Hillary Clinton

How Fat Kids May Kill Socialized Medicine

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Reader Jeffrey Moyer sends along this alarum being sounded by British and Canadian doctors the wave of fatness sweeping the developed world may accomplish something that the American Medical Association and the disastrous attempt by Bill and Hillary Clinton to nationalize health care couldn't do: Kill socialized medicine.

"This is going to be the first generation that's going to have a lower life expectancy than their parents," [one doctor] said. "It's like the plague is in town and no one is interested."

Another doctor who examined the journal report was Dr. Brian McCrindle, a childhood obesity expert and professor of pediatrics with a pediatric hospital in Toronto.

He warned that the looming problem must be addressed.

"The wave of heart disease and stroke could totally swamp the public health care system," he said.

And Dr. McCrindle followed up with visions of the Food Police:

He warned that lawmakers had to take a broader view of the looming problem—and consider doing things such as banning trans fats and legislating against direct advertising of junk food toward children.

"It's not going to be enough any more just to say to the consumer 'You have to change your behavior,'" he said.

Whole thing–dipped in chocolate and deep-fried–here.

Recipe for deep-fried candy bars, courtesy of Brit "domestic goddess" Nigella Lawson, here. Healthsome alternative: Linda McCartney oatmeal cookies.

Reason's own domestic god, Jacob Sullum, asked whether the size of your butt is the government's business here and I asked when did freedom become just another word for 10 pounds left to lose here.

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  1. “He said children are “being exposed to the world’s marketing might,” arguing that governments should step in. “There needs to be a ban on all forms of marketing, not just telvision adverts.”

    Yes, it’s marketing and “adverts’ that are responsible for fat kids. Easy scapegoat…even though studies find no link between advertising and juvenile health. So, when they ban advertising “bad” foods to kids, and kids still get fat, what then? We all know. They’ll move on to the next devil: the foods themselves. Oh, ho, but it’s not so easy to ban oreo’s from kids without also banning them from adults. So? Just ban everything that “they” disapprove of.

  2. “Healthsome alternative: Linda McCartney oatmeal cookies.”

    Turn me on, dead woman’s cookies!!

  3. I am of the exact opposite opinion. Set aside all of the unfounded hysteria and hand-wringing about how a non-contagious set of activities like a sedentary lifestyle and overeating can somehow become a “plague”, I see obesity as the next step towards, not away from, universal health care in this country. Consider that two weeks ago the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that they will be covering bariatric surgery for the morbidly obese. Just a hunch, but I doubt that it is an inexpensive procedure.

    So now that the federal government has decided to spend more Medicare money on another lifestyle related condition, just how long do you suppose it will be before the following rational is applied: The government (Medicare) incurs an expense (bariatric surgery) required to address the (public health) condition of obesity. We must therefore take actions to prevent people from becoming obese. Since it would be political suicide to suggest that either people get off their asses, or pay for the surgery themselves, the action will be government control. It already happened with smoking. As the government gets to define obesity downward as often as it likes and has an interest in a Medicare recipient’s weight, it now has the cudgel with which to control not only the food industry, but also yet another element of the healthcare sector. Not only does this not kill socialized medicine, but it is another element of self-determination to be stripped of the citizenry. Eventually the private market will collapse under the weight of regulation.

  4. “It’s not going to be enough any more just to say to the consumer ‘You have to change your behavior,'” he said.

    Instead, it will need to be:

    A. We’ll tax you into changing your behavior.
    B. We’ll jail someone for enabling you behavior.
    C. Put down that twinkie and get against the wall! I don’t want to kill you but I will!

  5. David:

    It will truly be strange days when cops are arresting people for eating doughnuts.

    How will the doughnuts survive it into evidence?

  6. The first round of Gaming Under the Influence (GUI) laws will be targetted toward youth…are your transfat or blood sugar levels above the legal limit? Well, you may have to take an exercise class and lose your Xbox priveledges for 60 days. 2nd offenses punishable by imprisonment…or that you run a marathon. Oh wait, this all presupposes you made a bad choice…that’ll never do…we must remove the choice.

  7. “It’s not going to be enough any more just to say to the consumer ‘You have to change your behavior,'” he said.

    Ve haf vays to make you lose veight.

  8. Which is it? Are we going to reach singularity and live forever or are we all going to get fat and die before we are 60 assuming of course the pandemic bird flu doesn’t get us first?

  9. Gaijin,

    Watch the Cartman at fat camp episode of South Park. That is all going to be us someday only with the government running it.

  10. gaijin-

    They could attach a scale, blood pressure cuff, and other diagnostic equipment to the video game machine, and make the rule that you can only play if the devices give a clean bill of health. Sort of like the breathalyzers that some states require drunk drivers to keep in their cars.

  11. All they have to do is change building codes so that drive-through windows are illegal, and fast-food restaurants and candy shops all have really, really skinny doorways.

    And then post amusement-park-style signs outside, saying “You must be this thin to enter.”

  12. Maybe the GPS tracking ID chip that will be implanted in all citizens can be configured to monitor blood for sugar, alcohol, and drugs.

  13. No Jennifer,

    Put a pullup bar outside all fast food places. Anyone who can’t do ten pullups, can’t get in and can’t eat.

  14. I’ve said this before: they should force fast food restaurants to put giant treadmills in front of the cash register line.

    The more calories you order, the faster the treadmill goes. You have to keep pace while waiting for them to fill your order, or you don’t get it.

  15. If I were running a fast food restaurant I would make every customer sign a waiver before receiving their food, and also add to every bill a surcharge for my liability insurance premiums.

  16. Isaac Bartram — “It’s not going to be enough any more just to say to the consumer ‘You have to change your behavior,'” he said.

    Ve haf vays to make you lose veight.
    ==================================================

    I read today that Steve Kubby has allegedly dropped 25 pounds in the Placer County jail.

  17. Government-run healthcare means that the government owns you.

    I have no doubt that the ultimate end of socialized medicince will result in mandated exercise and monitoring of caloric and nutritional intake.

    That these self-same nannies want to start off by infringing on the freedom of speech of food makers is a wrinkle I hadn’t thought of, but is one I don’t find terribly surprising.

  18. Government-run healthcare means that the government owns you.

    Hmm…who has the right to expect someone else to pay their medical bills? Children, prisoners and pets.

    I am not any of those.

    Government-run healthcare means that the government owns you.

    James, I was joking. But, man, that just isn’t funny at all. 🙁

  19. Mediageek,

    I ussually violently disagree with what you say on here, but you are dead right about this one. Once the government starts paying the bills they can start calling the shots. In the case of healthcare that means they can call the shots on how you live and what you eat, which is exactly what these people want. Socialized medicine scares the hell out of me. Wait until some government bureaucrat tells you that you must go to the back of the que for treatment because you drink and are over weight and people who have lived the approved healthy lifestyle get first priority for all healthcare. That day is coming if these people get their way.

  20. Put a pullup bar outside all fast food places. Anyone who can’t do ten pullups, can’t get in and can’t eat.

    That would, of course, discriminate against women (who have less upper-body strength) and the armless. No, I think my plan of building a leaner world through building codes is the best way to go.

    Until, of course, skinny people who are wheelchair-bound point out that it’s not fair that they can’t fit through the doors. And then the pregnant women complain. And then the women who are skinny but big-breasted complain. And then the muscular guys with wide shoulders but little body fat complain. And then. . . .

  21. What mediageek said!

    thoreau PhD:

    If I were running a fast food restaurant…

    Welcome to Dr. thoreau’s restaurant where patrons may calculate their expected weight (mass) gain by utilizing the formula: m=F/a

  22. First they came for the morbidly obese and I did nothing, because I am only a little chubby…

    More good news for organized crime here. For a while it looked like legalized gambling was going to put the neighborhood bookie out of business but GUI laws and other regulations will get him back in the game. Laws banning the sale of Twinkies to kids will have them buying them out of the trunk of a car. Ban cigarettes from bars and you will find unlicensed liquor establishments where you can smoke to your heart’s content.

    Every law makes a criminal out of somebody. When you have a lot of criminals, they will get organized.

  23. How my 11:38 AM post should have read, dammit!

    I read today that Steve Kubby has allegedly dropped 25 pounds in the Placer County jail.

    James, I was joking. But, man, that just isn’t funny at all. 🙁

  24. Apparently Dr. Philip James is a racist (gasp!):

    http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20030317fat0317p5.asp
    Redefining obesity could increase numbers by 50%
    …Dr. Philip James, chairman of the London-based International Obesity Task Force, will describe the revision in a lecture being delivered today at a medical seminar. …
    WHO’s traditional definition put the threshold for overweight at a BMI of 25 and obesity at a BMI of 30. Under that definition, 1.1 billion people now are considered overweight or obese. The new threshold for Asians would be a BMI of 23.3.

    Both James and McCrindle are fatter than Johnny Winter, so I suggest the gov’t take away their TVs until they slim down to an appropriate weight.

  25. Oh yeah – nowadays you can’t spell “Task Force” without “FORCE.”

  26. Hmm…who has the right to expect someone else to pay their medical bills? Children, prisoners and pets.

    Hmmm. This is tangential, but I gotta tell you all something I heard on the lefty news last week that this reminded me of. Someone was reporting that some bigwig was shocked to learn that the federal government spends twice as much per capita on healthcare for prisoners than it does for Native Americans!!!

    My thought: I bet the difference is even larger for how much the government spends for HOUSING these respective groups!!!!

  27. All the ideas for narrowing doorways, adding pullup bars, and treadmills wouldn’t jive with the ADA. Morbidly obese people sometimes have handicapped status, too.

  28. But the whole point of losing weight and lowering cholesterol is to avoid early death from heart disease and live long enough to get cancer and incur huge medical bills before you survive long enough to have most of your joints and a kidney replaced so you’re comfortable for your decade or so in long-term care ending with a couple of years in an Alzheimer’s ward.

    This is going to “save socialized medicine?”

  29. No kidding, Larry. The best thing that can happen to socialized medicine and socialized pensions is quick, early deaths.

  30. There goes the twinkie defense.

  31. Anyone remember a few years ago when the nanny staters were up in arms over underweight models and that Kate Moss was going to turn a whole generation of young girls into anorexics?

  32. If I were running a fast food restaurant I would make every customer sign a waiver before receiving their food, and also add to every bill a surcharge for my liability insurance premiums.

    Why would you run a business that you feel is injuring people and lowering their lifespans? Seems like you would want to stay away from that business entirely and work in a sector with mutually beneficial commerce so that your greed does not shame you.

  33. Why would you run a business that you feel is injuring people and lowering their lifespans?

    Because people are happy to pay to be injured and have their lifespans lowered. (The presence of bogus lawsuits isn’t evidence that there’s any actual harm…beyond the lawsuits themselves.)

  34. Anyone remember a few years ago when the nanny staters were up in arms over underweight models and that Kate Moss was going to turn a whole generation of young girls into anorexics?

    OK, why do you even bother to make logic arguements? We now live under a new manditory religion. State worship. The most perfect and good thing is the state, and the most evil people are those who defy the state.

    WHATEVER the problem, it can ONLY be solved by government. Absence of government is evil, and only government is good. No arguement is going to deter people.

    The fortunate thing is that large, centralized structures, with the vast majority of people helpless, are easy types of structures to disrupt. With a little help, the structure will eventually crumble under it’s own weight. The big question is, how to avoid being one of the 20-30 million who will eventually be sent off to the camps for “reeducation”.

  35. the nanny staters were up in arms over underweight models and that Kate Moss was going to turn a whole generation of young girls into anorexics

    Wow. Those nanny staters get results!

  36. The big question is, how to avoid being one of the 20-30 million who will eventually be sent off to the camps for “reeducation”.

    Eat less and exercise more.

  37. Look at the bright side: Fat people dying early means that there may be some Social Security money left for the rest of us…

  38. WSDave,

    Like I said above, I wish the health people would get it straight; are we going to reach singularity and live forever or are we all going to die early deaths from being fat and from the flu pandemic? It is really funny to read predictions regarding our future health. Half the people are convinced we are going to live forever, the other half is convinced we are the earth is going to de-populate.

  39. John,

    I’ve got a dating-aged daughter, a shotgun, and 5 acres; I’m betting on de-population… 😉

  40. I’m with Deus Ex Machina. I thought anorexia was the big problem and we shouldn’t suggest that being heavy is a problem. Now we’re told that everybody is too fat. I’m fine with a message of moderation, personally.

    And fast food, if consumed in moderation as part of a lifestyle that balances sporadic indulgence with healthy meals and sufficient exercise, is a perfectly benign pleasure to indulge in. The waiver would state that customers agree that identifying the right level of consumption is their responsibility, not mine.

    I’ve often thought of opening an ice cream stand some distant day. I like making ice cream.

  41. BTW, I would also want to serve liquid nitrogen ice cream. It’s easy to make and fun to watch. Just mix the cream and sugar and other ingredients, then pour in some liquid nitrogen and stir vigorously. Lots of vapor comes off, the ice cream freezes at a safe temperature despite the low temp of the liquid nitrogen, and the flash freezing actually gives it a nice texture.

  42. Thoreau,

    Is nitrogen ice cream those little balls they sell at the fair?

  43. Nope, different stuff. Those little balls that they sell may very well be frozen with nitrogen, for all I know, but the stuff I have in mind has a totally different texture.

  44. BTW, I would also want to serve liquid nitrogen ice cream. It’s easy to make and fun to watch. Just mix the cream and sugar and other ingredients, then pour in some liquid nitrogen and stir vigorously. Lots of vapor comes off, the ice cream freezes at a safe temperature despite the low temp of the liquid nitrogen, and the flash freezing actually gives it a nice texture.

    That sounds so cool!

  45. The waiver would state that customers agree that identifying the right level of consumption is their responsibility, not mine.

    As a legal matter maybe. As far as moral responsibility, you still look like a greedhead profiting off the vulnerable and weak-willed.

  46. Ghost-

    So, selling ice cream would be immoral if I know that some people will act less responsibly than others?

    What if somebody sells cars knowing that some people will drive them recklessly? What if somebody sells corn syrup knowing that some users will guzzle it rather than using this dangerous substance strictly for home defense? 🙂

  47. Stevo-

    If I ever open an ice cream shop, I’ll be sure to make a big dramatic display out of the liquid nitrogen ice cream process.

    Our favorite lawyer can try to find some idiot who will wrest the LN2 container from me and immerse his hand in it, and then sue on behalf of this idiot.

  48. What if somebody sells cars knowing that some people will drive them recklessly? What if somebody sells corn syrup knowing that some users will guzzle it rather than using this dangerous substance strictly for home defense? 🙂

    Some people think the answer to this problem is nanny state. I prefer a little personal, moral responsibility on the supply side as a matter of choice. Hence the cajoling. Yes, there is plenty of opportunity for improvement all round. Sometimes we forget that rich people can be evil, too. You became the target today because your proposed waiver betrays a calloused moral attitude.

  49. Ghost-

    I’m well aware that evil exists in every tax bracket. My point about the waiver is that food consumption is ultimately an individual choice. Say what you will, but it is.

    And if I ever do open an ice cream shop I doubt I’ll hand out waivers. Seems like a good way to scare away customers.

  50. an individual choice

    another individual choices:

    Individually choosing not to buy a fast food restaurant because they tempt weak, vulnerable people into diabetes and fatness. Choice is great. Embrace it in *your very own* life!.

  51. Fast food restaurants also provide the rest of us with cheap, convenient, and enjoyable treats that we can safely indulge in from time to time as long as we otherwise conduct ourselves responsibly. What if I feel like selling my excellent ice cream because I think that a lot of responsible people would enjoy the treat?

  52. There may be (and probably are) a lot of ways to sell fattening food in such a way that people tend to use it properly. Opening a fast food outlet and having people sign waivers is a bad way to do this. Opening a shop that makes and sells its own ice cream, on the other hand, can be a good way. Especially if you are displacing some portion of peoples’ HFCS consumption with cane. Charging a high price to reflect the quality ingredients can help, too. They don’t let you do these things at a fast food outlet (at least none worth suing), but with an ice cream stand you will have much more *choice.* Embrace it.

  53. Charging a high price to reflect the quality ingredients can help, too.

    Yeah, just look at how much Ben and Jerry have done to make Americans slimmer. Their overpriced ice cream has done wonders for our health…

  54. Hi Ghost; are you friends with Space Ghost?

  55. Nigella Lawson rocks my world.

    That is all.

  56. Have y’all seen the fat guy on “Lost”? …I’m just sayin’.

  57. Yeah, just look at how much Ben and Jerry have done to make Americans slimmer. Their overpriced ice cream has done wonders for our health…

    That is basically what I am suggesting, at least probabilistically or demographically. Harm reduction wonders.

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