17 2 mins 10 yrs

Talk about the fat of the land…

Tougher action – including taxing junk food – is needed by all governments if the obesity crisis is going to be tackled, experts say. The international group of researchers, who have published a series of articles in The Lancet, said no country had yet got to grips with the problem. They said changes in society meant it was getting harder for people to live healthy lives. And they warned without state action, health systems could become swamped. Obesity-related problems, such as diabetes, were now accounting for between 2% and 6% of health care costs in most countries.

This is a tough one. On the one hand, you DO see an awful lot of very fat people, most distressingly children waddling through our streets. Why? Lack of exercise and poor diet, I guess. What will this mean for the future? A lot more pressure on our socialised health system. But the answer is NOT for the State to decide just how fat or thin people should be. It is for individuals to take responsibility for their own health. But the conundrum is this; in a socialised health care system they can get away with being irresponsibility. When one chooses private healthcare watch what happens your premium as you supersize yourself. That’s the right sort of motivation.

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17 thoughts on “FAT NATION…

  1. Part of the answer must be proper food labelling so that people know what they are eating. Adult males should eat a maximum of 2,500 calories per day. So if a Big Mac and Fries is clearly labelled as containing 1,200 calories they have the information they need to decide for themselves. I believe that some restaurants in New York are already showing the calorie content of each meal on the menu, and that has to be the way to go.

  2. What perfect little ‘Nanny Meisters’ our medical leaders are. Threats of doom and disaster if we don’t tax the junk food from our national diet, followed by a spectre of a NHS that simply couldn’t cope with treating a nation of obese ingrate troglodytes, – oh! doom and gloom! – So what’s new?

    The Lancet spokesman on tv this a.m. was quite the adamant little dictator, in making his point.

    What an assumption of some future hope and despair they weave. Firstly, we are all going to be fat and in need of treatment, and then the positive certainty that in say twenty years time we will still have a viable NHS to turn to when needing the comfort of ‘Nanny’. First the pessimism, then the optimism, – all in one sentence.

    With all of the globally bad financial news of recent months and no sign of any improvement it is hardly alarmist to contemplate a near future where all sorts of shortages will occur, not least a shortage of food, which may require some sort of rationing system, -‘to ensure fair distribution of meagre supplies’. Surely a bureacrats wet dream!.

    Could this be one of Nature’s own cures for our ‘Fatty’ problem? We never had such a problem sixty or even fifty years ago, – perhaps a ration book could be the best slimming and diet book ever printed.

    Then we could also have a cash flow problem, – which in itself could jeopardize the continuance of the NHS and its current ‘free-for-all, – unless we disapprove of your lifestyle’, approach to healthcare. Does anyone remember the threats of refusal of treatment for smokers?

    How utterly predictable it is that when a problem needs fixing, the answer is always ‘tax it’. Whatever the problem and whatever they say, and no matter what reorganising they do, we always end up paying more tax, – but then you don’t need me to tell you that!…

  3. A sensible approach Peter but I get really enraged at the suggestion that it is OK to stigmatize fat people. Obese people may well be aware of their condition and they certainly do not need to be shamed on a regular basis. The fact that this suggestion comes from the mouths of emminent members of the medical fraternity is itself shameful but I doubt that we will hear and apology.

  4. Peter

    Yes, the NYC legislation requires chain restaurants to show the calorie count

    Which is really easy to comply with and which is not ” nanny state ” in any way. It’s full disclosure / truth in advertising and I’m sure we’re all for that.

  5. Phantom,

    So it’s not ‘nanny state’ when grown adults have to be told what to, and what not to eat, and not just ‘told’, but passing laws to reinforce the instruction.

    It is yet another indictment of just how pathetic modern society really is. I can understand New Yorkers perhaps being in need of such instruction, but the Brits? – those oh so independent Limeys, – surely not!

    Just how accurate can those calorie counts be, what with different sized portions and other preparation variables they can only rank along with politicians for truthfulness.

    Maybe its not ‘Nanny state’, its probably closer to being a ‘Granny state’.

  6. Asking the purveyor to tell the consumer what’s in the product has zero aspects of a nanny state.

    If you don’t want to know, don’t read the calorie information

  7. Ernest – it is certainly helpful for people to be given advice and warnings regarding health matters. People should not automatically damn the state for doing so. The turn around in the US on the numbers of people smoking has been dramatic and credit is due to those in the medical profgession (and the governmetn) who helped establish the ill effects of same. Obesity is a real issue and deserves attention.

  8. The ” Know Nothings ” don’t want to know what they are stuffing in their gullet, and have effectively taken side with big business against individual consumers, who are to be kept in the dark on all things in the name of ” freedom ”

    What a pack of phonies

  9. When one chooses private healthcare watch what happens your premium as you supersize yourself. That’s the right sort of motivation.

    If the prospect of dying from heart disease or cancer does not motivate people to eat or live healthily then I suspect that rising health insurance premiums (which they will probably choose not to buy) will hardly do the trick.

  10. Well I don’t know what you fellas eat, but being reasonably capable, I have a fair knowledge of what enters my mouth as food, and it would be a real idiot who didn’t have a basic idea, certainly good enough to know the difference between good and bad.

    Didn’t we all get a basic education in such things whenever we sat at table to eat. It isn’t the ability to read a label that is needed, it is the willingness to get off one’s backside and put a little effort into life, – of course they have yet to find a way to tax that activity.

    I think it is the ‘Do nothings’, who need a government inspired label to provide an excuse for their being fat and ugly…hence their support for yet more laws. Empty minds in large behinds remains an apt saying…and appropriate too!

  11. And it’s not even true!

    The huge majority get -private- healthcare from the employer as part of the overall package and I have never heard of any weight based increase in premium.

    They charge smokers more, and they charge families more than they do individuals but that’s it.

  12. Ernest

    The average person has no clue on this stuff. And restaurants do things that most consumers would never do, in the name of taste – like putting butter on steak, or using vastly more quantities of salt than the average person would ever use.

    No one can complain about having more information available. It’s no real burden for an honest firm to provide it.

  13. Phantom,

    Yep – if what you say is true, then yes, the average person really is quite stupid!

  14. How are they supposed to know that a particular fast food is loaded with salt and high in calories unless the information is disclosed?

  15. Phantom, Is taste, – one of the senses, not a reliable indicator? surely salt is quite a distinctive flavour, as is butter, when used in cooking, and is there not enough info, on a almost daily basis in the media for the dimwitted to get at least some inkling of what they are eating. If they take no notice of the printed word, they are hadly going to study a menu, and if they did, would they understand, – I doubt it – these are morons we are dealing with…

  16. “Have you been mis-sold eating advice? Phone First4Laywers”

    It’s only a matter of time.

    Although I do love the spins, if you listen to the BBC, that government “cuts” are both taking food off our tables and also making us fat. At the same time.

  17. I went into a UK Burger King about 4 years ago now, and on every table they had a clearly marked calorie break down sheet for every product they sold. Every single item was listed from in detail, it was fantastic. The burger I had chosen with all the add-ons was 2,000 calories :p. I went to one the other week and these sheets were missing. But Burger King at least, 4 years ago, had the right idea.

    *as Peter says above

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