I tried four different post titles for this post – but couldn't succeed

Now we have to scratch our head and think….fat people are the new smokers?

Obesity isn’t the best thing in this world. It effects people very differently, some become depressed, some do something about it and crash diet – others tax you because you’re fat. Should we call obese people fat? Is that the PC way that we should refer to them? Dunno, but it is still a fat-tax, no matter which way you look at it.

Why I had a problem with the title was because of Vigomonkey – she is a great blogger and basically doesn’t like Americaphobes – which I can understand – it isn’t nice being hated because you are one nationality rather than another – look at me, I’m English – everyone hates the English!

But here, Gov. David Paterson, of NY tells us why he believes a fat-tax is a good thing. I must admit I did laugh because there is this terrible stereotype that Americans are fat – it isn’t the case but I think you will get what I mean.

ALBANY, New York (CNN) — Like many New Yorkers, I remember a time when nearly everyone smoked. In 1950, Collier’s reported that more than three-quarters of adult men smoked. This epidemic had a devastating and long-lasting impact on public health.

Today, we find ourselves in the midst of a new public health epidemic: childhood obesity.

Is it an epidemic in the US? Is it right to equate obesity to smoking?

Gov. Paterson obviously agrees.

What smoking was to my parents’ generation, obesity is to my children’s generation. Nearly one out of every four New Yorkers under the age of 18 is obese. In many high-poverty areas, the rate is closer to one out of three.

That is why, in the state budget I presented last Tuesday, I proposed a tax on sugared beverages like soda.

So, I would presume that all those pop-vending machines will be pulled out of schools and public places? I do hope so or the reason for this tax falls flat on its face.

You can’t say you’re doing something while ‘Thinking of the children’ if you don’t follow it through with the removal of them, especially after saying it is an epidemic much like smoking was – you can’t smoke in public places, bars, etc. So I would now presume that pop will be on the Politically Correct bandwagon and it will be banned in all these places.

How will Coke and Pepsi get along with all that?

Or, do we look at it as I suspect that this tax really is – that it is a matter, while saying that being obese needs to be tackled, the State of NY is just taxing an easy target to get the revenue up?

We will have to wait and see, eh?

We must never stigmatize children who are overweight or obese. Yet, for the sake of our children’s health, we have an obligation to address this crisis. I believe we can ultimately curb the obesity epidemic the same way we curbed smoking: through smart public policy.

Nothing like letting the world know you are taxing pop to keep the stigmatism away.

I understand that New Yorkers may not like paying a surcharge for their favorite drinks. But surely it’s a small price to pay for our children’s health.

Nope, nowhere in his statement is there any voice to banning pop in public places!

Ah well. As long as it’s good for the children.

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Bias, Blah!, Blogroll, Blogs, Comment, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Media, Medicine, Personal philosophy, Political correctness, Politics, Sociology, Technology, WTF! Moment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to I tried four different post titles for this post – but couldn't succeed

  1. Julie P says:

    I am so glad we can provide you with so much material!

  2. eksith says:

    With smokers the scream was :
    My lungs! My lungs! My lungs!

    With the obese it’s :
    My eyes! My eyes! My eyes!

    Well, with the American public being emasculated so much lately under the current administration, I would have expected everyone to scream :
    My ba… er… I should probably end it here.

    Yeah, let’s blame the food. Not the person that consumes it. Or heaven forbid we all have to exercise personal responsibility. What a terrible nightmare that would be.

  3. Will Rhodes says:

    You’ll have to explain that one, Julie.

    To me, if you make the comparison between smoking and pop then you also have to say that pop will eventually disappear from public view – via taxation or laws that outlaw its use in public places.

    If you cannot do that then you open New York and all those other places to suits where smoking will have to be allowed again.

    I just find it ironic that the use of ‘for the sake of the children’ is once again being used to tax people – as was smoking, which led to its banning.

    It is a revenue scam – why say otherwise?

  4. Julie P says:

    Will, I recall a professor and I mocking this subject in a class over four years ago. We’ve seen through this for a long time.

  5. virgomonkey says:

    I’m English – everyone hates the English!

    What you say. You people are ADORED over in my neck-o-the-woods. Seriously. Who hates the English?

    @eksith

    Yeah, let’s blame the food. Not the person that consumes it. Or heaven forbid we all have to exercise personal responsibility. What a terrible nightmare that would be.

    Are there fat people out there that blame the food? Oops a Twinkie just feel in my lap – must eat? If so, they must have severe mental problems.

    In any event, being fat is a complex phenomenon and not always as simple as the equation “eat twinkie = get fat = wonder what happened.

    As far as political correctness is concerned, I don’t find the word “fat” offensive at all.

  6. virgomonkey says:

    Typo alert: A twinkie just *fell* in my lap – not *feel*. 😳

  7. eksith says:

    virgomonkey, Taxing pop and “sugar” products is a clear sign that the law makers are indeed blaming the food.

    They’re strapped for cash (I understand the dilemma), but taxing these foods “for the kids” is incredibly intellectually dishonest.

    I don’t think overweight people really blame the food. Most of them have a very clear understanding of what is causing it.

    1) They have a pleasure first mentality and it is a vicious cycle of feeling bad about their shape and comforting themselves with more food.

    2) They have a genuine medical problem causing them to gain weight. Even certain medications cause this.

    3) Parents spoil their children. They might have grown up in a deprived environment and want to make sure their children will never suffer the same fate.

    Someone left a very interesting comment on one of my posts. I think it’s pretty valid.

    America started getting fat in the 70’s as we moved away from being a physically hard working, farming and manufacturing society to a sedimentary service oriented society.

    Don’t believe this? Do a google search of old photographs before 1970 and see how many fat people you can count!

    I think he has a point.

  8. Will Rhodes says:

    See – you people even wake me at night while I am sleeping and I have to come and respond!!!!!!!!

    Even me, my socialist arse and thinking – eksith has a very, very valid point – and I have blogged about this before, developed nations need the/a manufacturing industry – a physical population, manual workers cannot afford the gym, too much else to think about.

    You have jobs, meaningful, real, well paying jobs – you will see crime go down, social cohesion, community – and a lot less fat people!

    Add to that you will have an healthier society, both mentally and physically.

    But dumb, dumb politicians work for the multi-corps, and all you see is profit – monetary profit rather than societies profit.

    Oh and can I thank you both for a simple act that I find quite admirable, you added links to text rather than the blog post stealers who just add a raw link – I really do appreciate that.

    I’ll shut up now and go back to bed.

  9. Kate says:

    It would take me hours to respond to all this.

    See Obesity is a Medical Condition and Poverty and Food Choices

    I loath the idea of fat taxes. It’s the state that both wants to approve these ‘fat taxes’ AND funds my kids’ lunch and breakfast at school, where they eat “federally approved” meals that fit the recommended guidelines: Salad with so much dressing it looks like soup, chicken nuggets that are more greasy breaded product than chicken, and tons of pasta. Remember, KETCHUP IS A VEGETABLE in schools.

    There are pop and snack machines in the school halls, so I make sure my kids don’t even have a dollar in change before they leave the house. When they come home, it’s mostly organic and whole foods, we seldom have snacks in the house, and we have tossed out all our dinner plates in favor of smaller plates (do you know plates have been getting bigger?)

    None the less, one of my daughters is overweight, but her fraternal twin isn’t.

    I’m guessing neither you nor your readers have ever been poor enough to have to go to a food pantry to make it through the month. I have. You know what they give you? Bread. Lots of it. It’s the one thing they get cheap and reliably. Pasta, because it doesn’t go bad and it’ filling. Rice. When you’re poor, they teach you how to mix rice and bread into everything to “extend it”… but it’s just diluting food: making it more filling while diluting the essential nutrients.

    So governments who have lead to the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots want to tax what they’ve helped create in America’s ever growing rolls of obesity (pun intended)?

    eksith’s commenter makes another point: about pre 70’s obesity, but I think that it goes beyond just being “sedimentary service oriented society” I think it has a lot to do with the foods we eat, the additives, and the processing. The further back we go the last junk we’re adding to our foods. We’ve found that certain additives increase obesity, and that even the flood of diet foods that emerged in the late 70s and early 80s were contributing.

    Did you know, that Cool Whip makes Cool Whip, Cool Whip Free, Cool Whip Sugar Free, Cool Whip Light and that these products are endorsed by TV diet experts? They were even featured multiple times on The Biggest Loser!

    States are also pretty smart in taxing the obese, because if people DO take off the weight, they’re pretty likely to gain it back no matter what they do… even rich people who can afford good food choices and have time to put in 4 hours a day at the gym like Oprah and Kirstie Alley. (see HERE and HERE for more on that) and if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest this YouTube video from the The Early Show where a medical professional discusses weight and whether or not it’s realistic to think that you can keep it off.

    Ok… Now I’ve gone on forever (sorry) you touched a hot button!

  10. virgomonkey says:

    @eksith

    virgomonkey, Taxing pop and “sugar” products is a clear sign that the law makers are indeed blaming the food.

    Yes, I was talking about the fat people – not the law makers. So, now that you’ve cleared that up, it looks like we agree.

  11. eksith says:

    @Kate

    Forgive me for being curt on this, but that’s just silly.
    That commenter did have a point that all these things are absent or lacking in today’s workforce, but I think the real point to take home is that now we have more excuses.
    And if we all know one thing it’s that we all love excuses.

    I eat rice.
    In fact, most people of Sri Lankan decent still eat rice on a regular basis (usually for lunch and dinner) regardless of where they live. It’s almost like a cultural habit.

    I also regularly eat pasta (also for lunch, usually), but in the mornings, it’s always been bread or rolls since I was a kid.
    I imagine that’s a whole lot of carbs a day.

    I like CoolWhip too (the original). And ice cream, chips, chocolate, candy, and cookies of every sort. And I make it a point to endulge once in a while.

    But I’m not overweight now and never have been.

    Even with my sedentary lifestyle, I still find ways to exercise. Granted I have other bad habits like gallons of coffee a week (not an exaggeration). I’m “keeping it off” somehow even though I’m a programmer. Possibly one of the most maligned professions when it comes to weight (among other things).

    The majority of the people I’ve worked with (mostly fellow programmers) are also not overweight. But they too enjoy the afore mentioned foods.

    So what’s going on here?

    Clearly, the reason for this, for the vast majority of overweight cases, is something other than the available choices of food and occupation. I don’t know the role of preservatives in this as I’m not a scientist, but I can’t believe those play any significant part in weight gain that the whole food itself doesn’t.

    Even as you pointed out, one of your daughters is overweight while her fraternal twin isn’t. I think that’s a near perfect case for scientific observation as all other factors are equal.

    She lives in the same house, is the same age as her sibling, and presumably eats the same food. What’s the missing factor?

    If there’s a medical condition, then I can understand.
    If it isn’t, then isn’t it a matter of personal responsibility when it comes to food consumption and exercise?

    I’m probably going to get some flack for this, but why is an unhealthy diet combined with poverty result in weight gain in the West, whereas it leads to weight loss everywhere else in the world?

  12. virgomonkey says:

    I’m probably going to get some flack for this, but why is an unhealthy diet combined with poverty result in weight gain in the West, whereas it leads to weight loss everywhere else in the world?

    I see pictures of starving children, and they always have that big round belly. I has always wondered why. I think that starvation leads to some sort of glandular disease – hence the protruding bellies of the young. I do know that when you fast, your metabolism stops. Poor adults may eventually become used to having no metabolism?

    That’s a very good question you bring up. At least we know that the poor in 1st world countries live on starch, sugar, and carbs. They are dirt cheap. In 3rd world countries, what are the poor eating? I wonder. I wonder if they are also moving around more often to help their families. Those starving in other countries aren’t sedentary. They must work for their family (at any age) or for someone, and it’s physical labor. Most of the sit-down-all-day jobs are more prevalent in 1st world countries.

    As far as developed countries are concerned, eating what’s cheap can make you fatter if you’re not physically active.

    Also, it could be that low-income individuals have more stress to battle and come from unstable homes. Everyone copes with stress differently. Some eat it away. Some drink it away. Some smoke it away. Some are violent, steal, and live on illegal drugs. Unfortunately, society mainly notices those who *eat* their stress away.

    Low-income people also work generally harder as at least in my experience, the most stressful hard-working jobs pay the least.

    Additionally, stress causes a stress hormone called, “Cortisol” to over-secrete, and when that happens, you gain weight regardless of how much or little you eat or exercise.

    If you have some money and happiness, it opens up so many doors that can contribute to living healthy.

  13. Will Rhodes says:

    I see pictures of starving children, and they always have that big round belly. I has always wondered why.

    It is due to malnutrition – basically their stomach is full of the fluid that should be in their blood stream. If they don’t get their protein and amino acids then the blood cannot hold the liquid it needs to.

    That is a very quick explanation, BTW – it would take a full page to explain it all.

  14. run4change says:

    I already pay enough taxes. I was obese before. If I got taked, or the companies who fed me got taxed, for how fat I was, NY would be even more rich. I lost that 130lbs of fat though. NO longer obese.

    Anyways, check out the before and after pics to see how much tax I could have brought in! HAHA

    http://run4change.wordpress.com

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