Holiday Audio-Video Stuff

      79 Comments on Holiday Audio-Video Stuff

Happy Memorial Day. I spent the first two days of the three-day weekend catching up on some sideline programming projects, so I’m taking today off (mostly) and posting some audio/video clips.

While on the low-carb cruise, I was interviewed by Howard and Georgene Harkness of N=1 Health. You can listen to that podcast here.

Below I’ve posted the final four segments of the UCTV series The Skinny on Obesity, featuring Dr. Robert Lustig.

You probably won’t be surprised that I disagree with the idea of regulating sugar.  Yes, obesity and diabetes are major problems, but the key to solving those problems is education.  Most people simply don’t realize how bad sugar is for their health.  They’re still being told dietary fat is the problem — by a government that subsidizes and promotes wheat (which may be as bad for us as sugar) and subsidizes corn, which makes high-fructose corn syrup dirt cheap.

The rate of smoking among adults is half of what it was back in the 1950s, and that’s because people learned how bad smoking is for their health. We need the same kind of push to educate people about the metabolic damage caused by sugar. Once people refuse to buy delivery vehicles for sugar, the food manufacturers will stop putting it in everything. They don’t tell us what to eat. We tell them what to sell us by our choices at the grocery store. That’s how markets work. That’s why New Coke, Taco Bell’s Border Lites and the McLean Burger were all flops, despite huge advertising campaigns.

I chuckled when one of the experts interviewed in the final segment talked about taxing the foods we subsidize — a government fix for the actions of government.  How about if we just stop subsidizing corn, wheat and other lousy food and see how that works first?


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79 thoughts on “Holiday Audio-Video Stuff

  1. Jana

    If sugar is regulated and heavily taxed, packaged foods are going to get very expensive and the food makers will switch to adding things that could be more harmful in place of the sugar (MSG?), just to keep the costs down and sell more food. I think it is more important to educate people on the dangers of sugar consumption so they can make the decisions for themselves as to their health.

    The law of unintended consequences would show up somewhere.

  2. Beowulf

    I agree. I would not support a tax on sugar, but I would definitely back the elimination of subsidies for corn, wheat, and soy. While I don’t like all the sugar in our food, if government starts to tax it, then I’m sure they’ll be taxing saturated fat, red meat, and salt in short order. It’s a very slippery slope. Education may not solve the problem for everyone, but it would be a good start.

    Exactly. Based on recent history, why would we trust these people to tax the “right” foods?

  3. Jennifer Snow

    Not to mention getting the Government Health Insurance/subsidy/whatever you want to call it gorilla off our backs so we’re not stuck paying for other people’s bad health choices.

    Heck, the people who love to deride “fatties” should be delighted, because they’ll have full license to jeer at people who won’t stop putting bread in their mouths.

    If socialized medicine forces you to subsidize unhealthy people, then the problem is socialized medicine, not individual choice.

  4. Lori

    Definitely. Look at gluten-free products. Twenty years ago, they didn’t exist, 10 years ago, they tasted like cardboard, and now they’re as good as regular. (I have a gluten-free goodie as an occasional indulgence.)

    On conference calls, company officers talk about what’s selling and what isn’t. Of course they talk about marketing too, but they’re not going to bother marketing products they find that there’s not enough demand for.

    Bingo. They don’t control the market; consumers do.

  5. Paul Eilers

    I totally agree. No food police please! Let the marketplace decide.

    (And more honesty in labeling, for folks who do not have time to do all the research on the effects of chemicals, ingredients, etc.)

    I don’t want the government telling us what to eat regardless of which foods they consider bad for us, but of course they still think saturated fat is bad and wheat is good. Giving them more power in that arena would be a very, very bad idea.

  6. Jana

    If sugar is regulated and heavily taxed, packaged foods are going to get very expensive and the food makers will switch to adding things that could be more harmful in place of the sugar (MSG?), just to keep the costs down and sell more food. I think it is more important to educate people on the dangers of sugar consumption so they can make the decisions for themselves as to their health.

    The law of unintended consequences would show up somewhere.

  7. Peggy Cihocki

    I 100% agree with you. When the government decided fat was bad and people started looking for low fat stuff to buy, the market supplied it, no problem. And now we have a plethora of such foods. Education and people voting with their pocket books is what we need, not taxation. Only this time, the education has to come from the ground up. The government sure isn’t going to do it! And end the subsidies, by all means. It’s the ultimate of ridiculous to talk about taxing subsidized commodities and the products derived from them.

  8. Jessica

    The rate of smoking among adults is half of what it was back in the 1950s, and that’s because people learned how bad smoking is for their health.

    You really don’t think government regulation of tobacco, including extremely high taxes, has anything to do with that?

    No, I think that has very little to do with it. I’ve known several people who quit smoking, and not one mentioned cost as a factor. Addicts will endure great cost to get their fix. Governments know this and count on the revenues.

    Smoking rates in the U.S. are highest among high-school dropouts and people living at or below the poverty level — i.e., those who can least afford the taxes and yet willingly pay them. The lowest rate of smoking (6%) is among those with advanced degrees — i.e., those who can most afford the taxes. So it’s not about affordability.

  9. Beowulf

    I agree. I would not support a tax on sugar, but I would definitely back the elimination of subsidies for corn, wheat, and soy. While I don’t like all the sugar in our food, if government starts to tax it, then I’m sure they’ll be taxing saturated fat, red meat, and salt in short order. It’s a very slippery slope. Education may not solve the problem for everyone, but it would be a good start.

    Exactly. Based on recent history, why would we trust these people to tax the “right” foods?

  10. Dale

    I agree with you about education being the key, but governments tend to do things that bring in money before the consider spending it.

    Or maybe I’m just being overly cynical.

    In Australia our government taxes cigarettes, alcohol, and now a tax on carbon pollution, all designed to make things more expensive so we’ll be less likely to buy or use them. I can see the same thing happening with sugar, provided something is done about it of course.

    Then there is education through the community, though to be honest I’m getting tired of the rolling of eyes and the “not more crap you’ve gotten from the Internet” look.

    Maybe I’ll have a little more luck once all of the excess weight is gone.

  11. Lori

    Definitely. Look at gluten-free products. Twenty years ago, they didn’t exist, 10 years ago, they tasted like cardboard, and now they’re as good as regular. (I have a gluten-free goodie as an occasional indulgence.)

    On conference calls, company officers talk about what’s selling and what isn’t. Of course they talk about marketing too, but they’re not going to bother marketing products they find that there’s not enough demand for.

    Bingo. They don’t control the market; consumers do.

  12. Paul Eilers

    I totally agree. No food police please! Let the marketplace decide.

    (And more honesty in labeling, for folks who do not have time to do all the research on the effects of chemicals, ingredients, etc.)

    I don’t want the government telling us what to eat regardless of which foods they consider bad for us, but of course they still think saturated fat is bad and wheat is good. Giving them more power in that arena would be a very, very bad idea.

  13. Peggy Cihocki

    I 100% agree with you. When the government decided fat was bad and people started looking for low fat stuff to buy, the market supplied it, no problem. And now we have a plethora of such foods. Education and people voting with their pocket books is what we need, not taxation. Only this time, the education has to come from the ground up. The government sure isn’t going to do it! And end the subsidies, by all means. It’s the ultimate of ridiculous to talk about taxing subsidized commodities and the products derived from them.

  14. Jessica

    The rate of smoking among adults is half of what it was back in the 1950s, and that’s because people learned how bad smoking is for their health.

    You really don’t think government regulation of tobacco, including extremely high taxes, has anything to do with that?

    No, I think that has very little to do with it. I’ve known several people who quit smoking, and not one mentioned cost as a factor. Addicts will endure great cost to get their fix. Governments know this and count on the revenues.

    Smoking rates in the U.S. are highest among high-school dropouts and people living at or below the poverty level — i.e., those who can least afford the taxes and yet willingly pay them. The lowest rate of smoking (6%) is among those with advanced degrees — i.e., those who can most afford the taxes. So it’s not about affordability.

  15. Daniel09

    They did technically ban positive advertisements for tobacco, so that probably helped in preventing some tobacco use. It’s fairly clear to me that the abuse of alcohol can at least be somewhat related to the fact that it seems like a third of all commercials are for alcohol.

    Still, government shouldn’t have to actively intervene with peoples’ food. The fact that we even have a FDA which isn’t working for people is proof that government action in health is exactly the opposite of what we need. It’s good for weeding out snake oils, but it obviously doesn’t work when it comes to general nutrition. I mean, if I ate the way I’m supposed to eat, it would cost me an arm and a leg, and I don’t even know how to keep that kind of food in the house without updating it every few days with fresh goods. No way anyone could possibly live like that naturally. The magic of the low-carb lifestyle is that it is a lifestyle that can be lived in the wild, technically, if you live in a decent sized society that can maintain livestock. This is evidenced by tribes in Africa and South America.

  16. Bong Kim

    You have to understand that the anti-smoking movement has been supported by the U.S. government recently. That’s one reason why it’s been successful.

    It’s naive to believe that if the government stops what it’s been doing, the problem is solved.

    No. that is not true. You have to make your government to do the right thing.

    Education? Education is as much influenced by interests as the government. Just check who donates money to nutritional departments at universities.

    Well then, explain this logic to me: they want to tax HFCS under the theory that if it’s more expensive, we’ll consume less of it. So how does taking away the subsidies — which will dramatically raise the cost — not accomplish the same goal?

    Making your government do the right thing? You mean like their fabulous dietary guidelines?

    By “education,” I’m not referring to universities. I’m referring to knowledge being disseminated by both individuals and organizations. Most of what people know, they learned outside of school.

  17. Denny

    Coercion and force from the Government is never a good idea. Recently here in Utah a high school was fined $15,000 by the federal government for selling sugary sodas during lunch hour. Here is government stupidity in action. The kids could buy the sugary soda BEFORE the lunch hour started or they could leave campus and walk half a block to the convenience store and get the sugary soda or they can buy one after lunch is over; they just can’t buy one during lunch (the machines have to be turned off for that hour and someone forgot).

    So now the school activities department is out 15 grand and the kids still have no idea why sugary sodas are bad for them. Like Tom said, education is the key not government coercion and force.

    I, too, do not support a tax on sugar (or income, or property, etc. because taxation is theft, but I digress). Educate educate educate that is the answer.

  18. Darren Doyle

    The whole time he started talking about government programs I was thinking, “oh, Tom’s going have fun with this!” I totally agree with you Tom! His examples of vaccinations and water fluoridation are perfect examples of junk, too! Some vaccines are great, but the government (unsurprisingly) has taken it to the extreme and turned it into junk. High mercury content vaccinations (well above safety levels in other areas), and pushing vaccinations like crazy for everything when the vaccine often has more risks than the thing it’s guarding against (flu comes to mind). Water fluoridation is even worse! Study after study keeps showing how harmful ingesting fluoride is, and how it accomplishes nothing (or the opposite of desired) towards its intended purpose: stronger teeth and bones. Reminds me of the opposite-of-desired effect of pushing low-fat. I’m no conspiracy guy by far, but I’m really starting to see that gov just needs to stay the hell out of public health.

    Here’s link to water fluoridation info. It’s worth looking at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoride-dangers.aspx

  19. Marilyn

    “The law of unintended consequences would show up somewhere.”

    Yes. A commenter on one of these blogs has already suggested that if sugar/HFCS is drummed out by taxation or whatever means, the sugar substitutes, those known and those yet to be invented, might even be scarier. The fact is, if sugar calories are replaced by real food, there will be an improvement in a person’s health. If sugar calories are simply replaced by non-caloric sweeteners — as would surely happen if sugar is taxed or otherwise regulated — I’m not sure much is to be gained.

    It will never happen, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if the food pyramid/food plate graphics were outlawed — banned completely from all media. . .

    I’m not a fan of banning images, but if we’re going to ban one …

  20. shums

    I must admit I am really disappointed with how this series turned out. I agree with the message but not the conclusion. That is to say the conclusion that government must fix it. Somehow there is an assumption there that government will fix it and do a good job doing so. Where is the example of that? I think the message that government must fix it is actually a dangerous message to promote. It says to people that you can’t do it and that government must solve it for you so don’t even try. These videos will not be part of my link library.

    I’m afraid the final conclusion — government must step in and regulate sugar — will merely turn off a lot of people who otherwise agree with Dr. Lustig.

  21. Live Free or Diet

    Dr. Lustig is a fine scientist and educator, but that’s where he should have stopped.
    The convenience store where I work is a nutritional desert full of sugar, alcohol and hexane-extracted oils. Lustig’s assertions aside, I resist them just fine because I don’t depend on willpower. Low Carb: Don’t let hormones manipulate you, manipulate them! I always carry plenty of lunch to work and nibble on it when the peanut butter cups stare at me too hard.
    A good steak charcoal grilled with onions and asparagus is cheaper per pound than anything we sell anyway.

    Bingo. Convenience stores have tried to sell cheap produce in poor areas and ended up throwing the stuff out. Lack of produce on the shelves is the symptom, not the cause.

  22. Bong Kim

    You have to understand that the anti-smoking movement has been supported by the U.S. government recently. That’s one reason why it’s been successful.

    It’s naive to believe that if the government stops what it’s been doing, the problem is solved.

    No. that is not true. You have to make your government to do the right thing.

    Education? Education is as much influenced by interests as the government. Just check who donates money to nutritional departments at universities.

    Well then, explain this logic to me: they want to tax HFCS under the theory that if it’s more expensive, we’ll consume less of it. So how does taking away the subsidies — which will dramatically raise the cost — not accomplish the same goal?

    Making your government do the right thing? You mean like their fabulous dietary guidelines?

    By “education,” I’m not referring to universities. I’m referring to knowledge being disseminated by both individuals and organizations. Most of what people know, they learned outside of school.

  23. Denny

    Coercion and force from the Government is never a good idea. Recently here in Utah a high school was fined $15,000 by the federal government for selling sugary sodas during lunch hour. Here is government stupidity in action. The kids could buy the sugary soda BEFORE the lunch hour started or they could leave campus and walk half a block to the convenience store and get the sugary soda or they can buy one after lunch is over; they just can’t buy one during lunch (the machines have to be turned off for that hour and someone forgot).

    So now the school activities department is out 15 grand and the kids still have no idea why sugary sodas are bad for them. Like Tom said, education is the key not government coercion and force.

    I, too, do not support a tax on sugar (or income, or property, etc. because taxation is theft, but I digress). Educate educate educate that is the answer.

  24. John

    Denny, help me out here. Tom too, please. Why are sugary sodas sold in schools at all? One answer: profits for the school system, even at the detriment of the student’s health.

    Is there no role for government here at all? Not at the federal, state, or local level? Why not sell beer and wine in the schools? No role for government?

    There must be some middle ground.

    I don’t have any problem with schools deciding not to sell sodas. As for the role of government, it was local school governments that decided to sell sodas in schools in the first place. So I don’t see government as the answer to over-consumption of sugar.

  25. Darren Doyle

    The whole time he started talking about government programs I was thinking, “oh, Tom’s going have fun with this!” I totally agree with you Tom! His examples of vaccinations and water fluoridation are perfect examples of junk, too! Some vaccines are great, but the government (unsurprisingly) has taken it to the extreme and turned it into junk. High mercury content vaccinations (well above safety levels in other areas), and pushing vaccinations like crazy for everything when the vaccine often has more risks than the thing it’s guarding against (flu comes to mind). Water fluoridation is even worse! Study after study keeps showing how harmful ingesting fluoride is, and how it accomplishes nothing (or the opposite of desired) towards its intended purpose: stronger teeth and bones. Reminds me of the opposite-of-desired effect of pushing low-fat. I’m no conspiracy guy by far, but I’m really starting to see that gov just needs to stay the hell out of public health.

    Here’s link to water fluoridation info. It’s worth looking at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoride-dangers.aspx

  26. Marilyn

    “The law of unintended consequences would show up somewhere.”

    Yes. A commenter on one of these blogs has already suggested that if sugar/HFCS is drummed out by taxation or whatever means, the sugar substitutes, those known and those yet to be invented, might even be scarier. The fact is, if sugar calories are replaced by real food, there will be an improvement in a person’s health. If sugar calories are simply replaced by non-caloric sweeteners — as would surely happen if sugar is taxed or otherwise regulated — I’m not sure much is to be gained.

    It will never happen, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if the food pyramid/food plate graphics were outlawed — banned completely from all media. . .

    I’m not a fan of banning images, but if we’re going to ban one …

  27. shums

    I must admit I am really disappointed with how this series turned out. I agree with the message but not the conclusion. That is to say the conclusion that government must fix it. Somehow there is an assumption there that government will fix it and do a good job doing so. Where is the example of that? I think the message that government must fix it is actually a dangerous message to promote. It says to people that you can’t do it and that government must solve it for you so don’t even try. These videos will not be part of my link library.

    I’m afraid the final conclusion — government must step in and regulate sugar — will merely turn off a lot of people who otherwise agree with Dr. Lustig.

  28. Linda

    Speaking of schools……………….
    “This is what we’re up against”……………..
    http://lockerz.com/s/212863364

    They start the brainwashing early, don’t they?

    They got one of three right. Under “new math” concepts, I believe that’s considered a passing grade.

  29. Live Free or Diet

    Dr. Lustig is a fine scientist and educator, but that’s where he should have stopped.
    The convenience store where I work is a nutritional desert full of sugar, alcohol and hexane-extracted oils. Lustig’s assertions aside, I resist them just fine because I don’t depend on willpower. Low Carb: Don’t let hormones manipulate you, manipulate them! I always carry plenty of lunch to work and nibble on it when the peanut butter cups stare at me too hard.
    A good steak charcoal grilled with onions and asparagus is cheaper per pound than anything we sell anyway.

    Bingo. Convenience stores have tried to sell cheap produce in poor areas and ended up throwing the stuff out. Lack of produce on the shelves is the symptom, not the cause.

  30. John

    Denny, help me out here. Tom too, please. Why are sugary sodas sold in schools at all? One answer: profits for the school system, even at the detriment of the student’s health.

    Is there no role for government here at all? Not at the federal, state, or local level? Why not sell beer and wine in the schools? No role for government?

    There must be some middle ground.

    I don’t have any problem with schools deciding not to sell sodas. As for the role of government, it was local school governments that decided to sell sodas in schools in the first place. So I don’t see government as the answer to over-consumption of sugar.

  31. Linda

    Speaking of schools……………….
    “This is what we’re up against”……………..
    http://lockerz.com/s/212863364

    They start the brainwashing early, don’t they?

    They got one of three right. Under “new math” concepts, I believe that’s considered a passing grade.

  32. b-nasty

    I agree that Lustig should stick to what he knows. When he brought up that tired ‘food deserts’ nonsense, he totally lost me. The government could ship and subsidize fruits and veggies to poor, urban areas all they want. I guarantee the local fast food joints would not feel any pain.

  33. b-nasty

    I agree that Lustig should stick to what he knows. When he brought up that tired ‘food deserts’ nonsense, he totally lost me. The government could ship and subsidize fruits and veggies to poor, urban areas all they want. I guarantee the local fast food joints would not feel any pain.

  34. Bong Kim

    No government is perfect. Well, is there anything perfect in the real world?

    If you don’t like agriculture subsidies or any other policies, make your government to stop that.

    Your logic is like this. If you made some mistakes in the past, you’re going to make mistakes all the time over and over. Therefore, it’s best not to have you do anything. Just tell me your past mistakes 🙂

    It’s great to believe in education, but there is a limitation. How about legalizing drugs and just educating young generations that drugs are really bad?

    I just hope that you won’t give up your government. Yes it does make big mistakes sometimes but the solution is not to make it weak. It should be to make it to do the right thing. As soon as it becomes weak, I suspect that the U.S. government is already weak, other strong force (i.e. the big money) is going to control your life. At least you can elect your government, you know.

    You’re missing the crucial point: the essence of government is force, as George Washington put it. There are few situations that justify the use of organized force. So even if government imposed dietary policies that were scientifically correct, I’d still be opposed to them imposing those policies. But of course, the policies won’t be scientifically correct, because that’s now how government works. The policies will be determined by who has the most clout in Washington.

    The “big money” can’t force you to do anything. No corporation can force you to buy its products — unless government gets involved, as it has with Monsanto. Take government out of the equation, and all you have left is voluntary exchanges.

    Yes, I would support legalizing drugs and educating people about why taking them is a bad idea.

  35. Bong Kim

    No government is perfect. Well, is there anything perfect in the real world?

    If you don’t like agriculture subsidies or any other policies, make your government to stop that.

    Your logic is like this. If you made some mistakes in the past, you’re going to make mistakes all the time over and over. Therefore, it’s best not to have you do anything. Just tell me your past mistakes 🙂

    It’s great to believe in education, but there is a limitation. How about legalizing drugs and just educating young generations that drugs are really bad?

    I just hope that you won’t give up your government. Yes it does make big mistakes sometimes but the solution is not to make it weak. It should be to make it to do the right thing. As soon as it becomes weak, I suspect that the U.S. government is already weak, other strong force (i.e. the big money) is going to control your life. At least you can elect your government, you know.

    You’re missing the crucial point: the essence of government is force, as George Washington put it. There are few situations that justify the use of organized force. So even if government imposed dietary policies that were scientifically correct, I’d still be opposed to them imposing those policies. But of course, the policies won’t be scientifically correct, because that’s now how government works. The policies will be determined by who has the most clout in Washington.

    The “big money” can’t force you to do anything. No corporation can force you to buy its products — unless government gets involved, as it has with Monsanto. Take government out of the equation, and all you have left is voluntary exchanges.

    Yes, I would support legalizing drugs and educating people about why taking them is a bad idea.

  36. Bridget

    Yup, this makes me think of that part in Fat Head when you interviewed all those people on whether they believed the meal you showed them was high in calories or not. No one said that they thought it was low in calories. People know what is good and what is bad. I am a huge fan of educating individuals rather than acting like a babysitter and taking things away from people who should know better.

  37. Iva

    I believe it is all about educated choice. Eat what you want – just know what you’re eating and what it can potentially do to you/for you.

    My thoughts exactly. It’s the people who are screwing up their health with grains because they’ve been told grains are health food who have my sympathy, not the people who drink 44-oz sodas. I can’t imagine anyone thinks that’s a good idea.

  38. Marilyn

    It looks as if “sugar-free” has already been enshrined alongside “fat-free.” I saw a recipe for a chocolate pie the other day, and the first ingredient was sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding. I read no further, except to glance at the bottom and see that this luscious dessert was to be topped with some white plastic glop “whipped topping.” It’s entirely possible that the more things like fat or sugar are frowned upon by the “officials,” the more unhealthful the substitute “foods” will become. As long as the fat-is-bad, fat-is-fattening, meatless-Monday, red-meat-kills, healthywholegrains, yadayadayada “wisdom” continues to be published, any shift by the general population to a better diet after sugar had been eliminated would be purely accidental.

    Foods are palatable because of sweet, fatty or salty tastes. If all three are considered dangerous in their natural forms, you’re right: we’ll end up with more fake food.

  39. Bridget

    Yup, this makes me think of that part in Fat Head when you interviewed all those people on whether they believed the meal you showed them was high in calories or not. No one said that they thought it was low in calories. People know what is good and what is bad. I am a huge fan of educating individuals rather than acting like a babysitter and taking things away from people who should know better.

  40. The Older Brother

    What a shame. I’d noticed a few things in the first six episodes where Lustig seems, when not in his domain of expertise, to otherwise accept the current dogma.

    And there’s something about his demeanor that just made me think “prig.” I figured maybe I was just profiling (and profilin’ is wrong!), but it turns out I wasn’t profiling — he was telegraphing.

    Then to suggest regulation and subsidizing “good food” without a peep about the $100 billion a year being spent on grain subsidies and food stamps is a display of breathtaking ignorance.

    Cheers

    He correctly identified the problem, but when he gets into the economics of the cure, he’s outside his area of expertise.

  41. Kay

    The video about pregnant women and women’s health before getting pregnant, and how that “sets up” the child for obesity got me thinking about autism. So we’ve started seeing Alzeihmers being referred to as Diabetes 3, so could autism be related to the mother’s insulin overproduction while pregnant?
    I just googled and found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGizH7NaRxY from Rice University, so apparently someone is thinking of that!

    I think autism could also be related to consuming modern wheat.

  42. Kay

    I also have an issue with the last video, but it’s more about the “cost” of obesity. You hear it all the time, how fat people are driving up medical costs or burdening the skinny people of the world with their girth. Well someone is making a lot of money off the fat people of the world! For every soda drank there is a producer of the product, a shipper (trucks), a seller (grocery stores) than the consumer. If people did not over-consume, how many jobs would disappear? How many diet books are bought, gym membership signed up for, restaurants opened, medical professions making money, etc…….because that obese person exists?

    Plus, as I’ve said before in an email to you, if an obese person dies earlier, say 55 years old, vs a healthy person who dies at 85, who has a lower life-time medical cost? If someone is healthy, doesn’t that mean they have a higher chance of surviving multiple health problems that enable them to live to 85, 90, etc…?

    If you think about it, an obese person is a perfect economical model. They overconsume while they are of working age, than they die off before they retire. What corporation (or government) would turn that away?

    I have an issue with the cost issue as well, as I wrote here:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/02/18/meme-roth-a-burden-on-us-all/

    But I wouldn’t be worried about people spending less on food and destroying jobs. They’d spend the savings on other purchases, creating other jobs.

  43. Iva

    I believe it is all about educated choice. Eat what you want – just know what you’re eating and what it can potentially do to you/for you.

    My thoughts exactly. It’s the people who are screwing up their health with grains because they’ve been told grains are health food who have my sympathy, not the people who drink 44-oz sodas. I can’t imagine anyone thinks that’s a good idea.

  44. Marilyn

    It looks as if “sugar-free” has already been enshrined alongside “fat-free.” I saw a recipe for a chocolate pie the other day, and the first ingredient was sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding. I read no further, except to glance at the bottom and see that this luscious dessert was to be topped with some white plastic glop “whipped topping.” It’s entirely possible that the more things like fat or sugar are frowned upon by the “officials,” the more unhealthful the substitute “foods” will become. As long as the fat-is-bad, fat-is-fattening, meatless-Monday, red-meat-kills, healthywholegrains, yadayadayada “wisdom” continues to be published, any shift by the general population to a better diet after sugar had been eliminated would be purely accidental.

    Foods are palatable because of sweet, fatty or salty tastes. If all three are considered dangerous in their natural forms, you’re right: we’ll end up with more fake food.

  45. Carolyn Gillham

    Too bad we can’t get a high profile celeb to challenge people to cut out starches and sugars and focus on protein, non-starchy veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruit like berries and citrus for a month. (Yes, I am on The Smarter Science of Slim) People will feel so good and see some amazing healthy results that they will want to stick to this way of eating. My husband admitted that the he thought I would only stick to this for a month or so. Like all the other diets I have been on. I asked him why would I give up on a program that gives me energy, better sleep, blood-sugar regulation, and fat loss without hunger and moodiness? His response: maybe there is something to this and then he ate some Greek yogurt with some blueberries and cherries.

    There are celebrities who eat low-carb, but they don’t seem anxious to lead the charge.

  46. The Older Brother

    What a shame. I’d noticed a few things in the first six episodes where Lustig seems, when not in his domain of expertise, to otherwise accept the current dogma.

    And there’s something about his demeanor that just made me think “prig.” I figured maybe I was just profiling (and profilin’ is wrong!), but it turns out I wasn’t profiling — he was telegraphing.

    Then to suggest regulation and subsidizing “good food” without a peep about the $100 billion a year being spent on grain subsidies and food stamps is a display of breathtaking ignorance.

    Cheers

    He correctly identified the problem, but when he gets into the economics of the cure, he’s outside his area of expertise.

  47. Kay

    The video about pregnant women and women’s health before getting pregnant, and how that “sets up” the child for obesity got me thinking about autism. So we’ve started seeing Alzeihmers being referred to as Diabetes 3, so could autism be related to the mother’s insulin overproduction while pregnant?
    I just googled and found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGizH7NaRxY from Rice University, so apparently someone is thinking of that!

    I think autism could also be related to consuming modern wheat.

  48. Kay

    I also have an issue with the last video, but it’s more about the “cost” of obesity. You hear it all the time, how fat people are driving up medical costs or burdening the skinny people of the world with their girth. Well someone is making a lot of money off the fat people of the world! For every soda drank there is a producer of the product, a shipper (trucks), a seller (grocery stores) than the consumer. If people did not over-consume, how many jobs would disappear? How many diet books are bought, gym membership signed up for, restaurants opened, medical professions making money, etc…….because that obese person exists?

    Plus, as I’ve said before in an email to you, if an obese person dies earlier, say 55 years old, vs a healthy person who dies at 85, who has a lower life-time medical cost? If someone is healthy, doesn’t that mean they have a higher chance of surviving multiple health problems that enable them to live to 85, 90, etc…?

    If you think about it, an obese person is a perfect economical model. They overconsume while they are of working age, than they die off before they retire. What corporation (or government) would turn that away?

    I have an issue with the cost issue as well, as I wrote here:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/02/18/meme-roth-a-burden-on-us-all/

    But I wouldn’t be worried about people spending less on food and destroying jobs. They’d spend the savings on other purchases, creating other jobs.

  49. Kay

    Wow, just read the Meme Roth post and all I can say is sorry, I didn’t find out about you until April 2011….you probably have a lot of gems like that in your archive.
    You Rock! 🙂

    Thank you.

  50. Erik

    If there is an “Obesity Epidemic” in America, a lot of it is probably due to the fact that Americans don’t smoke as much as they did 50 years ago. Smoking is negatively associated with weight gain, more than any food. The #1 reason a lot of people don’t want to quit smoking is that they don’t want to gain weight.

    A while back, there was a study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine. One of those large observational studies based on self-reported data that you love so much. The headline was that reduced consumption of soda / red meat and increased consumption of whole grains would help you lose weight.

    If you dig deeper into the study, it turns out they buried the lead. Former smokers who remained ex-smokers gained 4 times as much weight as soda drinkers. Former smokers who started smoking again lost 5 times as much weight as people who switched to ‘healthy whole grains’.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa1014296/suppl_file/nejmoa1014296_appendix.pdf

    So there’s your Law Of Unintended Consequences right there. Even eliminating a bleeding obvious health danger like cigarettes results in some negative health consequences.

    As for a sugar tax, people already spend $5, $7, $10 for a soda at a ball park, or at an amusement park or at a rock concert. In some places in the USA, the tax on cigarettes is $6 a pack or more, and people still smoke.

    And anyway, it won’t stop food manufacturers from adding sugar to anything. Tax refined sugar and they’ll add unrefined sugar. “New Coke – now sweetened with Turbinado / Pure Cane Juice / White Grape Juice, etc”. Or maybe they’ll sell unsweetened Coke and let you add your own sugar.

    Plus, at what point does the Government stop being a taxing authority and start being a corporate partner? The Government makes more profit off a pack of cigarettes than the cigarette manufacturers. They make more profit off a gallon of gas than the oil companies. Now they’re fixing to make more profit from the sale of unhealthy food than the manufacturers of the food. Maybe 20 years from now, it will be our patriotic duty to purchase full-sugar Coca Cola, because the money is used to fund schools and daycare and hospitals. I can see it now. “Drink Coke. It’s for the Children.”

    All good points … but of course I’d never encourage people to take up smoking to lose weight. I believe the difference between smokers and non-smokers is about 8 pounds on average. Give me a little belly and let me keep my lungs.

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