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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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  • Carlos_421Carlos_421 Posts: 4,914Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,914Member, Premium Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Carlos_421 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?

    With the exception of convenience stores, all of those things have existed for centuries, at least.

    Centuries is not the same as 'thousands of years'. And even if chocolate bars and ice cream existed in the 1700s (did they really?) , I'm preeetty confident they were not widely available for everyday consumption by the masses...

    So here's a question. If you believe that the modern food-rich environment has nothing to do with obesity, what is your explanation for why obesity is a modern phenomenon?

    I was responding to what appeared to be an implication that the existence of cake, cookies, fatty meats, etc. were to blame for current obesity rates.
    I said nothing about whether or not current day access to an abundance of food in general played a role.
    In fact, I believe that modern innovations that allow us to have a abundance of food while simultaneously providing opportunity for a sedentary lifestyle (but mostly the sedentary lifestyle, considering the obesity rates more closely align with the tech boom than with 20th century grocery shopping) is exactly why the obesity rate has risen so dramatically.
    That has nothing to do with foods like grains existing.

    ETA: Obesity hasn't been the problem it is today for even one century. So yes, it is fair to rule out alleged causes that have been around for many.
    edited October 11
  • Carlos_421Carlos_421 Posts: 4,914Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,914Member, Premium Member
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    Carlos_421 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?

    With the exception of convenience stores, all of those things have existed for centuries, at least.

    Centuries is not the same as 'thousands of years'. And even if chocolate bars and ice cream existed in the 1700s (did they really?) , I'm preeetty confident they were not widely available for everyday consumption by the masses...

    So here's a question. If you believe that the modern food-rich environment has nothing to do with obesity, what is your explanation for why obesity is a modern phenomenon?

    I was responding to what appeared to be an implication that the existence of cake, cookies, fatty meats, etc. were to blame for current obesity rates.
    I said nothing about whether or not current day access to an abundance of food in general played a role.
    In fact, I believe that modern innovations that allow us to have a abundance of food while simultaneously providing opportunity for a sedentary lifestyle (but mostly the sedentary lifestyle, considering the obesity rates more closely align with the tech boom than with 20th century grocery shopping) is exactly why the obesity rate has risen so dramatically.
    That has nothing to do with foods like grains existing.

    ETA: Obesity hasn't been the problem it is today for even one century. So yes, it is fair to rule out alleged causes that have been around for many.

    Wow. Didn't realize how late I was in responding.
  • OpulentBobbleOpulentBobble Posts: 15Member Member Posts: 15Member Member
    ookoolady wrote: »
    If we are considering an effective public policy to alleviate a problem (obesity), we should consider what worked for other public health issues. Tobacco use diminished with a combination of higher taxes, warning labels, and restrictions on sales and advertising. I know that e-cigarettes and vaping are reintroducing tobacco to a younger market, but my point is that there may be some strategies that could be applied to the obesity epidemic.

    This is a good idea in theory but I think it would be virtually impossible to implement. Who decides which foods are “unhealthy”? Every fad diet proclaims some food group as the reason for all our health problems.

    And even if you got a common consensus on a set of products, then you have the huge issue of food desserts, where low income individuals only have access to corner stores filled with processed, high calorie foods. If you tax those foods at a higher rate, you’re introducing another economic barrier to people with limited transportation or access to fresh food options.

    And then how would this work in restaurants? Would all McDonalds products be taxed at a higher rate or just certain items? Some salads are loaded with bacon and fried chicken, not exactly the healthiest options.

    Warning labels might work, like a label next to meal items that say “warning: this meal exceeds 50% of the recommended daily calorie allotment” or something. Although that might be categorized as some kind of shaming.

  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 464Member Member Posts: 464Member Member
    ookoolady wrote: »
    If we are considering an effective public policy to alleviate a problem (obesity), we should consider what worked for other public health issues. Tobacco use diminished with a combination of higher taxes, warning labels, and restrictions on sales and advertising. I know that e-cigarettes and vaping are reintroducing tobacco to a younger market, but my point is that there may be some strategies that could be applied to the obesity epidemic.

    This is a good idea in theory but I think it would be virtually impossible to implement. Who decides which foods are “unhealthy”? Every fad diet proclaims some food group as the reason for all our health problems.


    A number of countries have implemented an excise tax of sugary drinks.

    https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2017/12/20/Sugar-taxes-The-global-picture-in-2017

    As to your question who decides, the government does. Whether or not one agrees with any law it has been shown it can be done.
    edited October 11
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    I posted this in another thread but I don't think people understand the magnitude of food abundance and how this exploded in 1950s in comparison to human history. Couple this with the other impact of cheap and abundant energy - decreased physical activity and you then understand the root cause of the problem.

    tbpa2urvxu30.png
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,127Member Member Posts: 12,127Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I posted this in another thread but I don't think people understand the magnitude of food abundance and how this exploded in 1950s in comparison to human history. Couple this with the other impact of cheap and abundant energy - decreased physical activity and you then understand the root cause of the problem.

    tbpa2urvxu30.png

    I also don't think most people realize how few calories over maintenance it takes, averaged over the population in question, to explain a gradual, creeping obesity epidemic. I've forgotten the exact number, but I believe it's in the low hundreds of calories per day per person, on average.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I posted this in another thread but I don't think people understand the magnitude of food abundance and how this exploded in 1950s in comparison to human history. Couple this with the other impact of cheap and abundant energy - decreased physical activity and you then understand the root cause of the problem.

    tbpa2urvxu30.png

    I also don't think most people realize how few calories over maintenance it takes, averaged over the population in question, to explain a gradual, creeping obesity epidemic. I've forgotten the exact number, but I believe it's in the low hundreds of calories per day per person, on average.



    100 kcals/day surplus = 36,500 kcals/year = divided by 3,500 kcals/pound = 10 lbs/year
  • OpulentBobbleOpulentBobble Posts: 15Member Member Posts: 15Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ookoolady wrote: »
    If we are considering an effective public policy to alleviate a problem (obesity), we should consider what worked for other public health issues. Tobacco use diminished with a combination of higher taxes, warning labels, and restrictions on sales and advertising. I know that e-cigarettes and vaping are reintroducing tobacco to a younger market, but my point is that there may be some strategies that could be applied to the obesity epidemic.

    This is a good idea in theory but I think it would be virtually impossible to implement. Who decides which foods are “unhealthy”? Every fad diet proclaims some food group as the reason for all our health problems.


    A number of countries have implemented an excise tax of sugary drinks.

    https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2017/12/20/Sugar-taxes-The-global-picture-in-2017

    As to your question who decides, the government does. Whether or not one agrees with any law it has been shown it can be done.

    I followed that statement up with an additional issue contingent upon a tax on unhealthy foods.

    Also, given those countries implemented the tax in 2017, I doubt there is a visible trend yet in obesity rates. However, my hypothesis is it will not make much of an impact. All tobacco products are taxed at a higher rate, not just one brand. For something like a tax to make a marked difference, I think it would need to include the majority of heavily processed, high calorie foods in order to significantly alter eating habits so as to reverse obesity trends.

    So then you’re bringing in the question of government’s role in consumer choices. Many in the United States have a specific idea of government overreach, which I believe would include a blanket tax on all obesity correlative foods.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,127Member Member Posts: 12,127Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I posted this in another thread but I don't think people understand the magnitude of food abundance and how this exploded in 1950s in comparison to human history. Couple this with the other impact of cheap and abundant energy - decreased physical activity and you then understand the root cause of the problem.

    tbpa2urvxu30.png

    I also don't think most people realize how few calories over maintenance it takes, averaged over the population in question, to explain a gradual, creeping obesity epidemic. I've forgotten the exact number, but I believe it's in the low hundreds of calories per day per person, on average.



    100 kcals/day surplus = 36,500 kcals/year = divided by 3,500 kcals/pound = 10 lbs/year

    Yes . . . but someplace I saw it translated into an estimate of how many extra calories the average (statistical) person would have to have eaten daily to account for the average change in bodyweight since the beginning of the "obesity crisis".

    I can do that math, but I'm too lazy to look up the data. :grimace: The number is surprisingly small.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    I posted this in another thread but I don't think people understand the magnitude of food abundance and how this exploded in 1950s in comparison to human history. Couple this with the other impact of cheap and abundant energy - decreased physical activity and you then understand the root cause of the problem.

    tbpa2urvxu30.png

    I also don't think most people realize how few calories over maintenance it takes, averaged over the population in question, to explain a gradual, creeping obesity epidemic. I've forgotten the exact number, but I believe it's in the low hundreds of calories per day per person, on average.



    100 kcals/day surplus = 36,500 kcals/year = divided by 3,500 kcals/pound = 10 lbs/year

    Yes . . . but someplace I saw it translated into an estimate of how many extra calories the average (statistical) person would have to have eaten daily to account for the average change in bodyweight since the beginning of the "obesity crisis".

    I can do that math, but I'm too lazy to look up the data. :grimace: The number is surprisingly small.

    I think I've seen this and it is shockingly low - as in 50-200 kcals/day resulting in 10-20 lbs gained a year. Considering the CO element this amounts to missing that 60 min of walking/day.

    What throws most people outside of MFP is that they think "Why aren't people 800+ lbs?" Not realizing that metabolism is primarily based upon mass.
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