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We're not responsible for being obese?

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  • pamfgilpamfgil Posts: 449Member Member Posts: 449Member Member
    It's not an either/or situation, you can look at your own life and routines and make deliberate gradual changes to eat less and move more, but it is also possible for government and other groups to make changes that would lead to smaller portions and more incidental movement on a societal level. For example the office building I work at is high security and the only time I get access to the stairs is for fire drills. They could have supplied the same security to exit from the stairs as they do for the lifts
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 4,725Member Member Posts: 4,725Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Big corporations are in business to make money. They make the most money when they figure out what we collectively really, really want - not what we say we want, but what we really want - and sell it to us cheaply in massive amounts.

    When I was in MBA school, the marketing profs made it clear that marketing's magic formula was to figure out what people en masse truly want, then advertise it to us as being what we think we ought to want. This is the explanation of 800-calorie crispy chicken salads (with Newman's Own charity-enhanced dressing) and nutrition-sparse chocolate chip marshmallow caramel nutty granola bars. If they make those ubiquitous, super convenient and cheap enough for us to buy plenty, we will.

    A few decades back, there was public compassionate pressure to relax restrictions on strong pain relievers, because it was felt that people with chronic pain were being cruelly under-treated. Pain clinics sprang up, some regs were relaxed. Now we have an opioid crisis. Unrelated?

    Walt Kelly, way, way back, got it right in a vintage Pogo comic strip: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    Individual decisions and actions create the large social forces, as well as being shaped by them. We have substantial control; we have no *baby feline* idea how to wield that force for good.

    Fantastic post
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    There was a good interview on the history of the painkiller epidemic between Russ Roberts (of EconoTalk) and Sam Quinones (who wrote Dreamland, which I've been meaning to read for a while), and it seems there is a transcript of some sections, at least. The first part is on the heroin issue, but scroll down to get to Oxy et al. (you have to scroll to get to the transcript of the interview first).

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2017/01/sam_quinones_on.html

    Beginning:

    "Russ Roberts: So, let's switch gears. Let's talk about painkillers. How did painkillers become a problem? It seems like there was this great new set of painkillers out, oxycontin and others. Why did they end up getting misused and abused?

    Sam Quinones: Yeah. That was the--I backed into this story. Because of my background in Mexico, I really focused first on the heroin traffickers. But then, of course, I was left with the question: Why is it that they have so much new demand? Because they were now, by then, by the time I doing it, they were now in Ohio, West Virginia, places like that. And so that got me on to this other story that was really the first story, a really far larger story. And that begins, really, in the 1980s as well, about the same time, when pain management is just beginning to be kind of a new discipline within medicine that you study, and a whole group of pain specialists began to form a collective consciousness and believe that we were not treating pain correctly--that there were these pills, opiate painkillers out there, and doctors all across the country were unwilling to use these, and that this was not a reasonable proposition. That these pills ought to be far more liberally used. And at first they made the argument, 'We need to use these for hospice care folks, people dying of cancer, whatnot, in order to improve their last months on earth. What does it matter if they are addicted to these pills? Who cares if they are addicted to these pills if they also live the last 3 months of their lives pain-free?' And that made a lot of sense. That was a very logical argument: that folks would die in utter pain because doctors were afraid they would be addicted. But these folks made a different argument. They, however, kept pushing; and that's why we're here today. They didn't stop with just hospice care. They began to make the argument that virtually all of these pills, 'We now know--science now knows--that, you know, 5000 years of experience with the opium poppy be damned, we now know that these pills are virtually non-addictive when used to treat pain.' And they began to push. They were joined in this after a while by certain pharmaceutical companies who were producing some of these pills, main one being Purdue Pharma, which makes the pill Oxycontin. And they took up the call of these guys. I had one doctor say, 'If it hadn't been for the pain specialists, the pharmaceutical companies would have had nobody to footnote, to use to say this is why we're doing these, we're producing these pills.' But had it not been for the pharmaceutical companies, these pain specialists would have been without a megaphone. And so the combination of those two together, particularly as the 1990s progressed, becomes very, very potent....

    31:45
    Russ Roberts: And as you point out, millions of people, who were in horrible pain weren't any more. So that was the good side. The bad side was the promised non-addictive aspect of oxycontin, which was the slow-release part--the idea that oxycontin was continuous was supposed to dampen the addictive part. Two things happened. One, people figured out a way to get around that by sucking off the coating that slowed the release; or hitting it with a hammer. So that was problem Number One. Problem Number Two is--I think; correct me if I'm wrong--that there were people who got addicted anyway, even though it was slow-release.

    Sam Quinones: Yes. Right. They were following doctors' orders and they would still get addicted. And part of the problem, too, was that along with the idea that these pills were no longer addictive when used to treat pain, came the corollary which was then that there was no limit on dose. So, you began to see all across the country doctors prescribing enormous quantities of these pills for patients to take home with them after acute surgery, for acute pain after surgery. Now, this is pain that is probably going to last you, oh, no more than 3-5 days. If it lasts more than 5 days there's something else wrong. But, they would prescribe 30 days' worth of Vicodin or Oxycontin--these are common--Vicodin is another common opiate painkiller. And so what happened is--and then--and this was happening all across the country--an enormous new supply of opiates was created across the country; and a fair amount of that, a good amount of that leaked out into the black market. I believe this--when I was in Mexico, I believed that all drug stories were demand-driven, and that drug scourges were created by demand for those drugs. Now, when I did this book, this changed my mind, honestly: I came to think that really most drug problems begin because of excess supply--easy, cheap availability of a drug. And that's exactly what happened here. We have a new, a massive new supply of opiate painkillers from coast to coast, all across the country, because it's doctors who buy in to this idea. A couple of generations of doctors buy into the idea that they now need to very aggressively prescribe these things to treat our pain. And some are pushed or pressured. Legally you have to do this: If you don't treat pain, you can be sued. Some, it's insurance pressures; if we don't push people through our clinic we won't be able to reimburse enough to keep the lights on. But, whatever the case, doctors all across the country come to this idea that they need to do this. And that is what creates a massive and continuous new supply of opiate painkillers for the last 20 years, from coast to coast...."
    edited December 2017
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,811Member Member Posts: 20,811Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    There was a good interview on the history of the painkiller epidemic between Russ Roberts (of EconoTalk) and Sam Quinones (who wrote Dreamland, which I've been meaning to read for a while), and it seems there is a transcript of some sections, at least. The first part is on the heroin issue, but scroll down to get to Oxy et al. (you have to scroll to get to the transcript of the interview first).

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2017/01/sam_quinones_on.html

    Beginning:

    "Russ Roberts: So, let's switch gears. Let's talk about painkillers. How did painkillers become a problem? It seems like there was this great new set of painkillers out, oxycontin and others. Why did they end up getting misused and abused?

    Sam Quinones: Yeah. That was the--I backed into this story. Because of my background in Mexico, I really focused first on the heroin traffickers. But then, of course, I was left with the question: Why is it that they have so much new demand? Because they were now, by then, by the time I doing it, they were now in Ohio, West Virginia, places like that. And so that got me on to this other story that was really the first story, a really far larger story. And that begins, really, in the 1980s as well, about the same time, when pain management is just beginning to be kind of a new discipline within medicine that you study, and a whole group of pain specialists began to form a collective consciousness and believe that we were not treating pain correctly--that there were these pills, opiate painkillers out there, and doctors all across the country were unwilling to use these, and that this was not a reasonable proposition. That these pills ought to be far more liberally used. And at first they made the argument, 'We need to use these for hospice care folks, people dying of cancer, whatnot, in order to improve their last months on earth. What does it matter if they are addicted to these pills? Who cares if they are addicted to these pills if they also live the last 3 months of their lives pain-free?' And that made a lot of sense. That was a very logical argument: that folks would die in utter pain because doctors were afraid they would be addicted. But these folks made a different argument. They, however, kept pushing; and that's why we're here today. They didn't stop with just hospice care. They began to make the argument that virtually all of these pills, 'We now know--science now knows--that, you know, 5000 years of experience with the opium poppy be damned, we now know that these pills are virtually non-addictive when used to treat pain.' And they began to push. They were joined in this after a while by certain pharmaceutical companies who were producing some of these pills, main one being Purdue Pharma, which makes the pill Oxycontin. And they took up the call of these guys. I had one doctor say, 'If it hadn't been for the pain specialists, the pharmaceutical companies would have had nobody to footnote, to use to say this is why we're doing these, we're producing these pills.' But had it not been for the pharmaceutical companies, these pain specialists would have been without a megaphone. And so the combination of those two together, particularly as the 1990s progressed, becomes very, very potent....

    31:45
    Russ Roberts: And as you point out, millions of people, who were in horrible pain weren't any more. So that was the good side. The bad side was the promised non-addictive aspect of oxycontin, which was the slow-release part--the idea that oxycontin was continuous was supposed to dampen the addictive part. Two things happened. One, people figured out a way to get around that by sucking off the coating that slowed the release; or hitting it with a hammer. So that was problem Number One. Problem Number Two is--I think; correct me if I'm wrong--that there were people who got addicted anyway, even though it was slow-release.

    Sam Quinones: Yes. Right. They were following doctors' orders and they would still get addicted. And part of the problem, too, was that along with the idea that these pills were no longer addictive when used to treat pain, came the corollary which was then that there was no limit on dose. So, you began to see all across the country doctors prescribing enormous quantities of these pills for patients to take home with them after acute surgery, for acute pain after surgery. Now, this is pain that is probably going to last you, oh, no more than 3-5 days. If it lasts more than 5 days there's something else wrong. But, they would prescribe 30 days' worth of Vicodin or Oxycontin--these are common--Vicodin is another common opiate painkiller. And so what happened is--and then--and this was happening all across the country--an enormous new supply of opiates was created across the country; and a fair amount of that, a good amount of that leaked out into the black market. I believe this--when I was in Mexico, I believed that all drug stories were demand-driven, and that drug scourges were created by demand for those drugs. Now, when I did this book, this changed my mind, honestly: I came to think that really most drug problems begin because of excess supply--easy, cheap availability of a drug. And that's exactly what happened here. We have a new, a massive new supply of opiate painkillers from coast to coast, all across the country, because it's doctors who buy in to this idea. A couple of generations of doctors buy into the idea that they now need to very aggressively prescribe these things to treat our pain. And some are pushed or pressured. Legally you have to do this: If you don't treat pain, you can be sued. Some, it's insurance pressures; if we don't push people through our clinic we won't be able to reimburse enough to keep the lights on. But, whatever the case, doctors all across the country come to this idea that they need to do this. And that is what creates a massive and continuous new supply of opiate painkillers for the last 20 years, from coast to coast...."

    That point about the 30-days supply for a few days of pain hits home. The prescription I mentioned above (when my husband broke his wrist) was for 15 days worth of painkiller. He was able to manage his pain with regular Tylenol for 3-4 days then he stopped taking that. At least in his case, 15 days of rx painkiller for a broken bone was total overkill.

  • AzdakAzdak Posts: 7,908Member Member Posts: 7,908Member Member
    I feel like this idea of blame is wasted time and brainpower in most cases. The important question isn't whose fault is this, it's what can I do about it. Don't get distracted with the blame game, focus on what you can do to make things better in your item life and maybe beyond.

    However, determining “what to do about it” starts with finding out “why it happened”. Corporate PR departments have done an excellent job of convincing many people that any questioning of their practices constitutes “playing the blame game”.

    When it comes to food and obesity, the author of the open article cited by the OP has unfortunately decided to side with Robert Lustig, a high-fructose corn syrup demonizer. I found that part of the argument silly, as I always have.

    However, in the case of the epidemic of opioid addiction, the lines to corporate involvement in the promotion of these drugs and of obscuring their risks are clear and irrefutable. To dismiss that by just saying “people should make better life choices” is being willfully obtuse IMO.
  • GemstoneofHeartGemstoneofHeart Posts: 862Member, Premium Member Posts: 862Member, Premium Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    There was a good interview on the history of the painkiller epidemic between Russ Roberts (of EconoTalk) and Sam Quinones (who wrote Dreamland, which I've been meaning to read for a while), and it seems there is a transcript of some sections, at least. The first part is on the heroin issue, but scroll down to get to Oxy et al. (you have to scroll to get to the transcript of the interview first).

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2017/01/sam_quinones_on.html

    Beginning:

    "Russ Roberts: So, let's switch gears. Let's talk about painkillers. How did painkillers become a problem? It seems like there was this great new set of painkillers out, oxycontin and others. Why did they end up getting misused and abused?

    Sam Quinones: Yeah. That was the--I backed into this story. Because of my background in Mexico, I really focused first on the heroin traffickers. But then, of course, I was left with the question: Why is it that they have so much new demand? Because they were now, by then, by the time I doing it, they were now in Ohio, West Virginia, places like that. And so that got me on to this other story that was really the first story, a really far larger story. And that begins, really, in the 1980s as well, about the same time, when pain management is just beginning to be kind of a new discipline within medicine that you study, and a whole group of pain specialists began to form a collective consciousness and believe that we were not treating pain correctly--that there were these pills, opiate painkillers out there, and doctors all across the country were unwilling to use these, and that this was not a reasonable proposition. That these pills ought to be far more liberally used. And at first they made the argument, 'We need to use these for hospice care folks, people dying of cancer, whatnot, in order to improve their last months on earth. What does it matter if they are addicted to these pills? Who cares if they are addicted to these pills if they also live the last 3 months of their lives pain-free?' And that made a lot of sense. That was a very logical argument: that folks would die in utter pain because doctors were afraid they would be addicted. But these folks made a different argument. They, however, kept pushing; and that's why we're here today. They didn't stop with just hospice care. They began to make the argument that virtually all of these pills, 'We now know--science now knows--that, you know, 5000 years of experience with the opium poppy be damned, we now know that these pills are virtually non-addictive when used to treat pain.' And they began to push. They were joined in this after a while by certain pharmaceutical companies who were producing some of these pills, main one being Purdue Pharma, which makes the pill Oxycontin. And they took up the call of these guys. I had one doctor say, 'If it hadn't been for the pain specialists, the pharmaceutical companies would have had nobody to footnote, to use to say this is why we're doing these, we're producing these pills.' But had it not been for the pharmaceutical companies, these pain specialists would have been without a megaphone. And so the combination of those two together, particularly as the 1990s progressed, becomes very, very potent....

    31:45
    Russ Roberts: And as you point out, millions of people, who were in horrible pain weren't any more. So that was the good side. The bad side was the promised non-addictive aspect of oxycontin, which was the slow-release part--the idea that oxycontin was continuous was supposed to dampen the addictive part. Two things happened. One, people figured out a way to get around that by sucking off the coating that slowed the release; or hitting it with a hammer. So that was problem Number One. Problem Number Two is--I think; correct me if I'm wrong--that there were people who got addicted anyway, even though it was slow-release.

    Sam Quinones: Yes. Right. They were following doctors' orders and they would still get addicted. And part of the problem, too, was that along with the idea that these pills were no longer addictive when used to treat pain, came the corollary which was then that there was no limit on dose. So, you began to see all across the country doctors prescribing enormous quantities of these pills for patients to take home with them after acute surgery, for acute pain after surgery. Now, this is pain that is probably going to last you, oh, no more than 3-5 days. If it lasts more than 5 days there's something else wrong. But, they would prescribe 30 days' worth of Vicodin or Oxycontin--these are common--Vicodin is another common opiate painkiller. And so what happened is--and then--and this was happening all across the country--an enormous new supply of opiates was created across the country; and a fair amount of that, a good amount of that leaked out into the black market. I believe this--when I was in Mexico, I believed that all drug stories were demand-driven, and that drug scourges were created by demand for those drugs. Now, when I did this book, this changed my mind, honestly: I came to think that really most drug problems begin because of excess supply--easy, cheap availability of a drug. And that's exactly what happened here. We have a new, a massive new supply of opiate painkillers from coast to coast, all across the country, because it's doctors who buy in to this idea. A couple of generations of doctors buy into the idea that they now need to very aggressively prescribe these things to treat our pain. And some are pushed or pressured. Legally you have to do this: If you don't treat pain, you can be sued. Some, it's insurance pressures; if we don't push people through our clinic we won't be able to reimburse enough to keep the lights on. But, whatever the case, doctors all across the country come to this idea that they need to do this. And that is what creates a massive and continuous new supply of opiate painkillers for the last 20 years, from coast to coast...."

    That point about the 30-days supply for a few days of pain hits home. The prescription I mentioned above (when my husband broke his wrist) was for 15 days worth of painkiller. He was able to manage his pain with regular Tylenol for 3-4 days then he stopped taking that. At least in his case, 15 days of rx painkiller for a broken bone was total overkill.

    Totally agree. Twice in my life I have been prescribed pain killers that were unnecessary *for me* in that situation. First after a car accident and second after I had my son. Both times were for Percocet and both times I declined to take it. The day after the car accident sucked and I took a regular strength Tylenol or two, and I just toughed it out after birth for a few days and was fine. I probably have a high pain tolerance.

    I feel like doctors should be more cautious and wait to see if patients really need the meds and then prescribe something. But then there are issues with people getting back in to see the doc or people suing saying they are in pain (they may be) and really need the meds and can’t get them. It all has to come down to personal responsibility, I suppose.

    Which leads me back to the original topic. If obese people can blame society for their weight issues, it’s that easy to throw your hands up and say there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s what I did for many years being obese. I’m afraid I know a lot of obese people who feel completely helpless because they’ve bought into the “society caused it” lie.
    edited December 2017
  • Good_Morning_GloryGood_Morning_Glory Posts: 226Member Member Posts: 226Member Member
    I read every single post (except the really long ones), because this topic is so interesting! I agree with you all! Jerry's post especially interesting, I'll check out that story!

    I just wanted to chime in with my take (having never taken pain meds), is it possible that the pain meds dull emotional pain as well as physical? For me personally, my overeating feels like an addiction. And it's precisely when I'm feeling strong, difficult emotions that I want to gorge myself and feel the comfort of a full belly to deal with the sadness/guilt/anxiety. Do the opioids dull the emotional pain too?

    So I guess my take is: there's a void and emptiness that opioids, food, or any escapism can never fill, which is the basic search for happiness in life! We yearn for interior peace, and fulfillment which a self indulgent and selfish life will never find, and only God can satisfy.

    In my experience, yes they do. In grand fashion. And you’re correct in that the void needs to be filled. It takes quite a bit of insight and healing, along with completely tearing down and renovating. So many people aren’t able to find the way.

    Yes there’s an opioid crisis. Probably many addicts began with prescription pills, as many obese began with what? Eating emotions? I can’t say as we are all different. I don’t think not giving people pain relief is going to change a damn thing. One of the reasons, we were coached in therapy and treatment, we stay actively using is the inability to accept responsibility for our own actions.

    So say we rely on an outside source, say a Higher Power. For ME, that just gave me something else to blame when I used. It all ultimately came down to holding myself responsible for using. Cake or heroin. Same addiction, different substance.

    It’s taken me five years to apply the same methods of recovery to overeating. It took years to figure out how to quit using. I’m on the right path. And at this point I know better than to trust in anything but my own experience and research.

    Now this is all MY experiences and we all find and learn differently.

    And Gods help those who help themselves. And that takes a looong time.

  • ValrothaValrotha Posts: 294Member Member Posts: 294Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    When I was in MBA school, the marketing profs made it clear that marketing's magic formula was to figure out what people en masse truly want, then advertise it to us as being what we think we ought to want. This is the explanation of 800-calorie crispy chicken salads (with Newman's Own charity-enhanced dressing) and nutrition-sparse chocolate chip marshmallow caramel nutty granola bars. If they make those ubiquitous, super convenient and cheap enough for us to buy plenty, we will.

    A few decades back, there was public compassionate pressure to relax restrictions on strong pain relievers, because it was felt that people with chronic pain were being cruelly under-treated. Pain clinics sprang up, some regs were relaxed. Now we have an opioid crisis. Unrelated?

    Correlation is not causation, as I'm sure you are aware. In fact, I would suggest there is a stronger correlation between what you mentioned about marketing and the opioid than with relaxing the DEA's heavy handedness in dealing with people in pain and the doctors who treat them. Many people are self-medicating to deal with their empty, meaningless lives, and much of that is caused by companies pushing trinkets and baubles as solutions to a lack of opportunities, relationships, and a sense of community.
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