3

votes

The Rise of Obesity in the USA - Fast Food & Portion Size

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I know that a lot of focus on this board is spent on pointing out the deficiencies of the SAD diet. All true. I for one believe that eating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods is the way to go for optimal health. We may all have our disagreements on which food to include or not but that is just quibbling over the fine print. That is not the purpose of this thread. I am hoping to start a discussion and share ideas on how to address a rising epidemic that we are all, as a nation, paying for in some way.

The nation, as a whole, has gotten more overweight at a near constant rate since 1976. Before that, the obesity/overweight level was constant back to 1960 (seems they did not track it before that). This line graph created by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) illustrates this point: (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/USObesityRate1960-2004.svg)

The available data suggest that large portions of energy-dense foods are contributing to the obesity epidemic (The Supersizing of America: Portion Size and the Obesity Epidemic Rolls, Barbara J. PhD).

Multiple hierarchal regressions revealed that square miles per fast food restaurants and residents per restaurant accounted for 6% of the variance in state obesity rates after controlling for population density, ethnicity, age, gender, physical inactivity, and fruit and vegetable intake. The entire model explained 70% of the total variance in state obesity rates (The relationship between obesity and the prevalence of fast food restaurants: state-level analysis. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA).

The per???capita number of fast???food restaurants in the United States doubled from 1972 to 1999 with the obesity rate increasing from 13.9 percent to 29.6 percent?????113 percent increase in the obesity rate [SS???AAEA Journal of Agricultural Economics; Who Consumes Fast???Food and Why? By Zeke Bryant]

Now the next part is somewhat anecdotal...portion sizes at fast food restaurants have dramatically increased. From statements from elders (aka my parents), watching older movies or movies set in the 50's (think American Graffiti), the portion sizes at fast food restaurants has increased dramatically. A regular burger is now a junior burger. A regular fry is now the small!

I recognize this is correlation and not causation but the link cannot be ignored between Fast Food and Obesity.

Instead of trying to change the nations diet (an almost impossible task with feasibility issues), or doing something draconian like outlawing fast food (which would help a lot!), would it not make more sense to make fast food companies limit the portions they serve to fight the obesity epidemic? What are your thoughts?

I want to say thank your for the fun discussion and those that participated. I think that sharing ideas and even being critical can be an enlightening process.

71af94295988d55cd3b8340e619729d0

(255)

on July 13, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Wish I could upvote this more than once.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 13, 2012
at 11:41 AM

I was raised thinking McDonalds was a treat. Eating at home was, and still is, cheaper; but eating packages of macncheese, hot dogs and canned soup wasn't any healthier. Those "homemade" processed foods, and my sedentary behavior, made me fat. Over the decades McDonalds has taken away even the small bit of home cooking, which over time helped me when I started to think about what I ate. A generation that expects drive thru and snack foods has lost the connection to home cooking completely.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 13, 2012
at 06:28 AM

@RaiseFitness: Two reasons you do not see obese animals in the wild. 1) Wild aniomals generally have short lives 2) An obese animal is generally unfit and will be killed. Obesity and survival do not mix, and when you are a wild animal, it is all about survival.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 13, 2012
at 06:20 AM

@RaiseFitness: Yes, there are obese animals in the wild. Raccoons are one example. They have evolved a very slow metabolism, and develop extreme hyperphasia every fall. It is one of the reasons they have been so successful.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:55 PM

@Talldog...I am well aware of unintended consequences caused by largely puritan and altruistic legislation. Just take a look at our failed 'war on drugs', the high cost it has taken in our inner cities, countries in central america (Mexico...yikes), the jailing of hundreds of thousands of drug users, and yet the drug supply has increased! Just because these policies failed does not mean others will. Failure to act for fear of unintended consequences is simply paralysis by analysis.

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:41 PM

I think part of the problem with this whole topic is that people may perhaps be looking at calories in vs calories out differently. How many of us know how many calories are in our faeces and urine? We may put the food in but our body may not absorb all of it. At the end of the day there has to be a balance between calories in vs out, as you cannot destroy or create energy and calories are a unit of energy, but I think there is a disagreement as to weather all of the energy you consume is either used or stored or whether we dispose of excess to some degree. The type of food may determine that.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:39 PM

The point I'm making these questions are not as black/white as often thought. The law of unintended consequences applies. Outlaw something and you potentially create something just as bad or worse.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:37 PM

The illegality of prostitution has resulted in the reemergence of slavery in the US. Girls are lured with promises from foreign countries into the US and inserted in the prostitution world. They don't know anyone, they don't speak English, and their lives are threatened should they try to leave or not cooperate. They end up being slaves in every sense of the word. Because prostitution is illegal and underground there is not chance for police to find and free them. There are about 50,000 slaves in the US today. http://voices.yahoo.com/americas-modern-day-slave-trade-human-trafficking-67846.html

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:21 PM

It wasn't easier to moderate, because I wasn't moderating it at all--before or after. There was no moderation going on. We're probably on the same page--you have to eat fewer calories to lose weight. But, you can't just will people to do it. You have to create the right circumstances that make it happen.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:19 PM

If you reduce portion sizes of crap food, it just means people will eat two smaller portions of crap food instead of one big portion of crap food. Thus, reducing the portion sizes of crap food won't the total number of calories people consume.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:18 PM

@Foreveryoung...I disagree that we are adopting universal healthcare. Requiring the majority to have health insurance is not the same as a one payer system. The expansion to M&M on the other hand...barf. If you look at Canada, Australia (just to get away from Western Europe and their failing economies), they pay similar taxes yet receive far more benefit (free collegiate education, free healthcare, more robust retirement). It is frustrating that we as a nation will spend more money than the rest of the world combined on 'defense' but are unwilling to spend it on ourselves.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:14 PM

cont. Is it because of the abundance of over processed food? Is it because of the environment? Is it because of our poor omega ratios? WHY? Calories In Vs Out answers none of these important questions. Saying that obese people should simply eat less is not a solution since you're only treating the symptom and not the root cause of illness.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:13 PM

@Talldog...if you follow that philosophy to it's conclusion, then you should be supporting the legalization of all drugs, prostitution, human organs, and a plethora of other activities our society deems as 'wrong'.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Mark it was good fun- devil's advocate is the best way to learn. I do it all the time and practically everyday myself. I am economics nerd, but I have a little niche which I particularly like, and it's not health care. So this is not my are of expertise either.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Yes eating too much makes us fat, but its an oversimplification of how the body functions. Here's a neat analogy I read earlier: Calories are comparable to a final score in a football game. But the score says nothing about the various plays, players, their injuries, and other details of the game. Calories In Vs Out is definitely NOT a commonly held understanding within Paleo and other alternate diet circles. It's hotly debated. Because people want to know WHY people overeat. And people want to know WHY certain people are at a metabolic disadvantage.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:09 PM

Right, like France for instance, but France also has better quality of food and a generally healthier lifestyle aside from their health care system, not the because of it. Additionally, much of modern medicine advancements are coming out of the US because the profit is higher here, and other countries are outsourcing their minds into the US. This will likely not be the case for much longer though, once the US adopts a universal health care system and physician salaries decline.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:06 PM

@Foreveryoung...I'm just an armchair general on my best day who is bored at work. The only field I have extensive knowledge in is hydrology. I like learning and playing Devil's Advocate is often the best way to pull ideas and gain insight from other people.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:04 PM

There would certainly be an adjustment period in the short run, but in the long run we would be better for it, and that's what we should strive for, to have something work out in the long run (i.e. be sustainable).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:03 PM

@Foreveryoung...I agree with most if not all your points. The assumption that the market will always bring the cost down to a point that affordable to the majority is a fallacy. What if the cost of a free healthcare market did not come down, as you surmise, to be affordable to the majority or even the minority. We are back to people with curable diseases dying. What then? The free market is not the solution to every problem. Many countries have socialized medicine and pay far less than the USA in terms of GDP. Many have better quantifiables in life expectancy and infant mortality rates.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:01 PM

@ Mark- yes, I would definitely imagine that if it were an overnight thing, we would have a national crisis on our hands of unknown proportions. Good, good point.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:59 PM

...I must admit though, if we plan on discussing Russia's economy as it is today in the 21st century, I will be drawing on a very slim background of knowledge. Even worse, I've never been to Russia to experience it first hand. But I'm all for learning more about it.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:58 PM

@Foreveryoung...Oh, I totally agree that ending farming subsidies and things along this ilk would improve American innovation and competitiveness on the World Market in the long run. I was just pointing out that you have now made unemployed and homeless 900,000 people who have no skills to bring to a modern job market. Talk about unintended consequences. Probably a phase out of the subsidy with an attempt to form large farms with as many small farms as possible would help mitigate that particular impact.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Russia is not free market economy by any means. It is still highly planned with an obfuscated price mechanism.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:53 PM

A properly incetivized system is the price mechanism- an unencumbered one. If you have to pay for your health, it is less profitable to become unhealthy, so you'll have less incentive to do so. You'll have more incentive to take care of yourself because you'll have better job and future mate prospects, as well as a higher quality of life and more money (because you're not spending on healthcare that you actually are paying for yourself).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:51 PM

@Foreveryoung...you do not have to imagine a world without insurance. Just travel to another country that does not have it or socialized medicine on a large scale. People die of common ailments. The old die in the streets. Garbage men pick them up (my sister lived in Russia for 3 years). I imagine there would be more charities but not enough to cover everyone. As we can see in this country, the very wealthy are very fond of holding onto their wealth. They are unwilling to pay the same effective tax rates as their workers (Buffet Rule).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:50 PM

It's also now more expensive to be unhealthy as individual, so more people will seek out fresh produce, more people will have an incentive to maintain a garden in their back yards, etc. It's a win win win win win win.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Also, as for millions of small farmers going out of business? Why, they'd now be MORE competitive! This is simply because now it's more expensive to mono-crop wheat, corn, and soy, and the ones that are successfully farming a variety of crops will be comparatively more efficient. Not only that, but in the long run the food system will change such that processed junk will become more expensive because the inputs (wheat, corn, soy, etc) have increased in price.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:47 PM

...also, would there be some price discrimination at play by physicians? Certainly, but only to an extent because the one's who consistently price gauges too much, the doctor down the street will take his business and outcompete him.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:46 PM

@RaiseFitness...I agree that it is silly and super socialistic to maintain a few farmers living a 'traditional' lifestyle at the expense of everyone else. The subsidies allowed many farmers not to modernize with the rest of the country. This alone should not justify continuing a bad practice. There is some worry that ending subsidies will raise food prices but many farmers are paid NOT to grow. I am an engineer and not an economist but I remember if there was more of something, the price went down.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:45 PM

@ Mark- THanks for your response. First, about the child with a curable disease but parents without insurance. As I said my father is a physician, and he and his team to PLENTY of pro-bono work in the US, as well as missionary work in other countries. I do recognize that are unfortunate exceptions, but I do believe those are outliers. You have to think of a system without insurance too. Would there not be an even greater number of private charities than there are today who help people just like you mentioned before? I would gather there would be...

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I like and agree with most of what you said but to ask this...you are against government intervention butyou mention a properly incentivized system which enacts a penalty (which could be construed as a tax for not purchasing insurance or for purchasing specific items. Notice choice was not eliminated). Who sets up that system? In our communities and nation, who is responsible for the general welfare of the people? Who is most able to do the most good (or harm)? I do not like our government and we are our government (the pains of democratic elections).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:40 PM

I am an american and I know that the majority of americans are dumb as bricks. I ate crap all my life, everyone did all around me. It's taken a while but finally I've started to realize what eating well means: sensible portions, making meal times count, enjoying the process of the meal and not just the food, cooking, resting after a nice big meal, paying attention, moving a lot. If given the choice always opt to eat a little less and move a little more. This is just very plain, boring, time-tested stuff I've picked up. Who knew, it works.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 08:39 PM

To be stripped of an unsustainable income is not a bad thing. Just like foreclosing on a house is not a bad thing if you can't afford it. We don't need more farmers growing corn, wheat or soy. If you are going to subsidize farmers, subsidize kale farmers, or squash, or anything that has any health benefit, not the standard three of corn wheat and soy.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Interesting insight!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:37 PM

I agree that the tax paying base (just over 50% of the eligible population) foots the bill for the non-tax payers and skews people to bad results. The Type II diabetes example above...if the patients had to pay the full cost of the medication, more would opt to lose weight. I agree that if we allowed people to live with the actual consequences of their choices, then more people would make better choices. But do you let a child with a curable disease die because here parents chose not get insurance? This is obviously a multi-faceted issue with ethical concerns, not simple economics.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:36 PM

"Eating too much = weight gain" is not a commonly held understanding? What country you living in? Turn on the TV. Everything focuses on calories and portion size. Everyone knows to lose weight you eat less. Biggest loser anyone? Come on, face up to it: everyone knows it. That has nothing to do with whether or not people put it into practice. No, of course not. There in comes a person's choice. Knowledge and practice are two very different things. Don't pretend that 99% of the population don't know that the amount of energy you put in your body controls the size of your body..

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:33 PM

You lost weight because you ate less calories than you used to eat before that point. You found it easier to eat less because you're not eating crap food. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Portion size in this country is too big. The better quality stuff you consume the easier it is to moderate what you eat, and thus you may very well end up eating less whether you intend to or not. Remember, intending to eat less doesn't matter; actually eating less or eating more is what matters.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:32 PM

I agree that doing anything in a complex system will have unintended consequences. I am for ending the farmer subsidies. But an unintended consequence would be virtually eliminating every small farm in the USA. Thousands if not tens of thousands stripped of their income and homes. You mention a properly incentivized system...what would that use if you are not going to use the monetary cost of something to change people's behaviors?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Does "Mikey Likes It" and "You You're The One" work anywhere but the USA to get people to eat more cr#p? What part of dumb as bricks don't you get RaiseFitness? I used to eat that way and I'm sure ben was raised to do the same. I revered Captain Yoby and his burgers, fries and shakes. The pinnacle of eating whan I was 10.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:31 PM

@RaiseFitness...it does discuss your specific case. 'Interestingly, an IFPRI study in Accra reported the phenomenon of the “stunted child-overweight mother pairs” living in the same households (Garrett and Ruel, 2003). The study considered this phenomenon to be a result of changing diet and income generating activities (for the mothers) alongside poor childcare and inadequate food consumption (for children)' from the same source. So in short, yes, the parents are eating and not feeding their children properly. That is very sad.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:29 PM

@RaiseFitness...After a cursory look, children in Western Africa are not starving, they are micronutrient deficient. I am not playing semantics. The are receiving food but not with enough micronutrients. 'National survey data in the last 20 years reveal a growing prevalence of overweight in pre-school children, especially in the coastal, rapidly urbanising countries' (Food Security and Nutrition Trends in West Africa - Challenges and the Way Forward from FAO).

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:20 PM

@Mark, one thing I think we could agree on is tighter controls on what could be purchased with food stamps (SNAP). I have no problem with the idea that if you accept money from the govt, string come attached to it. Soft drinks, for example, should be off the list. When someone is spending their own money--money they have worked to earn--I do have a problem with the govt telling them what they can spend it on--even it if is "for their own good."

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:15 PM

@ben61820....are you as dumb as a brick? I am just using your own assumptions.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Eat eggs for breakfast, a huge salad with some protein in it for lunch, and some veggies and more meat for dinner, and take or leave the jog....and you will be fine

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:13 PM

I agree with ending farm subsidies (from a political philosophical point--I am a small govt guy), but I'm not sure that plentiful cheap food is a bad thing. Cheap food means families can spend more money on things like education, housing, etc... Cheap food means people in impoverished nations can afford to buy enough to avoid starvation. Food is priority #1 in a budget ('cuz if you don't eat, you die). Driving up the cost of food removes money from people's budget for other of life's needs (shelter, heat, water, clothing, etc...)

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:13 PM

@Mark....you should look into west Africa where children are malnourished while parents are obese. They eat a primarily subsidized grain, bread and sugar diet. Are you telling me those parents are going to over eat while their kids literally starve?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:09 PM

@everyone....Yes, eating too much will make you fat. Problem is we view the equation wrong. It is what we eat that causes us to eat to much. Our bodies do not break the laws of thermodynamics. But what you eat can determine if you are hungry again, or if you become addicted to certain foods, or if your blood sugar drops and you need to eat again soon, etc.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:00 PM

@Mark...I'm not saying the law doesn't apply in the human body, I'm saying the application of the law in the body does not get the result that you are supposing.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:57 PM

@Talldog - I don't disagree that the solution I mentioned above would be ineffective in the long run. I was hoping that others would come forward with something substantive which I got in the form of 'educate' or end farmer subsidies (which I agree with). It seems people are far more interested in discourse and criticizing then putting their own ideas forward for review. My objective was to increase cost of fast food to make it less attractive an option. I now think that ending the farmer subsidies would be the better route to achieve this.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:52 PM

@MathGirl72, tool? :) You call someone ignorant. They post a information supporting their assertions from a respected source (that was C&P from the Mayo Clinic website) and your response is to call them a tool. Believe what you want to believe. I know longer care what you think about anything.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:50 PM

What will emerge is a "duo size"--a size designed for two people to share. The Big Macs will be cut in half, so two people can share it. The large fries will be renamed duo size and have a line on the box "remember to share." Drinks will have two holes in the top so two people can share it. And or course, all duo size meals will come with two straws and two napkins. A year from now, the word duo will become common slang for large, so there won't even be any embarrassment over ordering a meal for two. And it will all meet the govt's portion control regulation--which will be an epic fail.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:46 PM

@Karen...I am all for ending the crop subsidies. $20 billion paid from tax payer coffers to private enterprise for 'farm income stabilization'. It has been going on since 1922. The corporate farms would not be hurt the most. Ending the subsidies would virtually eliminate small farms in the USA. Creating a black market through outlaw (see Drugs as well) is not the same thing as using incentives to change behavior.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Wow, Mark, you are something else. Perhaps you cannot or did not read what I wrote. I had 29 cents and a hungry child. You should be able to discern from the price how long ago it was. I managed to scrape together that money and was able to buy him a hamburger to keep him from going to bed hungry. Had it been more than 29 cents, he would not have gotten to eat. It's that simple.There are no hysterics involved.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I agree--it's the food. Discussion like this one frustrate me, because people are talking about everything except the underlying root problem. They're spending all their time killing mosquitoes (fly swatters, sprays, etc...) instead of focusing on WHY there are a lot mosquitoes (breeding grounds like swamps, standing water, etc...) Eliminate the breeding grounds and you eliminate the mosquito problem. The problem is the type of food, not the portion size.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Had you read it, you tool, you would have seen that it is a compilation of research. You mock bloodsugar101, yet think WebMD is good? Do you write your papers using Wikipedia as a source?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:33 PM

@Talldog - those are valid points. The way around it would be to order 2 such meal versus one. Some will do this. I believe enough people would order the 1 reduced sized meal to make a difference. It is my belief. Will it work? Unsure. We know what is being done now is not.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:31 PM

@j3wcy...lol. Okay. It is your misunderstanding of the principle. Enjoy thinking the human body is some magical mystery that ignores the laws of physics. Different strokes indeed. The important thing is if you are healthy. If you are, great, keep doing what you doing.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Yes American. Born and bred

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:24 PM

@Karen...there are not viable alternatives to tobacco products to get a nicotine fix. In the case of food there is.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I am anything but a libertarian, and I think this is a really, really crappy and ineffective way to go about instituting change in peoples food habits.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:22 PM

^It is a laughable concept that in other countries the poor starve while here in America the poor are overweight. I am not advocating starving the poor. There are cheap, healthier options available...even at McD's. If you want to take this discussion to the level of hysterics, go right ahead. I'm not going to join you.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:21 PM

The taxes on cigarettes were ineffective because tobacco is addictive. Sugar (carbs) is also effectively addictive, because the up and down blood sugar swings trigger severe hunger cravings in many people. Extra taxes and restrictions at the consumer level will just make people pay more to get their fix, just as people who smoke keep paying more and more for tobacco. Taxing the consumers didn't work there, education and hitting the corporations did.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:12 PM

@Karen-I understand the difficulties. This was not a thread questioning the feasibility of implementing an incentive program for healthy eating. Not as simple? Or not easy? Simple and easy are not the same thing. I never said losing weight was easy.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Does anyone seriously think a govt ban would work? Prohibition didn't end alcohol use, it just boot-strapped organized crime. Drug bans haven't ended drug use, they've just funded drug cartels. Gun bans haven't lowered gun related crimes, they've just created an illegal black market for guns. Banning 2-for-1 happy hours just made bars offer double-sized drink happy hours. Limiting candy bar sizes only resulted in 2 smaller bars in 1 package. Limit portion sizes? Anyone think this will actually work? Anyone think people WON'T find a way around this? Why do something that won't work?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:10 PM

How about taking on the crop subsidies instead. That's a lot of our tax dollars going to support corporate farming and increase corporate profits. The cheap grains then lead to cheap, crappy fast food. Limiting peoples consumption by some restrictive laws isn't going to work. See: prohibition.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:10 PM

This is from the Mayo Clinic...they have a good rep. WebMD also concurs. 'Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although excess weight and inactivity seem to be contributing factors.' 'Being overweight is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.' I'll take the Mayo Clinic over some internet Guru and a bloodsugar101.com. You know it is a good site when the website name describes it!

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:06 PM

@Mark...then you should know better than to use the law for puposes of your caloric intake argument. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:05 PM

@Talldog...equating popular opinion to fact is a logically fallacy. I would agree that 998 would say yes. I would also say if you asked 1,000 people 500 years ago if the earth was the center of the universe, 998 would answer yes. Proves nothing.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:04 PM

And as an insulin resistant woman who has fought the weight issue very, very hard for many years, I can tell you that it really isn't as simple as you seem to think.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Mark, the government is hardly going to outlaw/limit portions of the foods they promote as healthy and the crops that they subsidize. Or the cheap fast foods made possible by that subsidizing.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:59 PM

Nope, you are still off base and your ignorance is showing. Obesity is a symptom of T2 diabetes, not the cause. For every fat T2 diabetic, I can show you a thin one. In fact, there are 5 in my family alone; I am the only obese diabetic in my family. Here's an interesting read for you: http://www.bloodsugar101.com/

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 05:51 PM

And the reason the food doesn't keep you feeling satieted is because it is not natural food. Ever see obese animals in the wild. Deer living near farms with unlimited food supply stay a healthy weight on their natural diet. We are no different.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:50 PM

"Eat too much = gain weight is NOT a well known fact of life." That's like saying "drink too much beer = you'll get drunk is NOT a well know fact." I'd wager that if you asked 1,000 random adults if eating too much food would make you fat, 998 would answer yes.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Have you ever been poor? There was a time in my life when it was cheaper eat a basic McD's hamburger than it was to buy a head of lettuce. Poor choice? Definitely. You want to tax me into eating a head of lettuce instead when that 29 cent hamburger kept my son from being hungry? And, let me tell you, the 29 cents I scraped together was from discarded pennies I found on the ground. I am blessed enough to be in a situation that allows me to feed my family so much better, but taxing those that make unhealthy choices (by your standards) is a very flawed concept.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 05:02 PM

@Mark....but you were trying to speak to my individual caloric intake by assuming I was taking in more volume and less calories. I said I was doing the opposite. I agree that when people eat junk, they will eat more of it, because of the reactions in the body. But our definition of junk differs. Half of what is sold at WholeFoods is considered "Junk" in my opinion. I would rather eat Chicken tenders from McDonalds than a few slices of whole wheat bread.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:47 PM

@Walcott...I think definitely their is a correlation to the rise in fast food and the processed crap you mention. Instead of getting a burger patty, you get a frankensteinian creation. Fast food is designed to be addictive (sugars/salts at extreme levels). In the end though, when a sedentary population is consuming over 2500 calories a day, that is the problem.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:39 PM

@RaiseFitness...I cannot speak to your anecdotal example of yourself. I am not there to observe your caloric intake versus activity level. If you are healthy, keep doing what you are doing.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:38 PM

Mark, have you considered that maybe excess consumption of calories isn't the cause but rather the result of something else? Like metabolic syndrome? The dates you point out which correlate the rise of obesity with the rise of fast food, also matches with when our fat intake switched from mostly saturated and linolenic-acid based to linoleic-acid, and when corn syrup and other cheap derivatives from corn and soy were discovered for mass use.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:38 PM

@RaiseFitness...I am not advocating an all bread diet and I agree that your body will react differently to different macro loads. I read the abstract about The Smarter Science of Slim. It states that CR diets do not work for the long term because of hormones and other factors. Eating a proper diet of healthy foods will 'reset' your weight point. I am not disagreeing with that. A nutrionist went on a 'twinkie' diet and lost weight. CR restriction for a sustained period will always lead to BW loss regardless of the calorie combination.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:33 PM

@j3wcy I have a Masters in Engineering and have taken 2 collegiate level thermodynamic classes. I have an understanding of what the law states. It is a restatement of the conservation of energy for thermodynamic systems. As far as privacy...I believe that an individuals private rights ends when their actions effects others. If we are to share healthcare costs (which both the old and new system do), then obesity is now a public concern. Unfortunately too many people are not socially responsible and only concern themselves with themselves.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:24 PM

@MathGirl72 The issue with tobacco taxes and why they were ineffective is that the taxes were not high enough to make an impact and there was not a viable alternative to tobacco products (nicotine delivery systems). With food, you have an abundance of viable options to fast food. I agree that our tax code is complicated (overly so) but primarily due to the state and federal income tax laws. I am advocating a point of sale tax which is a different beast all together.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 04:20 PM

@Mark....NO, I eat more calories, not more volumn. But what I eat affects how my body processes it. Thermodynamics is not broken. But if I consume 2000kcal of bread, my body would react differently than if I consume 2500 kcal of healthy meat, fat and veggies. That is where you are missing the point.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Fine, agree to disagree on the studies, everything does have a right to their own opinion, but if you're going to pull the "pesky law of thermodynamics" into this with some sort of idea that it proves me wrong, you aught to take a physics class so that you understand that the only thing that thermodynamics would prove is that the excess intake would incite a reaction. That's all you can say, not that it proves the calories postulation. I do agree on the shared philosophy, but also that private rights trump that. I'm socially responsible because I think it's right, not because I'm forced.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:14 PM

And it's another reason why our tax code is so fucked up and requires so many monkeys in suits to figure it out. Taxing people who make poor choices is not the answer. Raising taxes on tobacco didn't stop people from buying horribly expensive cigarettes. I'm very anti-smoking, but I have never voted to increase taxes on that very specific audience. Total bullshit!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:10 PM

@MathGirl72...I am not at all advocating the diets that the USDA, ADA, or AHA propose. I am here on the paleo board, personally do lean gains IF and carb loading; So I obviously know there is better nutrition out there. The overall message though is not wrong. Obesity leads to type II diabetes, normal weight is healthy. This is known yet many choose to remain obese. I commend you on recognizing something wasn't working and taking it on yourself to be in charge of your own health. If there were more like you, we would not have this epidemic and this discussion would be erroneous.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:04 PM

@RaiseFitness...I recognize that you can eat more food when it is unprocessed but unprocessed food has less calories per volume than processed foods. So you can eat more yet still consume less calories. One of the amazing 'tricks' of going paleo. I have not seen 'Fat Head' but will take a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:04 PM

continues to come off.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:04 PM

@Mark: As a T2 diabetic, you are off base. Yes, we are told to lose weight. However, weight loss is not a magic cure. Eating the way the USDA, ADA, and AHA suggest caused me to lose weight, but my glucose levels would not come down. (I had lower numbers after eating a bowl of frosting than I did after eating the suggest .5 cup of lentils. What was the suggestion? Throw another med at me. I put my research skills to use and discovered that grains were likely my problem. Imagine that...cut out grains, legumes, and sugars and, viola, my numbers are under far better control and the weight

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:02 PM

^ Agree to disagree on the studies. I have read definitive studies plus that pesky law of thermodynamics. I'd imagine that if you counted your calories your are at caloric maintenance levels but to each their own. If you are healthy, what does it matter? You are consistent when applying your philosophy. I for one am all about individual responsibility if the individuals choices and the consequences of those choices are their's alone. I think more people would make better choices if this were true. Unfortunately, our system is one of shared responsibility.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:55 PM

You should read the Smarter Science of Slim, which goes to great lengths and points to many scientific studies that have findings completely opposite of "If you consume more calories than your daily caloric requirement for a sustained period, you will gain weight." Additionally, I believe the way I do because I do eat in surplus every day of my life and do not gain weight, so you can be condescending all you want, but you're still wrong. And yes I think all those things should be legal and flat taxed.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

@mark, have you seen the film "Fat Head"? If not, you would thoroughly enjoy it.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:53 PM

You are still missing the point that what you consume affects what you burn and what you will consume later. I eat more on Paleo than I did before, but I weigh less, and have much less bodyfat. I do not want government screwing things up anymore than they already have.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I'd argue that with the minimeat and maxibun it's a wheatburger. Gluten isolate sells for more than the meat, so the cheap ingredient in modern burgers is starch.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:46 PM

@RaiseFitness...I never once advocated taxing a specific macronutrient or fat. I think you take aim at the fast food companies and focus on total calories.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Yes it is hard. You eliminate options (last resort...think outlawing drugs) OR create incentives that effectively change the behavior to a positive result.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:41 PM

This has been asked and answered in numerous scientific studies. If you consume more calories than your daily caloric requirement for a sustained period, you will gain weight. Believe differently if you like and feel free to eat in surplus and see what happens. Also, the government outlaws drugs, limits/taxes sale of cigarettes and alcohol, and many other things all in the name of the greater good. So if you follow your philosophy to it's logical conclusion; all drugs should be legal and no incentives (taxes) should be placed on any goods to make more likely a specific behavior.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:35 PM

@RaiseFitness...to answer, no. It would not be difficult to define processed foods and the specific places that serve them, single them out, and tax them. For instance, restaurants serve alcohol but are not considered 'bars'. Therefore they do not pay the same premium in taxes. I can also carry my concealed weapon into a restuarant but not a bar. These distinctions are not new/unique and exist in our current tax system.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

lol I wish that would happen!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

The problem is drawing the line. Government would want to tax saturated fat, which is NOT unhealthy. They would not tax cereal grains which ARE unhealthy for most.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

But it's definitely hard...how do you help someone who doesn't want to help themselves...

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:30 PM

@Mark your co-worker wants the easy option...as do most people...we are brought up in a world where everything comes way too accessibly....food, drugs, medicines...it's easier to take pills and put a bandaid over the problem for your coworker than it is for him to deal with the cause. Unfortunately we are brought up believing we can have it all...cakes, disease, and medicines to balance it all out ... Weight watchers doesn't teach anyone about anything but a points system, I question whether it would have taught your coworker about health in the real-world outside of WW....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

Mmmm burnt ends...hello Kansas City...

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

@mzrdnan I agree that food is addictive but having dated someone who was addicted to heroin, I can most assure you that food is not on that level of addiction. I am not advocating that what the 'establishment' preaches is right. I was using the example of Type II diabetes because it is known that obesity causes it and that being a normal weight will cure it. My coworker was pointed to weight watchers...did it for a few weeks (he was able to lower his levels to within a normal range in this time) then said f*** it. The pills made him feel alright so who cares about eating in moderation.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

Perhaps if they lessened portions, considering the huge appetite of the nation as is, don't you just think people would then buy multiple packs? Do you know that the King Size candy bars that were outlawed in Britain have now been broken into 2 smaller "share size" packs? Do you think people really "share" these packs? Or they just become two smaller size chocolates, equating to a complete chocolate bar larger than the original king size, that the same single person is still enjoying? These companies know that once you have a taste for a little bit, you just want more, and it's hard to stop.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Mark, they don't choose to remain unhealthy and fat, a lot of them follow the government diet to a T and they don't become healthier and skinner. Case in point, my wonderful dad who ended up dying of a heart attack. My mom eschewed our Portuguese diet when cooking (his plate only) to make sure he ate the recommended diet. Yeah, that worked alright... @_@

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:23 PM

@Luisa - Your story is an unfortunate one and I hope that you are now better. Just by perusing this board, you can see that not everyone agrees on the 'perfect' diet. We argue over various macro loads, insulin, whatever...there is not one way to eat or be healthy. Eating in moderation and living a healthy lifestyle is a time proven adage to achieve a healthy weight. In the example of Type II diabetes, it is known that obesity causes it and that in most cases, returning to a normal weight will cure it. Despite this, MILLIONS with Type II diabetes choose to remain overweight.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Hey, are you an American?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:21 PM

What we eat now affects what we eat later. Lets stop subsidizing unhealthy corn, wheat and soy, and take all that money and use it to spread the word that those things are inherently UNHEALTHY!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Strong statements, but very accurate and well said!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

You should definitely watch the BBC doco "The Men Who Made Us Fat" they talk about the rise of super-size meals. Really interesting actually. Companies brought it in thinking if they offered more, then people would spend more at their restaurant/chain and that'd increase profits. The increase in the size of the meal wasn't meant to increase appetite, they thought people would eat more now, and eat less later...but that's the exact opposite of what happened...it actually saw people wanting more...all. the. time.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I recognize that most on this board are more than capable to make informed decisions when it comes to food. What about the large percentage of the population that is not? The obesity epidemic has costs for the entire tax base of the USA. Do we not have specific taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and other consumables we deem unhealthy?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I don't think education is the answer... because the people with type 2 diabetes know a "good" diet like USDA diet won't make them lose weight. For years my boyfriend and I ate "perfectly" like we're "supposed to" (lean meats cooked in 1 squeeze of vegetable spray, whole grains like brown rice, old-fashioned oats, and barley), vegetables and fruits. We only got fatter and fatter, and in my case, developed Grave's disease. The more and more sick I got, the more and more I strict I became with USDA diet, and it only made me sicker and fatter. I had plenty of education and it only made me worse!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Fair point RaiseFitness! If it's in the best interest of the nation. However, then they would lose a huge customer base, which means a loss of income, which means less money for the government so I don't know that policy would be so supportive of that

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:15 PM

But those things are quantifiable. Higher calorie is not. When I eat dinner, whether at home or out, I eat a higher calorie dinner. I eat a minimum 1200-1500 kcal at dinner every night. Would you tax the fatty burnt ends I get for dinner at least once a week inside the local whole foods? It is more kcal than a large big mac combo.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Because Mark food is addictive. It's like a drug. Except unlike a drug addiction, you cannot abstain from food, and thus it becomes a life battle for the obese. Especially those who have type II diabetes and who are sold by the government that they have to eat "whole grains" to lower their blood sugar levels...do you see where the educational system is wrong there? and that the government endorses this form of education? I suggest you have a look at the BBC Documentary "The Men Who Made us Fat" and it looks a lot at the history and policies that are in place which affect the nation's weight..

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I think that the rise of fast food restaurants and the GMO high gluten are interlinked. The availability of cheap wheat led to 'them' injecting gluten into EVERYTHING. A hamburger should really be called a gluten burger. This has allowed fast food to be an inexpensive option (obesity among the poor is the highest) compared to whole foods/traditional restaurants. Also, there is a correlation with the density per square mile of fast food chains and higher obesity. Your statement about markets is an absolute one, should all drugs be legal since their is a market for it?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:10 PM

Maybe fast food workers should be held responsible like bartenders are for serving alcohol to a drunk. Fat guy comes in and orders a triple burger, fries and a milkshake, and worker gives them a bland chicken salad instead.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:09 PM

Because the people with type 2 diabetes know a "good" diet like USDA diet won't make them lose weight. For years my boyfriend and I ate "perfectly" like we're "supposed to" (lean meats cooked in 1 squeeze of vegetable spray, whole grains like brown rice, old-fashioned oats, and barley), vegetables and fruits. We only got fatter and fatter, and in my case, developed Grave's disease. The more and more sick I got, the more and more I strict I became with USDA diet, and it only made me sicker and fatter. So believe me, not everyone who is sick is stupid.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:55 PM

@RaiseFitness...I am not wrong. I did not specify a specific diet. I said people diagnosed with Type II diabetes are told to lose weight. My coworker was diagnosed and told to lose weight and then pointed to weight watchers which is just a caloric restriction program. He did that for a week then told me the pills make him feel fine so what is the difference. Ugh...frustrating.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:51 PM

@RaiseFitness - I'm sure tobacco users, alcoholics, and a plethora of consumers that regularly purchase a variety of products taxed at a higher rate feel the same way.

A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

(55)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I like the idea about taxing higher caloric (or maybe higher glycemic) foods, since sadly all the healthier foods are more expensive. Also like the idea of the facial recognition to limit Big Mac consumption. Nice!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

@thhq - I think a combination of both is in order. Incentives should be provided to change consumer as well as distributor habits. The economist in me says pull all the levers a little.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

I would rather not pay an additional tax for when I want to order more food and spend less money for it.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:48 PM

@Alex Sadly, the patent already exists. The laser is very real and the wonderful homeland security now has them.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

Wrong about what type 2 diabetes people are told. They are told to restrict fat, eat whole grains and maintain. If they were told to cut back on their whole grain carbs, then they would be cured, if they weren't too damaged.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

How about taxing the weapons of mass obesity: drive through architecture and marketing?

A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

(55)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

You should patent that, haha! That does bring up another good point, it's just not that practical to limit fast food portions.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:45 PM

There are less intrusive ways to achieve this before we start using Homeland Security's new laser that can tell what you ate and if you are high. How about taxing higher calorie meals at a significate rate?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:43 PM

I do not disagree that much of what you stated is part of the issue. I do not think that education is the answer though. Eat too much = gain weight is a well known fact of life. If education was the answer, why do so many (the majority) of type II diabetics NOT lose weight and instead choose to remain unhealthy (taking pills and injections)?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I don't know exactly what the ban would be. I think that a meal would have an upper caloric restriction on meals...say 500-700 calories for burger+fries+drink (consider that now it can be 1200-2000 for the same). Some people would order more than one meal. Most (I believe) would accept what was offered and that would be that.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:38 PM

@Dave S. I don't believe that education is the key. It is not a mystery why people are overweight. You eat too much, you gain weight. People as a group will almost always act in their best short term interests. Fast food is cheap, readily available, and triggers all of the 'feel' good tastes. Every person who is diagnosed with type II diabetes is told that if they lower their weight to a healthy range, they will be 'cured'. The vast majority choose to take the medication and insulin injections rather than change their diet and become healthy. Sad, gross, and true.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:30 PM

So I guess you would have to do facial recognition and limit daily consumption, so that if they ordered one big mac, and weren't full, they could NOT order another one.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:22 PM

I think a better start would be for various governmental and medical organizations to stop lying about what food is healthy and what isn't. Give people correct information and better choices will ensue. Stop subsidizing corn/HFCS so that sodas aren't so cheap in the first place. Taxing it at the back end only gives more money to the fat cats.

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12 Answers

10
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:41 PM

I think you are asking the wrong question.

The question should be: why do these large portion sizes not satisfy people's hunger?

  • large Big Mac value meal = 1,360 calories (hamburger=550, fries=500, coke=310)
  • medium Big Mac value meal = 1,140 calories (hamburger=550, fries=380, coke=210)
  • small Big Mac value meal = 930 calories (hamburger=550, fries=230, coke=150)

I can speak from experience on this one. The drive through at McDonald's used to be my best friend. Big Mac meal and a Coke; ate it for years. But, invariably come 4:00, I'd be hungry again and thinking "just wait till you get home for dinner." Often I couldn't wait and would raid the candy machine.

How could I eat over half my daily calorie requirement at Noon, and then just 4 hours later be so hungry I couldn't make it home without a snack?

  • Don't say will-power. I've lost 43 pounds since Jan 1 and my will-power hasn't increased one iota.

  • Don't say I wasn't aware enough of the calories. I was, I just hate to live like life is a math problem. I've lost 43 pounds since Jan 1, and I haven't counted a single calorie--not one. Fact is, I don't a clue how many calories I eat every day--no idea at all.

  • Don't say it was lack of portion control. I've lost 43 pounds since Jan 1, and I haven't exercised the fist bit of portion control. I eat any amount I feel like. I don't think at all about how much I'm eating, much less worry about if I'm eating too much.

  • Don't say I've developed discipline or am no longer a glutton. I still relish food as much as I ever did, and my mouth waters just as much over a juicy steak as it ever did.

  • Don't say it's exercise. I don't exercise at all, and I work a desk job.

This is the first time in 20 years I've been even close to a normal weight (despite having tried numerous diets). The only thing--the one and only thing--that has changed has been the TYPE of food I'm eating.

It's the food. The question is: what is there about the McDonald's food that caused it not to keep my hunger at bay? Answer that and you'll have the answer to why fast food leads to obesity.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 13, 2012
at 06:20 AM

@RaiseFitness: Yes, there are obese animals in the wild. Raccoons are one example. They have evolved a very slow metabolism, and develop extreme hyperphasia every fall. It is one of the reasons they have been so successful.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:33 PM

You lost weight because you ate less calories than you used to eat before that point. You found it easier to eat less because you're not eating crap food. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Portion size in this country is too big. The better quality stuff you consume the easier it is to moderate what you eat, and thus you may very well end up eating less whether you intend to or not. Remember, intending to eat less doesn't matter; actually eating less or eating more is what matters.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 05:51 PM

And the reason the food doesn't keep you feeling satieted is because it is not natural food. Ever see obese animals in the wild. Deer living near farms with unlimited food supply stay a healthy weight on their natural diet. We are no different.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 13, 2012
at 06:28 AM

@RaiseFitness: Two reasons you do not see obese animals in the wild. 1) Wild aniomals generally have short lives 2) An obese animal is generally unfit and will be killed. Obesity and survival do not mix, and when you are a wild animal, it is all about survival.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:19 PM

If you reduce portion sizes of crap food, it just means people will eat two smaller portions of crap food instead of one big portion of crap food. Thus, reducing the portion sizes of crap food won't the total number of calories people consume.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I agree--it's the food. Discussion like this one frustrate me, because people are talking about everything except the underlying root problem. They're spending all their time killing mosquitoes (fly swatters, sprays, etc...) instead of focusing on WHY there are a lot mosquitoes (breeding grounds like swamps, standing water, etc...) Eliminate the breeding grounds and you eliminate the mosquito problem. The problem is the type of food, not the portion size.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:21 PM

It wasn't easier to moderate, because I wasn't moderating it at all--before or after. There was no moderation going on. We're probably on the same page--you have to eat fewer calories to lose weight. But, you can't just will people to do it. You have to create the right circumstances that make it happen.

71af94295988d55cd3b8340e619729d0

(255)

on July 13, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Wish I could upvote this more than once.

10
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:24 PM

The problem is not portion size, it is educational and poor food recommendations by the government and any government affiliated agence, Such as AHA, ADA, NIH, etc. When I go to a restaurant, I order as much food as I can eat. If I don't get enough I order more. McDonald's got rid of Supersize meals and we did not suddenly have a decrease in obesity. Now if the government wants to legislate what we eat, they can change what is served in school cafeterias.....that would be a positive change. My mom works in a cafeteria in Alabama, and the pizza sauce is considered a serving of vegetables. They feed kids garbage and call it nutritious. It is no better, and probably worse than fast food! People know what is healthy when they see it, but our government subsidizes the most unhealthy foods such as wheat, soy and corn to artificially lower their prices causing them to end up in everything. Get rid of subsidies or subsidized real vegetables and edible meat would make more of a difference than going after fast food.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

@mzrdnan I agree that food is addictive but having dated someone who was addicted to heroin, I can most assure you that food is not on that level of addiction. I am not advocating that what the 'establishment' preaches is right. I was using the example of Type II diabetes because it is known that obesity causes it and that being a normal weight will cure it. My coworker was pointed to weight watchers...did it for a few weeks (he was able to lower his levels to within a normal range in this time) then said f*** it. The pills made him feel alright so who cares about eating in moderation.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:12 PM

@Karen-I understand the difficulties. This was not a thread questioning the feasibility of implementing an incentive program for healthy eating. Not as simple? Or not easy? Simple and easy are not the same thing. I never said losing weight was easy.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Mark, the government is hardly going to outlaw/limit portions of the foods they promote as healthy and the crops that they subsidize. Or the cheap fast foods made possible by that subsidizing.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Because Mark food is addictive. It's like a drug. Except unlike a drug addiction, you cannot abstain from food, and thus it becomes a life battle for the obese. Especially those who have type II diabetes and who are sold by the government that they have to eat "whole grains" to lower their blood sugar levels...do you see where the educational system is wrong there? and that the government endorses this form of education? I suggest you have a look at the BBC Documentary "The Men Who Made us Fat" and it looks a lot at the history and policies that are in place which affect the nation's weight..

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Yes it is hard. You eliminate options (last resort...think outlawing drugs) OR create incentives that effectively change the behavior to a positive result.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

But it's definitely hard...how do you help someone who doesn't want to help themselves...

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:43 PM

I do not disagree that much of what you stated is part of the issue. I do not think that education is the answer though. Eat too much = gain weight is a well known fact of life. If education was the answer, why do so many (the majority) of type II diabetics NOT lose weight and instead choose to remain unhealthy (taking pills and injections)?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Mark, they don't choose to remain unhealthy and fat, a lot of them follow the government diet to a T and they don't become healthier and skinner. Case in point, my wonderful dad who ended up dying of a heart attack. My mom eschewed our Portuguese diet when cooking (his plate only) to make sure he ate the recommended diet. Yeah, that worked alright... @_@

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:04 PM

And as an insulin resistant woman who has fought the weight issue very, very hard for many years, I can tell you that it really isn't as simple as you seem to think.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:30 PM

@Mark your co-worker wants the easy option...as do most people...we are brought up in a world where everything comes way too accessibly....food, drugs, medicines...it's easier to take pills and put a bandaid over the problem for your coworker than it is for him to deal with the cause. Unfortunately we are brought up believing we can have it all...cakes, disease, and medicines to balance it all out ... Weight watchers doesn't teach anyone about anything but a points system, I question whether it would have taught your coworker about health in the real-world outside of WW....

8
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:06 PM

I'll give you two other things that happened near 1976:

GMO high gluten wheat was approved by the FDA and just about everyone switched because of the high yield (hence low cost).

The Nixon administration got in the business of telling us what to eat.

In fact, when you look at an inflection point like that you have to account for it with a dramatic change, and I attribute it to the GMO wheat, which basically was an overnight change.

Even with government "education", it still takes a while for the message to sink in and people's habits to change. Likewise portions didn't balloon up over night, they slowly increased. Both of those would be on a timescale longer than what is suggested by the plot you link to.

And to answer your question, the government should not be involved in anyway telling the market what to sell. They have the science wrong now and there's nothing to say they'll ever get it right. I'd rather be left to my own to decide whats good for me.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:46 PM

@RaiseFitness...I never once advocated taxing a specific macronutrient or fat. I think you take aim at the fast food companies and focus on total calories.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:46 PM

@Karen...I am all for ending the crop subsidies. $20 billion paid from tax payer coffers to private enterprise for 'farm income stabilization'. It has been going on since 1922. The corporate farms would not be hurt the most. Ending the subsidies would virtually eliminate small farms in the USA. Creating a black market through outlaw (see Drugs as well) is not the same thing as using incentives to change behavior.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

The problem is drawing the line. Government would want to tax saturated fat, which is NOT unhealthy. They would not tax cereal grains which ARE unhealthy for most.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I'd argue that with the minimeat and maxibun it's a wheatburger. Gluten isolate sells for more than the meat, so the cheap ingredient in modern burgers is starch.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I recognize that most on this board are more than capable to make informed decisions when it comes to food. What about the large percentage of the population that is not? The obesity epidemic has costs for the entire tax base of the USA. Do we not have specific taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and other consumables we deem unhealthy?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:10 PM

How about taking on the crop subsidies instead. That's a lot of our tax dollars going to support corporate farming and increase corporate profits. The cheap grains then lead to cheap, crappy fast food. Limiting peoples consumption by some restrictive laws isn't going to work. See: prohibition.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I think that the rise of fast food restaurants and the GMO high gluten are interlinked. The availability of cheap wheat led to 'them' injecting gluten into EVERYTHING. A hamburger should really be called a gluten burger. This has allowed fast food to be an inexpensive option (obesity among the poor is the highest) compared to whole foods/traditional restaurants. Also, there is a correlation with the density per square mile of fast food chains and higher obesity. Your statement about markets is an absolute one, should all drugs be legal since their is a market for it?

6
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I'm going to take issue with a couple of your comments. First, you've said a few times that the issue is clearly overeating. Eat too much = gain weight is NOT a well known fact of life. I completely disagree with that statement with a very strong qualifier, which is that if you eat too much LOW QUALITY food you will gain weight. I believe that if you eat correct high quality food, quantity becomes unimportant. Do not state things as absolutes when they are not, whether you agree with my statement or not. To me, it's not how much low quality food they eat, but that all most people eat is low quality food. If you eat a lot of high quality food, even a supersized double whatever at a fast food place isn't going to cause much harm if it's done in wildly small proportion. Second, I disagree that people know what's healthy and what isn't, when the government tells them it's cereal grains and other harmful things. Most people actually trust the government, ridiculous as that is.

The other part of your question is essentially political, and there I think the key is freedom of information. I don't think you can force people to be healthy, and honestly I don't think companies that produce these foods are doing anything wrong. They provide a service and people want what they provide. To me it's all about individual responsibility. In regards to the societal cost of nationwide health degredation, unless you're willing to stop caring for those people (which would be a near impossible line drawing exercise) you're stuck.

I recognize that you don't believe education is the answer, but I believe it to the best of poor alternatives.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Strong statements, but very accurate and well said!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:47 PM

@Walcott...I think definitely their is a correlation to the rise in fast food and the processed crap you mention. Instead of getting a burger patty, you get a frankensteinian creation. Fast food is designed to be addictive (sugars/salts at extreme levels). In the end though, when a sedentary population is consuming over 2500 calories a day, that is the problem.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:04 PM

@RaiseFitness...I recognize that you can eat more food when it is unprocessed but unprocessed food has less calories per volume than processed foods. So you can eat more yet still consume less calories. One of the amazing 'tricks' of going paleo. I have not seen 'Fat Head' but will take a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Fine, agree to disagree on the studies, everything does have a right to their own opinion, but if you're going to pull the "pesky law of thermodynamics" into this with some sort of idea that it proves me wrong, you aught to take a physics class so that you understand that the only thing that thermodynamics would prove is that the excess intake would incite a reaction. That's all you can say, not that it proves the calories postulation. I do agree on the shared philosophy, but also that private rights trump that. I'm socially responsible because I think it's right, not because I'm forced.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 05:02 PM

@Mark....but you were trying to speak to my individual caloric intake by assuming I was taking in more volume and less calories. I said I was doing the opposite. I agree that when people eat junk, they will eat more of it, because of the reactions in the body. But our definition of junk differs. Half of what is sold at WholeFoods is considered "Junk" in my opinion. I would rather eat Chicken tenders from McDonalds than a few slices of whole wheat bread.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 04:20 PM

@Mark....NO, I eat more calories, not more volumn. But what I eat affects how my body processes it. Thermodynamics is not broken. But if I consume 2000kcal of bread, my body would react differently than if I consume 2500 kcal of healthy meat, fat and veggies. That is where you are missing the point.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:09 PM

@everyone....Yes, eating too much will make you fat. Problem is we view the equation wrong. It is what we eat that causes us to eat to much. Our bodies do not break the laws of thermodynamics. But what you eat can determine if you are hungry again, or if you become addicted to certain foods, or if your blood sugar drops and you need to eat again soon, etc.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:38 PM

Mark, have you considered that maybe excess consumption of calories isn't the cause but rather the result of something else? Like metabolic syndrome? The dates you point out which correlate the rise of obesity with the rise of fast food, also matches with when our fat intake switched from mostly saturated and linolenic-acid based to linoleic-acid, and when corn syrup and other cheap derivatives from corn and soy were discovered for mass use.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:00 PM

@Mark...I'm not saying the law doesn't apply in the human body, I'm saying the application of the law in the body does not get the result that you are supposing.

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:41 PM

I think part of the problem with this whole topic is that people may perhaps be looking at calories in vs calories out differently. How many of us know how many calories are in our faeces and urine? We may put the food in but our body may not absorb all of it. At the end of the day there has to be a balance between calories in vs out, as you cannot destroy or create energy and calories are a unit of energy, but I think there is a disagreement as to weather all of the energy you consume is either used or stored or whether we dispose of excess to some degree. The type of food may determine that.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

@mark, have you seen the film "Fat Head"? If not, you would thoroughly enjoy it.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:33 PM

@j3wcy I have a Masters in Engineering and have taken 2 collegiate level thermodynamic classes. I have an understanding of what the law states. It is a restatement of the conservation of energy for thermodynamic systems. As far as privacy...I believe that an individuals private rights ends when their actions effects others. If we are to share healthcare costs (which both the old and new system do), then obesity is now a public concern. Unfortunately too many people are not socially responsible and only concern themselves with themselves.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:05 PM

@Talldog...equating popular opinion to fact is a logically fallacy. I would agree that 998 would say yes. I would also say if you asked 1,000 people 500 years ago if the earth was the center of the universe, 998 would answer yes. Proves nothing.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:02 PM

^ Agree to disagree on the studies. I have read definitive studies plus that pesky law of thermodynamics. I'd imagine that if you counted your calories your are at caloric maintenance levels but to each their own. If you are healthy, what does it matter? You are consistent when applying your philosophy. I for one am all about individual responsibility if the individuals choices and the consequences of those choices are their's alone. I think more people would make better choices if this were true. Unfortunately, our system is one of shared responsibility.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:38 PM

@RaiseFitness...I am not advocating an all bread diet and I agree that your body will react differently to different macro loads. I read the abstract about The Smarter Science of Slim. It states that CR diets do not work for the long term because of hormones and other factors. Eating a proper diet of healthy foods will 'reset' your weight point. I am not disagreeing with that. A nutrionist went on a 'twinkie' diet and lost weight. CR restriction for a sustained period will always lead to BW loss regardless of the calorie combination.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:55 PM

You should read the Smarter Science of Slim, which goes to great lengths and points to many scientific studies that have findings completely opposite of "If you consume more calories than your daily caloric requirement for a sustained period, you will gain weight." Additionally, I believe the way I do because I do eat in surplus every day of my life and do not gain weight, so you can be condescending all you want, but you're still wrong. And yes I think all those things should be legal and flat taxed.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:06 PM

@Mark...then you should know better than to use the law for puposes of your caloric intake argument. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:31 PM

@j3wcy...lol. Okay. It is your misunderstanding of the principle. Enjoy thinking the human body is some magical mystery that ignores the laws of physics. Different strokes indeed. The important thing is if you are healthy. If you are, great, keep doing what you doing.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:53 PM

You are still missing the point that what you consume affects what you burn and what you will consume later. I eat more on Paleo than I did before, but I weigh less, and have much less bodyfat. I do not want government screwing things up anymore than they already have.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:39 PM

@RaiseFitness...I cannot speak to your anecdotal example of yourself. I am not there to observe your caloric intake versus activity level. If you are healthy, keep doing what you are doing.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:41 PM

This has been asked and answered in numerous scientific studies. If you consume more calories than your daily caloric requirement for a sustained period, you will gain weight. Believe differently if you like and feel free to eat in surplus and see what happens. Also, the government outlaws drugs, limits/taxes sale of cigarettes and alcohol, and many other things all in the name of the greater good. So if you follow your philosophy to it's logical conclusion; all drugs should be legal and no incentives (taxes) should be placed on any goods to make more likely a specific behavior.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:36 PM

"Eating too much = weight gain" is not a commonly held understanding? What country you living in? Turn on the TV. Everything focuses on calories and portion size. Everyone knows to lose weight you eat less. Biggest loser anyone? Come on, face up to it: everyone knows it. That has nothing to do with whether or not people put it into practice. No, of course not. There in comes a person's choice. Knowledge and practice are two very different things. Don't pretend that 99% of the population don't know that the amount of energy you put in your body controls the size of your body..

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:50 PM

"Eat too much = gain weight is NOT a well known fact of life." That's like saying "drink too much beer = you'll get drunk is NOT a well know fact." I'd wager that if you asked 1,000 random adults if eating too much food would make you fat, 998 would answer yes.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Yes eating too much makes us fat, but its an oversimplification of how the body functions. Here's a neat analogy I read earlier: Calories are comparable to a final score in a football game. But the score says nothing about the various plays, players, their injuries, and other details of the game. Calories In Vs Out is definitely NOT a commonly held understanding within Paleo and other alternate diet circles. It's hotly debated. Because people want to know WHY people overeat. And people want to know WHY certain people are at a metabolic disadvantage.

97c04f87a752ff0a5cf6be9d806c0334

(888)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:14 PM

cont. Is it because of the abundance of over processed food? Is it because of the environment? Is it because of our poor omega ratios? WHY? Calories In Vs Out answers none of these important questions. Saying that obese people should simply eat less is not a solution since you're only treating the symptom and not the root cause of illness.

5
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:45 PM

You, You're the One.

The entire food distribution system is tuned to deliver mass quantities. Drive thrus and fast inexpensive food - and marketing to deliver same - are part of a super-reward mechanism.

Shamefully there are no brakes on the thing. By participating in it we lose our ability to prepare food. Overconsumption has been made so simple and acceptable that you have to intentionally resist it.

3
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:18 PM

My first thought is the above mentioned libertarian no.

My second thought is that the people who will be setting up the rules you want are idiots. They believe fat and salt are evil. Do you really think they'll be content to ban super size meals and call it a day?

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Fair point RaiseFitness! If it's in the best interest of the nation. However, then they would lose a huge customer base, which means a loss of income, which means less money for the government so I don't know that policy would be so supportive of that

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:10 PM

Maybe fast food workers should be held responsible like bartenders are for serving alcohol to a drunk. Fat guy comes in and orders a triple burger, fries and a milkshake, and worker gives them a bland chicken salad instead.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I don't know exactly what the ban would be. I think that a meal would have an upper caloric restriction on meals...say 500-700 calories for burger+fries+drink (consider that now it can be 1200-2000 for the same). Some people would order more than one meal. Most (I believe) would accept what was offered and that would be that.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:32 PM

lol I wish that would happen!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:10 PM

I was actually talking to someone about the idea of fast food yesterday. She was recounting a trip to Thailand, where high quality, plentiful, and cheap food was everywhere. So much so, that cooking for herself would have cost more than eating out.

The fastness and portion size have nothing to do with it, it is the low quality of ingredients, some of which I'm not sure can even be considered food, at fast food chains in the states that is the problem. Our bodies have to take in actual nutrients to be satiated. Much of the world has abundant, hyperpalatable, instantly available street food, without the ballooning waistlines we have here, we just screwed up on our ingredients list.

1
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 13, 2012
at 06:11 AM

I believe that COST is a HUGE issue for many people. I know so many people that eat fast food because it is cheap. If you're trying to feed a family of four, MacDonalds or KFC is the cheapest way to do it.

Let's face it, good food is expensive!

I used to work in a Chinese restaurant adjacent to a Wendy's. Say what you want about Chinese food, but it is basically unprocessed. So many people come in, look at the menu, complain about cost and then go to Wendy's for the dollar menu. I could see them through the front window walking right across.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 13, 2012
at 11:41 AM

I was raised thinking McDonalds was a treat. Eating at home was, and still is, cheaper; but eating packages of macncheese, hot dogs and canned soup wasn't any healthier. Those "homemade" processed foods, and my sedentary behavior, made me fat. Over the decades McDonalds has taken away even the small bit of home cooking, which over time helped me when I started to think about what I ate. A generation that expects drive thru and snack foods has lost the connection to home cooking completely.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on July 12, 2012
at 08:24 PM

I disagree with those that believe government intervention will help ameliorate the problem. It is actually quite arrogant (ignorant as well), to think that you could possibly centralize all the ever evolving and esoteric information into one place and create a regulation that would not immediately have a secondary and thirtiary consequences that you could not plan for. Regulations have unintended and unforeseen consequences, which generate negative externalities so large they ultimately result in a deadweight loss upon society. For just two examples, one could look at the role of the Basil I and Basil II accords and the effect GSEs which together precipatet the massive decline in wealth we as a nation were recently afflicted by. What needs to happen first is for the government to cease the subsidies towards crops like wheat, corn, and soy, as well as halt tariffs on goods like sugar. What we need is a properly incentivized system that allows individuals to freely choose which foods to produce and consume, and whether they choose to drive or walk to work, etc. To paraphrase a section of *HUman Actio*n where Mises describes the market process, a properly incentivized market will not "directly prevent anybody from arbitrarily inflicting harm" upon himself or his fellow citizens, but will exact "a penalty upon such conduct." The problem is that nowadays the market is so stifled with regulations, that the incentive system has been corrupted, so people have less and less incentive to, for instance, take good care of their health (we have drugs for that now, and with universal health care, everyone can reach into their wealthier neighbors pocket to pay for them). I am sure this will get a lot of flack, but I don't care. Doctor's do pro-bono work when it's needed, not when it is not need (my father is a doctor, I know this happens regularly). We can all expect to see the number of Americans who could benefit from non-medicinal intervention being over-treated and overprescribed medications. Oh, but hey, look you're insurance covers it! Personal responsibility, self-reliance and ingenuity are lost qualities in the micro-managed macro-economy that we live in today. Unfortunately it is a far cry from the Classical, Walrasian competitive model that would foster such qualities and spontaneously bring about proper incentives, personal health being just one of many.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:37 PM

I agree that the tax paying base (just over 50% of the eligible population) foots the bill for the non-tax payers and skews people to bad results. The Type II diabetes example above...if the patients had to pay the full cost of the medication, more would opt to lose weight. I agree that if we allowed people to live with the actual consequences of their choices, then more people would make better choices. But do you let a child with a curable disease die because here parents chose not get insurance? This is obviously a multi-faceted issue with ethical concerns, not simple economics.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:32 PM

I agree that doing anything in a complex system will have unintended consequences. I am for ending the farmer subsidies. But an unintended consequence would be virtually eliminating every small farm in the USA. Thousands if not tens of thousands stripped of their income and homes. You mention a properly incentivized system...what would that use if you are not going to use the monetary cost of something to change people's behaviors?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:58 PM

@Foreveryoung...Oh, I totally agree that ending farming subsidies and things along this ilk would improve American innovation and competitiveness on the World Market in the long run. I was just pointing out that you have now made unemployed and homeless 900,000 people who have no skills to bring to a modern job market. Talk about unintended consequences. Probably a phase out of the subsidy with an attempt to form large farms with as many small farms as possible would help mitigate that particular impact.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 08:39 PM

To be stripped of an unsustainable income is not a bad thing. Just like foreclosing on a house is not a bad thing if you can't afford it. We don't need more farmers growing corn, wheat or soy. If you are going to subsidize farmers, subsidize kale farmers, or squash, or anything that has any health benefit, not the standard three of corn wheat and soy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Mark it was good fun- devil's advocate is the best way to learn. I do it all the time and practically everyday myself. I am economics nerd, but I have a little niche which I particularly like, and it's not health care. So this is not my are of expertise either.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Interesting insight!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Russia is not free market economy by any means. It is still highly planned with an obfuscated price mechanism.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Also, as for millions of small farmers going out of business? Why, they'd now be MORE competitive! This is simply because now it's more expensive to mono-crop wheat, corn, and soy, and the ones that are successfully farming a variety of crops will be comparatively more efficient. Not only that, but in the long run the food system will change such that processed junk will become more expensive because the inputs (wheat, corn, soy, etc) have increased in price.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:01 PM

@ Mark- yes, I would definitely imagine that if it were an overnight thing, we would have a national crisis on our hands of unknown proportions. Good, good point.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:46 PM

@RaiseFitness...I agree that it is silly and super socialistic to maintain a few farmers living a 'traditional' lifestyle at the expense of everyone else. The subsidies allowed many farmers not to modernize with the rest of the country. This alone should not justify continuing a bad practice. There is some worry that ending subsidies will raise food prices but many farmers are paid NOT to grow. I am an engineer and not an economist but I remember if there was more of something, the price went down.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:06 PM

@Foreveryoung...I'm just an armchair general on my best day who is bored at work. The only field I have extensive knowledge in is hydrology. I like learning and playing Devil's Advocate is often the best way to pull ideas and gain insight from other people.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:18 PM

@Foreveryoung...I disagree that we are adopting universal healthcare. Requiring the majority to have health insurance is not the same as a one payer system. The expansion to M&M on the other hand...barf. If you look at Canada, Australia (just to get away from Western Europe and their failing economies), they pay similar taxes yet receive far more benefit (free collegiate education, free healthcare, more robust retirement). It is frustrating that we as a nation will spend more money than the rest of the world combined on 'defense' but are unwilling to spend it on ourselves.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:51 PM

@Foreveryoung...you do not have to imagine a world without insurance. Just travel to another country that does not have it or socialized medicine on a large scale. People die of common ailments. The old die in the streets. Garbage men pick them up (my sister lived in Russia for 3 years). I imagine there would be more charities but not enough to cover everyone. As we can see in this country, the very wealthy are very fond of holding onto their wealth. They are unwilling to pay the same effective tax rates as their workers (Buffet Rule).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I like and agree with most of what you said but to ask this...you are against government intervention butyou mention a properly incentivized system which enacts a penalty (which could be construed as a tax for not purchasing insurance or for purchasing specific items. Notice choice was not eliminated). Who sets up that system? In our communities and nation, who is responsible for the general welfare of the people? Who is most able to do the most good (or harm)? I do not like our government and we are our government (the pains of democratic elections).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:03 PM

@Foreveryoung...I agree with most if not all your points. The assumption that the market will always bring the cost down to a point that affordable to the majority is a fallacy. What if the cost of a free healthcare market did not come down, as you surmise, to be affordable to the majority or even the minority. We are back to people with curable diseases dying. What then? The free market is not the solution to every problem. Many countries have socialized medicine and pay far less than the USA in terms of GDP. Many have better quantifiables in life expectancy and infant mortality rates.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:53 PM

A properly incetivized system is the price mechanism- an unencumbered one. If you have to pay for your health, it is less profitable to become unhealthy, so you'll have less incentive to do so. You'll have more incentive to take care of yourself because you'll have better job and future mate prospects, as well as a higher quality of life and more money (because you're not spending on healthcare that you actually are paying for yourself).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:04 PM

There would certainly be an adjustment period in the short run, but in the long run we would be better for it, and that's what we should strive for, to have something work out in the long run (i.e. be sustainable).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:09 PM

Right, like France for instance, but France also has better quality of food and a generally healthier lifestyle aside from their health care system, not the because of it. Additionally, much of modern medicine advancements are coming out of the US because the profit is higher here, and other countries are outsourcing their minds into the US. This will likely not be the case for much longer though, once the US adopts a universal health care system and physician salaries decline.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:45 PM

@ Mark- THanks for your response. First, about the child with a curable disease but parents without insurance. As I said my father is a physician, and he and his team to PLENTY of pro-bono work in the US, as well as missionary work in other countries. I do recognize that are unfortunate exceptions, but I do believe those are outliers. You have to think of a system without insurance too. Would there not be an even greater number of private charities than there are today who help people just like you mentioned before? I would gather there would be...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:59 PM

...I must admit though, if we plan on discussing Russia's economy as it is today in the 21st century, I will be drawing on a very slim background of knowledge. Even worse, I've never been to Russia to experience it first hand. But I'm all for learning more about it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:47 PM

...also, would there be some price discrimination at play by physicians? Certainly, but only to an extent because the one's who consistently price gauges too much, the doctor down the street will take his business and outcompete him.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:50 PM

It's also now more expensive to be unhealthy as individual, so more people will seek out fresh produce, more people will have an incentive to maintain a garden in their back yards, etc. It's a win win win win win win.

1
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on July 12, 2012
at 05:51 PM

People eat porridge for breakfast, low fat sandwhich for lunch and quorn spaghetti bolognese for dinner, go for a jog 3 times a week and think they're being healthy as hell

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Eat eggs for breakfast, a huge salad with some protein in it for lunch, and some veggies and more meat for dinner, and take or leave the jog....and you will be fine

1
A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

on July 12, 2012
at 02:26 PM

I do agree very much about the potion sizes today, they are getting quite ridiculous. I think it started getting bad when the base of fast food and to-go cups had to shrink just so that they could fit in cup holders! Larger portions are definitely a factor in the obesity epidemic, but alot of it has to do with the crap that's in fast food, too. Most of the foods in McDonald's are above 70 in the Glycemic Index.

Now I have to admit, I have always been in pretty good physical shape, but I would go eat fast food alot in college. I would typically, after working out or running, would say "That was an exhausting workout, I'm going to go get a Big Mac", and would struggle with reaching my fitness goals (duh...). My problem then, as is alot of people's problem's now, is that they let themselves get hungry and that giant Whopper looks like the only thing that can satisfy them.

I think limiting the portion size of fast food items would be a start but it wouldn't be enough. I think the way it needs to be approached is through better education of consumers and parents making healthy eating a habit for their children.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

I would rather not pay an additional tax for when I want to order more food and spend less money for it.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 02:30 PM

So I guess you would have to do facial recognition and limit daily consumption, so that if they ordered one big mac, and weren't full, they could NOT order another one.

A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

(55)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I like the idea about taxing higher caloric (or maybe higher glycemic) foods, since sadly all the healthier foods are more expensive. Also like the idea of the facial recognition to limit Big Mac consumption. Nice!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:45 PM

There are less intrusive ways to achieve this before we start using Homeland Security's new laser that can tell what you ate and if you are high. How about taxing higher calorie meals at a significate rate?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:29 PM

@RaiseFitness...After a cursory look, children in Western Africa are not starving, they are micronutrient deficient. I am not playing semantics. The are receiving food but not with enough micronutrients. 'National survey data in the last 20 years reveal a growing prevalence of overweight in pre-school children, especially in the coastal, rapidly urbanising countries' (Food Security and Nutrition Trends in West Africa - Challenges and the Way Forward from FAO).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

@thhq - I think a combination of both is in order. Incentives should be provided to change consumer as well as distributor habits. The economist in me says pull all the levers a little.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:35 PM

@RaiseFitness...to answer, no. It would not be difficult to define processed foods and the specific places that serve them, single them out, and tax them. For instance, restaurants serve alcohol but are not considered 'bars'. Therefore they do not pay the same premium in taxes. I can also carry my concealed weapon into a restuarant but not a bar. These distinctions are not new/unique and exist in our current tax system.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:48 PM

@Alex Sadly, the patent already exists. The laser is very real and the wonderful homeland security now has them.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:13 PM

@Mark....you should look into west Africa where children are malnourished while parents are obese. They eat a primarily subsidized grain, bread and sugar diet. Are you telling me those parents are going to over eat while their kids literally starve?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

Mmmm burnt ends...hello Kansas City...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

How about taxing the weapons of mass obesity: drive through architecture and marketing?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Have you ever been poor? There was a time in my life when it was cheaper eat a basic McD's hamburger than it was to buy a head of lettuce. Poor choice? Definitely. You want to tax me into eating a head of lettuce instead when that 29 cent hamburger kept my son from being hungry? And, let me tell you, the 29 cents I scraped together was from discarded pennies I found on the ground. I am blessed enough to be in a situation that allows me to feed my family so much better, but taxing those that make unhealthy choices (by your standards) is a very flawed concept.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Wow, Mark, you are something else. Perhaps you cannot or did not read what I wrote. I had 29 cents and a hungry child. You should be able to discern from the price how long ago it was. I managed to scrape together that money and was able to buy him a hamburger to keep him from going to bed hungry. Had it been more than 29 cents, he would not have gotten to eat. It's that simple.There are no hysterics involved.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:31 PM

@RaiseFitness...it does discuss your specific case. 'Interestingly, an IFPRI study in Accra reported the phenomenon of the “stunted child-overweight mother pairs” living in the same households (Garrett and Ruel, 2003). The study considered this phenomenon to be a result of changing diet and income generating activities (for the mothers) alongside poor childcare and inadequate food consumption (for children)' from the same source. So in short, yes, the parents are eating and not feeding their children properly. That is very sad.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:51 PM

@RaiseFitness - I'm sure tobacco users, alcoholics, and a plethora of consumers that regularly purchase a variety of products taxed at a higher rate feel the same way.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:24 PM

@MathGirl72 The issue with tobacco taxes and why they were ineffective is that the taxes were not high enough to make an impact and there was not a viable alternative to tobacco products (nicotine delivery systems). With food, you have an abundance of viable options to fast food. I agree that our tax code is complicated (overly so) but primarily due to the state and federal income tax laws. I am advocating a point of sale tax which is a different beast all together.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:22 PM

^It is a laughable concept that in other countries the poor starve while here in America the poor are overweight. I am not advocating starving the poor. There are cheap, healthier options available...even at McD's. If you want to take this discussion to the level of hysterics, go right ahead. I'm not going to join you.

A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

(55)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

You should patent that, haha! That does bring up another good point, it's just not that practical to limit fast food portions.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:15 PM

But those things are quantifiable. Higher calorie is not. When I eat dinner, whether at home or out, I eat a higher calorie dinner. I eat a minimum 1200-1500 kcal at dinner every night. Would you tax the fatty burnt ends I get for dinner at least once a week inside the local whole foods? It is more kcal than a large big mac combo.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 12, 2012
at 04:14 PM

And it's another reason why our tax code is so fucked up and requires so many monkeys in suits to figure it out. Taxing people who make poor choices is not the answer. Raising taxes on tobacco didn't stop people from buying horribly expensive cigarettes. I'm very anti-smoking, but I have never voted to increase taxes on that very specific audience. Total bullshit!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:24 PM

@Karen...there are not viable alternatives to tobacco products to get a nicotine fix. In the case of food there is.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:21 PM

The taxes on cigarettes were ineffective because tobacco is addictive. Sugar (carbs) is also effectively addictive, because the up and down blood sugar swings trigger severe hunger cravings in many people. Extra taxes and restrictions at the consumer level will just make people pay more to get their fix, just as people who smoke keep paying more and more for tobacco. Taxing the consumers didn't work there, education and hitting the corporations did.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:12 PM

I suppose the libertarians will say no. The government shouldn't tell you what to do. The catch is that Americans are dumb as bricks and with out a rule like you're saying they'll eat crap, and too much of it.

I think that portions acros the board in the US are too big. I choose not to eat them. You choose the same prolly. But there are so many babies having babies. These kids don't know right from wrong. They don't know healthy food, even if it is available. They're not going to teach their kids how to eat well. Rules like the OP mentions may help people in this type of situation.

Lustig says a lot of things that are silly but his point that legislation is needed to start resolving our health woes isn't too far off.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I am anything but a libertarian, and I think this is a really, really crappy and ineffective way to go about instituting change in peoples food habits.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 07:15 PM

@ben61820....are you as dumb as a brick? I am just using your own assumptions.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Yes American. Born and bred

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Does "Mikey Likes It" and "You You're The One" work anywhere but the USA to get people to eat more cr#p? What part of dumb as bricks don't you get RaiseFitness? I used to eat that way and I'm sure ben was raised to do the same. I revered Captain Yoby and his burgers, fries and shakes. The pinnacle of eating whan I was 10.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Hey, are you an American?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 12, 2012
at 08:40 PM

I am an american and I know that the majority of americans are dumb as bricks. I ate crap all my life, everyone did all around me. It's taken a while but finally I've started to realize what eating well means: sensible portions, making meal times count, enjoying the process of the meal and not just the food, cooking, resting after a nice big meal, paying attention, moving a lot. If given the choice always opt to eat a little less and move a little more. This is just very plain, boring, time-tested stuff I've picked up. Who knew, it works.

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