CNN Opinion Piece About Being Obese

Discussion in 'World News, Current Events & Politics' started by cots, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

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    78% of US workers live paycheck to paycheck, 12% more than those who are obese. Kind of eye-opening in regard to our distribution of wealth, eh? We have more than enough resources to solve the problem of healthy food scarcity, but not if those resources continue to go to tax breaks for Jeff Bezos and other ultra-wealthy people in the top 1% instead. Comes down to what we choose to prioritize.
     
  2. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    Living pay-check to pay-check doesn't mean you're poor if you're making 31k a year, but spend it all on stuff you don't need. Drop the smart phone, lose the car, cut off the cable tv, cook your own food, buy used clothes, don't buy garbage shoes because they have a swoosh on them, skip the coffee shop, bring your own lunch to work, buy less stuff, shop at thrift stores, don't buy a house that takes up half on your monthly income, only use credit cards in emergencies.

    If you're making 11k (the poverty level) a year (that means you're working roughly 20 some hours a week) or don't have a job then I could understand using being poor as a valid excuse.

    If you're going to cut taxes for the rich you should cut taxes for the poor and the people in between. Rich people shouldn't have to pay less taxes then anyone else, but they also shouldn't have to pay more taxes than anyone else. There shouldn't be any penalties for being rich or any free passes.
     
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  3. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    The problem with surveys like that is it doesn't really address *why* people live paycheck to paycheck. Is it because the make little money? Is it that food is expensive? Is it because over 25% put nothing aside in savings? The US subsidizes food production, so the issue isn't per se that food is unusually expensive compared to other countries. If anything, it's heavily that people just expect to eat cheap food and spend more on other things.

    Now, that's not wholly it. The opposite side of that coin is the number of people who buy into organic products for health reasons--something that's dubious for most products, at best. Most States, AFAIK, that offer subsidized housing are required to provide appliances like a stove + refrigerator, so it's not an inability to cook. There's plenty of cook books, internet instructions/videos, etc, so that's not it either.

    No, I imagine it's that people (I'm very much included) are lazy when it comes to cooking food. That it's cheaper and tastes "better" because of all the sugar+salt only double downs on why it's a major part of many peoples diets. Also, as much as people don't seem to budget their money (only 32% of their 3,500 full-time employee survey), I'd imagine the numbers are just as bad when it comes to budgeting their nutritional needs.

    I'd say the biggest practical issues are (1) areas where there isn't fresh food available within a relatively short distance and (2) an inability to access those places. There are actually community programs in many areas that try to mostly address this--even in rural communities with populations in the 30,000 range and 400 square mile area (although admittedly practically it's closer to 10,000 locally and probably only 10-20 square mile usable service area).
     
  4. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    It's definitely easier to not cook and drive to McDonald's.
     
  5. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

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    Yeah, stuff like student loans and transportation. Nobody needs that stuff. :rolleyes:

    31k might be decent for an individual, but it's still gonna be poverty wages if you have to use it to support a family of four.

    A flat tax rate would only make things worse. Jeff Bezos could pay 75% of his profits in taxes and still make billions per year. If somebody making minimum wage had to pay 75% of their income in taxes, they'd be homeless or dead within months. Conversely, if you make it a low flat tax rate, government has far less funding to work with, and the first things Republicans are going to want to cut are food stamps and healthcare assistance. Which would be sure to exacerbate the issue since minimum wage workers rely on those programs.

    Right, and the food that is subsidized/cheap is almost all junk with a ton of sugar and corn in it. Certainly doesn't help.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Jun 18, 2019
  6. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Easier but not cheaper. It's funny how that argument is always invoked--not saying you are. Maybe it's cheaper from an opportunity cost perspective if you could be make hundreds of dollars per hours instead, but for the rest of us cooking is very cheap and it's possible to regularly get cheap hamburger, buns, condiments, etc. It also probably won't taste as good, but it probably will be healthier for precisely that reason.

    There's definitely some people this applies to. For most people, though, I am very doubtful those are the things that are crippling peoples ability to spend a little more (or possible even less if they're willing to substantially change their diet).

    Then live with family. Live with roommates. If possibly maybe look for a better paying job or ask for a raise. The point is, it's an over simplification to point at a family of four to explain away figures. A family of four represents around 14% of households or around 21% of the population (figures are from 2006, but the percentage has been slowly shrinking).
     
  7. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    I consider having a car being a luxury which I haven't partaken in over 20 years. Not to mention they are the #3 cause of death and one of the most contributing factors to pollution. College is also a luxury and taking out a bad loan on something for a good reason doesn't change the fact it was a bad financial move. It's just easier to have a car and sign a couple of papers and be done with it than put in any real effort.

    Yeah, that sucks, but it's still possible to eat healthy, just takes a lot of trading off to do. Which is why I listed the average income because I know people that have been single parents with children and no spouses that do just fine with around that amount of money. Wouldn't be possible if they actually were at the poverty level without help though.

    Well, that's why you don't pay 75% of your income. Right now, it's about 33% (in my state). If I'm paying 33% then the middle class and rich people should pay the same. No exceptions because you're rich. If it's too much (which I think it is, then lower it - across the board). Supposedly we're supposed to treat everyone the same based on their race so I see no reason why that shouldn't apply to taxing people.
     
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  8. th3joker

    th3joker GBAtemp Regular

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    fresh produce is always cheaper than processed crap. a $0.99 head of lettuce is better than $0.10 top ramen. but thats not even a valid arguement. all anyone has to do is go grocery shopping on the first day of each month, and just see how much junkfood EVERY PERSON ON FOODSTAMPS / Wic Gets..... seriously i wont go shopping on the first week of a month. all these broke ass people living off the government. heres a radical idea make the strait up crap food no longer eligable for food stamps... poof americas obesiety problem solved. if people wanna eat crap food then they have to get a actual job. boom unemployment in america fixed lol
     
  9. Xzi

    Xzi A terrible fate fills you with determination

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    It's only a luxury in big cities. In most parts of the country it's a necessity, you aren't getting to/from work without one. Or you'll just spend way more on Ubers than you would have on a car payment.

    Indeed. And the middle class is continually shrinking at a time of record profits when it should be growing.

    Read again. A low flat tax rate is an equally terrible idea, but that's really only because minimum wage isn't enough to live on. If companies like McDonald's and Wal-Mart started to pay living wages, their employees wouldn't be forced to rely on food stamps and healthcare assistance, nor would they be forced to buy food from their employer.

    Scarcity of healthy food is a bigger problem in poor neighborhoods than the pricing. A lot of places literally have gas stations as the only thing even remotely resembling grocery stores, and it goes without saying that they don't carry produce.

    https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/americans-still-lack-access-to-healthy-food.htm

    I'm not saying scarcity of healthy foods and poverty are the only factors causing the high US obesity rate, but they are contributing factors none the less.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Jun 18, 2019
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    On eating healthily in the US. I found it very difficult every time I have been there and doing for myself.

    I can cook. I do cook. I like food I have cooked, far more than cheap and easy crap both in taste and the effects it has on my body.

    Trying to do that in the US it cost quite a bit* and I really had to work at it, this includes places with decent ports and where it is actually grown either in state or nearer to where I was than other parts of said state. This in addition to how hard not having a car is there in many/most places. Similarly the native recipes I did see there often included sugar or similar for no real reason, for quite some time as well (I might have rinsed thrift stores and such of their 20s through 50s cooking books in my recent trip there, as well as current stuff from the internet) -- I have previously railed on sugar in general bread but I even saw it in things like meatloaf, and upon questioning such things I was met with odd looks.

    *I was mainly doing things I eat in the UK. Nothing there in what I was doing was now an expensive exotic import item though, give or take certain spice combinations when I wanted a curry (found a few spice shops though that did it well) and the lack of lamb.
     
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  11. H1B1Esquire

    H1B1Esquire RxTools, the ultimate CFW machine.

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    Earth, bro-dude.
    Wow, you guys are charged up.

    I want to try something.

    @notimp ,what do you think?
     
  12. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    Meh, I've just eaten... ;)

    What I think about the concept of obesity and tolerance in society rides around the following concepts.

    If you are obese and you can pull it off - all power to you. If you need a social support group for tolerance for your condition - you are doing everything wrong that you could possibly do wrong. ;)

    Reasoning:

    1. As Mrs. Anderson of Baywatch fame recently said in another video I posted in here before - "in relationship(s) (implied 'forming'), everyone uses everything that they've got" - and if thats your support group carrying you to social acceptance - you are doing it wrong.

    2. As you might have noticed - I can sometimes be a rather anti social individual (and other times a very social one.. ;) ) - and in everything support group that isn't steps program related (i.e. getting you removed from an unhealthy habbit or addiction) - I'm firmly against support groups. Especially ones that tell people how great they are - and then take turns. Where is the excellence in that? ;)

    3. Being judged because you are overweight is more a social construct than an actual reality - again, there are so many ways around it - to make you something other than "the obese dude/gal" - just pick one, and run with it. Just do it. :) And if the doctor says that you have to get weight down, there are inspirational models for that as well. Kevin Smith, to name a dude.

    All this said - I'm a little on the chubby side myself (*you dont say, keyboard hero*) but I'd still curse out everyone that would offer me a stepcounter or a gamified app exercise routine - like a mofo.

    Because *live in the moment, die young* approach to life. And as a typical hypocrite - I like my women not too chubby. Which brings us back to 1.

    Life concepts and plans are freaking different for people. The rest is mostly in your mind. Unless - immediate health issue.

    edit: One more thing - the hero of my favourite book series as a child was a little obese. And I'll not ever besmirch his virtual, nonexisting honor - by even thinking that he could have lost a few pounds - not even as an adult. ;)

    (Look for Jupiter Jonas in this wikipedia entry. ;) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Investigators )
     
    Last edited by notimp, Jun 18, 2019
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  13. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    In my area it's much cheaper to buy junk food. There's no way you could buy healthy cuts of fresh meat, fish, fresh produce, healthy grains, cheeses with on food stamps, but it would be totally viable to buy a bunch of junk to survive. Real non-processed fresh food is much more expensive then mass produced processed crap. Some people can't work or working for them would cost society more money then having them simply not work. I know it's like taboo and unaccepted to say "I can't work", but it's a reality. Would you rather spend $5k a month for supportive services for a disabled person to work and make $200 a week in which they pay 30% of that in taxes back into the community just because "everyone should work"? I thought the thought process behind having a job was to make a profit for yourself and your community. The system isn't design to work for everyone and I don't think giving people less money to do something you're saying they should do when they can't do it is any sort of solution. If you're going to tell people they need to eat healthy and they can't work then you should give them enough money to eat healthy or shut the fuck up and stop telling them to eat healthy. That's like me walking up to a guy with no legs and telling him he has to to run, jump into and cross the nearest river otherwise he can't eat dinner with us.
     
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  14. xenon

    xenon GBAtemp Regular

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    Personally I doubt that a sedentary life and a bad diet alone can make people obese, especially at a young or relatively young age.
     
  15. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    Your doubt doesn't change how to human body works. Per my example, my friend who would not over eat, would eat 2 meals a day. He was Puerto Rican and his meals consisted of lots of unhealthy fats and way too many calories. So you're taking in substances that unless you exercise will usually be converted into fat and stored in your body. So then what did he do? He played video games all day long. He was 12 and was the second largest kid at school. It's pretty simple, if you intake stuff that makes you fat and don't get rid of it you'll end up fat. Meaning, simply eating bad and not exercising will make you fat just like eating too much and not exercising will make you fat. While how much bad food intake required to make you fat due to your metabolism varies from person to person it's just the basic way the body works. If you eat poorly, which in this example is taking in more of a substance that your body stores as fat and then got getting rid of it by exercising you'll end up obese.

    I mean, you could pick it apart and get into case by case studies to try to prove there are exceptions and such, but that's simply nitpicking. You're not going to tell me that sitting on your ass all day while eating only at McDonald's isn't going to make you not be overweight. If that was the case then obesity wouldn't be a problem. Oh, what about mental conditions or diseases? Having a mental condition doesn't change how the body works, it's still the same thing, eat like shit (for whatever reason) and don't exercise (for whatever reason) and you'll end up fat. The diseases? It's very, very rare for someone to have a body that can't process fat after exercising, the rest who have diseases have them because they are fat. If they would eat better and exercise the diseases would go away.

    Oh, an example of a meal he'd eat was this: Yellow Rice, 1 lb. Bacon Cooked, Grease from Bacon, Large Black Beans, Can of Spam and BBQ Chicken Legs (all mixed together).

    (Man, the shit was good, but it's not something you should be eating every day.)
     
    Last edited by cots, Jun 19, 2019
  16. H1B1Esquire

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    Earth, bro-dude.
    What. The. Fuck.
    He willingly ate Spam?
    Friends don't let friends eat Spam, man.

    Are you still in touch with him? Has he changed his diet?
     
  17. xenon

    xenon GBAtemp Regular

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    Apologies. I was speaking of European levels of "eating bad", not that kind of fast-food suicide. Still, such a diet implies seeking extreme pleasure from each bite of each meal you have, so I'd say it still relates to my first post. And by the way, you would consider the "meal" you listed above "bad eating" and not "overeating"?
     
  18. cots
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    cots GBAtemp Maniac

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    Spam is some good stuff. I knew the recipe because I liked it so much I sometimes make it myself (minus including the bacon grease). I have no clue where he's at now.

    That recipe isn't healthy nor was most of the food his family cooked so it's bad if you eat it all of the time. His mother would make a gigantic pot of the stuff and it would last for days. He wasn't overeating it at all and if he was he would have been the #1 fattest kid at the school (in my grade at least). We had two overweight people out of our entire grade and it was a medium sized school. Which is why I don't buy that 2 out of 3 kids being overweight is any sort of normal.
     
  19. H1B1Esquire

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    Earth, bro-dude.
    I don't know, man; "ham" in a can just doesn't sit right with me. In fact, the only canned meat I'll willingly and knowingly ingest:
    [​IMG]

    Seriously, I like to take Hormel Corned Beef Hash with some really good steamed cabbage.
    If I feel like walking on the wild side, I add some crispy onions and toasted bread.
     
  20. Kurt91

    Kurt91 GBAtemp Fan

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    Spam's not too bad, depending on what you do with it. My family would get out a potato peeler, use it to slice a block of Spam into really thin slices, then fry it in place of bacon for breakfasts. Why? Bacon was too expensive.

    My family lives in a rural area. There is no possible way we'd be able to survive without a vehicle, it's a 15 minute drive to get to town. We've had to go though being broke, with our pride being the only thing keeping us from getting food stamps.

    I know first-hand that when you're broke as hell, you can't afford healthy food. You bought stuff in bulk that would last you as long as possible. Big bags of dried beans and rice, boxes of ramen packages and mac&cheese that you had to improvise when making because you couldn't afford either milk or butter. That pretty much means that every meal is going to be insanely heavy in carbs and sugars, which mean you're probably going to be gaining weight.

    Yeah, there was a push towards healthier eating at schools and stuff, but that didn't work because there wasn't an increased budget or anything to actually pay for the healthier stuff. Instead, the schools would cut as many corners as possible to 'technically' meet the recommendations.

    I've honestly been thinking about moving out of the country to somewhere where I'd have an easier time getting healthier foods. The college I go to has a program where we can teach English in Japan. Japanese food seems pretty healthy compared to what's in the United States, and I've seen videos showing how you can easily get less-processed, freshly-made foods even in places like 7-Eleven.
     
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