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What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

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Replies

  • oharras
    oharras Posts: 47 Member
    Personal responsibility for one's own life, health and exercise, work and coordinate with your physician. Would like to see calorie disclosure requirement on all food stuffs, grocer and/or restaurant. Parents are responsible for what their child consumes; they can provide own healthy smoothies rather than Starbucks or other "treats". Parents are responsible for exercise of child and to make sure that local Board of Ed. provides exercise and physical ed. time in public school.
  • MoiAussi93
    MoiAussi93 Posts: 1,948 Member
    cqbkaju wrote: »
    Do it like the Japanese.

    You get a physical every year and pay a tax based on how overweight you are.
    The annual physical starts in grade school and continues through your working life.
    It encourages people to make healthier choices or pay for the consequences - literally.
    You learn how to eat healthy and why, almost as a side-effect.
    Many companies have nearly-mandatory exercise breaks instead of coffee breaks.

    It almost certainly will not help in the short-term because many people will whine and complain about persecution, "shaming", or some other excuse until the whole country accepts that this is the way it will be.
    But it could start to offset the costs of obesity-related diseases in the long-term.

    Definitely works for the Japanese.
    The national rate of obesity is something like 5% - and that includes sumo wrestlers, who are national icons.

    Interestingly enough, most Japanese people still feel shame, embarrassment, and responsibility for things that some people in American culture actually try to justify or blame on outside factors.

    Being overweight in Japanese society usually makes the people around you uncomfortable and that is not very socially acceptable.

    Good luck finding a lot of XXL or plus-sized clothing in Japan. Especially outside of major cities.
    The expectation is that you are reasonably fit and close to a healthy body fat range for your height.

    Then again, they also have pillows made to look like a woman's lap.
    Maybe no one is perfect.

    I actually like the idea. I don't think it is the government's responsibility to help people manage their weight (I am a big believer in personal responsibility. Everybody already has the tools they need to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. If they choose not to do so, that is on them.) That being said, the taxpayers ARE already on the hook for all the obesity related chronic illnesses through medicare and medicaid. We also pay higher premiums because private insurance companies must pay for these people's diseases. The tax would at least help offset some of that expense. It is fair.
  • magnusthenerd
    magnusthenerd Posts: 1,207 Member
    Japan's lesser obesity rate than other developed nation's probably has less to do with shaming and more to do with their amount of NEAT. The country is very urban with most people living in one of several population dense cities that are navigated by walking and mass transit.
    For comparison, I'm sure being a chikan (groper) is treated as more shameful than being obese, yet they have a major problem with that - explainable in part also by their reliance on mass transit.
  • h7463
    h7463 Posts: 626 Member
    edited April 2019
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Or how about shortening lunch breaks to 20 minutes so you can get out of work earlier and exercise when and where YOU want to?

    Lunch and break times are set by labor law. Not only are employers required to give them to you, you are also required to take them. The laws and regulations of course vary by state and occupation. In addition to this, many jobs require actual rest time, so they can perform whatever they are doing safely. Packing gym time into this is not the idea of occupational safety.
  • autumnblade75
    autumnblade75 Posts: 1,660 Member
    h7463 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Or how about shortening lunch breaks to 20 minutes so you can get out of work earlier and exercise when and where YOU want to?

    Lunch and break times are set by labor law. Not only are employers required to give them to you, you are also required to take them. The laws and regulations of course vary by state and occupation.

    I work for a Union Shop. We don't get lunch breaks, at all. If we work over 7 hours, the new contract requires that we get a second paid 10 minute break. That's it, even if the workday turns out to be 12 hours, or more.

    The state Department of Labor will not intervene in the affairs of a Union Shop.

    We all sweat and smell bad, though - and we're getting plenty of activity. The insurance, which I don't have to pay for (it's covered by Union Dues), is the best I've ever had. I still wouldn't say we're a healthy bunch.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,454 Member
    edited April 2019
    h7463 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Or how about shortening lunch breaks to 20 minutes so you can get out of work earlier and exercise when and where YOU want to?

    Lunch and break times are set by labor law. Not only are employers required to give them to you, you are also required to take them. The laws and regulations of course vary by state and occupation. In addition to this, many jobs require actual rest time, so they can perform whatever they are doing safely. Packing gym time into this is not the idea of occupational safety.

    Understand the laws regarding lunch and break times vary among type of work, state/locality and country. I've been on a management payroll for most of my worklife, so there really isn't anything as a specific lunch or especially a break.

    My original point was not to make the time at work longer (i.e, forced longer break middle of day), to allow for midday exercise. If anything let people get out so they can do the exercise of their choice. or offer flex hours. I've never seen a workplace gym with a lifting platform or a squat rack (I'm sure as you mention worker's comp issues) and those are things I need to train. I could personally give a rat's behind about yoga classes, walking groups etc.


  • h7463
    h7463 Posts: 626 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    h7463 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Or how about shortening lunch breaks to 20 minutes so you can get out of work earlier and exercise when and where YOU want to?

    Lunch and break times are set by labor law. Not only are employers required to give them to you, you are also required to take them. The laws and regulations of course vary by state and occupation. In addition to this, many jobs require actual rest time, so they can perform whatever they are doing safely. Packing gym time into this is not the idea of occupational safety.

    Understand the laws regarding lunch and break times vary among type of work, state/locality and country. I've been on a management payroll for most of my worklife, so there really isn't anything as a specific lunch or especially a break.

    My original point was not to make the time at work longer (i.e, forced longer break middle of day), to allow for midday exercise. If anything let people get out so they can do the exercise of their choice. or offer flex hours. I've never seen a workplace gym with a lifting platform or a squat rack (I'm sure as you mention worker's comp issues) and those are things I need to train. I could personally give a rat's behind about yoga classes, walking groups etc.


    Oh yes, I got your point right away! The rest of my post was just supporting my previous post, and yours fit right in there.

    All things considered, my experience always was and is, that employers will never do anything costly to support the overall wellbeing of their workforce, unless it will lower their portion of health insurance premiums. They need you capable to do the job, the rest is between the employees and their doctors.
  • Lenpayasa
    Lenpayasa Posts: 69 Member
    Recess at sedentary workplaces! Dodgeball breaks.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,804 Member
    edited April 2019
    h7463 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Sounds nice... In reality, however... :D

    Most of us don't get paid lunch time. Those who are unabe to workout for some reasons will be stuck for 1.5 hrs, playing with their thumbs, as many employers don't have flexible lunch hours. That sucks... You can't force anyone to be active aside from set job requirements on the clock, as this would be a field day for their worker's compensation insurance...

    Really???? :astonished:

    I've always had paid lunches. I've got an hour, which I can take any time I want ... this would give me one hour and 15 minutes. :) An hour to exercise and 15 minutes to freshen up. :)

    Or if I have errands to run at lunch, it would give me an hour and 15 minutes to do that.

    Or if I don't want to take lunch one day, I could come in an hour and 15 minutes late or leave an hour and 15 minutes early.


    Sounds good to me! It's just an extra 15 minutes a day ... but it provides that extra little buffer to come in and freshen up.

  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,804 Member
    h7463 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Sounds nice... In reality, however... :D

    Aside from walking, the suggested activities require space. Many companies will lease their business, extra space is expensive, if it isn't used to create profit. Besides, this has the potential to turn into mandatory group activites, and I always hated to be bullied into activities by some co-workers that don't have a life outside of the office... And again, there is the issue of worker's comp...

    Free gym memberships don't require space. Many places do offer free gym memberships or some sort of discount. I think I've got a 10% or 15% discount if I wanted to take advantage of it. It's not mandatory ... it's just one of those extra little perks.

    My work also has ad hoc walking groups ... we've got the freedom to arrange things like that if we want. There's some talk that someone might use one of the board rooms for yoga, but that hasn't materialised yet. One place I worked had yoga classes for a while ... no one was bullied to take them, it was entirely voluntary. And the building we were in before did have a gym in the basement ... many do. Unfortunately the building we're in now doesn't. But we were never bullied to use the gym, it was just one of the things we were introduced to when we started ... "Oh, BTW, there's a gym in the basement you can use if you want."

    It's not nearly as imposing as you want to make it out to be.

  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
    Theoretically I get 3hrs a week for admin leave/PT time....the last time I got to take that...never because there is a perception of slacking off and not working if you take the PT time (regardless that I routinely exceed my 80hrs in a 2 week pay period for normal work hours)
  • h7463
    h7463 Posts: 626 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    h7463 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    Sounds nice... In reality, however... :D

    Aside from walking, the suggested activities require space. Many companies will lease their business, extra space is expensive, if it isn't used to create profit. Besides, this has the potential to turn into mandatory group activites, and I always hated to be bullied into activities by some co-workers that don't have a life outside of the office... And again, there is the issue of worker's comp...

    Free gym memberships don't require space. Many places do offer free gym memberships or some sort of discount. I think I've got a 10% or 15% discount if I wanted to take advantage of it. It's not mandatory ... it's just one of those extra little perks.

    My work also has ad hoc walking groups ... we've got the freedom to arrange things like that if we want. There's some talk that someone might use one of the board rooms for yoga, but that hasn't materialised yet. One place I worked had yoga classes for a while ... no one was bullied to take them, it was entirely voluntary. And the building we were in before did have a gym in the basement ... many do. Unfortunately the building we're in now doesn't. But we were never bullied to use the gym, it was just one of the things we were introduced to when we started ... "Oh, BTW, there's a gym in the basement you can use if you want."

    It's not nearly as imposing as you want to make it out to be.

    I imagine that the discounts don't originate in the employer's pocket book, but might be an offer by the gym, to take advantage of a large number of potential clients in one space? Which is definitely nice, too!

    Sure, there are employers who offer fitness related perks. My husband's company sent out hundreds of fitbits, and encourages people to participate in fitness challenges. Shortly after they had all gotten excited, there was an email, stating 'btw...if you have opened the box, you're agreed to the fine print...' which was an implied consent of being tracked... Say what...? Always a catch... My husband sent it right back. The company provided health insurance is great, though.

    If participation remains voluntary, there won't be a law or policy change on the planet, that can make us get off our hind end and move... Right down to your empty yoga board room and dusty barbells in your company's building... And if there were, I want to see the law enforcement, that will tick off the laps that I'm running around my house each day... ;)
  • MoiAussi93
    MoiAussi93 Posts: 1,948 Member
    Japan's lesser obesity rate than other developed nation's probably has less to do with shaming and more to do with their amount of NEAT. The country is very urban with most people living in one of several population dense cities that are navigated by walking and mass transit.
    For comparison, I'm sure being a chikan (groper) is treated as more shameful than being obese, yet they have a major problem with that - explainable in part also by their reliance on mass transit.

    I don't believe population density or urban life has anything to do it. I have lived in Philadelphia. New York City, and DC. Huge numbers of obese people in all three of those cities...including NY in which the VAST majority of people don't own cars. Even in Philly and DC you don't need a car and many people don't have cars. They are still obese.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,804 Member
    edited April 2019
    MoiAussi93 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    What new or revised public policy/law would make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight?

    Or prevent obesity?

    Lunch breaks must be 1 hour and 15 minutes ... so that employees can change, go exercise for an hour, and return.

    All organisations must provide exercise options: walking groups, yoga classes, gym in the basement, free gym memberships, or whatever.

    All organisations must provide good, secure bicycle parking.

    People who commute actively get a $10/day bonus in their pay packets.

    This makes zero sense to me. It is not employers' responsibility to pay for your gym membership or pay you extra to commute actively. Take personal responsibility.

    Oh well ... there are laws that make zero sense to me too. Can't please everyone.

    Happily this thread is for those of us who have ideas we feel would help make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight ... like me and my ideas. :)

    Fortunately/unfortunately (depending which post you read) this thread is all wishful thinking and imagination.


    IMO there should be more of a focus on fitness than details about food. "They" have already addressed most of the food issues. Labels are pretty good now ... much better than they were even just 10 years ago, and definitely better than they were 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. So now ... onward to fitness issues.

    And my ideas are not way out there either ...

    https://www.bike-eu.com/industry-retail-organizations/nieuws/2017/04/tax-breaks-bike-commuters-european-trend-10129672?vakmedianet-approve-cookies=1&_ga=2.179518690.713157954.1555301050-1312501378.1555301050

    "Four European countries have introduced tax breaks for cycling to work or extended existing ones during the last months: France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. This shows that the idea of rewarding sustainable commuting behavior through fiscal incentives is gaining ground throughout the continent." :):)

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/feb/29/cash-cycling-polluted-milan-italy-pay-commuters-bike-to-work

    "“Reimburse those who go to work by bike; a project similar to the one in France,” Maran said. Under the French system trialled in 2014, employees were paid 25 cents per kilometre they pedalled to work. A pilot on the same principle is currently being rolled out in Massarosa, a small Tuscan town where 50 people are said to be taking part."


    If Europe's doing it ... maybe Australia might follow suit. :):)
  • magnusthenerd
    magnusthenerd Posts: 1,207 Member
    MoiAussi93 wrote: »
    Japan's lesser obesity rate than other developed nation's probably has less to do with shaming and more to do with their amount of NEAT. The country is very urban with most people living in one of several population dense cities that are navigated by walking and mass transit.
    For comparison, I'm sure being a chikan (groper) is treated as more shameful than being obese, yet they have a major problem with that - explainable in part also by their reliance on mass transit.

    I don't believe population density or urban life has anything to do it. I have lived in Philadelphia. New York City, and DC. Huge numbers of obese people in all three of those cities...including NY in which the VAST majority of people don't own cars. Even in Philly and DC you don't need a car and many people don't have cars. They are still obese.

    Well, you'd believe incorrectly. There's obese people even in Japan, but the point is that the difference in them. NY as a state which includes less dense areas is near the bottom of obesity rates. If Washington DC was a state, it would be the second lowest, just slightly worse than Colorado (which besides have a dense population for Denver, has the built in physical activity of breathing in thin air).
    https://www.stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/
    I think it is pretty well correlated that major cities tend towards lower BMIs than rural areas. At least part of it might be explained by socio-economic factors, but I think there's fair reason to believe foot traffic versus car traffic is part of it.