Reason Morning Links: Calorie Counts Ineffective, Don't Call It a Stimulus, Bake Sale Ban

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Questions for the FTC on its new blogger disclosure rules.

• Obama, Dems say plan to expand social programs isn't a new stimulus package, just an "extension" of the old one.

• NYC study finds that posting calorie counts at fast food restaurants doesn't change consumer habits.

• Meanwhile, the city is effectively banning school bake sales. You know, for the kids.

• Scientists behind digital photography, fiber optics advances win Nobel Prize in Physics.

EDIT: Jesse Walker linked to the bake sale ban yesterday. So here's your food-related bonus link: Do farmers' markets really strengthen local communities?

NEXT: Reason.tv: Light Bulbs vs. The Nanny State

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  1. “Meanwhile, the city is effectively banning school bake sales. You know, for the kids.”

    Aye…..

    1. Well, because bake sales are for the Air Force to buy bombers.

      Schools should be getting all the tax money they need.

      1. I get a fucking chuckle everytime I see that stupid bumper sticker.

  2. ? Meanwhile, the city is effectively banning school bake sales.

    Nice. A link to a registration page. Thanks.

  3. NYC study finds that posting calorie counts at fast food restaurants doesn’t change consumer habits.

    I think the next logical step is banning calories.

    1. No, the next “logical” step is to force people to fill out paperwork stating they have read and understand the calorie counts. After that, we’ll have some type of calorie rationing system. For our own good.

      BTW, THANKS FOR THE PREVIEW BUTTON! WORKS GREAT!

      1. thew83 is just trying to keep it under the Bloomberg philosophy. Which is about bans, not read tape.

        Next, Bloomie will say people can’t just go anywhere they want, and eat anything they want.

  4. Wow that is like the craziest thing I have ever heard!

    RT
    http://www.complete-privacy.net.tc

  5. I’m sure the celery and pro-government-tract sales will be just as successful.

    Besides, if we just gave the schools more money, fund-raising would be a moo point.

    1. How dairy you give the Dems that idea!

      *rimshot*

      1. How udderly preposterous!

        1. I dunno, it cud work.

  6. I have been on this for about a week, well ever sense the news that people were blaming everything else for the US growing waistline. The reason we are getting bigger is our calorie intake. It is simple. If you take in 2,000 calories per day, you need to exercise an hour a day. If you don’t/can’t find time to do that, you need to reduce your calorie intake to around 1,400. At that number your body can burn around an ounce of fat per day or +/- a pound per week. Will you be hungry more? Yes; however, just look at it as the fat burning into a gas and every time you breath, you are releasing that fat.

    1. The reason we are getting bigger is our calorie intake. It is simple. If you take in 2,000 calories per day, you need to exercise an hour a day.

      It’s not as simple as calories out minus calories in. High carbohydrate foods cause the body to retain energy stored as fat. The low fat craze yielded foods that are higher in sugar. Sugar raises insulin, which leads to insulin resistance. Fat cells then become greedy and refuse to release their stored energy, so you become hungry again. What’s worse is the government has been telling us a diet high in grains and low in meat is healthy since the 70s…just around the time the obesity epidemic started.

      1. It is as simple as calories out and calories in. Although I prefer to do it in terms of Joules. 🙂

        If a system has more Joules out than Joules in, then it is lower in energy, which in a human body would mean less weight.

        1. 1st law of thermodynamics. Sorry, I should have used Joules. But, yes it is pretty simple.
          The pound per week is a give or take. It also depends on what you do during those days. If you have to walk a into the store or work a further, in turn you will burn more energy.

          1. Wrong.

            “A human organism is:

            1. Not in thermal equilibrium with their environment. Last time I checked I have a body temperature around 38 ?C and spend most of my time in 21 ?C rooms.
            2. Capable of significant mass flows (e.g. respiration).
            3. Capable of sequestering entropy (e.g. protein synthesis).

            Is wearing a sweater fattening (by insulating you from your environment)?”

            1. Is wearing a sweater fattening (by insulating you from your environment)?

              Yes, according to:
              Nature
              EndoJournal

          2. Give or take more than 50%? Those are some big error bars, man.

        2. so if I really want to gain weight, I should eat gasoline?

      2. “the obesity epidemic”

        Repeating the clich?s of nanny-staters does not fortify your argument. Neither does blaming “the government” for the poor diet choices free Americans make.

      3. 2000 calories a day? For individuals of certain weights, that amount of calories would be wholly inadequate.

        1. Michael Phelps calls 2000 calories a day “fucking starving”.

    2. So 7 ounces = 1 pound?

      Also, I’m fairly certain that for quite a long time, I’ve been taking in substantially more than the FDA recommended 2000 calories a day and haven’t been packing on a ton of pounds.

      I need to lose quite a bit, but I’ve barely been adding.

      Your numbers need work.

  7. With unemployment expected to rise well into next year even as the economy slowly recovers, the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are discussing extending several safety net programs as well as proposing new tax incentives for businesses to renew hiring.

    Unemployment is expected to continue rising well into next year? This is the first time I’ve seen this stated anywhere in the so-called mainstream media. Sounds me to me like a tacit acknowledgment that the stimulus plan has completely failed.

    1. Yeah, but they always seem to qualify it with bullshit about how “many economists believe umeployment would be even worse without the stimulus” or some such nonsense.

  8. The other theory has to do with activity. We’re an increasingly sedentary society.

    One of the problems with that theory is that the highest obesity rates in this country are in the poorest members of the population. [Those scientists] have to explain, for instance, why it is that those individuals who are most likely to do manual labor are the ones who are most likely to be obese. Hispanics, for instance, come to America, they get high obesity levels here, and they’re not coming here and taking white-collar jobs. You have to be able to explain that before you can say it’s [activity].

    You have to be able to explain why it is they’ve never been able to show that if you exercise more, you’ll actually lose weight. When you read the research articles from the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s, they’re fascinating. They’ll always start with a introduction that says exercise and physical activity is crucial to weight loss and weight maintenance. Then they’ll move into the main part of the paper, where they’ll go through study after study after study, where they acknowledge that these studies fail to show that you could actually lose significant weight by exercising or being more active. Then they’ll get to the conclusion, and they’ll give you a half a dozen techniques by which you can then make exercise part of an important weight loss or weight maintenance program. It’s surreal reading these things. The book ended [with] the advice that you have to exercise, but the actual studies show that doesn’t do any good.

    They say the people who control their weight the best tend to be more wealthy, better educated. What are they doing right?

    First of all, they say that the same people also experience an obesity epidemic. Their absolute levels of obesity are lower than the lower classes, but the amount that obesity increased was the same. Among poor, rich, it didn’t matter. They all went up like 7 percent during this 10-year period of time.

    Second thing is, carbohydrates are the cheapest calories. So the poorer you are, the greater the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. You go back and you read the obesity textbooks and the obesity monographs in the ’60s and ’70s, and people have to explain why there’s so much obesity among poor people, and they invariably say, “Well, that’s because they eat so much fattening starches.” You had this concept once again of fattening starches. …

    1. Confounder alert! You know who else has high BMIs? Really fit people. Muscle mass is heavier than fat.

      1. BMI system was created in the early 1800’s by Adolphe Quetelet (who was a astronomer, mathematician and sociologist; but most importantly not a dietitian) to measure “social physics” and was bascially laughed at then. It really had zero to do with calculating healthiness. The idea was dusted off in the 70’s by Ancel Keys (who got his Ph.D. in Oceanography; once again, not a dietitian). Those two people’s credentials alone should make us question BMI. Not saying they were not smart; however, they may have been talking out their arse on that topic.

        1. The idea was dusted off in the 70’s by Ancel Keys (who got his Ph.D. in Oceanography; once again, not a dietitian).

          He likely knew a thing or two about whales, though.

          1. But it is still skewed, a muscular person with a little extra can rate as obese according to the BMI while not unfit , and certianlty at a healthy weight the BMI still says too heavy, to be not overweight at 6’2.5 i would have to weigh 180, i have not weighed that since i was a skinny beanpole 9th grader decades ago. 220 is my avg, i could get to 210, but if i went to 180 i would look like an anorexic due to large bone structure and muscles (they weigh more)

            1. I’m 6’6″. If I ever get to my “ideal” BMI, I’ll look like Jack Skellington. The BMI formula doesn’t take the square-cube law into account, and is thus Science Fail.

        2. BMI is indeed a useful datum when used for its original purpose — in the context of large populations, where confounding variables like muscle mass and bone structure tend to balance out, and the effect of very tall or very short people is insignificant due to their low numbers.

          When applied to individuals, BMI is basically worthless. But it’s a convenient number to throw at a patient without spending the time to really figure out what an individual’s ideal weight is and how they can get there.

  9. “NYC study finds that posting calorie counts at fast food restaurants doesn’t change consumer habits.”

    Sometimes the savages just can’t be educated. The progressive man’s burden is never an easy one to carry.

  10. Can we go back to the old way of showing someone’s name orange if they have their email or website entered? It just makes it easier. Reason, why do you hate your customers?

    1. Doesn’t “customer” mean people who actually buy stuff?

      1. Hey! I subscribe to the hard copy version of Reason.

      2. Also, we all see the ads. It is an ad-supported medium too, right?

        Should I be clicking on them? Cause I will if that helps.

  11. Scientists behind digital photography, fiber optics advances win Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Viewing the Nobel medal count it is hard to conclude that America is a moribund society.

    Thanks for bringing preview back. I’ll still only use it haphazardly, but now the squirrel (praised be his name) won’t get blamed for my lackadaisical commenting efforts.

  12. It’s not as simple as calories out minus calories in. High carbohydrate foods cause the body to retain energy stored as fat. The low fat craze yielded foods that are higher in sugar. Sugar raises insulin, which leads to insulin resistance. Fat cells then become greedy and refuse to release their stored energy, so you become hungry again. What’s worse is the government has been telling us a diet high in grains and low in meat is healthy since the 70s…just around the time the obesity epidemic started.

    Oh jeebus. My mom said eat a balanced diet that includes fruit, veggies, animal flesh and starches. She also said to go easy on the sweets. Fifty years of obesity hand wringing, nutrition research and best selling diet books later her advice still fuckin’ rules.

    SCREW THREADED COMMENTS!

    1. I agree, even though I broke my own rules upthread.

    2. I am not a fan of the threaded comments either.

    3. What’s worse is the government has been telling us a diet high in grains and low in meat is healthy since the 70s.

      Most people in history have had a diet consisting almost entirely of grains, so it’s pretty ludicrous to blame the USDA food pyramid’s grain foundation for the obesity “epidemic”. Grains aren’t the culprit behind the carbohydrate problem, sugars are. For all its faults*, the food pyramid is actually a pretty decent guideline.

      * such as, placing food made by politically connected industries on the pyramid while leaving others out (ie, cheese vs. beans, etc).

  13. ? Meanwhile, the city is effectively banning school bake sales. You know, for the kids.

    My company had a bake sale for charity yesterday. I rode up to my office sharing the elevator with this incredibly obese woman whose arms were loaded up with pies and cookies. The last thing that tub of lard needs is to be stuffing her face with pies and cookies.

    But damn, she was sooooooo happy.

    1. Did she have a diet coke?

      1. “Did she have a diet coke?”

        Hahahahahahaha, that is fucking hilarious. That is similar to the lardasses who go into a buffet, eat a dozen plates of food and can then be heard telling the waitress they want a diet drink.

    2. LaLanne is easily the fittest 112-year-old on the planet.

      1. Fuck threaded comments. I’m apparently too stupid to use them correctly.

  14. Okay, speaking of weight loss and diet, anybody got any thoughts on the Paleo diet? I really like the idea, but it seems like it’s a bit too good to be true.

  15. The preview makes it much more likely my HTML attempts will continue. I’d hate for my linking days to end before they ever really got started.
    Anyone needing to lose weight should try my half-sandwich for lunch diet. Stomach size is the key to weight loss.

  16. Paleo diet — is that the one where you just eat large amounts of undercooked game with bits of flint in it? Or is it what Lew Rockwell eats?

  17. Can New York ban bumper stickers about the Air Force holding a bake sale to buy bombers? That’s nanny-statism I can believe in.

  18. No bake sales? Guess I’ll just sit on the couch ever other weekend instead.

  19. Paleo diet — is that the one where you just eat large amounts of undercooked game with bits of flint in it? Or is it what Lew Rockwell eats?

    Its the one where you eat columnists on LewRockwell.com.

    1. Yeah, my Mom would watch his show when I was a kid. She never did the exercises; she just watched him.

  20. Just an excuse to try out ‘preview’:

    United Nations Pulls Hockey Stick from Climate Report
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..te-report/

    …The discovery of a Wikipedia graphic in the UNEP Climate Change Science Compendium must have been embarrassing as it shows the sort of sloppy science that is going into “official” publications.

    In this case, the United Nations simply grabbed an image from Wikipedia that supported the view they wanted to sell. The problem with the graph in the upper right of page 5 of the UNEP report is that it itself has not been peer reviewed nor has it originated from a peer reviewed publication, having its inception at Wikipedia.

    And then there’s the problem of the citation as “Hanno 2009” who (up until this story broke) was an anonymous Wikipedia contributor.

    Yet UNEP cited the graph as if it was a published and peer reviewed work as “Hanno 2009?….

  21. Oh, LRC.com…how I tried to love you. I did, I really did. But even your Rand bashing and Jesus loving was too much for me…

  22. Paleo diet — is that the one where you just eat large amounts of undercooked game with bits of flint in it?

    Flint? Get with the times. My knife is chipped obsidian, and will easily take a finger off.

  23. I’ve tried lots of diets including paleo. I most definitely works–all you eat is meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, non starcy vegetables, and fruit. No grains, refined sugar, dairy, caffeine, or alcohol. Impossible not to lose weight if that’s all you eat. The trick is sticking to it–you pretty much have to prepare all your meals at home and it’s hard to improvise at restaurants. I’ve found I can lose weight quickly on a paleo-ish low carb diet that still includes some dairy (cheese, butter, cottage cheese, whey protein powder). No need to be more restrictive than is necessary for you to lose weight.

  24. I’m on the all-booze, drink till you puke diet. I saw it on Lindsey Lohan’s infomercial.

  25. I’m on the Auschwitz diet. The pounds just fall off.

  26. Okay, speaking of weight loss and diet, anybody got any thoughts on the Paleo diet?

    The first thing I thought of was “raw meat and dirt”.

    Was I right?

  27. No caffeine or alcohol? Well, shit, what am I supposed to do in the mornings when I get to work? Without some kind of a buzz, my coworkers would be intolerable.

    1. Start chewing tobacco.

  28. T–I agree which is why I decided life was too short to stick to the Paleo diet. Most people can still lose weight while drinking coffee or booze in moderation. Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.

  29. Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.

    It doesn’t have to be bad for you. If we think it’s bad for the children, you’re fucked.

  30. My knife is chipped obsidian, and will easily take a finger off.

    Ooh, and i bet you think you’re so special because you use an atlatl to throw your spears instead of just running up and stabbing the bison with it.

    No caffeine? Why do you hate my coworkers so?

  31. Damnit. I changed my name to nanny-stater for that line. I really fucking hate this new site. Nothing works as planned.

  32. Ooh, and i bet you think you’re so special because you use an atlatl to throw your spears instead of just running up and stabbing the bison with it.

    Fuck no. I’ve seen what hunting involves, and I want no part of it. I get my bison the new-fangled way: I buy it from freaking Wal-Mart.

    I just wanted the really old school knife. That’s ground zero for human technology right there.

  33. You know what is a really good diet aid?

    Go to the all-you-can-eat buffet, and watch the morbidly obese people waddling around with food *mounded* on their plates.

    “Calories don’t matter.”

    Okay.

    1. That’s some mighty fine science work there, Lou. Although, what about the real skinny folks “with food *mounded* on their plates?” Do the laws of thermodynamics not work for them or do they run marathons everyday to keep the weight off?

      1. They certainly do something. Either more activity, more heat loss, less efficient digestion, or something. None of this indicates that the lard ass eating less won’t make a difference.

  34. Let’s see here.

  35. Do the laws of thermodynamics not work for them or do they run marathons everyday to keep the weight off?

    On this website we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

    /obligatory

  36. what about the real skinny folks “with food *mounded* on their plates?”

    Statistically insignificant.

  37. I’d like to gain 10 lbs. What diet should I be on?

  38. I’d like to gain 10 lbs. What diet should I be on?

    Drink a gallon of whole milk a day in addition to whatever you usually eat.

    1. Or, if you’d like to lose weight, drink that gallon of milk in the hour after every meal. Make sure you drink the entire gallon within an hour.

  39. “I’d like to gain 10 lbs. What diet should I be on?”

    Every evening, eat a pint of ice cream slathered with chocolate syrup and about a half cup or so of malt powder.

  40. what about the real skinny folks “with food *mounded* on their plates?”

    Statistically insignificant.

    I am not insignificant, birdbrain. Actually, I think my body may just be an inefficient processor of food energy. A friend once said to me “Your shit probably has a lot of calories in it”.

    1. had a buddy who could eat anything and everyhting all day long and looked like a heroine addict, of course he had to shat after every meal, rather urgently.

  41. A friend once said to me “Your shit probably has a lot of calories in it”.

    I hope you responded “Eat it and see” or some variation thereof.

  42. My knife is chipped obsidian

    May thy knife chip and shatter!

  43. Paleo diet

    LOSE WEIGHT STEVE SMITH WAY. PINE CONES AND RAPE. GRR.

  44. Rough sex burns more calories!

    Ooh, they’re gonna want to hear about this at Feministing.

  45. I’d like to gain 10 lbs. What diet should I be on?

    Whatever Oprah’s on.

  46. STEVE SMITH NOT EAT PINE CONES! STEVE EAT INNOCENCE! MUCH LESS CALORIES!

  47. May thy knife chip and shatter!

    Well, no spice for you, then.

  48. I am not insignificant, birdbrain.

    *Statistically* you are.

    No offense intended.

  49. Rough sex burns more calories!

    It’s true, my iPhone confirms it! There’s an app that allows you to track your daily calorie intake/output, and under the activity section, sexual activity is listed as either “passive, light kissing,” “general, moderate” or “active, vigorous.”

    The more you know.

    1. What, no extra classification for underwater sex, which burns roughly 30% more calories?

      Though, I generally prefer orgy circuit training, where you work out on each machine for 15 minutes, then have sex with the person on your right, then move on to the next machine and so on.

  50. It’s true, my iPhone confirms it!

    Is that a step up or down from confirming it on Wikipedia?

  51. So here’s your food-related bonus link: Do farmers’ markets really strengthen local communities?

    Yes, a little bit. About as much as having a new grocery store in the area, or any other place where you might bump into your neighbors or chat with the people who work there.

  52. Scientists behind digital photography, fiber optics advances win Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Inventions enabling me with one click to send pictures of my cat to millions of people all over the world in an instant!

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