Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

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

12223242527

Replies

  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    Wouldn't it be nice if we all forgot about more legislation and just followed what the healthiest countries do? The US is pretty far down by the way.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world-2019-2
    In new rankings, Europe takes up six of the top 10 spots with North American countries struggling. The US placed lower at 35th for 2019, five places behind Cuba which was the highest ranked non "high income" country on the list.

    Studies have suggested that a "Mediterranean diet" supplemented with foods like extra-virgin olive oil and nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than others, giving added significance to a country's geography on the rankings.

    Asian countries improved their rankings generally with South Korea improving seven places while China rose to 52nd in the world, according to the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index.

    The study took into account 169 countries and graded nations on factors like life expectancy but also penalised tobacco use and obesity. Bloomberg's rankings also considered environmental factors such as sanitation and clean water.

    The Bloomberg link is in there, but I didn't link it here as it seems to limit the number of views/paywall?...

    It does make me want to chase that Mediterranean diet though...
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Are you saying that binge eating disorder, for example, isn’t a thing?

    I'm not saying that eating disorders don't exist......however, if I have a health issue, it is my problem to seek treatment and manage it - no one else is on the hook for my problems.

    Learning to take responsibility for oneself seems to be becoming a lost art.

    Seeking treatment is not the same thing as being cured.

    I took responsibility for my mental health issues back in my late teens; and yet, despite counselling and medication and the various other things I tried, I was still struggling with them well into my thirties. I did not have the bandwidth at that time to deal with my eating issues as well, and I prioritised working on the thing that was most life-threatening.

    I really don't appreciate essentially being told that I spent those years 'choosing' to overeat, or that I was being in some way irresponsible.

    I think you are taking this personally when it's likely not meant that way. (For the record, I'd say my weight is my responsibility and under my individual control, and I'd also say that I prioritized correctly, to the extent I was able, at times I focused on certain other things vs. my weight.)

    I again think there are cross-purposes in this thread -- can people lose weight in the current environment, is it ultimately our responsibilities and not the gov't? Sure, of course. I wouldn't want someone else thinking my weight was their responsibility.

    But the question of the thread is whether there are public policy things that can be done to make it easier for people or lead to better outcomes for society as a whole. Such things as calories on labels and at chain restaurants IMO make it easier for people and are good, even though they likely don't affect the overall obesity rate. Education about nutrition and calories, good. Maybe cooking lessons being available low cost or free or in schools. More walkable communities with public recreation areas, IMO good.

    I'm skeptical that any of this makes a huge difference, but I think they are positives.

    On a separate note, I think the cultural approach we have (at least in the US, but I get the sense in Canada and the UK too, at least) is not healthy. There seems to be this idea that people either have no control or must do lots of really complicated and specific things, that weight loss (and even being healthy) must be hard or about deprivation or about finding that one special trick, that it can't just be finding a way to eat the right amount of cals, being more active if possible, eating a sensible balanced diet, etc. That seems the opposite of the approach in the traditional Blue Zones, where there's so much less stress about these things. With the diet wars and all the "my way is the best way, no one not doing [insert trend here] is doing it wrong," it's even partisan, just what we need. That's why I get so annoyed (counterproductive!) with the claims that there's OneTrueWay to lose and we must all worry about carbs/sugar/eating times/no meat/all meat/detox so on and on and on. It's not actually that complicated although on an individual level dealing with the factors that make it harder not to overeat for you may well be!

    Oh, clearly nobody is setting out to say 'hey, ceiswyn, the first 38 years of your life and your current struggles are entirely your own fault and choice because you didn't take responsibility'. However, the things that people are saying lead to that conclusion. And I don't agree with it.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    That bold might be a difficult concept to digest (pun intended) for anyone who has lived in a fairly free society long enough. "They" would never....is the mindset/rationale I've been offered regarding certain, previously unthinkable policy changes. These were hypothetical discussions not related to weight control though.
  • gatamadrizgatamadriz Posts: 61Member Member Posts: 61Member Member
    Dietitians should be included on any health insurance plan under the category preventative healthcare
    Gym membership subsidies to all gyms, if you are obese, should be part of your insurance coverage.
    No taxes on fresh produce, lean meats and cheeses.
    Gym equipment in parks - they do this in Miami and it is great
    This works in Europe where I lived for many years, it can work here.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 464Member Member Posts: 464Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    Not last century maybe last 30 years or so. The collective "we" have come to expect instant gratification with little or no effort expended. We can satisfy ourselves so fast that self control/thought goes out the window.

    And on your policy discussion, regardless of politics, I'm pretty sure if there is some large change in US healthcare where there is increased government involvement there will be excise taxes on high calorie, nutrient poor foods.
    edited October 3
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 464Member Member Posts: 464Member Member
    gatamadriz wrote: »
    Dietitians should be included on any health insurance plan under the category preventative healthcare
    Gym membership subsidies to all gyms, if you are obese, should be part of your insurance coverage.
    No taxes on fresh produce, lean meats and cheeses.
    Gym equipment in parks - they do this in Miami and it is great
    This works in Europe where I lived for many years, it can work here.

    Many parks have taken away gym equipment on playgrounds for supposed safety reasons (read cover you a$$ from lawsuits). There are even articles there that the "safe" playgrounds are promoting lack of self confidence and anxiety in kids which is rearing it's head now for those in their 20's.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/29/rethinking-ultra-safe-playgrounds-why-its-time-to-bring-back-thrill-provoking-equipment-for-kids/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/
  • jalapenos6000jalapenos6000 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Work with reality not against it
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 797Member Member Posts: 797Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    The primary change in the last century was a shift from scarcity to abundance. Self control isn't an innate human quality, although it is reinforced through cultural and societal means. As the cultural concepts of sacrificing the present for the future diminished much of the "old wisdom" has died.

    Weight is simply one of the most visible symptoms of a deeper root cause.
    I would say self-control is the innate quality of humans. When it comes to more instinct driven areas, are brains aren't much bigger or better than other primates, possibly worse since we use so much less sense of smell. What tends to make humans different is a large prefrontal cortex, the area that tends to make you do the hard thing when necessary. There's a very simple test of this in that give a chimp the choice to reach for an empty hand or hand with food, and even when they understand reaching for the empty hand will actually give food, they'll never do it - and chimps are the next closest primates to humans in PFC size. Almost any human child, on the other hand, can learn that you get a bigger reward for going against what is in front of your eyes drawing your desire.

    There have always been people with access to abundance since we've had classed societies. I don't think the lords of Europe had an obesity epidemic like we see now.

    I also don't think there is some great store of old wisdom where people have lost the ability to sacrifice for future gain. That seems to be saying we did lose the capacity for self control
  • ceiswynceiswyn Posts: 2,054Member Member Posts: 2,054Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    The primary change in the last century was a shift from scarcity to abundance. Self control isn't an innate human quality, although it is reinforced through cultural and societal means. As the cultural concepts of sacrificing the present for the future diminished much of the "old wisdom" has died.

    Weight is simply one of the most visible symptoms of a deeper root cause.
    I would say self-control is the innate quality of humans. When it comes to more instinct driven areas, are brains aren't much bigger or better than other primates, possibly worse since we use so much less sense of smell. What tends to make humans different is a large prefrontal cortex, the area that tends to make you do the hard thing when necessary. There's a very simple test of this in that give a chimp the choice to reach for an empty hand or hand with food, and even when they understand reaching for the empty hand will actually give food, they'll never do it - and chimps are the next closest primates to humans in PFC size. Almost any human child, on the other hand, can learn that you get a bigger reward for going against what is in front of your eyes drawing your desire.

    There have always been people with access to abundance since we've had classed societies. I don't think the lords of Europe had an obesity epidemic like we see now.

    I also don't think there is some great store of old wisdom where people have lost the ability to sacrifice for future gain. That seems to be saying we did lose the capacity for self control

    So what's your explanation?
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 797Member Member Posts: 797Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    The primary change in the last century was a shift from scarcity to abundance. Self control isn't an innate human quality, although it is reinforced through cultural and societal means. As the cultural concepts of sacrificing the present for the future diminished much of the "old wisdom" has died.

    Weight is simply one of the most visible symptoms of a deeper root cause.
    I would say self-control is the innate quality of humans. When it comes to more instinct driven areas, are brains aren't much bigger or better than other primates, possibly worse since we use so much less sense of smell. What tends to make humans different is a large prefrontal cortex, the area that tends to make you do the hard thing when necessary. There's a very simple test of this in that give a chimp the choice to reach for an empty hand or hand with food, and even when they understand reaching for the empty hand will actually give food, they'll never do it - and chimps are the next closest primates to humans in PFC size. Almost any human child, on the other hand, can learn that you get a bigger reward for going against what is in front of your eyes drawing your desire.

    There have always been people with access to abundance since we've had classed societies. I don't think the lords of Europe had an obesity epidemic like we see now.

    I also don't think there is some great store of old wisdom where people have lost the ability to sacrifice for future gain. That seems to be saying we did lose the capacity for self control

    So what's your explanation?

    There is a multitude of things going on, but I absolutely do believe advertising has an effect on people's eating habits. Perhaps I'm biased in that I work for an advertising company. I think a number of large scale social effects and policies matter - I don't think it is as simple as people make choices in a vacuum unimpacted by society, economics, or stressors. My point isn't that I secretly am the one man with the actual perfect solution for the obesity epidemic. I am, however, here to say social policy absolutely can work: we have fewer smokers now, and it is absolutely measurable that some of the reasons why are things like sin tax on cigarrettes and anti-smoking informational campaigns. While I'm ambivalent about the moral arguments - the shoulds - anyone that wants to say we can't influence these things via policy is ignorant or motivated to deluded their self in my esteem. Yet I think people want that delusion sometimes because it is easier to handle than having to come up with the hard arguments in the realm of morals for why we can or can't justify acting or not acting to change things.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    mcfly216 wrote: »
    Not a thing, we have enough laws and regulations as it is. Generally a restaurant is going to have a meal higher in calories than you can make at home. Humans managed thousands of years without being obese. No nuntrion labels, no macro counting they got by. If you can’t manage your weight (excluding medical reasons) that’s on you. One meal at a restaurant isn’t going to cause obesity.

    ...no convenience stores, no chocolate bars, no cake or cookies, no ice cream, no restaurants, no modern fruits, vegetables and grains, no fatty meats, no food without walking miles to hunt or gather...

    ...sorry, what was your point again?

    The point is no one is forcing you to purchase those items. A rational thinking person knows that if they eat fried chicken everyday they will gain weight. On top of that nearly all of the things you listed have nutrition info available to a majority of the world.

    Nobody is ‘forcing’ anyone to purchase those items, but humans evolved to deal with food scarcity, not abundance. As a result we have all sorts of inbuilt mechanisms to try to make sure we eat enough (eg hunger) but no similar drives to avoid overeating tasty high-calorie food. And you just can’t willpower 24/7.

    So once you’ve finished telling fat people that everything is their own fault, do you have anything to offer that’s actually helpful?

    Your firat phraae 'nobody is forcing anyone to purchase those items" is correct.

    IMO, the rest of the post regarding evolution, etc pretty much excuses for lack of personal eesponsibility.

    Not going to fix a problem if one does not admit one is there.

    Well, in that case nothing anyone can do is gonna change a thing. If it’s 100% personal responsibility, might as well just let fat people be fat and stop any kind of efforts to help ‘em.

    You can't help someone that isn't motivated to make a change - it has to be their idea. All the information is readily available but they have to do the work.

    I can't think of a single overweight friend that I have that doesn't know what they need to change to lose weight - it's just not important enough to them to stay consistent and do the work. One of my good friends is really heavy -she knows eating sugar and junk food doesn't help and yet she still does it because she enjoys it. I love her to pieces but there's nothing anyone else can do to help her - it's on her.

    I find that statement a bit off in a policy discussion. We literally can cause people to change behavior. Certainly at a given individual, there could be people that will do something if they want it strongly enough, but most people fall on a bell curve of what they'll do to something as simple as a price increase - it is a bit of the most fundamentals of economics. We literary can change or influence behavior at the aggregate level, that's what policies are for.

    And what is missed in discussing "well when was the chocolate bar invented" is the question of how can personal responsibility be explanatory of the issue, if we're making it an alternative hypothesis? Did the human capacity for self control just simply change in the last century?

    The primary change in the last century was a shift from scarcity to abundance. Self control isn't an innate human quality, although it is reinforced through cultural and societal means. As the cultural concepts of sacrificing the present for the future diminished much of the "old wisdom" has died.

    Weight is simply one of the most visible symptoms of a deeper root cause.
    I would say self-control is the innate quality of humans. When it comes to more instinct driven areas, are brains aren't much bigger or better than other primates, possibly worse since we use so much less sense of smell. What tends to make humans different is a large prefrontal cortex, the area that tends to make you do the hard thing when necessary. There's a very simple test of this in that give a chimp the choice to reach for an empty hand or hand with food, and even when they understand reaching for the empty hand will actually give food, they'll never do it - and chimps are the next closest primates to humans in PFC size. Almost any human child, on the other hand, can learn that you get a bigger reward for going against what is in front of your eyes drawing your desire.

    There have always been people with access to abundance since we've had classed societies. I don't think the lords of Europe had an obesity epidemic like we see now.

    I also don't think there is some great store of old wisdom where people have lost the ability to sacrifice for future gain. That seems to be saying we did lose the capacity for self control

    In comparison to animals, yes.

    In your example the bigger reward for going against what is in front of your eyes (sacrificing your present for your future) is learned - not innate.

    I suspect it's more an issue of the rate of abundance:

    jdw8h3fgpv1u.png

    Note the explosion in food production and population following WWII and the conversion from military build up to agricultural and industrial build up. Also has a great deal to do with the logistical issue of transporting and storing food. Refrigeration is a relatively new concept and localized to colder climates prior to the 1920s. Most of the calorie dense food we commonly eat today was created out of necessity for storage during winter - heavy breads, jellies, cheeses, etc. These tend to taste better laden with sugar and salt and while rare treats historically these are used everyday.

    There's also the issue of physical expenditure. Those of the higher class in the past needed to move more than the average person today.

    I can't remember the term, but there was a calculation for the amount of work required for an individual to survive throughout the ages. This has dropped dramatically in the 1900s and is down to only a few hours. Compare this to anyone attempting to survive in Alaska which is over 100 hours/week.
Sign In or Register to comment.