Do You Think American Government Does Enough To Prevent Obesity?

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Linkyshinks

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#1  Edited By Linkyshinks

Just been watching the tail end of truly shocking programme about obesity in America - fuck, and there was me thinking the Scots had it bad lol. I nearly vomited at one point, they showed some really nasty stuff as woman was hoisted out of bed by her husband : /   
 
I have little insight into why it's such a big problem in the US, I suppose like many other Europeans I've assumed it has much with fast food culture and how it's firmly embedded in your society. But is it the sole reason, does all of  it stem from this?, I suspect not.  
 
Why do you Americans think the problem so extreme right now, why is the percentage of those that are clinically obese so ridiculously high? Also, what with the new health reforms coming into force fairly soon, isn't this issue of obesity a ticking time bomb waiting to explode?. The world health organization links a wide array of minor to major illnesses directly to being overweight or clinically obese. Now, with the obesity rate so notably high in the US, surely this is going to put a major arse strain on any future health service America has.  
 
How would you feel about the clinically and morbidly obese being refused treatment, simply because they have one or two chins too many, would you consider that fair?, stroke your chins and think about it. Here in the UK. there have actually been rumblings along these lines among seniors in our health profession. in fact, currently smokers can be refused treatment in some cases, but now there is talk of that being extended to those that are clinically obese - dictated by your BMI. 
  
What is the US government doing prevent it's citizens, both children and adults, from becoming obese, is it enough, and what do you think they should be doing?.
  
 If you can provide any insight to this svelte European, and others, It will be appreciated.  
   
(apol: title typo)      
 
 You can calculate your current BMI here if you want to:  
 
http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ 
 
 
EDIT: 
 
In reaction to many of the responses in this thread...

Q Europeans - Do you think your own government's policy regarding healthy eating, has taken away basic freedoms from you and your people?

Please state which country your from and what you government does as far as you know, and whether you think what they do is ultimately beneficial to yourself, to your family and to your nation. 
  
Thanks.
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emkeighcameron

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#2  Edited By emkeighcameron

The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.
 
If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems.

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DEllen

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#3  Edited By DEllen
@Linkyshinks: Hey us Scots aren't that chubby! But seriously whenever I have visited America fast food does seem to be more of a staple than it is in the UK, and sport also does seem to be less of a universal thing in younger people. Many people take fitness very seriously but many do nothing from a young age. The extremes seem to be more evident.
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StaticFalconar

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#4  Edited By StaticFalconar

in america we believe in freedom. So having the government step in and force the fat people to be in fat camps is like living in nazi germany. However, freedom goes both ways and many private corporations would have you believe that their diet scheme works. This is when the government should step in and make sure its not some scheme but an actual diet plan that works at transforming obese people into healthier individuals by regulations. Sadly, There is no such thing so the government really does need to do more. 

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ChristianCastillo

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#5  Edited By ChristianCastillo

I think those who are getting fat can tell they are getting fat so its really not the governments problem.

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Hot_Karl

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#6  Edited By Hot_Karl

The Double Down sandwich is being released in the U.S. today.  
  
So to answer your question...NO.

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SimplyTron

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#7  Edited By SimplyTron

The government shouldnt have to do shit.  The role of the government should be to protect people from other people, be it terrorists or the asshole next door thats using my water.  Thats it.  Not to protect you from your own dumb ass.  Its fine to put warning labels on shit but when it gets to the point that smoking (legalize it) and eating a big mac are illegal, that is when we will rise up and fight for our freedoms to prevent Taco Bells from being the only game in town. 
He's not gonna let them take our Big Macs
He's not gonna let them take our Big Macs
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Pinkshley1

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#8  Edited By Pinkshley1

While there isnt really any drastic measures the GOVERNMENT can take to lower Americas obesity problem, it IS a problem. But change has to come from the people, not our government.

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HypoXenophobia

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#9  Edited By HypoXenophobia

While I agree with emkeigh whole heartedly, I believe that if the government was concerned about obesity they should roll back a bit in the investment in corn, and diverse into other agriculture.

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damnboyadvance

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#10  Edited By damnboyadvance

I would hope they don't. They have no responsibility, and no authority to prevent obesity. They have no right to prevent obesity. As bad as it might be, the American Government has no right to interfere. If people want to be obese, then so be it.  It's their problem, not the government's problem.

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MikkaQ

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#11  Edited By MikkaQ

This isn't the government's job, it's the job of the fatasses who are eating themselves to death.

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#12  Edited By ninjakiller
@emkeighcameron said:

" The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "

This is the prevalent thinking throughout our country,  morons are everywhere here.
 
To rebut, yes the government does have the answers.  From reimplementing gym/physical fitness programs in schools, banning fast food from being served in schools, banning soda, chips, stopping all unhealthy vending machine shit being served, to getting the menu out of the hands of the conagra conglomerate and having healthy menus would greatly combat this problem.  
 
I remember a photo essay where school lunches were uploaded from around the world.   This food from Japan and every other country was freshly prepared and looked healthy.  The food from the U.S. was all processed and looked like shit.  There was one healthy meal in the photo collection with maybe one unhealthy selection in France(fries) compared to all the processed garbage in the U.S.
 U.S
 U.S
  Here:  
 Japan
 Japan
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#13  Edited By mike

The Federal Government has done such a fantastic job with everything else they've taken over such as Social Security, the IRS, and Medicare ...I say just let them make all of our decisions for us, after all, no citizen could possibly know what's best for them.

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flaminghobo

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#14  Edited By flaminghobo

The real question is this: Are the parents of America doing enough to stop obesity?

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#15  Edited By Gabriel
@VinceNotVance said:
" The Double Down sandwich is being released in the U.S. today.    So to answer your question...NO. "
I gotta try that.
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#16  Edited By grilledcheez
@FlamingHobo said:
" The real question is this: Are the parents of America doing enough to stop obesity? "
That's the question I wanted to pose as well.  Another thing to consider is that economic status is also a big factor at play (poor people don't always have healthy choices available, the money to choose such alternatives, or the knowledge about such things).
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#17  Edited By Evilsbane
@emkeighcameron said:
" The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "
I couldn't have said it better myself.
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cornbredx

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#18  Edited By cornbredx
@emkeighcameron said:
"The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "

I agree with this. 
 
That being said it has nothing to do with our government, just our people.  
 
Us as Americans (that includes me) are settlng into another lazy culture that was actually prevelant in older years before the excercise boom (I think it started in the 60s). I have speculations (such as the freedoms we have, therefore the mind set change when cultural things happen such as the now popular way of looking at psychology and the attempt to remove drug and alcohol addictions from our lives) but I'm not a doctor nor do I have a masters degree yet so I cant speak them eloquently enough to be taken seriously. Suffice to say people are strange and do things that make little to no sense.  
 
I also suspect its because of the fact that people are attributing obesity to some form of illness (virus). I find this silly, but again Im not a doctor so no one should or would take me seriously on what I think of that. I do blame this a little at least on why at least some have this problem. It seems to me any excuse to be lazy is well taken care of in america, and thats just kind of how cultures have evolved. Making our lives easier has been a big boom for a while now with the way technology has taken off and I cant say social commentaries such as "Gamer" or "Video Drome" are THAT far off from the truth (despite the fact that they do indeed go way over the top I know, im not crazy).  
 
People tend to do what they want, and that tends to be dictated by society and where things go. This is all speculation of course just based on my years of trying to understand the oddities of people. Hope I didnt insult anyone with my opinoin, that is not my intent. =)
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asurastrike

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#19  Edited By asurastrike

People need to take care of themselves, it's not the governments job, or it's place.

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Vinchenzo

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#20  Edited By Vinchenzo

As an American I want my fellow Americans to stop being fat. I'm tired of seeing fat people. 
 
How do they even shower? :(

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UncleBenny

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#21  Edited By UncleBenny

What I want to know is do you think fat Americans does enough to prevent obesity.
 
Speaking as a morbidly obese person, no.
 
Now keep your government out of my jelly donuts omnomnom!

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zanzibarbreeze

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#22  Edited By zanzibarbreeze

I don't think it's the government's job to tell us what we can eat, how we eat, and when we eat. My favorite political analyst, Dan Carlin, calls this the "Fat Police syndrome". If you want to eat like a pig, develop diabetes and have a high cholesterol level and god knows what else, then that's your choice. A different matter is whether the federal government should pay to care for these people. I would say no, it shouldn't. They made a choice, a decision to eat that much to the point where they became physically ill, and I don't think taxpayers should have to pay for that.

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AltonBrown

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#23  Edited By AltonBrown

I think we should let natural selection take its course.

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#24  Edited By EpicSteve

More people I know are fat vs. those who I would consider healthy. It's not to governement's job to make sure an individual has self-control and isn't dumb enough to eat Wendys every week and not workout at all. That's all up to Americans to have decipline and care about themselves.
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#25  Edited By sarahsdad
@Linkyshinks: As far as reasons, I think a subtle part of it is the way our cities and towns are built / laid out / designed / etc. I've only ever been to Canada and Mexico, so I can only go on what people I've worked with who were born in Europe have told me about the differences in the cities and towns they've been to. 
From what they've said, a lot of the way American cities/towns are put together is designed for travel by car, instead of by foot or bicycle. It doesn't apply to everyone but a lot of places where people shop these days are grouped together in single area that's not on the way to and from work, and is further away than most people want to walk. With the stores grouped together, you're almost never going out for just one thing. Add to this, I think that Americans like to shop in bulk, and stock as much food as possible when we shop. Since we tend to do bulk shopping, it makes it even less likely that we'll be able to carry our purchases back by hand or on a bike. 
Can or should the government do anything? I think they could help a bit by encouraging healthier food in schools. maybe make some financial bonus on taxes for people who get regular checkups and good marks from a dr. but that's pretty far fetched. Beyond that, I think it would take a rather large change in how we tend to go shop for things, so that taking a walk or a bike down to the corner store is common. I know it wouldn't solve everything, but I think finding a way to make minor exercise a regular part of our average day would be a good way to help.
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#26  Edited By GreggD
@Vinchenzo said:
" As an American I want my fellow Americans to stop being fat. I'm tired of seeing fat people.  How do they even shower? :( "
That's quite a dumb question. You know how we shower, just like everyone else. A lot of us are not so obese that we can't wipe our own ass, if that's what you're implying.
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tunaburn

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#27  Edited By tunaburn

well i think its disgusting how huge are nation has got. personally i eat anything i want. fast food nearly every day which is not healthy at all. but i do work out for an hour 4 days a week. a very hard workout. i train mma fighting so i burn off a ton of calories. im 5 foot 7 and weigh 120 pounds. i wonder how big id be if i stopped excercising...

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Chokobo

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#28  Edited By Chokobo

Obesity isn't the government's problem.  It is the individual's problem, whether it be via genetics or poor habits.

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Daveyo520

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#29  Edited By Daveyo520

No, people need to do that themselves. It is up to each individual to make sure you don't become a fat ass. It is not the Government's fault someone eats 5 Big Macs in a row and doesn't work out. They shouldn't make every food healthy or some shit like that either, cuz c'mon you know a big mac isn't going to be good for you without the Government telling you.

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NathHaw

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#30  Edited By NathHaw

I wish the government didn't typically get involved in these types of affairs.  Not only is the government probably wasting money trying to prevent obesity, they are doing a terrible job at it.

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#31  Edited By MrKlorox

We don't need intervention, we need education. The US doesn't have the types of truth in advertising the UK has. That's the only area I want them to step in with regards to the obesity epidemic. Well that and food quality codes of course.
 
The government should not dictate what we consume. Period. If we want to eat something that we know might harm us, it's our decision.

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Everyones_A_Critic

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The government's hands are tied in this situation, even if they cared enough to try to do anything, it just wouldn't fly over here. I'm also not really sure how, exactly, the government would step in to help. In the end, it's the people's decision whether they want to be immobile. 

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#33  Edited By Willy105

The US Government does not do much at all, but it's not really their place, unfortunately.

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Matfei90

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#34  Edited By Matfei90

I don't think a government has any business 'preventing' such a thing. It's each person's choice if they want to be fat, or to change their situation if they are.

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Clinkz

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#35  Edited By Clinkz
@emkeighcameron said:
" The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "
I agree everybody else is communist.
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#36  Edited By Yelix

I'm an American, and I'm overweight. I've been working out and dieting and losing weight steadily, though.
 
Anyway, yeah, obesity is a problem here, but people being so fat that they need help getting out of bed is incredibly rare. I think it's an issue of the media focusing on it so much that it appears to be bigger than it actually is. The last thing I want is the government telling me what I can and can't eat, though. If somebody chooses that lifestyle, so be it. That's their decision and they can live with the consequences. I have for a few years now (I'm overweight, but not quite obese) and getting back on track is only as hard as you tell yourself it is.

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trophyhunter

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#37  Edited By trophyhunter

the government should not be sticking their ass into at all.

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natetodamax

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#38  Edited By natetodamax
@FlamingHobo said:
" The real question is this: Are the parents of America doing enough to stop obesity? "
This.
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#39  Edited By tomance

There's nothing they can really do about it directly I feel.  They should properly educate people more.  I started exercising regularly (weight training mostly) about 6 months ago when I started college and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I wasn't fat, actually just very skinny.  Now I feel better, and I'm more confident in myself.  If fat people want to stay lazy and just eat and not do anything that's their choice and no one is going to stop them.  

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#40  Edited By Atlantus_Air

Exercising is for fatties!  
 
 
EDIT: That was a joke.

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#41  Edited By Famov

@ninjakiller said:

"@emkeighcameron said:

" The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "

This is the prevalent thinking throughout our country,  morons are everywhere here.
 
To rebut, yes the government does have the answers.  From reimplementing gym/physical fitness programs in schools, banning fast food from being served in schools, banning soda, chips, stopping all unhealthy vending machine shit being served, to getting the menu out of the hands of the conagra conglomerate and having healthy menus would greatly combat this problem.  
 
I remember a photo essay where school lunches were uploaded from around the world.   This food from Japan and every other country was freshly prepared and looked healthy.  The food from the U.S. was all processed and looked like shit.  There was one healthy meal in the photo collection with maybe one unhealthy selection in France(fries) compared to all the processed garbage in the U.S.
U.S
U.S
  Here:  
Japan
Japan
"



 
 
 
 
 
 
First, schools should be allowed to sell whatever food sells. That's not the government's business.
 
Second, your plan wouldn't even work. Children get their eating habits at home. What they eat at school is simply an extension of what they have learned at the dining table. In fact, any kid that doesn't bring a bagged lunch is proving that the parents don't have the inclination to send a healthy lunch to begin with. Parents who buy their children school lunches are most likely buying fast food meals as dinners after school is done. 
 
How do you combat this? You cannot. 
 
Instead, it is up to each individual parent to teach their children the value of a healthy lifestyle. Of course, this will not happen everywhere, but that's just a fact of life. It's an unfortunate outcome of affluent western society. The idea that banning soft drinks from school vending machines will stop kids from sucking down mountain dew the rest of the day is utopian big government nonsense.

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#42  Edited By apathylad

  There's this film called Food, Inc. (available on Netflix streaming) that touches on some of these issues. Junk food is heavily subsidized, so at times that is what poorer families can afford. Healthier food costs more and are not as easy to obtain  around here, since there are fast food joints in every major street.

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yakov456

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#43  Edited By yakov456

Why should it be the governments problem if people want to off themselves. I mean yes, it will eventually trickle down to the average citizens pockets having to pay extra premiums on healthcare because of some chunksters, but what can you do, fat people are hungry and will always want to eat. The main reason they are all so fat is because they are lazy, and the shit food they love the most is cheap and easy to get. I'm disgusted seeing the lines at the fast food joints everyday here. As a nation we are becoming fatter, lazier, and more dumb.
 
Here in Philly the mayor is proposing an extra tax on all sugary drinks, taxed by the ounce. I love the idea, and it gives me great pleasure watching all the unhealthy mutants in this city squirm and whine about it. Wahhhhh my 400 calorie pepsi is going to cost me an extra dollar, cry me a fucking river.

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meteora

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#44  Edited By meteora

Like I said and said it before.
 
Its a cultural and societial thing. I heard people back then ate steak everyday. Its no wonder that Americans and western nations have a population that is more obese than needed. Its a accepted thing, and it doesn't help that processed food has been put with addicts in it.
 
Government should do more about it, but not in a dickish move like banning certain food products. In the end its really an individual choice, and by the looks of it our obesity isn't going to go down any time soon.

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the8bitNacho

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#45  Edited By the8bitNacho

It's not the government's job to prevent obesity.  People have the free will to chose what they do and don't take part in.  Eating is one of these.

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#46  Edited By Headlines
@emkeighcameron: correct, but i am still moving to japan
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Turambar

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#47  Edited By Turambar
@MB said:
" The Federal Government has done such a fantastic job with everything else they've taken over such as Social Security, the IRS, and Medicare ...I say just let them make all of our decisions for us, after all, no citizen could possibly know what's best for them. "
I know you're being sarcastic, but lets face it.  For the most part, the average man knows shit about what's good for him.
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Turambar

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#48  Edited By Turambar

Let the obese be as fat as they want to be.  If they die early, that's more resources for the rest of us.

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peepeepoopoo696

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#49  Edited By peepeepoopoo696
@ninjakiller said:
" @emkeighcameron said:

" The U.S. government has absolutely no right to "prevent" obesity in any way, shape, or form. That's an infringement on the freedoms of our people that cannot be allowed to happen.  If people want to be fat, disgusting sacks of failure, they should be allowed to. The feds cannot be given the authority to stop people from eating what they want, when they want, how they want. The government DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWERS to our problems. "

This is the prevalent thinking throughout our country,  morons are everywhere here.
 
To rebut, yes the government does have the answers.  From reimplementing gym/physical fitness programs in schools, banning fast food from being served in schools, banning soda, chips, stopping all unhealthy vending machine shit being served, to getting the menu out of the hands of the conagra conglomerate and having healthy menus would greatly combat this problem.  
 
I remember a photo essay where school lunches were uploaded from around the world.   This food from Japan and every other country was freshly prepared and looked healthy.  The food from the U.S. was all processed and looked like shit.  There was one healthy meal in the photo collection with maybe one unhealthy selection in France(fries) compared to all the processed garbage in the U.S.
 U.S
 U.S
  Here:  
 Japan
 Japan
"
Okay so first off I'm going to call you a liar, the picture you say is Japan's lunch is none other than Korea's by looking on the website. Also you say all the U.S. food was "processed garbage" again I went to this site and found many none processed foods. So far your off to a bad start.  Secondly you say the government does have the answers, yes the state government. The state government not the federal government is in charge of public schools and their activities. So if your a parent and have a problem with what is sold in the vending machines to your kids, you go and complain. Schools also have many PTAs and other such programs where parents can get involved in their kids school. So what I'm trying to say is that there are already ways to combat this problem, but ultimately its the parents responsibility  Also nice job of calling a person who has a different point of view a moron, I'm glad I live in a country with ignorant people like you.
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GIVEMEREPLAY

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#50  Edited By GIVEMEREPLAY

While I'm no fan of the European stance that the government can and should fix all societal ills, we as Americans do have to admit that the government can (and does) do a lot of advertising, pamphlets, programs, etc to promote awareness about what makes you a fat ass and how to prevent it. Spreading knowledge is exactly the type of thing the government should be involved in. I doubt many people who drink multiple sodas per day really understand that they could easily drop 5 or 10 pounds by cutting back just on that. Most people still don't know that HFCS causes obesity, and thanks to heavy advertising by the corn industry that view is being set back even further.  
 
I absolutely agree about the subsidies though- it's time that we stopped subsidizing corn. I don't want corn in literally every processed food I eat and I sure as hell don't want to pay to have something I don't want put in my food.