Obesity

Aussie Gov't to Citizens: You Are So Fat, We Sank to the Bottom of the Map

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Roxanne! You don't have to eat that yoghurt bar!

The Australian government is expected to endorse a new food labeling scheme this week, which would use traffic light colors (or something similar) to tell consumers which foods are bad for them.

The new labels, which would appear on the front of food packages, would raise a red (or amber) flag on foods with high fat, sugar, and salt. They essentially codify a version of the halo effect, where certain foods are deemed "good" or "healthy" regardless of conditions or actual facts.

The problem is that lots of high sugar foods—such as raisins—or high fat foods—such as nuts—are perfectly reasonable healthy snacks when consumed in moderation. Meanwhile, a red light on the front of a bag of potato chips is unlikely to be breaking news to anyone.  

Kate Carnell of the Australian Food and Grocery Council explains:

A bottle of full-sugar cola soft drink scores three green lights (saturated fat, fat and salt) and one red light for sugar, while a bottle of milk gets three ambers (fat, saturated fat and sugar) and one green light for salt. Using traffic lights, the soft drink appears to be a healthier option, which of course is wrong. 

Bonus: Check out this story about the "dilemmatic" condition of kids Down Under. 

Via The Center for Consumer Freedom.

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  1. Homeland Snackurity

    1. Hit & Run commenters are members of Homeland Snarkurity.

      1. We’re the TSA of the internetz.

        1. OK, OK… let me get my gloves on.

      1. Pooftahs!

      2. I like on House how House will occasionally insult the Australian Chase for his “Britishness.”

        1. And it’s funny because Hugh Laurie, the actor that plays House, is actually a British guy. Rotlfmfaolfoalolol.

          1. It’s not subtle, but I still think it’s amusing.

            For our Australians: What’s worse, being mistaken for being British or for being American?

            1. Being recognized as Australian?

            2. Say, where’s my “r”?

              1. It’s been dropped in honour of the topic – the Australian accent is non-rhotic.

                BTW Australians have a clear tendency to slide between accents depending upon the social setting. I sometimes get mistaken for English, but that’s normally when I’m speaking to foreigners and deliberately avoid playing up my Aussie accent. It doesn’t bother me.

    1. Bloody cunts!

  2. Stupid nannies!

  3. Now no one will suspect my arsenic laced tomatoes are bad for them. Four green lights. It must be good!

    1. Opium latex has very little fat, no salt to speak of, and no sugar. Can I eat as much as I want?

      1. As long as you grow it yourself and don’t let on what you are doing with it, you should be all set.

  4. from ‘some of the most feared fighters in the world’ to a bunch of fatties?

  5. Leave that shrimp on the barbie until cooked thoroughly enough to turn the label a nice, healthy color, Mate.

  6. The South African article K. M.-Dub linked to is a delight with its “dilemmatic conditions” and stuff like “At present, one out of every three people in Australia are living with conditions of overweight.” I should start reading more SA news just to hear the cute accent in my head.

    1. “I can’t believe I’m being paid to do this. I love watching you prawns die!”

      1. Everyone probably already knew this, but I just learned that was referencing the hideous Parktown prawns not, like, shrimp.

        God, those things look disgusting.

        1. The Parktown prawn is also related to the New Zealand tree weta

          Better than the New Zealand bed weta.

        2. …those things look disgusting.

          Like pink grasshoppers.

          1. Perhaps I should read before speaking

            Although a member of the cricket order Orthoptera…

            1. Wait, “pink grasshopper” isn’t a euphemism?

              1. Well, they’re probably pink on the inside.

              2. I thought it was a variation of the drink “grasshopper”, probably with bubblegum vodka.

    2. “… conditions of overweight”

      As measured by BMI, most likely. If 2/3 of your population is under the threshold of overweight (roughly 5/11, 185 lbs for an adult male) then you’re doing pretty well, I think.

      1. As usual, the Asians capitalize on their diminutive stature.

      2. roughly 5/11, 185 lbs for an adult male

        That is a tiny man.

        1. IIRC, you’re a weightlifter, so you may have forgotten the scale of us “normals”. I’m 5’10”, 170 lbs, and I have a considerable spare tire.

          I try not to lift things unless they fall on me; try not to run unless something is chasing me, etc.

          1. 5’10”, 170 lbs

            PUNY HUMAN

            1. PUNY HUMAN

              No argument here. Sam Colt saw to it I never had to go near a gym. And don’t give me the “but I get laid” line, cause the gun solves that problem too. < / lolrapejoke >

        2. I’m going to guess that Warty is 6’7″ and weighs 297 lbs. Which equals about 2.5 of me.

          1. No, he’s about 5’2″ at about 285 pounds. He’s just one huge pectoral attached to quadriceps.

    3. I used to live with conditions of overweight, but she left me for another man.

    4. When the hell did “overweight” become a noun, anyhow?

  7. Things like this are a sure sign that you have too many people working for the government.

    1. You better not post this shit on Twitter

  8. Where’s the face-palm hotkey? I need it extra today.

  9. Australia is Totalitaria Magnifica. I try to pretend it doesn’t exist.

  10. Most racist box ever.

  11. What color lights does Pussy get?

  12. Could this be the end for Vegemite?

    1. Vegemite gets a red for being exremely nasty.

  13. Most racist box ever.

    Seriously. “Uncle Tobys,” no apostrophe. There’s no Uncle Toby. There are Tobys.

    And the logo is a white woman trying get one of them strung up.

    “I don’t know what he meant by it, but he told me to taste his yogurt.”

  14. When the government tries to force them to drink light beer, then the revolution comes.

  15. Almost (but not completely*) off topic: RIP Patrice Oneal, one funny motherfucker.

    *he was diabetic

    1. Diabetes: The Official Endocrine Disease of Hit and Run.

      1. All the best folks got the sugars.

        1. Gotta love carbohydrate intolerance.

          I’m not diabetic, but I have metabolic syndrome, which is a related problem. (BTW it’s poorly described by Wikipedia.) That’s why getting the science of diet right is so important to me. I don’t want to become diabetic, or have high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. I lost more than 1/3 my body weight and a foot off my waist 7 years ago, and I’ve kept it off. It wasn’t my discipline that changed, it was my knowledge.

          The lies spread by the FDA et al is killing people. Most likely killed Patrice O’Neal. Looks like Australia wants in.

  16. Foster’s: Australian for shit.

  17. This gives whole new meaning to “squeezing the lemon”.

    Note: just looked that up on Urban Dictionary and their most popular definitions are NOT what I had in mind. Good God, people, why does everything have to center around the genitals?

  18. So basically olive oil, which is pure fat, gets a warning light while empty starches like pasta and rice count as healthy. If you want to put everybody on the same diet, might as well pass out mandatory MREs and be done.

    1. It’s getting hard to avoid irony anymore. Government wants us to eat less salt, yet provides their armed forces with MREs that are very high in sodium.

      Beef ravioli in meat sauce ? 1,080mg
      Beef Stew ? 850mg
      Cheese tortellini in tomato sauce ? 840mg
      Chicken and Dumplings ? 820mg
      Chicken Fajita ? 980mg
      Chicken Fajita Filling ? 700mg
      Meatballs in Marinara Sauce ? 1,620mg
      Spaghetti with meat sauce ? 810mg
      Veggie Burger in barbecue sauce ? 1,130mg

      In combination with bread/tortilla/cracker, desert and drink items and the salt from the accessory packet, sodium content of one MRE can run fron 1700 to 2000 mg. Yep, one MRE can give you about the salt intake recommended for the whole day.

  19. That the soda comes off looking healthier than the milk under this new system, incidentally, is not an accident, or at least won’t be an accident. Whenever governments make ridiculous labeling laws like this one, the corporations’ lawyers and marketing divisions invariably work to exploit every loophole they can find. When sugar fell out of favor with people for being unhealthy and the government required food manufacturers to list their ingredients by percentage, the makers of all those sugary breakfast cereals for kids simply started listing each kind of sugar that went into their cereals separately (fructose, dextrose, sucrose, etc.) so that they could legally list them further down on the ingredients label based on the smaller percentage of each that went into their product.

    With this law, I’m already imagining all kinds of ways to divide up the list of ingredients such that all the healthiest things (which earn the green lights) are prominently displayed on the packaging while the unhealthy ones (which get the red lights) all get consolidated into one fairly inconspicuous category. For any sugary drink, for instance, be sure to list every kind of fat of which it has only the most minimal amounts (saturated, unsaturated, polyunsaturated, hydrogenated, etc.) with green lights next to them while listing sugar as the one unhealthy substance with a red light next to it. With potato chips, simply reverse this process to list all five kinds of sugar which are barely to be found in it at all with green lights next to them and list all the fat in it with just one red light next to it. Presto change-o! Under the new labeling system, your junk food now looks a whole lot healthier than that carton of milk somebody neglected to relabel properly (two reds for the fat and sugar and only one green for the calcium) is allowed to look.

    1. Milk is poison.

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