The Government has an Active Interest and Therefore should Play an Active Part to Combat Obesity.

March 31, 2016, 12:31 am

Agree23 Disagree17

58%
43%

The debate "The Government has an Active Interest and Therefore should Play an Active Part to Combat Obesity." was started by Sosocratese on March 31, 2016, 12:31 am. 23 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 17 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Sosocratese posted 24 arguments, president posted 1 argument, ReadyToBegin posted 5 arguments, LeviRay posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
TZW posted 14 arguments to the disagreers part.

Sosocratese, president, ReadyToBegin, djchivers, supercat, LeviRay, Burnin, wmd, burntoast2000, SocialistForrest, codyray16 and 12 visitors agree.
fadi, cancer_wins, TZW, bigB, Thomas_Jefferson, mike5193, Frank and 10 visitors disagree.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/10/31/elmo-and-rosita-join-first-lady-michelle-obama-promote-fresh-food-choices-kids

she took cookies away from the cookie monster.

3 years, 8 months ago
ReadyToBegin
replied to...

Can you link? I couldn't find anything

3 years, 8 months ago

I finished reading the rest of it. Interesting development there with TZW (I hope I got that right), Alex, and Sosocratese.

As Sosocratese said, I still think taxes are the best bet here. I see the logic in your plan Alex, but I don't think it would be as effective. It would also increase the poverty gap and not allow people to recover.

Also . . . if a good cost more people tend to not buy it. Especially for African American impoverished homes, it is a question of what is cheaper not best for you or taste good. If healthy foods cost less than more people will buy healthy foods overall. This will aid in compating obesity and closing the poverty gap.

Um, not sure (). I'll look it up. (Mrs.Obama thing).

3 years, 8 months ago

didn't Mrs. Obama do something like this? didn't she mess with little kids TV shows or something?

3 years, 8 months ago

"To this day, there is no recommended daily allowance for sugar. If you read your food labels you will find a weight next to "sugars" however, you won't find a percentage of daily value next to it. This makes it extremely difficult for people actually figure out how much sugar they're eating. Since sugars is lumped in as a subcategory for "carbs" the percentage is displayed for "carbs", but fiber is also included in that reading and the daily value for "carbs" is much higher than the value for sugar would be. So you can have 40 grams of sugar in a small soda, see that it's 13% of your carb intake and think you're fine. However, men have a recommended daily intake of about 38 grams and women a recommended daily intake of about 25 grams (This is according to the AHA, the USDA has refused to accept that standard). This would mean that one Soda is over 100% of your daily recommended value regardless of sex. "
- I've heard of this.


"Should the government adopt a standard for recommended daily sugar intake? Should the government be able to tell food manufacturers to only produce products that are "x" percent below that recommendation?"

- Yes. It has recommended calories, carbs etc. Sugar is rather important to overlook. The last one is over reach however. The company can produce what it wants but supply and demand will regulate how they produce over time. This way it cannot be easily reversed.

3 years, 8 months ago
ReadyToBegin
replied to...

I never did reply to this! Can't wait to read the rest as it got popular it seems.

"So you're drawing the line on government overreach at "limiting choice" in a sense. Meaning that you would likely be against the government restricting sugar content or portion size (think big-gulp drinks). However you're ok with passive regulations such as tax increases on unhealthy foods and limiting food stamps from being used to purchase processed foods. Am I getting that about correct?"

-Yes

"If that is the case, I would say that's a fair place to draw the line. "

-Thanks. haha.

"How about tax incentives for healthy behavior? Would rewarding "good behavior" be an overreach? In a sense, would the government be overstepping if it rewarded gym memberships, regular doctors visits, etc... with tax decreases be an overreach? Would a combination of tax increase on fast food/processed food along with a tax cut for healthy choices be enough to actually have an impact on the obesity epidemic? I would say that perhaps it would have some impact, but how high would we need the price of unhealthy food need to be to alter the behavior of the general public? "

-No it wouldn't be overreach. There are tax benefits for other activities like charity so I think this would be fine. I think overall (though VERY SLOWLY) this would be enough.
- I'd say over 25 percent but any amount would make an impact on judgment.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

In debates you have to support your claims. That's how things work. No position is correct unless supported. Without evidence to support your claims they're simply proof by assertion not by evidence. It's just proper form....go look at some of the debates on debates.org you'll see how things are usually conducted regardless the issue.

It's just a very frustrating trend on this app. People assuming their position is self explanatory and can't back it with evidence.

3 years, 8 months ago

I'm using common sence to tell you what would happen, as you said it would fail, you could tell me why I'm wrong, or you could boast about your scientific papers.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

I have a degree in philosophy with an emphasis on philosophy of science. So yes, I've dealt with plenty of scientific papers.

The papers I presented were all studies published in peer reviewed journals. It seems like you're more interested in trying to discredit the evidence since you can't concede the point that scientific data indicates that this would work.

You have presented no actual evidence to support any of your claims. You have simply stated 'this won't work" yet you present absolutely no evidence to the contrary.....

It's really not that hard guys... I don't even believe in this nonsense and I'm able to back it up with evidence. You guys should at least be able to present a reasoned arguments backed by evidence against this case....

This is quite sad.... At least you could have done your research and found the Dutch fat tax that was a miserable failure, or the absurd lengths the Japanese went to in order to make it successful....

3 years, 8 months ago

the liberals find its easier to cover it up then fix it. that's why we are in a huge crisis in just about everything, cause america doesn't fix problems anymore.

3 years, 8 months ago

exactly Alex. doesn't fix the issue just covers it up.

3 years, 8 months ago

I occasionally eat fast food. if fast good prices rise, I would never eat fast food.

as for someone who is obese and eats a lot of fast food a $1 extra or less won't stop them from buying fast food.

this tax plan would simply have fast food places miss the fit costumers who occasionally eat fast food, and not solve the obese problem.

3 years, 8 months ago

have you done anything with statistics? like at all? you seem to have a fallacy developed from your beliefs that are highly unrealistic.

3 years, 8 months ago

What are you talking about?? .... You get statistics from studies which then form a conclusion based on those statistics. That's the definition of a scientific study.

I presented you links with studies, links of analysis of studies, all of which have the original data readily available for review....

Nothing I presented you with is raw data, they all have methodology and conclusions clearly available to interpret the data in a scientific way with respect to the given hypothesis.

3 years, 8 months ago

statistics not studies. There is a big difference.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Studies show it will happen less frequently. That's all we're really after.

You're making it sound like we need to stop everyone from eating unhealthy all the time... That's not the case. The only goal that has to be met is to reduce obesity enough to have a reasonable impact and offset the social cost that obesity creates.

Otherwise you will be paying for the choices of others.

You're right, currently the system is stacked against poor people. That's why we have to have state run initiatives that organize city planning and zoning to eliminate food deserts and implement subsidies to make healthy foods more cost effective, and educate the public on good nutrition. We can only do that by spending money, the revenue ought to be created from the source of the problem.

3 years, 8 months ago

If somebody wants a burger they get a burger. Taxes doesn't fix it.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Absolutely, such programs would in turn be funded through taxing foods linked to obesity...since raising taxes on unhealthy food raises revenue, and shifts the market towards healthier food, we can the use the extra revenue on preventative measures.

Any program is going to cost money, so why not have the problem fund it's own solution?

3 years, 8 months ago

The poor buy the most junk food btw. Why tax the poor more? Not everyone is meant to be healthy, or fit. Not everyone chooses to be either though. I eat junk food, am I obese? No. Do I work out? Yes. Am I fit? Yes. It's the person not the food, not the government that makes them gain wait. sorry but just a tax doesn't fix issues it just covers it up.

3 years, 8 months ago

Wouldn't it just be easier to teach the youth better? Not only easier, but more effective.

3 years, 8 months ago

Again, the tax on obesity related foods would go towards prevention so those those studies would be analogous. I will grant you that success rates would not be has high as the tobacco taxes were, however we see market shifts towards more affordable products I nearly all cases. So if we make healthier food cheaper and more available we would shift market pressures in support of that.

http://www.nihcm.org/pdf/ExpertVoices_Gruber_April2010.pdf

There is also growing support for this type of plan

http://www.ny1.com/1-all-boroughs-news-content/news_beats/politics/113892/poll-shows-voters-sweeten-to-idea-of-sugary-drink-tax/

Lastly, there is data that shows this to work.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.fooddrinkeurope.eu/uploads/publications_documents/FoodDrinkEurope_Summary_Study_Food_Taxes.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwim4oXSy_3LAhXF26YKHbd7A7kQFggiMAI&usg=AFQjCNFn7kdw3uhVYVMiEQk3j4DofCzskA&sig2=fkP_w3HiHRTtEJYx7Fj-dA

As for the "fat camps".
They would have to be voluntary which would still have some impact
They would cost money (adding to the cost of the problem
Would create more government bureaucracy.

It would also take take years before any benefit is seen.

With a tax plan we can add revenue to offset cost immediately.

3 years, 8 months ago

If someone saw they ran out of health care funds because of tobacco health issues, they will hopefully be smart and quit. if someone sees rich people paying for their health care problems, they are less likely to quit

3 years, 8 months ago

if you have this wonderful fabricated plan that's based off of tobacco usage, why do people use tobacco still? Why is it still recurring day by day? Maybe because it actually doesn't work.

3 years, 8 months ago

I read them. You obviously did not taxes were created to stop children from using tobacco. Now most parents don't buy tobacco for kids. They do however buy fast food for kids. here is a direct correlation- you use partial facts to only support your side but not whole facts to state the facts. congrats parents will buy fast food. parents won't cook every night despite rising taxes they will still get it for convenience. Yes, you could switch it to healthier food, but does that financially make since or common sense for that matter? No. Here is a plot hole in your whole scheme of ignorance for taxing nonsense. Why not instead of making the people who buy it more (mostly the poor) and go and provide a free camp for overweight people.

I bet you don't because you prefer complaining about x y and Z rather than trying to fix it.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Are you really that dense? I provided the links to the studies. Just scroll down how many more times do I have to tell you that.

Now, your criticism of the "fitness interest" has no actual bearing unless you can provide sources which show spikes in fitness participation at a level sufficient enough to explain the smoking rate decline described in the studies I provided during the times the studies were conducted. If you can't show that data it's a baseless critique and is to be dismissed as such.

3 years, 8 months ago

where did you get your information that is a direct correlation between the two. If you would have read, you'd see that I said my statement about had the same level of correlation to the change. None.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

The studies I provided below are exactly that. Data of smoking rates as they are effected by tax rates...So my argument is supported by data. Now you have to provide data for your argument. In order for your "fitness" criticism to be valid you would have to show an increase of fitness interest to a sufficient degree to make an impact on smoking rates in the regions that were the subjects of the studies I've provided during the time they were conducted.....

3 years, 8 months ago

could it be the switch in the importance of fitness in today's society compared to the earlier years? There is no direct comparison to taxes and society compared to the decrease so why use a statistic that is unsupported Socrates? If you ask a person why they quit using tobacco they don't say cost, they say "I did it for me."

3 years, 8 months ago

The studies I linked which show a decrease in use were from 2006-2008 and from 2008-2012. They specifically looked at tax increases and corrected for economic factors.

By that time we had already linked cancer to smoking, warning labels were already mandatory, TV adds were already outlawed, and the science was well known. I think we can safely eliminate education and research.

3 years, 8 months ago

Sosocratees do leas people smoke cause if tax, or cause of newer research and anti smoking organizations?

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

At a much lower rate which has resulted in drastic savings to the Healthcare system...

3 years, 8 months ago

It's pointless to tax it. Granted it provides increased income for the government, it doesn't make them change their products. Like you said look at tobacco products, people still use it despite the tax.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

By that line of reasoning there shouldn't be a tax on cigarettes, or programs funded by such taxes to help people quit it educational programs aimed at reducing first time user rates.

I'm not suggesting that the government should outlaw harmful foods, just tax those foods enough to offset the social cost they create, and to level the playing field for healthier options.

Since people choosing to eat unhealthy has a direct effect on the wallets of those that don't, it would seem only fair to offset that cost onto the people who are consuming products linked to obesity the most. You're simply shifting cost from the Healthcare system to the food market. Forcing people who choose to eat unhealthy to bear the financial burden of their own decisions.

3 years, 8 months ago

Why change it if it makes them money now? Obviously people are eating, it's not the government nor the companies fault people eat too much. It's the obese people still eating and, not working out.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

So you don't have a plan to address obesity as the number one contributer to out healthcare costs....

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Market manipulation is how you grow an economy. We do it all the time. It's a necessary role of the government is a capitalist system..... This is done through tax breaks and credits, or through tax hikes and the reversal of tax breaks for certain sectors. Think oil subsidies, corn subsidies, farm subsidies, new home tax credits, cigarette tax, alcohol tax, etc...

3 years, 8 months ago

"It is certainly not through witch hunting for fat people so you can exclude them from some programs that requires another government agency to be created which adds more cost into our healthcare system".

I agree. good thing nobody wants that. I want fat people and healthy people to get the same allowance each month.

3 years, 8 months ago

Why shift the market? Why babysit people who can't eat right? it's their decision to not be healthy. Everything else is an excuse 99% of the time. If somebody gives you direction to improve, then improve (which the government has given). it's not my responsibility of anyone for that matter, to grab a grown adults hand and "Now should you be eating that?"

If you know you are at health risk due to being overweight, it's in best interest not to drink a soda. If you do drink one, you are only hurting yourself.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

It's absolutely not illegal, fast food is already taxes (as are all restaurant meals), and some states do not exempt food from sales tax.

I think you're being a bit over dramatic with the whole collapse of the economy nonsense.... At worst you'll see marginal layoffs. Fast food companies and food manufacturers may also simply choose to provide healthier options in order to meet the market shift. We're not talking about killing an industry, we're talking about shifting the market for a better product.

We're also only talking about a marginal increase to bring unhealthy foods up to the cost of healthy options and then using the added revenue to reduce the cost of healthy food to make it slightly more competitive.

The market will still get to decide, and if the government has a role in reducing obesity it is through market manipulation leading to greater social good. It is certainly not through witch hunting for fat people so you can exclude them from some programs that requires another government agency to be created which adds more cost into our healthcare system. Since, by your own estimate, this wouldn't actually exclude that many people (and I actually agree with you there) the savings would be far less than the expenditure of giving ever citizen a stipend every month that is sizeable enough to be of use.

3 years, 8 months ago

isn't rewarding healthy people a good incentive to be healthy?

one doesn't need to follow doctors orders under my plan. just if they don't then that's just stupid for them and may lead to health issues.

your tax on fat foods would put fast food out of business and people will not buy as much food. the economy would fall apart if you mess with so ething that generates billions.

is it constitutional to even put taxes in fat foods? wouldn't that get a suit from a fast food or chip company?

3 years, 8 months ago

Then my criticism is very simple.... Your plan does nothing to reduce the cost associated with obesity, does nothing to discourage obese people from being obese, does nothing to enable obese people to be healthy, it only rewards healthy people.

I'll go into the reasons for this critique

If you leave the health insurance system as it is for the most part, coverage will not change. So obese people will have NO change in their current situation should they choose to continue poor life style choices. They can have a marginal gain by following doctor's recommendations, but will have no net loss. Furthermore, it has absolutely no impact on youth obesity.

The young may be obese for years without having to see a doctor. Under your plan all the damage could have already been done by the time your system actually has any sort of effect on the patient (I.e. They have already developed a health complication due to obesity).

To add to this, you would have to create a government agency that then reviews every case to determine is someone was or wasn't following doctors orders. You would need to put independent review and audit boards into place and draft a whole lot of legislation....and here I thought you were against big government (I know that was a bit cheeky)

Increasing taxes on "fat foods" will decrease the use (we have empirical data to support this), it will add revenue (empirical data shows this too), it will affect the young more so than adults as family heads make food buying decisions based on price. So using the revenue generated from the additional tax, we can provide local programs which decrease the cost and increase the availability of healthy foods. Labeling things correctly will give consumers the ability to make educated choices about their foods.

This can all be done with simple federal legislation that sets certain goals, but allows local municipalities to organize their own programs based on their needs.

3 years, 8 months ago

you got it pretty much right.

I'll clarify 1 part here.
everyone receives the monthly allowance. if they are going to misuse it or not follow doctors instructions they still get the health fund account. if an obese person misuses their allowance and runs out they aren't getting anymore because nobody is getting any more. obese people get the same money as a healthy person.

3 years, 8 months ago

Alright, I'm gonna try and break down your plan again. Let me know if I'm getting it wrong though. It's hard to separate the argument from your rhetoric sometimes.

You would NOT change the basic structure of how insurance works or how healthcare works.... I.e private insurance companies providing some sort of coverage overseen in some way by the government, private hospitals providing the care and then charging insurance and/or the patient. Co pays and deductibles apply.....Details aren't really important here as long as they don't change this basic structure (like doing single payer system or anything like that)

You WOULD create a separate government branch which would dole out a sort of HSA (a account with tax free funds which can only be used for medical expenses).

These funds would have certain stipulations to them in order to continue to qualify. I'm guessing you would take a fairly soft stance here and go with something like "persons with chronic issues related to obesity who are not actively trying to manage their weight shall NOT receive the" Alex stipend"; persons with such conditions who do not follow doctor's orders are also excluded".

NO patient will be turned down for emergency services regardless of ability to pay.

Am I getting that about right? I'll give you a good argument once I figure out exactly what you're proposing. I do have a pretty good idea of what direction my criticism will go though.

3 years, 8 months ago

I'm not increasing primary care, I'm giving people a certain amount of money for health for each month. for small issues using the small health clinic would 1. cost less 2. give more help to the person and 3. I've them a small tax break (very small). if someone needs to continually go to the clinic for obesity issues 1. they have a disease and need to go to the hospital or 2. they are lazy and aren't doing what the health clinic docter told them. if of is 1 the insurance company will pay for the disease bills, if it is 2, the money would become really low or dry out if they have to keep comming back.

the only problem you have with my plan is the part about dealing with people who don't listen to docters, but still want extra health care. I say don't provide these people with extra money, but hope they can figure it out or too bad. you say support freeloaders.

3 years, 8 months ago

I've looked back at the thread and you never laid out which services would be denied and which would be approved. You simply said something to the effect of "obese people who can't control their sickness will be have their accounts depleted and huge sicknesses will be paid for by insurance companies".... This is pretty ambiguous.

I assumed that you would simply characterize issues resulting from weight issues as one category and other emergency services as another. I apologize if I misrepresented your plan, but it wasn't very well explained.

If I modify the argument however, it actually strengthens the case against your plan.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you would increase the cost by limiting the allowance for primary care services and then allowing people to seek emergency care if they need it.

Essentially you're increasing cost at the exact junctions where you should be decreasing the cost. Increasing the cost to see a primary provider (by increasing the out of pocket cost to the patient) you're encouraging people to use emergency services as opposed to primary services.

I've already provided you with the scientific data to prove this point.

Now, show me some data to back up your position that increasing cost of the primary care sector will be of net benefit.

As for the tax.
My view is that prepackaged foods and fast food are luxury items like cigarettes and alcohol. They cause social and personal harm and should therefore not fall under the tax exemptions of other food products. I believe that products which have a social cost need to be taxed in order to make up that cost. So higher taxes on cigarettes and unhealthy foods. We did the same here in Colorado with recreational pot. There is a 20% consumer tax on it which goes to drug education classes, schools, and research.

With the empirical data showing you for a fact that increasing of cost will for a fact decrease use, do you have any argument against my plan?

With the empirical data showing that your plan will, for a fact decrease the primary provider use by obese people and therefore increase healthcare costs further, how does your plan actually solve anything? It seems like your plan is to make our system more restrictive and more costly.... Do you have anything other than assertions to back up your claims?

3 years, 8 months ago

instead of the "tea tax" make it a "cheeseburger tax". haha

3 years, 8 months ago

so you want to tax certain goods just like the British did? I'm pretty sure the people won't want that.

3 years, 8 months ago

"So a person having obesity related heart attack, stroke, fluid overload, would die under the system you described" -strawman. under my system big issues like a stroke or heart attack are paid for by health insurance. I've explained this before.

3 years, 8 months ago

What strawman? You have already stated that you would let people die who can't afford their Healthcare. So a person having obesity related heart attack, stroke, fluid overload, would die under the system you described....your position ultimately has to break down to letting someone die. I don't see any other way of interpreting your stance. You would also have to swallow the pill that people requiring orthopedic surgery (knee/hip replacements and such) due to their weight may not be able to afford it and thus loose their jobs. These are the implications of people opting not to seek medical attention.

Studies show that as Healthcare cost increases utilization of services decreases.
http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/2010/1/higher-copayments-and-deductibles-delay-medical-care-%C2%A0common-problem-americans

This means that people who have manageable diseases such as weight related hypertension are more likely to put off seeing a doctor and instead would use emergency healthcare services.

If you left in place the laws that force hospitals to care for people who can't afford it, you would actually be increasing the cost of Healthcare. Since emergency visits are much more expensive than primary care visits your plan would achieve the opposite.


Fast food and pre-packaged foods could still be sold under my plan of course. There would also be no need to add a government agency since we already have taxes in place. We would simply be adding an additional tax, or removing tax exemptions, as some states exempt food from sales tax, to a product which has been shown to cause a increased costs. The additional revenue would then be used to drive down cost of healthy foods, education programs, and offset healthcare expenditure. These are relatively simple steps to take. Certainty much easier than overhauling the health insurance industry and Healthcare industry as you advocate.

Now, can you please give me some studies which would support your plan. I have shown you empirical evidence that increasing costs of luxury goods decreases use and that increased cost of health care leads to less use. You have presented absolutely 0 evidence that your plan would actually have any net positive effect.

3 years, 8 months ago

"This way you would still increase the cost on people who make unhealthy choices, and yet not affect the core of our health care system. "

my plan, if anything, takes money away from people making unhealthy choices. how is that worse then making them pay more money? also our core of our health care system needs to be reformed and affected.

instead of making the goverment larger, we should not add another set of laws and officials, but simplify the health care system so the average person can understand it, and do what "we the people" want not what the goverment or the insurance companies want.

3 years, 8 months ago

enough with the strawman arguments. I am giving everyone healthcare under my plan. everyone gets the same allowance each month. the people who are too lazy to become healthy don't have an uncontrolled sickness. do you even know what my plan is? if someone has a huge sickness the money will be tacken from insurance companies, not the allowance.

I believe that companies should have the freedom to buy and sell things (of course some regulations aply). but making companies raise the cost of food is insane. cigarettes are different cause they are not a staple as food is. your correct though if food costs go up people will stop buying unhealthy food, not be able to afford healthy food and starve.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

Couple of problems here. We have very strict laws on the books to prevent care being denied to impoverished people. With obesity being a bigger problem in low income households, this would disproportionately affect already low income families.
http://m.ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/1/6.full
Families which are already living paycheck to paycheck would likely not be able to afford a loan for Healthcare costs and simply let conditions worsen (as they sometimes do now) and then go to the ER for life saving procedures.

With all that in mind, your position then must be:
We would revoke laws which require hospitals to perform life/limb saving services regardless of the ability to pay.

You would be in favor of impoverished households loosing more income due to uncontrolled disease

You would then either need to supplement their income with welfare or accept that their children may starve/be homdless

You would not address any of the systematic issues responsible for obesity (food deserts, unusable food labels, high calorie dense food being cheaper, etc...)

Why do you feel the need to punish obese people rather than taxing the foods that got them there and using that additional income to supplement rising Healthcare costs or programs aimed at reducing cost of healthy food? This way you would still increase the cost on people who make unhealthy choices, and yet not affect the core of our health care system.

Wouldn't it be better to address the issue on a social scale rather than an individual scale? Making healthy food the cheaper and more available option would force a lot of low income families to buy those foods. Currently, the calorie density of prepackaged/fast food is much higher per $ spent. This makes it more likely for low income families to purchase those foods for purely economic reasons.


Essentially I'm arguing that we should treat unhealthy foods more like cigarettes. There is scientific research to back this plan too. If we look at smoking as a comparison (I think it's a pretty fair one) we see that increased price resulted in a drastic drop in use.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6321a2.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228562/

http://www.cbpp.org/research/higher-tobacco-taxes-can-improve-health-and-raise-revenue

3 years, 8 months ago

if one decides to be super fat, be extremely unhealthy, and be lazy. if they also happen to be poor, and their health account dries up on obese related things, and they have no money left but need medical care. your asking me this?
if so I'll answer it besides it pertaining to less then a percent of the population. actions have consequences. they could take out a loan if they have a job or some way to make money. if not I'm not supporting freeloaders. so the truth is, if people chose the path of death on the streets, then that's a bad decision for them.
as president I would say "that's what I call a YOU problem, not a ME problem" it's not the goverments job to pay freeloaders medical bills. like you said don't support freeloaders

3 years, 8 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

OK, so when are you going to answer the question of asked rather than the one you like? You have repeatedly said that people would fix their behavior if they couldn't afford medical care, but poor people smoke. They know the health risks, but they do it anyway. Could you answer the question rather than dance around it?

If someone is obese, broke, and needs medical care, what do you propose to do? Will the government step in and help them (rendering your position hypocritical) or will it refuse to and let them die of a preventable condition?

3 years, 8 months ago

now being slightly overweight doesn't mean huge medical bills. many overweight people are considered healthy. it's the 35% that are considered obese. not everyone in that 35% has such bad health they need to spend a lot on health care. it's only the obese peopke who have bad health and can control it. these people should learn that being obese and unhealthy while having very little health allowance left is bad. then they will become healthier. if they don't, then they will have to pay for their extra health care out of their own pocket when their health account dries up. nobody will be dying on the streets.

3 years, 8 months ago

Those who refuse to change their health habits to better manage their health accounts would then rely on the goverment to give them money, and continue doing what they want. (freeloaders) since neither you nor I support freeloaders then I don't see your argument point.

3 years, 8 months ago
PsychDave
replied to...

I am not in favor of supporting freeloaders, I am opposed to policies that are inherently flawed. Sosocratese points out that a large percentage of the population smokes, and that is an apt comparison. If people were as willing to do the logical thing to save money, why do people smoke? You are claiming that your legislation would change the basic nature of people, and I question that assumption.

You also failed to expand on what you would do for those who couldn't pay. Would you let them die, or would they still receive care? Even if most people did change their behavior, there would be some who would refuse to. That was the whole issue I brought up and your response failed to address it.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
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Idealism is doomed to failure.... While I agree that the emphasis should be on personal decision making; I.e. Enabling people to make the right decisions by giving them the information necessary, it is not feasible to say everyone will abide by good decision making.

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. It's not a secret, it's no longer controversial, etc... yet, 18% of the population still smokes.

In the USA we currently have about 68.5% of our population considered overweight and about 35% are considered obese. What you're proposing is essentially an increased Healthcare expenditure on almost 70% of the populous....

Wouldn't it be more cost effective to simply introduce legislation which allows people to make more informed decisions and perhaps even force an additional tax on "fat products" i.e. Sodas, candy, etc... Should have a tax on them to offset the cost they produce in our health care system... This way you don't run into the problems of an unbalanced Healthcare system and only the people consuming unhealthy products are taxed. People who are obese due to thyroid issues or other hormonal issues not diet would be excluded from such a tax. It would give an incentive to companies to produce healthier products to avoid the "fat tax" as well....

3 years, 8 months ago

why would someone say "the only way I can live is to not be unhealthy so I can afford my health costs, I'll go drink some Soda now, then expect the goverment to pay for everything I need."
I know your in favor of supporting freeloaders, I simply want to eliminate them, generally make peopke smarter. the best way to make america great again is to make americans great again. freeloaders are not what I call great, and a country that supports freeloaders is not what I call great.

3 years, 8 months ago
PsychDave
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And if those people don't change and can't afford the costs you will watch them die in the streets? That won't play well in the media.

3 years, 8 months ago

my plan costs unhealthy, lazy and fat people money.
Sosocratees's plan costs the food companies, and raises taxes to support the new goverment program to regulate these food companies.

the current plan costs us in our insurance premiums.

now I ask you all which plan do you like better?

3 years, 8 months ago

under my health care plan we won't have this problem. the people who are unhealthy and need extra health care will see their monthly health alowance disappear. then they will make an informed decision to eat healthy or work out so they don't need the medical attention. if they don't and their allowance dries up it won't be cheap for them.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
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But there is also a social cost. I have to pay extra for my health insurance premiums due to the high cost associated with obesity. People also go onto disability due to problems which come from their obesity.

Furthermore, food lobbies push for misinformation to be put on the food labels. Just look at the sugar content of any of your foods. You'll have a daily% value for protein, carbs, etc... But sugar has no daily value next to it. It is listed under carbs. Daily recommended value for carbs is about 225-325 grams of carbs per day. Now, if you look at the food label of a soda for example. You'll see that it has about 30 or so grams of sugar. This would be about 10% of you Daily carb value, and that's how they write it.

The American Heart Association put out a recommendation of about 37.5 grams of sugar for men per day and 25grams for women. So in reality, the label is false as for women that is over 100% of the daily allowence for their sugar intake a d it's approaching 100% for men.

So should the government not at least be responsible for labeling food appropriately so that consumers can actually make informed decisions?

3 years, 8 months ago

It isn't the government's responsibility to teach people how to eat right, or exercise right. You learn both of those in 1st grade. If people can't/won't be proactive, oh well. It's natural selection.

3 years, 8 months ago
LeviRay
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Studies have shown that many health issues are in direct correlation with Obesity. It is the government's job to regulate our government spending and taxes. We have to invest so much more into health insurance because of Obesity so I do think it is the government's job to regulate our diets. It cost us all more money to provide and aid for people who suffer from Obesity. I would also like to say that you cannot rely on the government to help you, if you don't give them enough power to do so. Everyone that hold a position in office is elected by the people, so if you have a problem with that, then you need to look at the American people.

3 years, 8 months ago

Git out my fridge, gubmint!

3 years, 8 months ago

We need to ask ourselves a question of how much do we want government involved in especially our personal lives. I think there has already been excessive overreach and i would not be interested in anymore. And I think that anything you do (if it's not truly for your own desire or good reason) is not going to be enjoyable or likely not sustainable. I wouldn't care for a reward or their opinion but rather they be downsized, do their job and to be accountable to we the people and not the opposite.

3 years, 8 months ago
RyanWakefield
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The best way for a government to care about it's people's health is nationalised healthcare. As the government is incentivised to make sure things like obesity are kept to a minimum. In America at the moment, the government doesn't do as much as it should to combat obesity, as hospital and healthcare use is good for America's economy.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
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So you're drawing the line on government overreach at "limiting choice" in a sense. Meaning that you would likely be against the government restricting sugar content or portion size (think big-gulp drinks). However you're ok with passive regulations such as tax increases on unhealthy foods and limiting food stamps from being used to purchase processed foods. Am I getting that about correct?

If that is the case, I would say that's a fair place to draw the line.

How about tax incentives for healthy behavior? Would rewarding "good behavior" be an overreach? In a sense, would the government be overstepping if it rewarded gym memberships, regular doctors visits, etc... with tax decreases be an overreach? Would a combination of tax increase on fast food/processed food along with a tax cut for healthy choices be enough to actually have an impact on the obesity epidemic? I would say that perhaps it would have some impact, but how high would we need the price of unhealthy food need to be to alter the behavior of the general public?

To this day, there is no recommended daily allowance for sugar. If you read your food labels you will find a weight next to "sugars" however, you won't find a percentage of daily value next to it. This makes it extremely difficult for people actually figure out how much sugar they're eating. Since sugars is lumped in as a subcategory for "carbs" the percentage is displayed for "carbs", but fiber is also included in that reading and the daily value for "carbs" is much higher than the value for sugar would be. So you can have 40 grams of sugar in a small soda, see that it's 13% of your carb intake and think you're fine. However, men have a recommended daily intake of about 38 grams and women a recommended daily intake of about 25 grams (This is according to the AHA, the USDA has refused to accept that standard). This would mean that one Soda is over 100% of your daily recommended value regardless of sex.

Should the government adopt a standard for recommended daily sugar intake? Should the government be able to tell food manufacturers to only produce products that are "x" percent below that recommendation?

3 years, 8 months ago

I feel like the government should. I use to think that it should be your right to choose what to eat, but it's not like these policies (certain ones like a higher tax on junk food) would take away that choice, it would just make it harder. I think that is really part of the problem, that healthier foods seem to (depending/overal) cost more than fast food, sugary junk, etc.

As for the food stamps, that's a good point too. I almost want the media to stop saying it's ok to be a big girl/boy, when I see that it is the equavilant to saying it's okay to be anorexic (both unhealthly) It is not; he or she has a problem and need help. Obesity really is killing America and the rest of the world.

I also feel like I don't see enough PSA on stuff like this.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
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Well.... I'm glad you have no effect on government policy then....

3 years, 8 months ago

7/10 americans are obessed. 2/10 people of the world are obessed. i am not obessed. i like fatty foods but i control the tendency. i think fatty people who eat more should be sent to a fat camp for 3 months.

firstly there should fatty police that would arrest fatty people and then send them to fat camp.

a fat camp is like a prison

fatty person are allowed to eat ONLY VEG . No red meat. no sugar and fatty food. if they dont follow they are whipped and if they still get fattier then they would be executed.

this is my version of a fat camp.

3 years, 8 months ago

The Government has an active interest in the health of the populous as it is in part responsible for the cost of chronic conditions. The government is therefore justified in implementing rules which limit or eliminate risky behavior as it relates to obesity (banning huge sodas, forcing higher taxes on sugary items, not allowing processed/surgery foods to be purchased with food stamps etc...)

This discussion isn't really about what the government should do but simply whether or not the government should meddle with our choice in diet given the fact that our choices influence the rest of the populous. However, if we do go into specific policies that would be OK too.

3 years, 8 months ago
Discuss "The Government has an Active Interest and Therefore should Play an Active Part to Combat Obesity. " health philosophy politics
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