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Desc:A look at the economic side of obesity in America.
Category:Crime, Educational
Tags:Fat People, Nutrition, obesity, lobbyists, follow the money
Submitted:Rodents of Unusual Size
Date:02/10/13
Views:1886
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Comment count is 30
Old_Zircon
Someone better come up with an alternative to capitalism that actually works ASAP.
Caminante Nocturno
You mean socialism?

Gmork
He said WORKS

augias
It works up to the point where greedy humans sell it out. Kill all humans.

Konversekid
Some clever individuals should fix the fact that we were born into an economic system that centralizes power to a few individuals.

That's the problem.

SteamPoweredKleenex
The problem is that everyone thinks it has to be all or none when we already use a mix of the two, depending on the situation.

Currently, it's overbalanced in favor of the so-called capitalists who socialize their losses at the expense of basic services and overall health of the economy.

A decent social safety net and basic medical care (i.e. if you bust your leg, it's not going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars and the loss of all you have along with your job) isn't unreasonable. Also, the current tendency to give the CEOs and investment bankers millions for what they do just isn't sustainable, nor does it create anything of tangible value or innovation. It just keeps bank account totals increasing for those who are already vastly wealthy.

Old_Zircon
What Gmork said.

baleen
Capitalism is doing an okay job dealing with the situation. We just need a little regulation and some serious juggling of agricultural subsidies, then we'll be fine.

Google The Urban Farming Guys, watch some of their videos, and imagine if that was happening intensively in every post-industrial neighborhood in America.

FABIO
-1 for forgetting that the best documentary makers are invisible
dairyqueenlatifah
I used to buy into this crap, that "Oh, we eat shitty fast food because it's all we can afford"...

You know what? That's fucking bullshit. Buying groceries and eating your own home cooked meals is way cheaper, and way less hazardous to your health. You can buy a hamburger for less than you can buy an apple? What kind of shitty overpriced produce section are you shopping in ma'am?

You want to know why people eat so much fast food? The lady at 3:18 said it. People eat fast food because it's quick, easy, effortless and convenient. Is it cheap on the surface? Yes. But if you added up the money you spend in a month eating fast food, you'd quickly realize you could but a shitload more food in groceries for the same amount of money.

I'm by no means dissing people who eat fast food for these reasons though. I eat way too much fast food myself, but I'm not doing it because it's cost effective; rather, I cringe at the thought of how much money I spend on the stuff. I do it because I am pressed for time, and I'm pretty lazy.

This guy is also being biased as fuck and all but flat out saying "THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO FORCE BUSINESSES TO RAISE PRICES ON JUNKFOOD SO POOR PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD IT AND WON'T BE FAT ANYMORE!" Too bad we live in a free [sic] country where that just won't fly.

This is the price of having a modern capitalistic society. Call me when you find an alternative that works.

God bless the vegan chef lady though. She really believes in what she's doing and is trying to educate impoverished people, not agenda push like this faggot.
SteamPoweredKleenex
"Afford" doesn't just mean money, it also means time. Try cooking a meal for even three other people while holding down a full-time job. Now try doing it when holding down two or more part-time jobs because places like McDonald's refuse to hire full-timers since that would require things like "benefits" to kick in.

Not to mention we subsidize processed foods. Produce is fucking expensive when compared to pre-packaged junk (and fast) food. It also doesn't last as long (which means more trips to the store) and our country has food "deserts" in many urban and rural areas where grocery stores that actually carry fresh produce just aren't available.

godot
I'd be content if the government simply stopped subsidizing crops like soybeans and #2 corn for animal feed (soy & maize themselves are fairly innocuous, but the resultant meat, eggs & dairy cause nearly all cardiovascular disease around a third of cancer), when vegetables and fruit receive, both consistently associated with health benefits, receive no such subsidies.

Konversekid
This guy is simply saying corporations suckle on livelihood of the poor, and largely because they can undermine the legislative process. I'm all for respecting these peoples' rational decision or self-deception to eat terrible food, but it is problematic when the food options a lot of people are immediately given happen to mainly be shitty processed ones. These corporations have socially determined what they want people to eat, and unsurprisingly it does not coincide with what a rational person would hope people would eat, and you cannot have an effective democracy or free country if we say that this sort of thing is alright so long no one forces others to use certain products.

To say that these people should simply man-up and start eating healthily is like saying that impoverished criminals should grow up and get real jobs that give back to society, when we all know that people who "honestly" fight their way out of poverty are the exceptions; that telling everyone to fight through these sorts of problems is both unsympathetic to their arbitrary misfortune and more importantly is never going to fix the problem.

memedumpster
Not every poor person is a criminal, asshole.

Blue
You say that like it's a bad thing. Most of us are criminals. Many crimes are not even unethical. There's plenty of illegal consensual sex, ethical activities like preventing HIV transmission in drug users, and of course, responsible drug use.

Even though technically, it's not illegal to be poor or a minority, in practice being able to drag poor people off the streets and sell them to prisons for government funding and slave labor is pretty much the whole reason we have drug laws at all. We don't do shit like that to protect people from fake cancer cures. We dump our mentally ill out onto the streets, whether they want treatment or not. And I'm pretty sure that if the ban on large sodas started resulting in innocent bystanders getting killed we'd say fuck the health of the people drinking the big gulps and we'd leave them to their bad health choices.

Blue
dairyqueenlatifah I don't really think you understand what it means to be poor. When it comes to things poor people don't have enough of, money is at #2. Time is much harder to come by than money. If you want to see how expensive time is, look at the rates on payday loans.

It's a big fucking deal for me to go to the grocery store. What I get there, I fucking carry back. Try buying all your groceries two bags at a time from a store 40 minutes away and see how much fresh fruits and veggies make it into your diet. I'm never more than two blocks from a fast food restaurant. That's what they're talking about.

Old_Zircon
And also, no, it's not cheaper by a long shot. Especially since, at least in my experience of living in poor neighborhoods most of my adult life, the cost of groceries is usually inversely proportional to the local poverty level. I live in a pretty rich are aright now, but on the edge of it, two blocks from the projects. The only grocery stores within miles of those projects are Whole Foods and Stop & Shop (which is actually more expensive than Whole Foods). The closest discount grocery store is 35 miles away in a well to do suburb across the state line. When I lived in Roxbury, the closest reasonably priced grocery store was an hour away by public transportation (half an hour away if you drove during the middle of the day) in Somerville.

And regardless, you're not going to be able to feed a family for under even at a budget store, unless you buy rice and beans in bulk and spend hours a day cooking them.

Did I mention Stop & Shop doesn't carry brown rice in my neighborhood? White rice is about as healthy as the bun from a McDonald's burger. In fact, nearly all of the affordable food at grocery stores is either junk food or bottom quality, high fat ground beef.

Old_Zircon
Also, what Blue said. I'm a highly moral person and I do crimes nearly every day.


Eventually it was discovered
That God
Did not want us to be
All the same
This was
BAD NEWS
For the Governments of The World
As it seemed contrary
To the doctrine of
Portion Controlled Servings
Mankind must be made more uniformly
If THE FUTURE
Was going to work
Various ways were sought
To bind us all together
But, alas SAMENESS was unenforceable
It was about this time
That someone
Came up with the idea of TOTAL CRIMINALIZATION
Based on the principle that
If we were ALL crooks
We could at last be uniform
To some degree
In the eyes of THE LAW
Shrewdly our legislators calculated
That most people were
Too lazy to perform a
REAL CRIME
So new laws were manufactured
Making it possible for anyone
To violate them any time of the day or night,
And
Once we had all broken some kind of law
We'd all be in the same big happy club
Right up there with the President,
The most exalted industrialists,
And the clerical big shots
Of all your favorite religions
TOTAL CRIMINALIZATION
Was the greatest idea of its time
And was vastly popular
Except with those people
Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,
So, of course, they had to be TRICKED INTO IT...
Which is one of the reasons why
Music
Was eventually made
Illegal

Bort
I think one piece of the puzzle is that, if you're used to poverty and you don't have a sense that it's ever going to change, you're not necessarily motivated to improve your habits. This speaks to fast foods as well as a number of insane practices I've witnessed (for example, throwing out leftovers rather than refrigerating them). I am by no means saying that poor people deserve poverty, because while I've seen food decisions that are just plain crazy, it's what I expect from people who have never learned better. So here is my plan on how to revise SNAP to make for healthier people while fostering better habits:

1) Nutritious foods -- legumes, dairy, whole grain bread, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables, flour -- are covered at 100% by SNAP. Also, SNAP provides additional credits for just those foods.

2) Everything else requires a co-pay. Basically, anything sugary or fatty.

3) Buying foods from 1) gets you credits towards that co-pay.

Pretty soon, a simple mental rule will take hold: "if there are copays, you need to buy more nutritious food to cover them". And if SNAP is basically throwing bags of lentils at you, at some point you may be tempted to try to actually cook with them. This also provides incentive for inner city grocery stores to stock fewer Twinkies and more fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Bort
Blue, I gotta ask: you don't live in Cleveland or thereabouts, by any chance? And if you do, you need a lift anywhere?

Fezren
Corporations are brainwashing poor people with chem trails to buy sodas and cheeseburgers so they will be fat. It's all a conspiracy to kill off the lower class minorities perpetrated by the judeo-masonic elite.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Chem trails are not necessary. A conspiracy is not necessary. Brainwashing is not necessary. It's biology meets the market. We're hard-wired to crave sugars and fats because we evolved under conditions of scarcity. Giving us lots of what we want at a low price is what the industry is supposed to do, and it's great for business. Food without sugars and fats doesn't sell as well, so there's no incentive to sell it.

i

Old_Zircon
Like most social ills, I wish it WERE a conspiracy because then we'd have a chance in hell at fixing it.

John Holmes Motherfucker
A few months ago, after new standards for school lunches were instituted, some kids made a funny youtube video about how they weren’t getting enough to eat, and oh my god the conservative pundits, who don't believe in scientific studies, treated the fucking youtube video as if it was the smoking gun.

You know, when they talk about banning sugary drinks over 16 ounces in New York City, i understand why that rubs people the wrong way, but OH MY GOD THE RAGE, as if the tanks were rolling up the street.
memedumpster
Wendys apple pecan salad is so good I never used the dressing. They have some tasty fucking salads. Arbys salad is phoned in, like a grocery store premade salad. DQ salads are okay, about like their burgers, better than Arbys. McSalads are what you should expect, I think they use the lettuce which can't stand up on its own and gets auctioned off last. Taco Bell's fresco steak burrito supreme doesn't leave the oily sticky clutter in your mouth like the other kind.

I have never felt forced to eat the worst food possible through a drive thru. Those greedy corporations wouldn't blink at the concept of making billions on health food if they could.

Now, the argument that people are stupid as fuck and the present system is social Darwinism to weed out idiots and that is wrong is valid, but Jesus, the shot inside the bodegas shows fucking bananas available for sale.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Blaming the industry is not quite right. The corporations are hardwired to sell us fats and sugar just as we're hardwired to crave them, there's no moral reason why they should be more disciplined than we are, but it's time to realize that the profit motive does not make things good and noble. And the industry are the ones who are making out like bandits, and resisting change.

Old_Zircon
McDonald's salads have more fat than their burgers, if I recall correctly.

John Holmes Motherfucker
If you get a chicken salad (I like the southwest salad) Mc Donald's gives you a choice between grilled chicken or crispy chicken. The crispy chicken is deep fried, and that probably does have more fat than a burger. the grilled chicken is probably okay.

glendower
Part of the obesity epidemic is simply a cultural problem. American culture, sadly, often celebrates unhealthy food. To get a sense of this, just try to keep track of how many unhealthy food binging contests occur in your state. Keep track of all the joyful news reports about the fried butter at the county fair. Or take note of the glee that occurred when kFC announced its double down sandwich.

What is truly astounding is the moment that you realize "fast food" in other countries is often quite healthy. If you visit the Japanese equivalent of 7-11, for instance, you are likely to find ready-made oden, a delicious vegetable stew. instead of getting a chili dog for a quick hunger fix, someone in Japan is just as likely to chow down on some stewed radishes.
SteamPoweredKleenex
Are you saying you're ashamed that we pioneered the Hungry Man XXL meal?

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