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post #121 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by ColorClassicG4:
<strong>I am constantly amazed that anyone cares about anyone else's obesity.</strong><hr></blockquote>I really don't understand your statement - are you saying you just don't care about the health and well-being of other people? Satcher said that obesity is quickly becoming the number one preventable killer of Americans. And you say "I don't know why anyone cares?"
:confused:

Do you feel the same way about AIDS - who cares if people are dying? I just don't get it. Are you just suggesting that we shouldn't pass any laws against overeating? If that's it, no one here has suggested any kind of legislative action at all, I don't believe.

But you seem to be going further, by saying that we not only shouldn't have laws, but we shouldn't, as individuals, even care about the health of others. So should we stop medical research, get rid of dietitians, remove nutrition facts labels, etc.? One of the reasons your statement bothers me is that I'm married to a professional in this field - should she stop caring about other people's obesity, too?

I don't mean to flame you, but this is a belief that always bothers me. Basically: if it's legal, it's OK and therefore shouldn't be criticized or discussed. We shouldn't stigmatize any behavior that's legal, we shouldn't criticize anyone for what they do, we shouldn't judge people. Shouldn't there be any values or principles that go beyond the law?

For example, teens having children is legal - should we not care about that?

I'm sure I've mis-characterized your attitude, but you've repeated your above statement a few times now, and I'd like to know what it means exactly.
post #122 of 143
actually, if you want to be strictly an asshole, you can say you care about other people's weight because their medical bills drive up your insurance costs with preventable diseases/problems.

if you wanted to be an asshole that is.
post #123 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>I really don't understand your statement - are you saying you just don't care about the health and well-being of other people? Satcher said that obesity is quickly becoming the number one preventable killer of Americans. And you say "I don't know why anyone cares?"
:confused:

Do you feel the same way about AIDS - who cares if people are dying?</strong><hr></blockquote>

You're not likely to catch obesity from anyone. And you can't even get it accidentally. Even more than for HIV, people who get obesity do so through their own actions. What difference does it make to you?

[quote]<strong>
But you seem to be going further, by saying that we not only shouldn't have laws, but we shouldn't, as individuals, even care about the health of others. So should we stop medical research, get rid of dietitians, remove nutrition facts labels, etc.? One of the reasons your statement bothers me is that I'm married to a professional in this field - should she stop caring about other people's obesity, too?</strong><hr></blockquote>

But your wife is being paid to worry about other peoples' obesity. What about other people's willing self-inducement of a disease bothers you? At least people try to discourage smoking because it smells bad to other people and (theoretically) damages other peoples' health. As I said above, you're not likely to catch it.

[quote]<strong>
I don't mean to flame you, but this is a belief that always bothers me. Basically: if it's legal, it's OK and therefore shouldn't be criticized or discussed. We shouldn't stigmatize any behavior that's legal, we shouldn't criticize anyone for what they do, we shouldn't judge people. Shouldn't there be any values or principles that go beyond the law?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Being obese is a moral failing? What about foolishly going outside in the rain and catching a cold? Here again we have someone else knowingly doing something which will probably make them ill. What business is it of yours (or anyone else's)?
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post #124 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>actually, if you want to be strictly an asshole, you can say you care about other people's weight because their medical bills drive up your insurance costs with preventable diseases/problems.

if you wanted to be an asshole that is. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, if you wanted to be an asshole, you'd try to encourage people to continue or start smoking. Smoking tends to kill people at a younger age than when they would develop expensive medical problems which would drive up your insurance.

One of the biggest long-term problems with Medicare (and with Social Security), ironically, is increased longevity due to lower smoking rates.
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post #125 of 143
[quote]Smoking tends to kill people at a younger age than when they would develop expensive medical problems which would drive up your insurance.<hr></blockquote>

Erm, I assume you're referring to the report that Phillip Morris prepared for the government of... Romania? Czech Republic?. Anyway, the report suggested encouraging smoking as a way to kill people younger and so lower long-term pension costs. The point was that the lower pension costs more than offset the (very substantial) rise in medical bills. But that didn't take into account the loss of productive life-years, which puts smoking way into deficit on a national balance sheet.

It also ignores the fact that lots of people die young, of horrible diseases, leaving greiving friends and family, due to an addiction that they often cannot break. But that goes on a different balance sheet.

Obesity is a different matter anyway, since a higher proportion of obese people suffer major health problems caused by their affliction, and those major health problems tend to be chronic, progressive, disabling, and heavily medicated - probably making them more expensive than smoking. Besides just being fatal.
post #126 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by ColorClassicG4:
<strong>But your wife is being paid to worry about other peoples' obesity. What about other people's willing self-inducement of a disease bothers you? At least people try to discourage smoking because it smells bad to other people and (theoretically) damages other peoples' health. As I said above, you're not likely to catch it.</strong><hr></blockquote>So let me get this straight - you should only care about serious social problems facing our country if:
1. you get money to do so, or
2. you could catch it from them.

It's one thing to say people should have the legal right to harm themselves, it's another to say that individuals shouldn't think about, analyze, or care about the serious problems we face as a country. [quote]Being obese is a moral failing?<hr></blockquote>No, it's a behavioral problem, like smoking, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and many other social problems that hurt our country. Oh, I forgot, you don't care. [quote]What about foolishly going outside in the rain and catching a cold?<hr></blockquote>Maybe if you didn't have such a head-in-the-sand approach to public health, you'd know that you don't catch colds from going outside in the rain.
:razz:
post #127 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>No, it's a behavioral problem, like smoking, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and many other social problems that hurt our country. Oh, I forgot, you don't care. </strong><hr></blockquote>

You see, what you're doing here, philosophically, is denying other people the right to free will. You have divided the world between people who are acting correctly, like yourself (or your wife), and people who have a "behavior" which is incorrect as such. This distinction, as you yourself said, has nothing to do with morals. It is merely an idea of incorrect behavior, an idea that other people cannot make decisions for themselves and that they are children to be properly guided by you, the wise elite.

Let us take smoking, briefly. Smoking is, according to the appropriate medical literature, a very good way to get a variety of unpleasant diseases. Nevertheless, people choose to smoke anyway, for a variety of reasons (weight loss, social acceptance, etc). Which does this mean?

a) some people make decisions which to a lot of other people seem to be catastrophically stupid, but that's up to them

b) some people obviously can't be trusted to make decisions for themselves, and so need to have their behavior controlled

You are, and the person to whom I originally referred is, arguing B.

[quote]<strong>Maybe if you didn't have such a head-in-the-sand approach to public health, you'd know that you don't catch colds from going outside in the rain.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Of course not. It's a simple example. We could talk about pancreatic cancer or something if you'd rather. *shrug*
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post #128 of 143
[quote]You have divided the world between people who are acting correctly, like yourself (or your wife), and people who have a "behavior" which is incorrect as such. <hr></blockquote>Actually, at 5'10" and 180, I should lose at least 10 pounds. I stopped working out a few years ago, and I'm trying to get up the motivation to get back into it. If you're suggesting I'm making a judgment of others to be superior to them, I'm not. I do plenty of stuff that's wrong. I'd list them all, but it would be too embarrassing. [quote]a) some people make decisions which to a lot of other people seem to be catastrophically stupid, but that's up to them

b) some people obviously can't be trusted to make decisions for themselves, and so need to have their behavior controlled.

You are, and the person to whom I originally referred is, arguing B.<hr></blockquote>You confuse an interest in public health issues, or social problems more generally, with some kind of authoritarianism. But that's a leap only you have made.

The distinction is actually between: a) people who care about our culture and our people and the direction we're headed, and b) people who don't care.

I do believe people make incorrect choices. I think that's the difference: I'm willing to make judgments about right and wrong, and you're afraid to do so. Why do you couch your position in such relativistic language? "...decisions which to a lot of other people seem to be catastrophically stupid..." It doesn't just seem stupid, and it's not just a matter of relative opinions of different people.

Attitudes like yours say we should abdicate values and judgments about others. It's a kind of perverse munging together of libertarianism and post-modernism. You usually see this with respect to free speech: people assume that because we have a First Amendment, individual citizens can't and shouldn't criticize other people's ideas, and everyone's ideas and ways of life are equally valid. In fact, because the gov't isn't allowed to control behavior or speech, it falls as an even greater burden on private citizens to care about, and criticize, inappropriate behavior, speech, and culture.

I don't know your political philosophy, but I think moral relativism is one point where liberals and conservatives could agree. We may have different values and we can debate them, but the idea that there are no values and we shouldn't even discuss them is a sure step down the wrong path. [quote]quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maybe if you didn't have such a head-in-the-sand approach to public health, you'd know that you don't catch colds from going outside in the rain.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course not. It's a simple example.<hr></blockquote>It's not a simple example, it's a wrong example. If you were even minimally knowledgeable about health such a thought couldn't even escape from your head.
post #129 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by Jane:
<strong>It depends what you call fat. If you are a woman and you are one pound over the limit of 100 pounds and 6 feet tall in our society now you are fat.

In another time voluptuous women would not be considered fat but healthy. Why do we all have to be at the same weight and the same height. Isn't beauty inside instead of outside. Aren't beautiful smile, beautiful eyes more important than being a skeleton. People often mistake being healthy with being ultra skinny. Maybe you guys should take more to develop your intellect.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Shouldn't you be in the kitchen?
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post #130 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by ZO:
<strong>So, is this anti-american? No, not really. But I can say this much, it IS American corporations and "way of life" that is continously FORCED and PUSHED onto EVERY DAMN CULTURE OF THE WORLD in one way or another and its really really incredibly disturbing. Just because the USA IS the most powerful nation in the world DOES NOT mean we have to continously change everyone's thinking all the damn time!</strong><hr></blockquote>

Can someone say bizarro extreme?
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post #131 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Attitudes like yours say we should abdicate values and judgments about others. It's a kind of perverse munging together of libertarianism and post-modernism. You usually see this with respect to free speech: people assume that because we have a First Amendment, individual citizens can't and shouldn't criticize other people's ideas, and everyone's ideas and ways of life are equally valid. In fact, because the gov't isn't allowed to control behavior or speech, it falls as an even greater burden on private citizens to care about, and criticize, inappropriate behavior, speech, and culture.</strong>

Why shouldn't people be responsible for their own actions?

Put it this way. If people were forced to be responsible for themselves with no help from the government or well meaning do-gooders the problem would go away. Either the obese would find a balance where they could support themselves (most likely requiring them to lose weight) or they would die. End of problem. For all your morals and values all you're really doing is extending the suffering of these people by making it possible for their obesity to be sustainable.
"America is a society where intellect seems to be out of style, replaced by garish gold jewelry, and winter clothes worn year round."
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post #132 of 143
well, i for one wouldn't give a rat's fuzzy behind about what people do with thier own lives, except when it affects me.

in this case, as i mentioned, i end up paying more money for health insurance/hospital bills to make up for the people who are constantly going in to get worked on for weight related health problems.

in this instance it's similar to smoking. I DON'T WANT TO PAY 'CAUSE SOMEONE ELSE F*ED UP.

smoking and overeating are a bit unusual in that it takes a consistant effort and more money to have a problem there than to not start.

smoking always costs more than not smoking. overeating always costs more than eating what you need.

it's not a poverty, simple mistake type thing. it's a habitual problem that other people end up paying for.
post #133 of 143
[quote]<strong>I do believe people make incorrect choices. I think that's the difference: I'm willing to make judgments about right and wrong, and you're afraid to do so. Why do you couch your position in such relativistic language? "...decisions which to a lot of other people seem to be catastrophically stupid..." It doesn't just seem stupid, and it's not just a matter of relative opinions of different people.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I asked earlier if you thought it was a moral issue, and you disagreed. Now you do think it's a moral issue. Okay. Tell me why you think that undertaking a behavior which could potentially cause you illness is morally wrong, as opposed to merely a bad idea.

[quote]<strong>
It's not a simple example, it's a wrong example. If you were even minimally knowledgeable about health such a thought couldn't even escape from your head.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Most people minimally knowledgeable about health do not think that thoughts "escape from your head". You see, we have both used metaphors. Ta-da.
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post #134 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>...I think moral relativism is one point where liberals and conservatives could agree.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I disagree. Generally, conservatives are not afraid to critique ideas and cultures while left-wingers would rather not offend someone because "there is no right and wrong, everything's good as long as it doesn't harm me."

Due to the liberal belief that generally no idea or culture is superior to or better than another (except when it's a left-wing idea) we have all this free-speech-suppressing political correctness in the country. One example would be college campus "speech codes." Funny how an "institution of ideas" is the Thought Police.
post #135 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by ColorClassicG4:
<strong>I asked earlier if you thought it was a moral issue, and you disagreed. Now you do think it's a moral issue. Okay. Tell me why you think that undertaking a behavior which could potentially cause you illness is morally wrong, as opposed to merely a bad idea.</strong><hr></blockquote>Huh? I never used the terms "morality" or "morally wrong." I think it's right to act in a healthy way, and wrong to act in an unhealthy way, and we shouldn't be afraid to say so. Why is this so tough? [quote]Most people minimally knowledgeable about health do not think that thoughts "escape from your head". You see, we have both used metaphors. Ta-da.<hr></blockquote>No, you can't magically "ta-da" yourself out of it that easily. I used a metaphor, you used a factually inaccurate example. It's like saying "2+2=5," and then when someone says, "no, that's wrong," you say "oh, it was just an example," and then "it's just a metaphor." Talk about not taking responsibility for doing something wrong. You know, when I initially pointed out your mistake, I used a smiley. I'm willing to forget it. But you persist in arguing defensively about it. Keep on diggin'.

I still haven't heard a defense of your belief that we shouldn't care about the health of other people.
post #136 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Huh? I never used the terms "morality" or "morally wrong." I think it's right to act in a healthy way, and wrong to act in an unhealthy way, and we shouldn't be afraid to say so. Why is this so tough?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Apparently I don't understand the terms that you are using. What distinction are you drawing between "morality" and "right and wrong"?
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post #137 of 143
To towel:

The fact is you do not really know what caused people get sick.

You perfect people think it is easy to loose weight and to stay skin and bones for the rest of your life. Well it is not. If you look at Linda McCartney she died of breast cancer and she was thin and a vegetarian.

Often overweight people eat normal amount of food and do not be fool if an overweight wants to enjoy an ice cream like anyone else.

to all:

Here you have a very different vision of like between Brussel and the Americans. In Canada, Canadians believe in limiting people's freedom and in the United States you are yearning for more.
post #138 of 143
Whoa Jane, I was just refuting ColorClassic's erroneous assertion that killing people young is good for a nation.

The best science on obesity suggests that we don't know much about what makes people obese. Willpower has a vashingly small role. Genetics is paramount - if you compare twins (how likely is it that if one twin is obese, both are; compare identical to fraternal to sort genetic from environmental factors) pure genetics almost perfectly predicts obesity. Our bodies also have some fantastically intricate feedback mechanisms to keep you from significantly changing your weight. It's been known for a number of years now that when you cut calories, your metabolism scales back disproportionately, and when you add calories it increases disproportionately, in order to keep you at your set weight. We haven't a clue yet how that set point is arrived at or how to manipulate it. But bottom line is, most obesity has an awful lot to do with genetics, and you can't do much about it.

But, it's an indisputable fact that obesity is a major risk factor for a lot of bad diseases (colon cancer, diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart failure, to name a few), and that obese folks are generally less healthy and die younger than non-obese folks. So the cost to society of obesity is high, and we should be figuring out ways to reduce its incidence.

I'd wager my degree, for example, that one's setpoint is at least partially determined by their childhood diet and exercise level. It's probably similar to type 1 (childhood) diabetes. Genetics is thought to predispose someone, but an environmental insult is needed to create the disease. The number of obese people in the US probably reflects the actually genetic make-up of the population pretty well; our childhood diets are so poor (err, rich?) that almost anyone with a genetic predisposition towards obesity can't help but experience the fulminant effect.
post #139 of 143
Saturday

Lunch: Burger King (Large whopper value meal)

Dinner: nearly a whole Pizza Hut pizza (only left a couple pieces as to not be too selfish and greedy)

Haha, I'm not fat!
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post #140 of 143
[quote]Originally posted by Towel:
<strong>Whoa Jane, I was just refuting ColorClassic's erroneous assertion that killing people young is good for a nation.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I made no such assertion. What I said was this:

[quote]<strong>Actually, if you wanted to be an asshole, you'd try to encourage people to continue or start smoking. Smoking tends to kill people at a younger age than when they would develop expensive medical problems which would drive up your insurance.

One of the biggest long-term problems with Medicare (and with Social Security), ironically, is increased longevity due to lower smoking rates.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I made no reference to whether this idea would be a good thing for a nation!
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post #141 of 143
Well we all have to die of something. I do not understand the obsession in keeping everyone alive all the time even though you are sacrificing their quality of life.

I mean quality in the sense that some people love to eat chocolate and chips and why should they deprived themselves all the time so you skinny people can be happier.

And I do understand that with exercise and being on a diet the rest of your life you have more energy. In my case why should I want to live to be 80 and not be able to eat what I like or read a book. I hate exercise because it has no intellectual benifit attach to it. So, I will die of a heart attack and the point is.

Anyway those doctors need something to do with their time.
post #142 of 143
Well, I took this a bit literally:

[quote]One of the biggest long-term problems with Medicare (and with Social Security), ironically, is increased longevity due to lower smoking rates.<hr></blockquote>

Regardless of whether you think it's a good thing or bad thing, it just isn't true. Most of the gain in lower SS payments is eaten up by higher medical costs (since smokers are much more likely to develop many of those expensive diseases during their lifetimes). The loss of payroll taxes from all those people who die or stop working for health reasons before retirement age more than covers the rest. In any event, adult smoking rates have held steady since 1990, and youth rates may even be ticking up. So the whole thing is probably moot.
post #143 of 143
[quote]The best science on obesity suggests that we don't know much about what makes people obese. Willpower has a vashingly small role. Genetics is paramount - if you compare twins (how likely is it that if one twin is obese, both are; compare identical to fraternal to sort genetic from environmental factors) pure genetics almost perfectly predicts obesity. <hr></blockquote>

would this best science all be based in the U.S.? more often than not, science will agree on what the problem is/isn't, but not take certain factors into account. an example for the study on obesity you mentioned. (note, this is all conjecture, i have no idea if it's true)

say for this example that the average childhood diet in the U.S. is 300% more calories than you need in a day.

so scientists study weight issues in kids. some kids have great willpower, they eat half of what the other kids do. they're still taking in 150% of what they need, so will power appears to not be a factor. kids who change the extra energy into fat still get fat, even though they're taking in half of what the other kids are. kids who burn through everything, burn through 300% or 150%, no matter what they take in.

however, if these kids that turn all excess energy to fat were to take in 100% of what they need, suddenly you'd see a big change in your numbers.


i personally feel that the U.S. average diet is so crappy that very little useful research can come out of this country without insanely strict control over the subjects, which few people are going to allow or follow.

as for someone who's a vegetarian dying of cancer, that's not heart disease or diabetes is it?

cancer (outside of smoking) is for the most part unavoidable. it can happen to anyone. overeating is different in that you have to be a constant, active participant in the problem.
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