Combating the obesity crisis

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Unread postby Mistelten » Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:00 am

Thanks for being upfront.
Positive encouragement could also include truthful health instruction too.
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Unread postby Frank Benedetto » Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:05 am

Yes, sir. That's what we're looking for.

BTW: I must say that I'm doing OK for myself so far. Was originally close to 350 lbs. Now, I'm currently at 290 lbs. And, I can actually see my feets when I look down!
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Unread postby Frank » Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:25 am

Frank Benedetto wrote:I'll admit that you tend to care more about trying to lose the weight when someone isn't insulting you every 15 minutes. I'm sorry, but calling me and every other overweight person out there "Fat (verb/adjective)" isn't going to inspire a lot of us to do something about it. It may actually lead to you having to pick up all your teeth off of the ground with one eye. :P


Very true. This always reminds me of those various reality TV shows (Or as I've called them: The Bane of Intelligence.) that focus on getting overweight people to lose that weight. You never really see, "Oh, that's okay, you're still doing a good job!". I tend to see more of the people on the show go, "Get off your fat lazy ass and do some push-ups!". I would assume that having a belief that the person can lose weight would be much better than screaming at them to lose weight(Or dissing them for being fat, which I think you've mentioned.).

Frank Benedetto wrote:BTW: I must say that I'm doing OK for myself so far. Was originally close to 350 lbs. Now, I'm currently at 290 lbs. And, I can actually see my feets when I look down!


Whoa, that's fantastic! :P I think that positive reinforcement is more effective than we thought. :wink:
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Unread postby Lao Tzu » Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:27 am

I believe that although obesity has been recognized as a national issue it isn't given immediate attention due to the fact that there are more pressing matters at hand in the world such as terrorism and etc.
Now I am a strong believer in everybody doing their part for the greater good but I can not blame others for how they eat. For me it is simply a matter of choice. If you don't wish to eat healthy then don't but do not blame others for your own decisions. (Now I'm not sure but weren't there a couple issues of people sueing fast-food industries for simply making them fat or of-the-like?)
If you want to eat healthy, then good for you but if you wish to dine on fast-food 24/7, I'm not going to stop you for everyone has preferences and I'm not one to say who can eat what.
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Unread postby Mistelten » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:11 pm

There are certain things you can find at fast food that aren't all that bad. Wendy's menu, in particular, has some good and healthy items.

I don't blame it all on fast food. Diners are even nastier in my opinion(you know, the kind where you can see them blowing cigarette smoke into your food.) I blame it on unchecked advertisement. We have adds for negative things everywhere, but we don't really see any positive examples.

We need more role models. Instead of leaving the kiddies to idolize crack dealers, pimps, and Fat Joe, give them someone that makes them feel confident and positive. Instead of putting up billboards about the 'holocaust of chickens(those should really offend you if you're Jewish, btw,)' put up some billboards about the dangers of shellfish, trans fat, and sodium overdose(that's a shot at Ramen noodles, for those of you with your hats on backwards.)
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Re: Combating the obesity crisis

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:45 pm

It has become an issue here in the UK that every now and again pops up in media but which some MP's are making a big push on (also diabetes) including things like sugar tax. We are seeing ice cream manufacturers doing smaller portions (so those who eat healthily and like a treat are being punished), calls for clearer information on packaging and so on.

I agree there is a crises and that since it is costing the government (a real hammer blow to NHS finances), I don't see how they can not get involved and more needs to be done at schools to teach basics like eating properly and obesity is bad apparently. If we are to have an NHS, government may need to have the right to go a lot more nanny state on those who are costing us so much through their own choices. I'm not sure manufacturers should be doing smaller portions but clearer information is clearly needed and other measures will likely need to come into play.

What I find frustrating is the tone when it comes to the consumers who eat too much and so end up in trouble: Their must be no finger wagging as one SNP MP put it. Why shouldn't there be finger wagging? Your costing the country millions if your getting overweight by eating too much or chucking down sugary drink after sugary drink and getting diabetes, why should the reaction be a happy one? How it is not the consumer's fault that they eat too much or chug down unhealthy drinks when water is on tap. Or milk, coffee and tea are easily available? Why is it the manufacturers fault (providing they provide clear information or don't advertise it as a healthy option) for providing a treat that we should be able to enjoy but it then gets abused?

I'm sorry for those who have diabetes by natural means, they deserve all the help NHS gives them and our sympathies. I'm sorry for those who end up overweight through no fault of their own, they are not the reason for this crises.
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Re: Combating the obesity crisis

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:17 pm

I thought that for those who are obese they need to show that they are willing to make a change before the NHS spends a fortune on them? Like with smoking? If that's not the case then it should be.
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Re: Combating the obesity crisis

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:58 am

Sun Fin wrote:I thought that for those who are obese they need to show that they are willing to make a change before the NHS spends a fortune on them? Like with smoking? If that's not the case then it should be.


Some operations related to it, I believe that happens. They can't refuse other treatments for obvious reasons
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Re: Combating the obesity crisis

Unread postby James » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:25 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:What I find frustrating is the tone when it comes to the consumers who eat too much and so end up in trouble: Their must be no finger wagging as one SNP MP put it. Why shouldn't there be finger wagging? Your costing the country millions if your getting overweight by eating too much or chucking down sugary drink after sugary drink and getting diabetes, why should the reaction be a happy one? How it is not the consumer's fault that they eat too much or chug down unhealthy drinks when water is on tap. Or milk, coffee and tea are easily available? Why is it the manufacturers fault (providing they provide clear information or don't advertise it as a healthy option) for providing a treat that we should be able to enjoy but it then gets abused?

I'm not quite sure what the circumstance is in the UK, but here in the United States a great deal of the blame is rightly placed on businesses and to a lesser extent, the government. And then there's more blame to go around for 'professionals' who are exploiting the situation for personal gain.

In the case of businesses, there's almost no concern for health. It's all profit-driven, and the foods which advertise themselves as healthy tend to be the unhealthy selections. Sugar is added in remarkable quantities to nearly everything and businesses lobby extensively to avoid any kind of legislation which might impact their profits (e.g. a sugar tax). And they've been extremely successful.

The government fails in that it flips head over heels to support lobbyists from these large industries (e.g. meat lobbying groups, sugar lobbying groups). The government's dietary guidelines have traditionally been a sad effort to produce supposedly good guidance for Americans while at the same time not offending any of the lobbying groups. What this has meant is that key players in health like sugar have been played down extensively in recommendations. In the latest round it seems they've finally produced some pushback to added sugars but other concerns like red meat recommendations fell to the side of the lobbyists. And it's really easy to see the divide between politics and health recommendations because the guidelines actually start with extremely good consensus-based recommendations from health professionals before being gutted to support businesses.

And then there's the insane market for health and fitness. 'Doctors' like Dr. Oz and Dr. Joseph Mercola provide an endless stream of terrible health advice (nutritional and medical) for social media and their likes are joined by uneducated and ignorant voices such as The Food Babe. Even people like Oprah, who command a great audience, are always there to tell people about the new diet that won't work, or fat shame them into using products which directly benefit them (Weight Watchers). A layperson's effort to learn leaves them jumping from one diet to the next (as likely to fail in the long run as the last due to being unenjoyable as a sustained lifestyle), one superfood or evil food to the next, and left with very little worthwhile and genuine health advice to follow. The voices trying to sell them products or dogma seem to outweigh the infrequent or never occurring advice from a health professional, or the best they get is their doctor saying "diet and exercise." The later of which also fails to really help in losing weight (nearly all of us compensate for exercise by eating more or relaxing more—or both; not that exercise isn't extremely good for our health).

Eating healthy is expensive and unhealthy food is cheap (government failure supporting lobbyists plays in here as well). People learn bad health habits from their parents. Good efforts from parents are sabotaged by the world around them by such simple influences as schools using junk food to incentivize children. Commercials routinely give us bad advice (even those based on fitness). Advertisements promote unrealistic body images and teach us to be ashamed of ourselves, which surely doesn't help a healthy, sustained effort to make lasting lifestyle changes. Heck, even related television programs either hawk the pseudoscientific stuff mentioned above, products which don't work, or even more horrible things like the combination of fat shaming and doesn't work that is The Biggest Loser. And we're also assholes to ourselves, rounding back to fat shaming.

Almost everyone I know who is obese is broken up about it. They don't want to be, and they routinely try to do something about it. Some have attempted one thing after another, failed every time, and are now just depressed and believe there's nothing they can really do about it. They can, of course, by the layperson has a particularly troublesome time of sifting through the abomination that claims to be here to help them.

So even if they do cut through all the cruft, learn that losing weight involves positive lifestyle changes, learning some science of following science-based recommendations, and a lasting effort which will involve slowly losing 3-8 pounds a month with and end goal of finding a happy balance instead of reaching some specific 'ideal' number—they've still got quite a journey ahead of themselves.

The situation is also rather similar in Canada.
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Re: Combating the obesity crisis

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:38 pm

In the case of businesses, there's almost no concern for health. It's all profit-driven, and the foods which advertise themselves as healthy tend to be the unhealthy selections. Sugar is added in remarkable quantities to nearly everything and businesses lobby extensively to avoid any kind of legislation which might impact their profits (e.g. a sugar tax). And they've been extremely successful.


Where I do have sympathy are for those who go for the healthy sounding options (say, a fruit juice) and it isn't, they get hit without realizing it. Where I don't have sympathy are for those with fizzy drinks, soda's and worse as their regular drink.

As long as businesses are 1) not advertising themselves as healthy (in which case heavy regulation is needed) and 2) have clear and helpful "this is how much sugar is in this can" (which really isn't the case), I don't have an issue with businesses selling fatty/sugary food. A takeaway, fast food, a fizzy drink isn't meant to be healthy and it is up to consumers not to take too much, it would be sad if the UK had to expel McDonalds, KFC, Pepsi/Coca Cola and so on becuase, as a nation, we can't be trusted with it.

Politics: We do seem in a better place. Health Committee, peers, members of the government ranks all pushing on public issues and Hunt has just drastically tightened the recommended alcohol limit. Our current government can be a tad slow (they seem to wait to see how public health schemes get on elsewhere) but there is more pressure here.

Diet and fads: We don't have the big diet figures but we do have magazines, Weight Watchers and we have always had diet fads which are rarely a good idea. Regular meal times with proper non-fatty meals, portion control, seems a better way and something people can stick to even once weight is to normal level.

While I don't like the reaction of non-blame, I also think Biggest Loser and such like are horrible and immoral.

Price: Yep, lecturing on healthy food is always annoying becuase the food said people recommend tends to be out of price range. I only get salad's or anything remotely like that when Tesco corner shop has them on reductions but not everyone lives near such a shop, I wouldn't get them if Tesco's suddenly left. One can lose weight without salad's or health food.

Schools: We have better here. School meals are being pushed now to prevent parents giving junk food to the kids during school hours.
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