Skip Navigation

Obesity Epidemic - Who's To Blame

Travel Forums Off Topic Obesity Epidemic - Who's To Blame

Page

Last Post

41. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 9y

I blame Ronald McDonald. He is responsible for all the evils in this world. Before McDonalds came along there were no fat people, no global warming, no global terrorist threat, house prices were affordable, there was no poverty, no disease and no wars. It's all his fault - i'm amazed i'm the only person that's worked this out

42. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Interesting point Daveh, but I would counter that by suggesting that Ronald McDonald all but eradicated polio and single-handedly brought down Communism (it has actually been pointed out that Communism fell in more than one country within two years of a McDonalds being opened)

43. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

Told you it was a slippery slope! But health-care systems can obly absorb so much before they implode.

Well what percentage of the healthcare and other social money is actually spent on obese people?
Do they really cost more than the rest of us do?
Have u ever seen an obese 80 year old? They dont need old age pensions as long as others do and they dont need the medical care system for as long as the rest of us do. And if they produce children they are providing the county with future tax payers and there is their income tax..... It would be interesting to see a study on how much different types of people actually cost and how much tax money they produce throughout their lives.

44. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Quoting tway

Told you it was a slippery slope! But health-care systems can obly absorb so much before they implode.


Well what percentage of the healthcare and other social money is actually spent on obese people?

Well, in the U.S. over 60% of the population is obese. I'm sure the number is similar in many other countries. So - that would be over 60% of healthcare costs, plus whatever extra money is needed to treat their obesity-related illnesses.

Do they really cost more than the rest of us do?

See above.

Have u ever seen an obese 80 year old? They dont need old age pensions as long as others do and they dont need the medical care system for as long as the rest of us do. And if they produce children they are providing the county with future tax payers and there is their income tax..... It would be interesting to see a study on how much different types of people actually cost and how much tax money they produce throughout their lives.

Scientists believe the young generation of today will be the first in history to die younger than their parents. That's why there are few old, obese people. And I'm not arguing that we're entitled to health care because we pay taxes. That's the whole basis of health care. But what about people who put an ADDED burden on the system because the won't take responsibility for staying healthy? (I'm sure our forefathers who created medicare never thought over 60% of the population would require constant hip replacement, knee replacements, diabetes treatment, high-blood-pressure meds, etc.etc.)

Medicare can only withstand so much - the money has to come from somewhere. It's not 'up to the government' to fix it - as my mother always told us "WE'RE the government". We're the taxpayers. What will we do if we end up with no health-care coverage at all because people aren't taking personal responsibility for what they put into their own bodies?

45. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Those who don't get sick pay more into healthcare than they get out of it - that's civilization at work. We all get together to help those who are unlucky enough to get sick. Trying to play the blame game; whose 'fault' is it that people get sick, is useless. What if I get cancer? Is it the smoking? My exposure to radiation when I was protesting in front of the gates of a nuclear powerstation? My exposure to car exhausts whilst walking to work? Impossible to tell.

46. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Those who don't get sick pay more into healthcare than they get out of it - that's civilization at work. We all get together to help those who are unlucky enough to get sick. Trying to play the blame game; whose 'fault' is it that people get sick, is useless. What if I get cancer? Is it the smoking? My exposure to radiation when I was protesting in front of the gates of a nuclear powerstation? My exposure to car exhausts whilst walking to work? Impossible to tell.

Well, then we shall all be equally without healthcare when the money runs out.

47. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Those who don't get sick pay more into healthcare than they get out of it - that's civilization at work. We all get together to help those who are unlucky enough to get sick. Trying to play the blame game; whose 'fault' is it that people get sick, is useless. What if I get cancer? Is it the smoking? My exposure to radiation when I was protesting in front of the gates of a nuclear powerstation? My exposure to car exhausts whilst walking to work? Impossible to tell.

This is an interesting point. It is difficult to apportion blame. In somewhere with health/welfare systems like the UK, the right wing press often seems to argue that the richer people who look after their own health are having to spend too much in tax looking after "poor unemployed fat useless lazy people". Which, is not an attitiude I agree with.

But what about those good healthy people who don't smoke/drink/eat crap etc? Well when they go on to live till they're 125, taxpayers will be paying for them. Hmmmm?

But we've forgotten to mention exercise. Surely thats at least as significant as everything else we'e mentioned about eating fast food etc? And I don't like to hear the word laziness, because I know a lot of overweight peopel who work really damned hard at their jobs and family life, but just don't do the physical exercise.

So why don't people exercise, and what can be done.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 24, 2007, at 3:37 PM by Clarabell ]

48. Posted by Sam2000 (Inactive 121 posts) 9y

I don't believe junk food exists. All food can be bad for you if eaten excessively, just some foods require less consumption to be in excess!

I find obesity quite, hmm, actually, I feel sympathy for obese people. I would hate not being able to play football or go for long walks and be reliant on wheelchairs and the like.

I think companies like McDonalds have a wealth of evils about them, yes, I count them as evils. They clear huge sections of rainforest for cattle grazing, their food is disgusting, high in salt, high in saturated fats and I also think gimicks like giving away toys in "Happy Meals" is foul. The quantity of plastic and material that must be used to make them is collosol! And no child REALLY appreciates them and they end up in the bin! That is a dramatic waste of resources. I honestly think we should actually make some sort of law against it.

I think the actual causes of obesity is greed. We have such a prosperous world, we have enough food to go around everyone, with food to spare! I can't believe how hypocritical the West is. We criticise countries like China and African nations for being capitalist...But where is the true capitalism?! Its between the north-south divide! In effect the capitalism is between us in the north, taking resources for ourselves and those in the south, producing said resources and getting squat for it.

It angers me so much!

There is a girl at school who is NEVER seen without something in her hand being eaten...Usually things like Pot Noodles and Mars Bars, ok, I enjoy a Mars Bar every now and again, but its sickening watching her...Constantly gorging herself...

Greed is to blame. Its just selfish human-nature.

Don't get me started on smoking...

49. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Quoting Clarabell

This is an interesting point. It is difficult to apportion blame. In somewhere with health/welfare systems like the UK, the right wing press often seems to argue that the richer people who look after their own health are having to spend too much in tax looking after "poor unemployed fat useless lazy people". Which, is not an attitiude I agree with.

A health-care system needs to benefit everyone: rich, poor, employed, unemployed. Plus I think obesity hits every income-level out there - it's defiitely not just a "poor man's" problem.

What I mean is that it's all about personal responsibility. Let's say a person who's borderline obese goes to the doctor, and the doctor tells them either they eat better and exercise else they're at risk for severe health problems. So the person goes home and decides they like their lifestyle as is and change nothing. The next year they go back to the doctor and they're now borderine diabetic. The year after they're on insulin pills. Then insulin injections 3 times a day. Then they have high blood pressure. Then they're hospitalized numerous times. Then they can't work. And so on and so on.

This could happen to a healthy person for purely genetic reasons. That's when health care is there to provide for them. But health care should not be a crutch for people who cannot take persoal responsibility for their own health.

Eating well and getting some exercise are, generally speaking, the simple, affordable "medication" to cure obesity. If one chooses not to take the cure, should society continue to pay?

50. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

I think the reason people dont exercise is for same reason other people dont
-stop drinking coffee
-stop smoking
- stop lying in the sun
Add your own health vice to the list.

I think people dont exercise becasue right now the committment to exercise is too difficult for them to make.
For example one time I was made redundant from a job. I started smoking more to comfort myself. Yes, I saw the signs on the cigarette packets saying this could have serious health implications. At the time the problem which made me want to smoke was too present and caused me to ignore the health warnings. How would I react if somebody came along when I was sitting in the cafe smoking cigarettes I could little afford and no job on the horizon and said that I am irresponsible for spending my savings on cigarettes and this might cause me to need social welfare or that I am damaging my health which may cause me to be a drain on the healthcare system.... Likely it would have made me want to smoke more becasue of the stress heaped onto the existing stress. A few months later I had another job. Then I looked at the sign on the cigarette packet and thought, yeah that makes sense. There is every reason not to smoke. I cut down to 2 cigarettes per day. Without the stress of being jobless it was easier for me to deal with the smoking problem.

Nobody makes the decision to go out and make a bunch of stupid mistakes. Who ever says I want to be a divorced, unempolyed, fat alcholic. There are many causes of these problems and I think one of the problems is that we have a high degreee of freedom in our society. Some of us are higher on the learning curve of using this freedom. I have a friend who is in serious debt and the problem is getting worse. I often feel like shaking her and telling her to pull herself together and fix that problem. But I honestly think she does not understand money managing as well as I do. Others will apply critisisms to my life and wonder why I dont improve. It is just as difficult for me to do some things as it is for my friend to manage money. People generally dont say u are doing lousy at that but your money managing skills are excellent. Nor do they say look how slim and healthy your body is and how unlikely u are to create expenses for the healthcare system with obesity related illnesses. They just say u are doing lousy at something and why cant u do it as well as I can. Well the simple explanation is that I cant but am trying and hoping to improve and I am doing my best according to my ability and circumstances.

Those of us who live in Western democracies live in the most progressive societies in the world. It is because we are progressing that we hit bumps and have problems in our societies. But having said that there is nowhere in the world where people are worse off then they were 100 years ago wealthwise. This is largely due to the relative amount of stability we have achieved in our democracies. More peace and stabiltiy often goes hand in hand with a rising standard of living. We in Western democratic countries are the most influencial countries in the world. When we progress and move forward all other countries do so also to varying degrees.
If we discriminate against the obese or any other group in society we take a step backwards. It is anti the democratic philosophy which has made us so successful. Look at any situation in history where we have supressed and/or exploited a group of people and examine the problems that this is still causing in todays society. Point the finger of blame at the obese or any other group and 3 fingers point back at u. U essentially want to abandon the democratic philosophy which has taken so long to get as far as it has.
I also think there is every hope that the problems in society we are experiencing because we are free to make a bunch of mistakes will become less. More and more help is becomming available to us. Weightwatchers, Alcholics Anonomous, Marriage and relationship experts........