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Obesity? This is a job for Supernanny(neo soviet barf alert)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2330255,00.html ^ | 8 27 06 | Minette Marrin

Posted on 08/28/2006 11:20:06 AM PDT by freepatriot32

Fat is not a feminist issue, as Susie Orbach once claimed. Fat is a class issue. Rich, educated people are not fat; you see almost no children in private schools who are overweight. Fatness and obesity are directly related to lower education and lower incomes. What is sad is that at a time when this country is richer than ever and ought to have better schools than ever, we have far more fat people than ever — a dangerous explosion of flab. Last week the Department of Health issued a report grimly called Forecasting Obesity to 2010 and its findings were grotesque. Within four years, it predicts, a third of all adults — 13m people — will be obese. So will 1m children

Obese means not just podgy, but dangerously, disablingly, distastefully fat, as in American fat.

This is not just shocking; it has also happened shockingly fast. As the report says, a third of all men will be obese by 2010; in 1993 the figure was only — if one can say only of such a large figure — 13%, rising to 24% in 2004.

The same is true of women, although the rate is rising more slowly; 16% were obese in 1993, 24% in 2004, and the trend is expected to rise until 2010. The proportion of boys who were obese stood at 17% in 2003 and is predicted to rise to 19% by 2010, while among girls it is expected to increase more swiftly from 16% to 22%.

This presents an awkward challenge to libertarians. The libertarian assumption is that we should all be free to do what we want, as far as possible, and if some people’s lifestyle choices involve snacking on deep-fried Mars bars and triple-processed cheeseburgers, other people have no business interfering, still less the government.

Besides, there is the embarrassing fact that those who eat and drink junk do so for cheap comfort and because they are either too poor or too ignorant (or both) to prepare healthy food. It doesn’t come well from the consumers of steamed organic asparagus and free-range ducks’ breasts to criticise those who can manage only frozen reconstituted chicken nuggets and sugary baked beans.

However, obesity does not concern only the obese. It concerns all of us. Obese parents produce obese children, and obesity places a crippling burden on the National Health Service, quite apart from the many personal miseries involved. Currently 10% of NHS resources are spent on diabetes (two-thirds of which is the avoidable type 2 associated with obesity) and this could easily double within the next four years to 20%.

This is quite apart from the increased risk among the obese of heart disease and other serious illness. More young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, something previously seen only in people over 40. In these circumstances even the most swivel-eyed libertarian would probably agree, for once, that something must be done and even perhaps by the government.

Curiously enough, however, in one of the few areas where our ever-intrusive government might for once justifiably intrude, new Labour does almost nothing. Possibly as a result of the ferocious lobbying of the food industry, ministers restrict themselves to making repetitive noises about healthy living and “small changes” that won’t cost anybody anything.

Tony Blair said last month that if the food industry did not agree to limit junk food advertisements by 2007 he would bring in mandatory rules, but he has said that before and more than once. Besides, why not bring them in straight away? His government has persistently ignored the demands of the Commons health select committee for a traffic light system of food labelling, enabling shoppers to make informed choices.

England’s chief medical officer warned in this year’s annual report that public health budgets were being raided to deal with deficits. That is the reality behind government talk of raising public awareness.

I have never been convinced that government health education has any effect. Despite the “five-a-day” campaign, only a quarter of people in England eat vegetables every day. About half of overweight men are in denial; they don’t see themselves as overweight, according to the report.

There is nothing complicated about being thin. Being fat is usually the result of eating too much junk food and taking too little exercise. Being thin means eating much less food, avoiding junk food altogether and taking exercise every day. It may be that nothing can be done about the plague of obesity; there is a growing epidemic in Europe and worldwide. Perhaps affluence is a disease to which only the fortunate few are immune. But if anything could be done about it, it would have to be radical.

Nobody who craves cheap comfort food will willingly give it up. But if over-processed, over-refined food and junk food were to become expensive while healthy fresh food became cheap — the opposite of the case today — people would be forced to eat well. This could be done through taxes or subsidies. Alternatively, you could ration unhealthy food.

There could be a public campaign against fattening food, just as there was against smoking, aimed at making everyone ashamed of consuming anything naughty but nice. I am just as greedy as anyone else but I have come to think of cakes, biscuits, crisps, sweets, white bread and puddings as more or less toxic. Foods like this should have health warnings — “cake can kill”. They are not just unnecessary, empty calories; they interfere with your blood sugar levels, affect your appetite and your mood; they may even induce food addiction. The same applies to alcohol: more than a modest amount makes you fat, interferes with your mood and is often addictive.

Just as there would need to be financial incentives to eat well, there should also be inducements to take exercise. The cost should be subsidised or declarable against tax. Employers should be required to give workers time off to go to the gym or jog. We could imitate the Japanese and have mass group exercises at work every day.

And that is the problem. Obesity, one of the trials of affluence, can be solved only, if at all, by the kind of interventionism that has been discredited by the failure of socialism. Liberty is indivisible; it belongs to the ignorant and the low paid just as much as to anyone else. Perhaps obesity is one of the many prices of liberty. Fat is a freedom issue.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: a; alert; antiamericanism; anticapitalist; barf; classist; dumbpeopledrinkbeer; dumbpeopleeattoomuch; dumbpeoplesmoke; dummiesnoexercise; fo; foodnazis; for; foryourowngood; idiot; iheartstalin; is; job; libertarians; nannystate; neo; neosoviets; nojunkfoodforyou; obesity; radicalleft; rationing; rsupernanny; socialist; soviet; starvation; supernanny; this; ultraliberals; vegans
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this issue has gotton so far out of hand its ridiculous. If this author thinks the government should get involved in peoples weight and food choices he can perhaps point to even one thing the governments of england or america have got involved in where the problem was better afterwords and not 1000 times worse.
1 posted on 08/28/2006 11:20:11 AM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: Gabz; SheLion; Diana in Wisconsin

ping be warned im not kidding about the barf alert


2 posted on 08/28/2006 11:21:01 AM PDT by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: Abram; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Allosaurs_r_us; Americanwolf; Americanwolfsbrother; Annie03; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
3 posted on 08/28/2006 11:21:41 AM PDT by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: freepatriot32
'Way too many people are 'way too fat.

This is not the government's problem ... it is their problem.

4 posted on 08/28/2006 11:22:42 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: freepatriot32
Besides, there is the embarrassing fact that those who eat and drink junk do so for cheap comfort and because they are either too poor or too ignorant (or both) to prepare healthy food.

Oh, BS.

No one's too poor to eat healthy. Fresh produce and meat costs far less than the prepackaged frozen stuff.
5 posted on 08/28/2006 11:23:31 AM PDT by Xenalyte (No one will be sitting in sackcloth and ashes wailing, "Oh, if only we had listened to Art Bell!"))
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To: freepatriot32
Nobody who craves cheap comfort food will willingly give it up. But if over-processed, over-refined food and junk food were to become expensive while healthy fresh food became cheap — the opposite of the case today — people would be forced to eat well. This could be done through taxes or subsidies. Alternatively, you could ration unhealthy food.

Had the Libs not been in control for so long, this would be a nonissue. Feeding their entitlement contingents at our expense caused this. And you can bet on seeing government action continuing to attempt to curtail it, some 75 years after the fact.
6 posted on 08/28/2006 11:25:04 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: freepatriot32
In other words, we communized healthcare and now it can no longer meet the needs of the market, so we need to communize groceries in order to assist the failing communized healthcare system.

Facinating mental rpocess at work here.

I liked the anti-American bigotry too.

7 posted on 08/28/2006 11:25:26 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: freepatriot32

1. This article shows us why there shouldn't be government (a.k.a. socialized) medicine: people have no incentive to be healthy.

2. Maybe the reason poor people are fat is the same reason that many of them are poor: bad decision making/lack of personal responsibility.


8 posted on 08/28/2006 11:25:53 AM PDT by Sicon
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To: freepatriot32
if over-processed, over-refined food and junk food were to become expensive while healthy fresh food became cheap — the opposite of the case today

Bravo Sierra! I can get the ingredients for a LARGE (a dozen servings) bowl of healthy fresh chicken-vegetable soup for the price of one jumbo grease meal at Mickey D's.

9 posted on 08/28/2006 11:26:40 AM PDT by steve-b ("Creation Science" is to the religous right what "Global Warming" is to the socialist left.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Xenalyte; freepatriot32

OTOH, it has everything to do with the insurance industry. There are already employers who refuse to hire the overweight and/or smokers. It's more expensive to insure them than 'healthy' people.


10 posted on 08/28/2006 11:27:37 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Xenalyte
Fresh produce and meat costs far less than the prepackaged frozen stuff.

Three words: rice and beans.

11 posted on 08/28/2006 11:30:15 AM PDT by Caveman Lawyer ("If there is anybody here I have not insulted, I apologize." - Brahms, leaving a party in Vienna.)
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To: Sicon; wideawake

Yes and yes. But then again, what would you expect after being raised on the hedonistic platforms of the left?


12 posted on 08/28/2006 11:30:17 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: freepatriot32

But I thought the biggest problem for the poor in this country was that sooooo many poor children went to bed hungry.

Silly me.


13 posted on 08/28/2006 11:30:22 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: Froufrou

They've apparently missed the {Blue Whale|Blimp|SSBN|Whateveritis} occupying the office a few doors down from mine ...


14 posted on 08/28/2006 11:30:39 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: freepatriot32
Obese parents produce obese children, and obesity places a crippling burden on the National Health Service.

Just one more in a long list of reasons for the government to stay out of Health Care.
15 posted on 08/28/2006 11:31:15 AM PDT by xpertskir (Shave the Whales)
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To: Caveman Lawyer; Xenalyte

Actually, 11 of the 13 essential amino acids are in rice and beans. Add cheese and you got 'em all. The issue is portion control.


16 posted on 08/28/2006 11:31:25 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: freepatriot32; Just another Joe; CSM; lockjaw02; Publius6961; elkfersupper; nopardons; metesky; ...

Nanny State Ping..........thank you FreePatriot - you are correct the barf-alert was needed.


17 posted on 08/28/2006 11:31:29 AM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: steve-b
"Bravo Sierra! I can get the ingredients for a LARGE (a dozen servings) bowl of healthy fresh chicken-vegetable soup for the price of one jumbo grease meal at Mickey D's."

True, but the difference is that the McD's meal is already made. Some people just don't have the time.
18 posted on 08/28/2006 11:31:56 AM PDT by PCBMan (Wernstrom!!!!)
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To: freepatriot32

That reminds me: I'm hungry. I wonder what's in the fridge?


19 posted on 08/28/2006 11:31:58 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Peace begins in the womb.)
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To: Froufrou

That and understanding that chips, soda and candy are NOT in the essential food groups.


20 posted on 08/28/2006 11:32:31 AM PDT by najida (The internet is for kids grown up-- Where else could you have 10,000 imaginary friends?)
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