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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:58 PM

tax unhealthy food/drinks/products

Insuring everyone in this country is going to be incredibly expensive until we start getting people healthier and skinnier. There are a lot of people who have obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes through no fault of their own. But for many people, those conditions are their fault as a result of their diet. Unless you enjoy paying higher health care costs due to people's poor diet and habits, we need to start taxing unhealthy food/drink products. We can use the money to either help pay for universal healthcare, or use the money to subsidize healthy foods so they are cheaper. We should also figure out which vitamins/ supplements help people the most and encourage people to take them--by offering them at free or reduced costs.

And we need to ensure poor people have easy access to healthy products to they won't get hit extra hard by these regulations

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Arrow 148 replies Author Time Post
Reply tax unhealthy food/drinks/products (Original post)
francolettieri Nov 2012 OP
PD Turk Nov 2012 #1
OKNancy Nov 2012 #2
HappyMe Nov 2012 #90
bunnies Nov 2012 #123
OKNancy Nov 2012 #142
Autumn Nov 2012 #3
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #8
GaYellowDawg Nov 2012 #4
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #5
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Nov 2012 #6
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #7
MannyGoldstein Nov 2012 #9
DesertRat Nov 2012 #11
lalalu Nov 2012 #14
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #18
lalalu Nov 2012 #41
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #44
lalalu Nov 2012 #48
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #54
lalalu Nov 2012 #62
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #66
lalalu Nov 2012 #71
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #76
lalalu Nov 2012 #79
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #68
lalalu Nov 2012 #73
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #83
lalalu Nov 2012 #100
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #64
MannyGoldstein Nov 2012 #17
francolettieri Nov 2012 #12
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #103
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #115
kwassa Nov 2012 #132
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #31
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #61
lalalu Nov 2012 #10
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #23
bunnies Nov 2012 #124
lalalu Nov 2012 #125
bunnies Nov 2012 #126
lalalu Nov 2012 #127
slackmaster Nov 2012 #13
ChazII Nov 2012 #53
slackmaster Nov 2012 #111
ChazII Nov 2012 #121
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #15
Johonny Nov 2012 #16
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #19
InsultComicDog Nov 2012 #20
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #25
Lokey Nov 2012 #21
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #22
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #24
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #26
InsultComicDog Nov 2012 #28
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #30
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #38
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #39
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #42
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #43
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #45
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #46
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #47
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #49
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #56
Doremus Nov 2012 #81
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #82
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #133
lalalu Nov 2012 #57
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #60
lalalu Nov 2012 #65
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #74
lalalu Nov 2012 #78
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #84
lalalu Nov 2012 #101
Zoeisright Nov 2012 #87
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #91
Scout Nov 2012 #119
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #98
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #34
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #33
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #35
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #40
lalalu Nov 2012 #51
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #63
lalalu Nov 2012 #70
brokechris Nov 2012 #69
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #80
kwassa Nov 2012 #134
ladjf Nov 2012 #27
jpbollma Nov 2012 #29
InsultComicDog Nov 2012 #37
ChazII Nov 2012 #102
InsultComicDog Nov 2012 #107
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #32
ibegurpard Nov 2012 #36
dem4ward Nov 2012 #50
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #52
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #55
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #58
RebelOne Nov 2012 #59
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #86
brokechris Nov 2012 #67
HappyMe Nov 2012 #72
brokechris Nov 2012 #75
HappyMe Nov 2012 #89
brokechris Nov 2012 #96
HappyMe Nov 2012 #93
brokechris Nov 2012 #97
HappyMe Nov 2012 #99
Tree-Hugger Nov 2012 #145
craigmatic Nov 2012 #77
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #85
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2012 #88
Dr Fate Nov 2012 #92
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #95
Union Scribe Nov 2012 #105
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #104
HappyMe Nov 2012 #94
craigmatic Nov 2012 #117
flvegan Nov 2012 #106
TheKentuckian Nov 2012 #108
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #116
AnnaLee Nov 2012 #109
Raine Nov 2012 #110
B2G Nov 2012 #112
glinda Nov 2012 #113
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #114
Butterbean Nov 2012 #118
Bad_Ronald Nov 2012 #120
davidthegnome Nov 2012 #122
kwassa Nov 2012 #137
RedCappedBandit Nov 2012 #128
brokechris Nov 2012 #129
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #130
kwassa Nov 2012 #135
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #136
kwassa Nov 2012 #138
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #141
kwassa Nov 2012 #143
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #144
kwassa Nov 2012 #147
davidthegnome Nov 2012 #148
Abq_Sarah Nov 2012 #131
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #139
standingtall Nov 2012 #140
DirkGently Nov 2012 #146

Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:59 PM

1. ...

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:00 PM

2. Yeah, bring on the fat police

UGH.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:16 PM

90. Yup.

Smokers pay, there's plenty of tax on liquor.

Time to pay for other unhealthy decisions. Sorry. It's past time.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:30 PM

123. I know many skinny people who eat crappy food as well.

Just sayin.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #123)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:11 AM

142. I thought the sarcasm smilie would let people know I was not serious

In fact it think it's a really stupid idea.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:00 PM

3. An idiot tax would work just as well.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:03 PM

8. And it would create jobs for the IRS! :-)

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:01 PM

4. Or

We could have a tax on dipshittery. In which case this idea of yours would cost you in April.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:01 PM

5. ............

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:03 PM

7. What about the skinny people (like my uncle) who drop dead? Can we tax their heirs?

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:06 PM

9. First off, show me a study that demonstrates that fat people live shorter lives or cost less money

Good luck.

Second, show me a study that any but a few people can lose weight for a long time, even if they want to.

Good luck with that.

Neither has been demonstrated, to my knowledge. In fact, multiple studies have shown that moderately obese folks live the longest.

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Response to DesertRat (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:16 PM

14. That is old school

 

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/04/16/evidence-that-fat-people-can-be-as-healthy-as-thin-people/

Insurance companies are even rejecting that notion. The importance is overall health found by looking at blood work and keeping active. We need to emphasize exercise and not how much a person weighs. People engage in unhealthy practices such as fad diets because they are more concerned with their weight than their health. Exercise, exercise, exercise...the best thing ever for being healthy.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:24 PM

18. From Harvard Med: Obesity is linked to heart disease, adult diabetes and many cancers.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/health-effects/index.html


Those 3 are among the biggest killers in the USA, BTW.

Nothing "old school" about this research at all, as it sources studies from as recent as January 25, 2012.

We agree that fad diets do not reflect good lifestyle choices, but diet WITH exercise is the key, unless we are now rejecting the age-old wisdom of "You are what you eat."

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:15 PM

41. You are wrong and studies like this are being discredited

 

by looking at actual deaths over a long period of time. Inactivity is more important than obesity. An obese person who exercises does not have a higher risk and can live longer than a person who is not obese.

By continuing to adhere to such ignorance we are ignoring the fact that exercise and yes eating right are more important. It has been determined that metabolic rates can be tied to genetics and some people have a harder time losing weight. They should not concentrate on losing weight but rather on exercise and eating healthy. In such cases a person can eat healthy and still be overweight due to genetics.

I personally know that diet and exercise has been extremely important in living with MS and keeping me active. I just think it is wrong to automatically assume an overweight person does not eat healthy or exercise just like me and should pay a tax.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:29 PM

44. I believe the 2012 Harvard medical study is valid. Also, genetics is only part of the puzzle.

I never said obese people should have to pay a tax for not eating right or not exercising- the OP did suggest that healthier foods could be subsidised by taxing unhealthy foods.

I already pay taxes that subsidise corn syrup and corn products that are mostly used for extremely unhealthy fast foods- so these types of unfair taxes you are against already exist- but in a way that benefits unhealthy eating as opposed to promoting better nutrition.

Yes- genetics is a factor- but some studies show that it is a combination of genetics AND nutrition ( When did "You are what you eat" become such a radical notion, BTW?)

For instance- generations of Asians never developed diabtetes, heart disease, etc- until their grand kids immigrated to the USA and adopted a western diet, heavy on sugars and fats. That suggests that while there is a "heart disease gene"- it is "unlocked" by eating (or failing to eat) certain foods.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:42 PM

48. Actually speaking of Asia you should see the studies on

 

Sumo wrestlers who do not develop cardio disease or diabetes. I doubt anyone would argue they are obese. They do not develop such diseases because of the way they store fat. It is due to the food they eat, how they eat, and the types of exercises they do.

What a person eats is an essential part of their health and I am not saying it is a radical idea. It is just there is too much emphasis placed on weight rather than exercise and nutrition which are more important. It has been found that when people seek the goal of getting healthy rather than getting skinny they get healthier which is more important.

Here is another Harvard study where they even argue with some of their previous studies.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/calorie-calorie-harvard-study-compares-popular-weight-loss/story?id=16654506#.UKWammfsbpw

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Response to lalalu (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:52 PM

54. We can also read about the *high* rates of diabetes among Sumo wrestlers.


"The negative effects of the sumo lifestyle become dangerously apparent later in life. Sumo wrestlers have a life expectancy of between 60 and 65, more than 10 years shorter than the average Japanese male. They often develop diabetes, high blood pressure, and are prone to heart attacks. The excessive intake of alcohol can lead to liver problems and the stress on their joints can cause arthritis. Recently, the standards of weight gain are becoming less strict, in an effort to improve the overall health of the wrestlers. The average height of sumo wrestlers is around 180 cm (5' 11")."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumo



Also, nothing in your link contridicts the data that obsesity is linked to heart disease, diabetes or cancer (3 of our biggest killers, no less)- which is what the Harvard study I linked indicates.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:08 PM

62. No, sumo wrestlers have subcutaneous fat

 

and have less susceptibility to those diseases. Studies were conducted and found that Sumo wrestlers who became unhealthy became so because they stopped training AND were still obese. Once again it goes back to exercise.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:16 PM

66. Yes. They develop diabetes, then die 10 years earlier than the average Japanese citizen.

Most folks dont get obese in the first place unless they spend their days eating the wrong things.

This is what happens here in the US- folks spend there lives eating unhealthy foods, then they get too old to "burn it off"- then they get more obese, then develop heart disease, diabetes, cancers- etc. All things that drive up HC costs, and all things that could have been reduced with better nutrition.

Yup- exercise is important, but so is nutrition. It's not one or the other.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #66)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:25 PM

71. Which is why I think

 

we need to change our approach to this problem. Obviously what we are doing now does not work. We need to go back to emphasizing exercise and nutrition and not weight. The weight loss industry makes billions and yet Americans are getting more obese. We need to start in schools and yet gym and exercise has been cut and the First Lady gets ridiculed for trying to teach children about nutrition.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #71)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:34 PM

76. I agree with much of what you say.


I never advocated helping the "weight loss industry"- I am all for emphasizing both exercise and nutrition. All for the 1st ladies organic garden, etc.

I'll bet we on agree more than not when it comes down to brass tacks.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #76)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:39 PM

79. You may be right

 

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Response to lalalu (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:19 PM

68. You are confusing fitness helping someone live longer, with exercise making an obese person as fit

as a non-obese person.

Exercising and eating a healthy (but enormous) diet help sumo wrestlers live longer THAN OTHER MORBIDLY OBESE JAPANESE PEOPLE. But they still have a much shorter lifespan than a Japanese person of normal weight, whether that normal wt person exercises or not.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #68)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:27 PM

73. The difference has been found when

 

Sumo wrestlers get older and stop training. My point is that even if a person is overweight they can live as long as a skinny person if they continue to exercise and be active.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #73)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:48 PM

83. No, it simply isn't true. Nothing makes up for too much fat around the heart and other organs.

Too much fat takes off the lifespan, as well as makes a person less healthy, generally, before death.

Extra fat around the heart causes the heart to work harder. That person is at an increased risk of heart attack.

These are things that a skinny person doesn't have to worry about, just because their engine hums along w/o being choked by too much fat.

Young people can get away with obesity, for a while, just as they can get away with smoking and alcoholism. For a while. But there comes a time that a person has to pay the piper for the obesity or the smoking or the alcoholism. The body wears out. It wears out faster when there's extra fat to carry around.

Now, that's okay to some people. For some, it's the fun they have while here, rather than living as long as possible. I totally understand that. As long as they know the risks and make that decision.

You do a disservice to people, trying to convince them that fat around their organs, and esp. their heart, doesn't mean anything, as long as they walk around the block.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #83)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:27 PM

100. "Young people can get away with obesity"

 

It is actually worse to be obese at a younger age because it affects development. It is never a disservice to encourage people to exercise. There are a lot skinny people who are in bad health and shape. It is wrong to stereotype people because they may not be the ideal weight and yet may be healthier than a skinny person.

Americans always thing it is only about eating. Countries that have lower obesity rates put the emphasis on exercise and being active. They also promote better nutrition with actual policies.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:12 PM

64. There is a difference between moderate over-fat and being obese and being morbidly obese.

You will not find any elderly morbidly obese people because they don't live that long.

People would be surprised that "obese" doesn't look as fat as it sounds. It's about 30% overweight. So if you should weigh 120 lbs, you are obese if you weigh 156 lbs. (if you're not an athlete and solid muscle, that is.)

Just the added fat on your body (which is internal, as well) will shorten the lifespan. The fat is around your liver, your heart, all your inner organs. Your heart has to pump harder.

It is always helpful to eat low calorie vegetables and exercise moderately and regularly. But taht won't overcome having too much fat for the body to have to deal with.

Add to that the fact that most obese people don't eat low calorie, lots of low calorie vegetables, diets, and don't exercise regularly. That's why they're obese.

There is a genetic component. That's why gastric bypass surgery has become so popular. For the morbidly obese, it can be almost impossible to lose all the weight necessary.

I come from a family that's half morbidly obese and half normal with a few pudgy ones. I've lived with these problems all my life and read TONS about it, as well as watched every possible diet being tried. I've also watched documentaries galore on the subject. I have picked up a bit of info on this subject.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:09 PM

12. I didn't say tax fat people, I said tax unhealthy food and drink products!!!!

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Response to francolettieri (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:48 PM

103. Wouldn't it make more sense to tax the fat people?

 

If fat people are the ones driving up costs, why would you tax people who eat the "bad" stuff but remain skinny (through exercise).

If you are going to play nanny, at least be logical about it.

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Response to francolettieri (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:04 PM

115. foods aren't 'unhealthy', societies are. tax foie gras and truffles.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:06 PM

132. and pork rinds and biscuits with gravy!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:47 PM

31. I agree that no studies show that fad diets work.

But people can improve health via lifestyle changes- exercise and changing how they eat.

The issue is that most people do not stick to their "diets"- which are usally gimicks in the 1st place.

People can lose weight by exercising and eating more vegetables, but less sugar and fat- it's been demonstrated thousands of times.

More studies show that obesity is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, back problems, knee problems, depression, etc. than the ones that indicate that obsese people are healthier than fit people.

I have to say that the idea that obese people are healthier than fit people is a new one to me, and seems counter-intuitive to everything I have ever read about food or health.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:04 PM

61. Those things have been well demonstrated, actually.

There is a reason you don't see any 90 year old obese people.

It is well established that obesity (not even morbid obesity) shortens the life span.

And it is possible to lose weight for a long time, or permanently, by changing lifestyle. Much like alcoholism. Many fail. But some succeed. It is always a constant struggle, though, as with any addiction.

I lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers several years ago. I've kept it off fairly easily. I have to watch it constantly, though. I made some lifestyle changes.

Morbidly obese people are better off having gastric bypass surgery. Morbid obesity is a different kind of problem than regular overweight.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:07 PM

10. If you are going to tax in such a way

 

it should be based on actual numbers. Blood work should be the determinant. A skinny person can have horrible stats due to abuse of the body also. In some cases worse than a person who may be slightly overweight.

Don't get me wrong, I believe obesity is a terrible problem and we seriously need to get this country more active. Yet even the health industry is rethinking labeling people on weight only. The insurance industry which looks at actual records have already been ahead of this. You can still get a top rate if you are slightly overweight but have good results from blood work. A few years ago they started insuring people they wouldn't have touched before as long as they had documented proof from their doctor that they took their medicine and had certain diseases under control.

What people really need to look at for overall health is cholesterol levels, glucose levels, lipids, kidney function and other vitals from blood work. They give a much better picture of health than just weight and some skinny people have horrible numbers.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:34 PM

23. exactly

There is a bias in this country towards bigger people and towards people who eat unhealthily. It is socially acceptable to be prejudice against someone based on size and I refuse to feel shame for how I look or how I eat. I will eat how I want to eat and I will be whatever size I want to be. My blood work is clean so as you said if they charged based on blood work I would still pay the same as a vegan. Being vegan does not make a person better than anyone else. If that is the lifestyle a vegan wishes to adopt then good for them. They are free to do so. That does not mean they can legislate that everybody has to be vegan or even skinny for that matter.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:33 PM

124. So, if a smoker has healthy lungs...

or a drinker has a healthy liver... should they be exempt from those taxes and penalties?

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Response to bunnies (Reply #124)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:44 PM

125. Yes

 

This sounds very similar to what were proposed as "sin" taxes on individuals. I really don't think we should go down that road. I can understand wanting to raise prices as a deterrent but even that has low rates of success. Increasing the price of cigarettes has seen limited success in decreasing smoking.

We should be more focused on why people smoke and drink but that would mean dealing with societal issues. Such as the fact poor people smoke more.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #125)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:02 PM

126. ...

I completely agree.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #126)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:03 PM

127. Nice to hear

 

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:11 PM

13. What about Union-made unhealthy products?

 

Would you tax them too?

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:50 PM

53. My brain is not working

well. Is this one of those times when I am missing the sarcasm? I really don't understand and apologize for not understand. In my defense, I had a seizure and concussion in Sept.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:16 AM

111. I'm very sorry about your health issues. I got in a dust-up in a Halloween candy thread. Link...

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1637715

I'm strongly in favor of educating people about the negative effects of excessive consumption of things like HFCS and high-sugar junk foods, so that they can make better decisions about their diet. Union-made junk food is no better for you than any other junk food.

I hope you make a full and prompt recovery!

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:24 PM

121. Thank you, slackmaster.

I agree, junk food is not healthy no matter who makes it.

And thank you for being understanding, it gets frustrating not being able to understand what people are saying at times. Concussions are no fun.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:17 PM

15. I would support subsidies that would make healthier foods cheaper.

I would also support healthier school lunches for kids, and removing candy machines, etc. from schools.

Most of the misinformation about food and nutrition originates from tax-payer subsidised corporations who sell unhealthy foods.

As it stands, the worst food producers are getting the most govt. support.

I have no problem with what you propose- but I would say that we have better chance of convincing the public to stop subsidising corn syrup etc. in favor of healthier foods- before they would agree to an out-right tax on candy, etc.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:23 PM

16. Now we all just have to agree on which ones are unhealthy

and judging by previous DU food threads that will be absolutely no problem...

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Response to Johonny (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:26 PM

19. Maybe it is easier to focus on foods that are known to be healthy.

And make them easier/cheaper to get.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:29 PM

20. I think there is a lot of disagreement

about how healthy or unhealthy a lot of foods are.

I for one completely disagree with the standard thinking promoted by ADA and many other organizations that are supposedly looking out for us while being funded by Big Food and Big Pharma.

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Response to InsultComicDog (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:37 PM

25. +1

n/t

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:29 PM

21. Sweetened Beverages

We already have a sales tax on sweetened beverages in Ohio. I say "sweetened" because its not only soda, but any beverage that contains a sweetener. If it has 50% juice--not taxed. Milk in it- not taxed. Little bit of a complicated rule.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:29 PM

22. you can tax it if you want

You can charge me more for healthcare if you want but no one is going to tell me what I can or cannot eat. I go to the doctor regularly and as long as my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, are good I will eat what I want. If something changes, I will correct it at that time. But right now I eat what I want.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:35 PM

24. Do you take any medicine or treatment for blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol?

I only ask b/c that is the ultimate point of the thread.

What if a person takes medicine or recieves medical treatment for blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol, but could have avoided the health problems simply by changing their diet? If this is the case, and tax-payers are footing the bill, then the OP has a point.

We would be paying thousands of dollars for medicine and doctor's visits when we could have reduced or avoided these conditions by advocating better diets.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:38 PM

26. I disagree

We don't live in a police state. You can't force someone to eat what you want them to eat. People with health problems already get charged more for health insurance and life insurance for that matter, and no I don't take any meds.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:42 PM

28. and anyone who has ever had to take something like insulin without a prescription plan to pay for it

will know how incredibly expensive it is

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Response to InsultComicDog (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:47 PM

30. my mother in law was diabetic and didn't have insurance

so yeah she knew exactly how expensive it is. She controlled her blood sugar and is no longer diabetic. However she still eats what she wants and is still very heavy. But she does watch her sugar levels and is no longer diabetic. Should she still have to pay a junk food and fat tax because she still eats junk food and is still heavy even though she is no longer diabetic?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:05 PM

38. Maybe she never would have gotten diabetes in the 1st place, had she eaten better?

Which is the point of the OP- if we are going to have national HC where we all have to share costs, then there is nothing wrong with exploring ways to reduce costs and risks.

You say she eats what she wants, but she is still very heavy, as opposed to fit and trim. In other words, she is still at risk of developing further health problems associated with obesity.

If she is still "very heavy", but never has to see the doctor and never has to take any prescription medicine (costing us all) , then maybe you have a point.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:11 PM

39. Her blood work is fine

She sees the doctor regularly despite not having health insurance and has blood tests to see how her cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar are. She is healthy.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #39)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:18 PM

42. Good. But, she did develop diabetes in the first place, and you describe her as being obese.

Under a national HC plan, we would all have to share in the associated medical costs.

The point is that we could avoid or reduce these costs (And future health risks) by looking at ways to discourage the obesity that seems to be linked to her diabtetes.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:20 PM

43. There will always be obese people

You cannot simply get rid of obesity anymore than republicans can get rid of gay people. She became obese in the first place because of physical and mental abuse she endured from her father and her husband.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #43)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:36 PM

45. At least in the US. Not so much in eastern countries.

Asian folks do not have our high rates of heart diease and diabetes until they move to the US or Europe and adopt our eating habits.

You certainly can reduce or eliminate obesity by eating right and exercising-hardly the same as advocating gay bashing.

It is possible that she also became obese because of the food she was eating. Then she developed diabetes. This seems to help my argument more than yours.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #45)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:38 PM

46. She ate the way she did because of the abuse

so unless you can magically make abuse and depression go away there will be people who over eat and become obese.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #46)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:42 PM

47. Then she became obese, then she developed diabetes.

Maybe there is no link at all in her case, but I think the Harvard study and the many other peer-reviewed studies that links obesity to diabetes might be correct.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:45 PM

49. She had diabetes because she was eating too many carbohydrates and not enough protein

She still eats the foods she likes to eat but she know monitors her blood sugar and no longer has diabetes despite being heavy.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #49)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:54 PM

56. In other words, obesity and diabetes are linked to diet.

And maybe, just maybe- diabetes is linked to obesity?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #49)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:42 PM

81. Carbs are not the culprit.

Some carbs are harmful, specifically white flour and sugar among others. But carbs like whole grains, potatoes, legumes, etc. are quite the opposite. They are healthy, nutritious and filling, and should be the centerpiece of our diets. This type of carbs no more caused your relative's diabetes than parsnips cause mumps.

Oh, and protein? Too much *is* harmful. Amazing that fad diet gurus and the media entertainment complex could get it all so completely wrong, huh?

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Response to Doremus (Reply #81)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:43 PM

82. +100000

n/t

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:15 PM

133. obesity is rising in every country in the world. whether they use high-fructose corn

 

syrup or not, whether they eat twinkies or not. including in asia.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

57. My mother is almost 90 and has never been obese in her life.

 

She developed diabetes when she was 86 due to steroid treatment for her eye disease. I found out that it is very common especially in elderly people to develop diabetes after taking medicine for eye diseases. This is why this assumption about people is very dangerous.
Very few people know about this.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1361652/How-steroids-diabetes.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3031012/

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Response to lalalu (Reply #57)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:02 PM

60. I have no doubt that she was harmed by steroids or other expesnive medications.

Which is why I tend to advocate healthy eating as opposed to spending more resourses on doctors and hospitals.

Your info about steroids does not contridict studies that link diabetes and obesity to nutrition.

My dad had an allergic reaction to Crestor (for his high cholesteol, likely caused by years of eating doughnuts, bacon and eggs, etc) and he has never been the same since- maybe he could have avoided the need for Crestor had he eaten better.

This would have been cheaper, and healthier, no?

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #60)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:13 PM

65. My mother was and is a healthy eater.

 

It was a choice between going blind or using the medicine. Genetic eye disease runs in the family and she had a sister who went completely blind.

My mother has developed diabetes as a reaction to the medicine and it had nothing to do with what she ate. In fact she is now annoyed because she has to eat more often due to the diabetes. She will be ninety very soon and has lived a long life because she has always been active. So now she is supposed to be taxed extra because she developed diabetes to prevent going blind?

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Response to lalalu (Reply #65)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:28 PM

74. LOL! I never said anyone should be taxed extra for being ill. That is your strawman, not mine.

And I have no doubt that expensive medicines did her more harm than good in this case.

If she has diabetes, then she is probably not supposed to be drinking high-sugar sodas, candy, fast foods, etc in any event. If she is a healthy eater, then she would probably not buy the foods the OP proposes to tax.

No one ever said that folks with diabetes should be taxed- it was said that taxing un-healthy foods could help pay for subsidising healtheir foods. You keep glossing over that.

Your mother's story does not counter research linking diabetes and other diseases to poor nutrition and obesity, it merely demonstrates another way of developing the disease.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #74)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:37 PM

78. I am not glossing over that.

 

No, she does not drink soda or eat processed food. If anything she is a bit of a health nut and her getting diabetes is ironic since she herself has been a member of the fat police.

I think this is going down a slippery slope. I worry that this will also lead to surcharging people for having diseases just because we assume they don't exercise or eat right.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #78)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:50 PM

84. So she would not be taxed in any event.


This is about reducing HC costs and preventing/reversing disease, not coming up with ways to charge ill patients even more.

the idea of surcharging ill people is your strawman, not mine.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #84)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:37 PM

101. Not a strawman, just a fact that advocating these types

 

of policies always lead to extremism.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:09 PM

87. Sorry, obesity is not a guarantee of diabetes.

Many people at their ideal weight and skinny people get diabetes too.

And what, exactly, would you do about smokers? How about people who don't wear their seatbelts? Who don't exercise? Where does this policing stop?

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #87)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:21 PM

91. Yet peer reviewed scientific studies show that obesity and diabetes are linked.

I never said that skinny folks cant be unhealthy for any number of reasons.

Who is policing anyone? The OP suggested that we could pay for subsidies that make healthy foods cheaper by taxing junk food. No one is going to get arrested, deported or whatever the strawman is.

Smokers? People who dont wear seat belts?

Interesting that you would compare unhealthy eating to such dangerous activities.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #91)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:02 PM

119. difficulty/inability to lose weight are the first symptoms

that you were BORN with type II diabetes.

just like so many type I diabetics, who are born with it, have difficulty gaining weight and are quite often so thin.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:48 PM

98. Which is exactly what scares some people about

national HC.....it invites invasive bullshit.

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Response to InsultComicDog (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:56 PM

34. My point exactly. Wouldnt it be cheaper for everyone to eat healthier instead?

Adult onset diabetes is almost always linked to an unhealthy diet in the 1st place.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:53 PM

33. I am glad that you are not on meds at all. You had mentioned that you visit the doctor often.

The point of the OP is that we are all going to be sharing in HC costs, not just the folks who have health problems caused by the foods they eat. We would all be charged more, not just obese people with poor eating habits.

I agree- we don t need a police state- I'm just saying that a national HC system could be cheaper if we focused on healthy diet, as opposed to covering up an unhelathy diet with expensive meds and procedures.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:57 PM

35. and I'm not against enouraging healthy habits

I'm just tired of people trying to use shame as a motivator. It does not work and it is just plain unkind, not that anybody cares about kindness anymore. I think the Fist Lady is a great example of how to enourage and not shame people into trying to be more healthy.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #35)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:13 PM

40. Agreed. I never advocated shaming anyone.

I did state that eating healthier in a way that prevents or reduces the chance of disease is cheaper than medicines and operations, after the fact.

In fact, some studies show that heart disease, diabtetes and cancer can be REVERSED by changing diet.

If corporations are going to make profit off giving people diseases, then I wont raise hell if their products get taxed. I try not to eat that stuff anyway.

In any event, my solution would be to focus on promoting access to healthier foods rather than a sole effort to discourage folks from buying unhealthy foods.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:48 PM

51. People also have these problems due to genetics.

 

So you would also tax a skinny person who has high cholesterol due to genetics or just the fat person? I had friend who died young because of a congenital heart disease for which there was very little treatment. Should his family have been taxed extra?

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Response to lalalu (Reply #51)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:10 PM

63. LOL! The OP never sugggested taxing sick people.

The OP did suggest that you could pay for subsidies that make healthy foods cheaper by placing a tax on less-healthy foods.

Yes- genetics is certainly a factor in every case- most everything to do with our bodies is linked to genetics.

Sure- some people will develop a disease no matter what we do to prevent or reverse it. Maybe we cant help them, but maybe we can reduce instances were folks do develop diseases that are linked to diet?

Maybe we can look at ways to reduce HC costs associated with these diseases?

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #63)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:21 PM

70. Taxing unhealthy foods can be explored.

 

I am just wary when people go down this road and start with the fat people attacks. I would hate to one day be labeled and taxed because I have Multiple Sclerosis.

To see me you would not know I had it and I exercise and eat right to help live with it. I just hate to think someone could get access to my medical record and decide I should automatically pay more because I have a disease. Going down that road can get out of hand. Next they will add extra taxes to anyone not deemed in optimum health.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #51)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:21 PM

69. my sister is a skinny ninny

about 90 pounds and 5 2---a bit underweight. Her cholesterol is sky high and has been for years.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #69)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:40 PM

80. Malnutiriton is present in many body types.

It's not just obese people who are not getting proper nutrition and developing diseases.

Plenty of vegans and vegetarians eat unhealthy, processed foods and sugars, and in turn, they are unhealthy people.

My cousin is a vegetarian but is also on Lipitor- Milkshakes, candy bars, fried soy nuggets with bbq sauce and mac & cheese are not health foods after all.

None of these facts mean that we cannot look at ways to make healthier foods easier to get, or look at ways to discourage people from eating things that cause diseases, high cholesterol, etc.-Things that drive up HC costs.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:23 PM

134. Cholesterol can have a genetic component.

I had a heart attack, and I have never lived an unhealthy lifestyle.

This does not mean that lifestyle does not create risk for most with high cholesterol.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:40 PM

27. No. nt

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Response to ladjf (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:43 PM

29. I believe Denmark

had a tax like this and just repealed it because it did more harm than good.

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Response to jpbollma (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:01 PM

37. and even in Canada I hear that it is very difficult to get very high quality butter

because the government regulates the fat content tightly.

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Response to jpbollma (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:37 PM

102. Yes, the did repeal the tax.

People were also crossing the border to buy their food because the grocers raised their prices to cover the tax.

ETA: to add link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/business/global/fat-tax-in-denmark-is-repealed-after-criticism.html

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Response to ChazII (Reply #102)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:18 AM

107. and sugar is a lot worse for you than fat

at least in my opinion

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 07:48 PM

32. 1. The word is "unhealthful"; 2. What foods would you exempt? Let's see your list.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:01 PM

36. no

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:47 PM

50. Luxury tax like on Monopoly!

 

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:50 PM

52. Don't feed the troll, people.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:54 PM

55. agreed I will stop responding

I love your signature line by the way.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:56 PM

58. Who is being called a troll here? Me or the OP?

Am I breaking any rules or otherwise being disruptive? The OP?

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:57 PM

59. I am not obese, but I have high blood pressure

and am pre-diabetic. This is no fault of mine, but my heredity. All my relatives on my mother's side, grandmother, aunts, uncles and my mother all had high blood pressure and developed Type II diabetes in their later years. My doctor said that I could blame it on genetics. I have been a vegetarian for 15 years and still developed high blood pressure though I do not eat meat of any kind. So it is not always due to poor diet.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #59)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:07 PM

86. Diabetes and high blood preassure is not always linked to diet, but it often is.

In fact, some people have even reversed these conditions by changing diet.

These are the people who can be helped by changing the way they eat.

I have no problem with the idea of reducing HC costs by making it easier for folks to get healthy food. The OP's idea is to tax sweets, etc to pay for these subsidies. I've heard worse ideas, like what we do now- subsidising foods like corn syrup, etc.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:17 PM

67. I don't like it--

because everyone has a different idea of what is healthy.

I myself follow the "nurturing traditions" plan---which is basically whole foods in their natural state. So I drink whole milk, I use butter etc. There are many people who think that these are bad foods.

I have studied the science and I believe the foods that have been around a long time in the most unprocessed state are the foods it is most optimal to eat.

I am nervous about the food police deciding that good wholesome foods that have been around forever are now bad for you.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:26 PM

72. Fine with me.

They tax cigarettes and liquor. Why not tax junk food.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #72)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:31 PM

75. the problem is

that there are some things that are easy to label "junk food" like twinkies (no offense to those who love them).

But---in many cases what is "bad" to one person is considered "good" by other people. I would be seriously pissed if I could not use real butter, real sour cream, whole milk etc. (And yes---I watch my weight--exercise --and look good)

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Response to brokechris (Reply #75)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:13 PM

89. Yeah. You're right.

I am not over weight. I use real butter and milk and the like. I have self control. I see no reason for me to pay more because somebody cannot control themselves. Not my problem. Plenty of people complain about smoke (maybe) wafting across the street. Everybody is more than willing to shit on smokers. What is the difference? Where can I lodge a complaint against people at buffets that are pretty much eating themselves to death. I am sick to death of people bitching about people that are naturally skinny. I am sick of getting shit on because I am this way naturally. I am sick of hearing how it's 'i can't help it' . Really? Maybe some cannot. But I would bet that there are more that can than cannot. It's all how you choose to frame it.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #89)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:36 PM

96. glad to meet someone else who uses

real butter, milk etc. For me it is all about portion control and calories. Weight management is based on the calorie.

With the real thing--it only takes a small amount to satisfy.

I noticed this when "Snackwells" lowfat cookies came out--I was in college and my roommate would eat an entire box at one sitting and STILL not be satisfied (about 1500 calories worth) and would raid the fridge after. I would often have a tea break with a really good cookie (made with real ingredients) and be full and satisfied for 150 calories.

She thought I would get fat because I was eating something that contained fat--but she kept getting fatter because the non fat garbage didn't satisfy--so she would take in ten to twenty times as many calories.



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Response to brokechris (Reply #75)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:27 PM

93. Here's the thing --

I am tired of over-weight people hollering about how it is all - in their heads- -genetics - not my fault - hormones - stresss- ....what have you.

How about this - they learn to stop stuffing themselves. How about eat what you want but have some self control. Smaller portions.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #93)


Response to brokechris (Reply #97)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:09 PM

99. I do have tons of compassion.

I cannot find it in my heart to find any compassion for people that eat & eat & eat......
tons of calories, no concern for any health. Yet, we're supposed to be just okay with that, simply for the reason that they are over weight.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #75)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:10 AM

145. Good thinking

I've always favored the idea of a tax on junk food, but I didn't even think that it could affect other foods that some people consider junk. We've been sold down the river on this low-fat, no-fat, no-cholesterol crap for the past decade or two. Personally, I use only whole milk, real butter (I make it myself from heavy cream - super easy to do!), heavy cream and the like because I think it's healthier than over-processed low fat crap. Other people think I'm crazy because they've been spoonfed the big pharma junk about fat and cholesterol. Give it another ten years - then there will be tons of studies stating that full fat foods are healthier and low-fat and low cholesterol (I'm talking foods that need to be manufactured this way, not those that are naturally low fat/cholsterol such as fruit and veggies) are bad for you. It'll happen.

Perhaps a tax on things containing high fructose corn syrup? We all know that's not good.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:37 PM

77. No this is the kind of thing that pisses people off about liberals. Tax cigarettes and nothing else.

I hate it when we do nanny state things like this and censoring music and movies.

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #77)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:59 PM

85. What if studies showed that certain eating habits were as deadly as smoking?

In your effort to not have people pissed at you, would you lift the ban on cigarettes in fairness, or look at them as similar?

Music and movies are linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer? That is a bit of a stretch, no? Not the same thing at all, is it?

LOL! Lots of people have been pissed at Liberals over the years over any given issue (Civil rights, Obamacare, for instance). They usually get over it once they realize we are right. I would not let that bother me.

Whether a tax pisses off Rush Limbaugh and FOX news is not the issue- the issue for me is- Would it make healthy foods easier to get? Would it drive down HC costs? Would it reduce instances of disease?

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #85)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:12 PM

88. Ever heard of anyone dying from Second Hand Eating?

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #88)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:25 PM

92. Ever heard of diabetes, strokes, heart disease, cancer, etc?

All are deadly, all are linked to smoking or obesity, and all contribute to rising HC costs.

But we better lay off, b/c Rush might get pissed at the liberals again. LOL!

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #92)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:35 PM

95. We will all die from something someday

If I eat only healthy foods and exercise every day...can you guarantee me that I will not die from heart disease, stroke, or cancer?

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #95)


Response to Dr Fate (Reply #92)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:52 PM

104. Junk food does not cause those

 

I can contribute to it but lots of folks eat junk food and do not face that condition.

You can get fat on vegetable (ever see a hippo?)

If you want to play that game, at least do it right and tax people based on BMI or % body fat.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #88)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:30 PM

94. Nope.

I believe my point is made.

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Response to Dr Fate (Reply #85)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:32 PM

117. Frankly I don't care what pisses off people on the right but I do care about what

pisses me off and what pisses off regular people and this is serious overreach. Don't mess with peoples' food. Some people can only afford junk food because it is so cheap and full of calories. If you raise taxes on them you'll really hurt alot of the working poor with a tax like this. We can encourage people to eat better, give them incentives to eat better, maybe lower insurance premiums if we ever expand medicare to everyobdy, but taxing people on food just seems wrong to me even if it has good intentions behind it. People should be free to be stupid and make poor decisions.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:02 AM

106. DU's token vegan chimes in.

What kind of idiot suggested that? Likely the same sort of idiot that doesn't know nutritionally what "unhealthy" is. Laughable clown shoes that they are.

And btw, healthier does NOT mean skinnier. But then anyone educated in nutrition knows that.

Lastly, the take on encouraging folks to take supplements that "help people" is funny. According to who?

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:42 AM

108. Nope, stupid fetish politics seeking failure.

Nobody needs you telling them what to do via the tax code nor do we need to invent scams to avoid folks and companies paying taxes on income and returns on investment.

Pay your fucking taxes and mind your own bee's wax.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #108)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:06 PM

116. 'fetish politics'. i like it. imo, the strange desire of the upper-middle class to get

 

involved in everyone's eating habits (especially poor people's eating habits) is a kind of social anxiety disorder brought on by economic/status insecurity of watching the class they aspire to slip further out of their reach.

it's certainly a class thing.

kind of akin to the 2nd great awakening where the aspiring classes inflicted themselves on reforming their lessers.

similarly, those folks didn't really care about wages/working conditions for the lessers, only that they were praying and abstaining so as to be sufficiently 'disciplined' workers.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:18 AM

109. Funny thing about tax discussions.

The person suggesting a new tax is rarely the person who is targeted to pay the new tax. Also most punitive taxes end up falling most heavily on the poor.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:07 AM

110. I'm a vegetarian IMO meat is unhealthy, who is going to decide what is healthy and

what isn't. I bet the meat industry would have plenty to say if a tax was mentioned in regard to meat. What about alcohol? There are too many vested interests, too many lobbiest, people's health will never be put first. Interests groups with money will always have a say in deciding what's healthy and what's unhealthy.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:23 AM

112. Why would we need to do this?

Isn't there enough money generated by the Affordable Healthcare Act to cover everything?

I thought that 's what the tax increases and penalties were for.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:54 PM

113. Add tax to products that refuse to reveal all GM on labeling also.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:03 PM

114. yes, we need to tax the poor even more. soon they won't be able to eat anything,

 

they'll all lose weight and get soooo healthy.

i think we should tax foie gras, gold-plated sorbet & "foam"

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:51 PM

118. Oh, ffs.

My neighbor, who eats very healthy, exercises at LEAST an hour a day (heavy cardio, not just wimpy crap), and has never smoked, had a heart attack sunday. 100% blockage in the LAD, 90% in 2 others, 70% in one other. He is not a junk food eater, or a smoker or sedentary at all. He does, however, have a family with a long, rich history of men who died of heart attacks around his age.

It ain't always the food.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:10 PM

120. Nanny-staters are all for "freedom of choice"...provided you make the choices they agree with

 

If we taxed every judgmental hypocrite each time they opened their mouths we'd have enough money to feed every starving person on the planet for twenty years.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:24 PM

122. Right... good luck with that

We should start to put a tax on breathing, too, because it can be dangerous, harmful to the body. You know, let's say you live in Texas, or L.A., all that inhalation of polluted air means you've got a greater chance of getting sick or even dying. You choose to live there, after all, so it's your fault isn't it? We can call it the "Foul air" tax.

Seriously, if you want people to eat healthier, a far better solution would be to lower the price of healthy food. Being in college and on a shoestring budget at the moment, I can tell you that it's a lot more expensive to eat healthy than it is to eat junk food. There are stores like the Dollar Tree, where you can find amazing amounts of stuff and every single item really only costs a dollar. There's the Mcdonalds that backs up traffic a bit during the afternoon because it's cheap, it has a dollar menu - and people like the food.

Do you know what increasing the taxes on this food will do? Make it harder for people to survive, period. I would rather have people eat food that is bad for them than not eat at all. I'd support an idea to make healthy food more affordable, but those who would suffer the most from your suggestion are the poor.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #122)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:36 PM

137. Healthy food is not more expensive.

But you do have to cook it yourself and put in the labor. Many would rather pay for convenience.

Inexpensive food is mostly starches, which is extremely cheap in non-processed form. What you as a college student may be looking for is easy food that requires no prep, and cheap too, which leads to the just-add-water soup cups, and whatever leftover crap that ends up at a dollar store.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:07 PM

128. As if you can't over-consume healthy products and be overweight anyway. nt

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #128)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:54 PM

129. the most overweight person

that I know claims to be a vegan/macrobiotic. She is easily over 300, probably closer to 400.

She eats huge quantities

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:58 PM

130. yeah, don't tax upper-middle class foodies, tax blue collar workers and poor people!

 

that's the ticket!

because y'all care sooooo much.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #130)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:25 PM

135. Healthy food isn't more expensive, it is less expensive.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #135)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:35 PM

136. i can personally say bull to that.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #136)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:37 PM

138. That's nice. Now, do you have a reasoned rebuttal?

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-17/healthy-food-cost-USDA/55018070/1

When using weight and portion size as the guide, many healthy foods were not any more costly than unhealthy ones, Carlson says. You can always find healthy foods that are cheap and healthy foods that are expensive. The same is true of less healthy foods, she says.

She says one of the best ways to think of food costs is to consider portion size: "How much do you have to pay to put something on your plate?"

Overall, the economists found:

•When considering portion size, the ranking from least to most expensive is: grains, dairy, vegetables, fruit, protein and less healthy foods. Protein and less healthy foods are very close in cost.

•Grains, such as bread, oatmeal, pasta and rice, are the cheapest foods no matter how you measure by portion, weight or calories.

•Protein, such as meat, chicken and fish, is the most expensive food by portion size, but there are low-cost proteins such as beans and eggs.

•When looking at price per portion, fruits and vegetables are lower in price overall than unhealthy foods. "Like every food group, there are cheap veggies and fruits, and pricey ones," Carlson says. "Cheap unhealthy foods and more expensive ones."

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Response to kwassa (Reply #138)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:34 AM

141. it's right there in the text. price per calorie of energy. it's about satiety value, food

 

Last edited Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:16 AM - Edit history (1)

energy and calories.

Previous research has just looked at price per calories and found that healthy foods are more expensive, but Carlson says price per calorie isn't a fair measure.

For example, non-fat milk has a higher price per calorie than 2% milk but most health experts recommend drinking non-fat or 1% milk, she says. "Whole milk and skim milk are about the same price per gallon at the grocery store."


talk about circular logic. 'we experts' say those are bad foods, so price per calorie "isn't a fair measure," (because on that measure, those unhealthy foods are cheaper! and they can't be cheaper, because they're unhealthy!)


but a glass of whole milk will keep you full and your blood sugar level longer than a glass of skim. the 'unhealthy' fat gives it satiety value and a slower release of milk sugar/carb into the blood stream.

stupid 'experts'.

'portion size' = an idiotic, misleading measure. a cup of shredded lettuce v. a cup of fritos. yeah, the lettuce is cheaper, and 'healthier' in some senses (but not all senses) and it will keep you full about 5 minutes. the body doesn't run on 'portion sizes,' it runs on calories.

this is the kind of idiotic soundbite logic that's making people stupid. it's purposefully designed to mislead people and to push an agenda.

how many cups of orange juice and shredded lettuce do you have to eat to keep yourself from feeling hungry throughout a day and how much does *that* much lettuce and oj cost, is the question.




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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #141)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:15 AM

143. By your standard, you should be eating pure lard.

if your measure is price-per-calorie.

the body doesn't run on only calories, to reduce the argument to this is idiotic. What matters is the form the calories come in.

Many people eat way more calories than their bodies require, and the issue is not calories, but what they give or take away from health.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #143)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:57 AM

144. the main thing the body runs on is calories. try eating vitamins and minerals without

 

calories and see how far you go.

many people do eat more calories than they need, but it's not just poor people who do that, and just because people are poor doesn't make people like you their diet supervisors.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #144)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:54 PM

147. It doesn't take money to eat healthy, it takes knowledge.

and that should be taught as part of every high school health class, and modeled throughout schools in their cafeterias, and taught from an early age.

The effect of bad diet on health is cumulative, and it starts very young.

Poor people have higher rates of obesity, by the way, so it isn't about the price of calories.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #147)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:29 PM

148. Hmm

I think that teaching nutrition in high school health classes is a great idea. I'm not sure I agree with you in regards to the cost of food though, although it may differ depending on where you live.

Of course, this all depends on what is actually healthy and what isn't, there's a variety of different perspectives on that. Some believe a vegan (or vegetable based, primarily) diet is the way to go. Some believe in a combination of fruits and vegetables, others, more classically, believe that meat is essential primarily for protein. There's argument as to whether organic food is more healthy than non-organic and while I suspect that it is, it is also undeniably more expensive than the standard processed food I see in any grocery store. Organic food can also be difficult to find in grocery stores here.

Of course portion size plays a part, those I know from other Countries are often shocked at the amount of food we Americans serve in restaurants, or for a classic family dinner. Obviously this has a lot to do with our obesity problem and we could certainly trim portion sizes in general for the sake of a healthier lifestyle. Part of the issue is that it is basically a cultural thing in America to fill our plates, why this is the case I'm not entirely sure.

I'm about fifteen pounds overweight, a part of that is definitely because I buy cheap food, ramen packets by the dollar, cans of soup and chef boyardee for 75 cents each. Now I could buy food to cook at home, but when you are one person living in a tiny apartment it can seem kind of strange to cook a real meal just for yourself. There's also the expense. If I were to buy a classic dinner, not being a vegetarian, I'd be likely to buy three different things. Probably steak or fish, with rice and broccoli. It is a fact that that costs a heck of a lot more than my one dollar ramen noodles or my 75 cent can of spaghettios.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:01 PM

131. Who decides what's unhealthy?

The same people who told us that fat was unhealthy and bread (just another form of sugar) is healthy? If I'd kept following "expert" advice, I'd be obese and sick.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:17 AM

139. Ahh sin taxes

Yet we complain about the right being authoritative puritan's maybe we should start looking at some within our own ranks

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:09 AM

140. I thought we already taxed junk food


We don't need to tax them anymore, no point in punishing people for enjoying a little pleasure in life like eating brownie ever once in a while. I agree there are some people who eat way to much junk, but in moderation there is no problem with those snacks.

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Response to francolettieri (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:30 AM

146. Can't agree. You can't mandate lifestyle with taxes.


It's a tricky principle trying to punish people on the theory their personal condition "hurts" the rest of of us. And it's questionable how much you could even accomplish that way, assuming people went along with it.

For example, obesity has a lot of causes other than junk food, and people do a lot of other things that impact their health care costs.

There's just no reasonable way to tell people what they can eat and drink. Will we tax the Cheetos, but not the steak and lobster? Soda, but not smoothies? Do we tax candy, but not trailmix? Pizza, but not flatbread? What about "healthy" foods that make people fat? Avocados? Cheese? Rice? Bread? There's no food that won't make someone fat if they take in more than they need.

And if we're going to try to mandate diet, don't we have to pursue other lifestyle choices that impact health too? A lot of needless medical care is expended on people who enjoy motorcycles, personal watercraft; skateboards. Active people get hurt a LOT. If we're going to punish the people who eat badly for getting fat, how do we not punish the people who insist on tearing up their knees jogging, or their backs, lifting weights? On the other side, there's no question TV and video games are big reasons kids get sedentary. Should we tax mindless entertainment too (actually like that idea better -- let's form a commission ...)

We need universal healthcare and an emphasis on preventative medicine. If people could see a doctor regularly without going broke, physicians could spend time working with diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes tailored to people's actual needs -- not an assumption over how everyone should conduct themselves.

We can educate, label, and provide medical guidance. But I don't think we can tax our way to better health.

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