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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Aug-20-18, 01:53
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
Default UK is becoming a mascot for diabetes, it’s time to do something drastic about obesity

From The Independent
London, UK
18 August, 2018

Britain is becoming a mascot for diabetes – it’s time to do something drastic about obesity

Just as it was against tobacco, the war on obesity will be won through a series of small victories and guerrilla skirmishes

You are what you eat, so the saying goes.

But if this is to be believed, Britain must becoming a nation of type 2 diabetics, given the increase in its consumption of sugars and fats. Sure enough, the statistics do indeed show a 40 per cent or so rise since only 2014 in children with type 2 diabetes, which is usually acquired through diet, rather than at birth. The figures, produced by the Local Government Association, are consonant with a wide range of other official data.

It is plain that we are not doing enough, even as we become increasingly aware of the problem. Like tobacco smoking half a century ago, society has accepted the health risks and half-accepted the need for action, but actually implemented very little. We now have regulation and taxation of sugary drinks, thanks to former chancellor George Osborne, one of his more abiding and worthwhile agencies. Fast-food advertising is banned during children’s television and there have been various initiatives from the government and devolved administrations. That, however, is about it, and it will not be enough to stem the spread of illnesses that threaten the quality of people’s lives. They also cost the NHS and taxpayers dear.

By far the easiest step would be to introduce a rational and consistent regime for taxation for sugary and fatty foods – neutral across doughnuts, burgers, chip butties, yoghurts or crisps purely according to the nutritional content.

No one in Britain ever enjoyed much popularity for advocating any tax on food: it is one of the most regressive fiscal measures a government can take. But we are not living in the era of the Corn Laws, and the taxation would be targeted on specific foodstuffs that endanger health – both prepared food bought in restaurants or fast food outlets, as well as sold in shops and online.

Today a schoolchild can walk into a cheap chicken shop at lunch time on virtually any high street and order themselves a chicken burger, a couple of wings and some chips for about £4. This astonishingly low price says much for the quality of the food being consumed – for fat and sugar are by far the cheapest ingredients in any food. They also satisfy our most primitive dietary cravings and offer instant gratification. Even at those prices, the economics of the industry evidently make sense.

But the social costs incurred on wider society – not least in healthcare in later life from diabetes, strokes and heart attacks – are not adequately reflected in a chicken shop meal.

What would a modest fast food tax achieve? It could be argued that the children, and indeed their parents, will still buy these cheap meals even if they cost a few pence more – and the nation is not yet ready for the kind of punitive duties levied on cigarettes. Even if this were the case, though, it would at least raise some funds for society to be able to pay for the consequences of such habits. More optimistically, a gradual escalation of the tax might nudge some towards marginally more healthy options.

Advertising, too, is an area where government could take a more determined approach. The current approach, which focuses on “children’s television”, is plainly out of date. Children watch “family” shows and soap operas just as much as they do programmes aimed at them, and they now consume TV and film in much more varied way. Advertising has evolved with it – but not the regulations currently in force. Advertising, though companies hate to admit it, does alter tastes and purchases, or else it would not be worth the global snack and fast food industry spending the billions on it that they do.

Schools too, could do more to promote better eating. At least some thought should be given to discouraging children to eat fast food and inculcating in them from an early age a respect for, and interest in, what they are putting into their bodies. Foods that are regarded as healthy or harmless, such as bread, can harbour surprisingly large quantities of salt, in particular.

If as is the case now, shops and manufacturers increasingly publish and label calorific values and measurements for salt, sugar and fat content, then children ought to at least be taught to understand what these readings mean, about how many calories or programmes of salt and sugar a day they require, and the consequences of overconsumption. Much of it will be ignored, but some might just stick.

The war on obesity, which has not yet even been declared, will be won through a series of small victories and guerrilla skirmishes, just as it was against tobacco. Within living memory it was perfectly normal to see people toiling in offices and factories with an ashtray by their side, sometimes overflowing. It is only about a decade since the smoking ban on pubs and restaurants came into force in the UK, and yet fuggy bars seem like a far distant memory. Now, even in winter, people often step outside their own homes if they feel the need to feed their nicotine addiction. Smoking rates have also collapsed.

The journey to a smoke-free environment is still not over. But the quest for an obesity-free nation – a practical longterm objective – has hardly begun.
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Aug-20-18, 09:17
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 2,497
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA

I believe the analogy to tobacco and the realization that tobacco consumption is deadly has some relation to obesity and consumption of unhealthy food. However, consumption of food is very different in that everyone at every age with no exception must consume food to live.
The journey to a smoke-free environment is still not over. But the quest for an obesity-free nation – a practical longterm objective – has hardly begun.

Yes, it's hardly begun and has a long way to go. Tobacco consumption was always a choice. The lack of awareness of what constitutes a healthy diet and the challenges at various socio-ecomomic levels of being able to afford and have access to healthy whole food is the major obstacle for change in this dilemma. So shared, credible information and adopted dietary knowledge about how food impacts health is the first objective as we are constantly bombarded by misinformation of food of all types. Until there is expert consensus in this area (very unlike the expert consensus established for tobacco), these conflicting messages will continue. The second is that healthy food must be available and affordable before broad adoption and health improvement is able to occur. Very different from a smoker or chewer giving up tobacco merely by choice.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Aug-20-18, 10:25
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BillyHW BillyHW is offline
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Posts: 378
Plan: Keto + IF
Stats: 260/300/165 Male 5' 6"
Progress: -42%
Location: Alberta, Canada

If they tax fat I start killing people.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Aug-21-18, 05:25
Zei Zei is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,352
Plan: Carb reduction in general
Stats: 230/213/180 Female 5 ft 9 in
Progress: 34%
Location: Texas

Originally Posted by BillyHW
If they tax fat I start killing people.

That's a big concern, that opinion on what constitutes good/bad food varies so much (and so much of it wrong). Like
Foods that are regarded as healthy or harmless, such as bread, can harbour surprisingly large quantities of salt, in particular.

Salt would be the least of my concerns about bread. In fact, just gimme the salt. Plus the point made in the article questioning how much a bit higher price would really effect purchasing? Butter goes up in price, I'll still buy it. As I imagine hooked-on-sugary-drinks buyers will also do.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Aug-21-18, 06:46
64dodger 64dodger is offline
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Posts: 309
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 251/218.2/200 Male 76 inches
Progress: 64%

Carbs are killers. You don't need to be a rocket scientist.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Aug-21-18, 07:19
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Posts: 9,385
Plan: atkins
Stats: 247/217/153 Female 5'8"
Progress: 32%
Location: Massachusetts

Originally Posted by 64dodger
Carbs are killers. You don't need to be a rocket scientist.

But apparently too many do need a rocket scientist to tell them it is so.


I look at the cigarette tax and cigarettes. Cancer sticks. Lost an Uncle in the 60's and never touched those things. Sure missed him. 15 years later, had a dream where I was smoking and loved it. Never took one puff between those two event keeping me straight.

But I think about how these have not been banned nor outlawed----

And think about who is still using. It is a method of self medicating in a world gone whacko. Too many stresses. Low wages, poor foods, poor medicine, too many working hours. Yes it bothers me to see the most at risk, bearly surviving. And now legalizing pot.

until we address the underlying issues we will not make progress. Better wages, true living wages for ALL. College and higher education paid for by all, where those that earn the slot go for free. Better food in EVERY market basket.

My underlining frustration is how much lower can we go. We are dying of poor quality food. Poor mental health.

I greatly appreciate this forum as a place of hope that WE can change. We can have better opportunties, because we help and support each other here.
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