see thread on this here: Equality Authority protects its obese employee against Eagle Star]
    cYp
    Last edited by cyberianpan; 22nd March 2009 at 04:04 AM.
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member FutureTaoiseach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dept. of FutureTaoiseach
    Posts
    7,992
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    My personal experience is that I have to practically starve myself of food before I can get to a situation where I am not overweight. The last time I was not overweight was January 2008 when I was 12 st. I am current 14 stone. Since 2006, I have only been able to return to normal weight via Lipotrim, which costs €85 a week and is available as a food-replacement from the chemist. The problem is that when you go on it, your metabolic rate drops dramatically as the body thinks its being starved (wrongly) and tries to conserve available energy as fat. Somehow, I managed to stay on it in 2006 for 4.5 months and lose 7 stone, but because of the lower metabolic rate, I put back on around 2 stone afterwards. Since then, I have been back on it 3 more times - and it always works. The problem is what happens afterwards. I have no patience and am not really prepared to attempt something slower. Slow diets tend to collapse under the weight of my frustration of not being free to binge on Pringles, Doritos, Wine Gums etc.

    On the substantive issue of your thread, here are my answers:

    Currently given our social welfare & socialised medicine it is clear that obesity is a public policy issue. Yet it is perhaps only recently that it is starting to attract serious, concerted attention.

    Should we tax obesity?


    No. That would be unfair to those who have a genetic predisposition to obesity. I recall a report on BBC some years ago about someone from the Six Counties who ate very little but was becoming ever more obese because of a medical-condition.

    We run gruesome dangerous driving ads on TV, should we run similar dangerous eating ads ?

    Containing what exactly? It might not be a bad idea to illustrate how obesity can lead to heart-disease by showing arteries blocked by cholesterol I suppose. Might help some of us in terms of self-control of appetite.

    Should we have a minister for obesity control ?

    No. It would just be jobs for the boys and as with most Junior Ministers they would get a fortune for doing nothing other than appearing on Morning Ireland or Q+A. What is need are actions, not more personalities.

    Would shedding a few fatties dig us out of the recession ?

    Meaning what exactly?

    Should exercise be prescribed by doctors?

    I don't accept that exercise is the answer. The underlying determinant of the direction your weight goes is calories in vs calories out, and I did almost no exercise in my previous Lipotrim diets where I lost up to 7 stone.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Coracium
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Personally I would be very slow to attack those who are "obese" so flippantly ..... as someone pointed out medical conditions have a part to play ..... for example I know (not being precise) someone who has developed Alzheimers and they've gone from a "stick" to very heavy in 12 months, another person who is epileptic and the drugs have made them very heavy indeed.

    Plus people have different metabolic rates ... some can eat like pigs and look like fashion models.. others can't look relatively trim even when trying very hard to do so.

    This is an area which has attracted too much focus for action ... there are a lot of people who through no fault of their own in their circumstances are considered "obese" .. pursue other areas firstly before hitting this one to the detriment of a considerable amount of the populace

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Anywhere bar here
    Posts
    500
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 20000miles View Post

    But here's another one:

    Q: Should obese people who require 2 seats on an aircraft pay for one seat or two?
    A few years back I worked for a multinational. One of my colleagues had the job of booking flights for the executives. One of the executives was so big that she did actually have to book and pay for 2 seats for him.

    As a junk food lover and someone who is overweight, I do think that there should be junk food tax. It would not stop me eating junk food but it would contribute extra money for the health system. As my eating habits increase my chances of needing medical help it is only fair that I contribute more.

    On a side note I do think that it has become socially acceptable to abuse fat people. One example, I was walking past a pub one evening last year, with a bottle of fanta in my hand. There were a group of lads sitting outside the pub, and one of them yelled at me "Is that diet" and starting laughing. So I poured the drink over him and said "you tell me".

    My point is that it is fair to tax unhealthy foods to ensure that does who knowingly do harm to their own health pay more toward the medical treatment they are likely to require. It is a polluter pays policy. However, it is not fair to ridicule, abuse or single out people because they are fat. Fit, healthy and corrupt developers, bankers, politicians etc., have done more harm to this country than fat people ever will.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member 20000miles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Blumenau
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I apologise for using the term "fatties" above by the way, reading over it, it sounds offensive.

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tora Bora
    Posts
    842
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Darwinism+freedom of choice=sanity

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    650
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The Rate of Time Preference and Obesity: Is there a Connection?
    www.econhist.vwl.lmu.de/obesity.pdf
    A champion of the people emerges with the age-old and appealing promise of "something for nothing" - to be financed through every-increasing taxes. Supply and demand are thrown out of gear - the overhead goes up; the effective use of human energy goes down; the standard of living is lowered because money cannot buy wealth that is not produced.

    WEAVER, HENRY GRADY,

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Wherever I can see
    Posts
    16,730
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The obesity epidemic is worse than had been imagined

    One in five hospital patients has diabetes - Telegraph
    One in five hospital patients now suffers from diabetes, according to a national audit which reveals the devastating impact of changes in British lifestyles.

    By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
    Published: 8:50PM GMT 23 Jan 2010
    Soaring obesity levels have triggered record levels of the condition, which increases the risks of heart and kidney failure, and can result in blindness, nerve damage and amputations.
    The first ever diabetes audit of NHS hospitals has found that 20 per cent of patients on hospital wards are now suffering from the disease – twice the proportion previously estimated.

    Doctors said the figures, which will be published officially later this year, showed the "terrifying burden" the epidemic is placing on Britain's population and the crippling effect it is having on NHS resources.
    Is Mary Harney credible as Minister for Health ?

    cYp
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

Page 1 of 14 1234511 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •