Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by chanel, Jan 16, 2011.
Read more: Nutrition labels on fast food 'won't stop you eating unhealthily' | Mail Online
Pretty soon food will be so safe no one will be able to afford it.
If you are really concerned about flushing money down the toilet, then consider the cost of doing NOTHING.
The standard American diet -- in which 62 percent of calories come from processed foods, 25 percent from animal products and only 5 percent from fruits and vegetables -- is nothing less than a health travesty. Our fast-food culture has produced a population with widespread chronic illness and is a primary reason that health care costs are taking a devastating toll on just about everyone.
The annual health insurance premiums paid by the average American family now exceed the gross yearly income of a full-time minimum wage worker. Every 30 seconds, someone in the U.S. files for bankruptcy due to the costs of treating a health problem. Starbucks spends more on the health insurance of its workers than it does on coffee.
Medical care costs in the U.S. have not always been this excessive. This year, we will spend more than $2.5 trillion on medical care. But in 1950, five years before Ray Kroc opened the first franchised McDonald's restaurant, Americans only spent $8.4 billion ($70 billion in today's dollars). Even after adjusting for inflation, we now spend as much on health care every 10 days as we did in the entire year of 1950.
Has this enormous increase in spending made us healthier? Earlier this year, when the World Health Organization assessed the overall health outcomes of different nations, it placed 36 other nations ahead of the United States.
Today, we have an epidemic of largely preventable diseases. To these illnesses, Americans are losing not only their health but also their life savings. Meanwhile, the evidence keeps growing that the path to improved health lies in eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, and eating far less processed foods, sugars and animal products.
It's striking to me that in all the heated debates we have had about health care reform, one basic fact has rarely been discussed, and that is the one thing that could dramatically bring down the costs of health care while improving the health of our people. Studies have shown that 50 to 70 percent of the nation's health care costs are preventable, and the single most effective step most people can take to improve their health is to eat a healthier diet. If Americans were to stop overeating, to stop eating unhealthy foods and to instead eat more foods with higher nutrient densities and cancer protective properties, we could have a more affordable, sustainable and effective health care system.
Is it McDonald's fault that more than 63 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, making us the fattest nation in the history of the world? I don't think so, because each of us is responsible for what we put in our mouths and in the mouths of our children. Plus many other fast food chains serve food that is just as harmful. But the company is playing a significant role in generating our national appetite for unhealthy foods. McDonald's is by far the largest food advertiser in the country, spending more than one billion dollars a year on direct media advertising.
Much of McDonald's advertising is aimed at children, and it's been effective. Every month, approximately nine out of 10 American children eat at a McDonald's restaurant. Most U.S. children can recognize McDonald's before they can speak. Tragically, one in every three children born this year in the U.S. will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
Of course, fast food is not the only cause of the tragic rise of obesity and diabetes in our society. Our culture has become pathologically sedentary. Watching television and sitting in front of computer monitors for hour upon hour doesn't help. But the high sugar and high fat foods sold by McDonald's and the other fast food restaurants is certainly a major part of the problem. You would have to walk for seven hours without stopping to burn off the calories from a Big Mac, a Coke and an order of fries.
So you are proposing no fast food? Or perhaps govt. issued rations? Labeling doesn't work. And I'd rather support the obese than the alternative. We can't afford to support people to live to 100 either.
Fact: People die of something or another.
WHY do you folks on the right always have to interpret everything as a polarized argument? ALL or NONE...BLACK or WHITE? It is really child like. Did I proposing no fast food?
It's not just what people die from, it how much it costs to keep them alive before they die.
Here is a quote from an interview with Professor Eric Finkelstein, of Duke-National University of Singapore (the guy in your article).
I would focus on kids and schools, and would ensure that kids are getting healthy foods in school, and are getting physical activity. I think focusing on adults is an uphill battle. I think having employers take a lead in encouraging healthy work siteswith government supportmay have a chance in getting some sustained behavior changes.
I agree. The best way to address this obesity epidemic is to get children to eat healthier, get more exercise, encourage healthy choices at an early age and develop good lifelong habits. It will take parents being educated. THAT is where the labeling may make a difference, when parents buy fast food for their children. It may also encourage suppliers and processors to reformulate their products to be more healthy.
But there is no doubt this epidemic costs everyone in our society LOTS of money. It even weakens our national security.
Most U.S. youths unfit to serve, data show
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 5, 2009 16:56:21 EST
U.S. military-age youth are increasingly unfit to serve mostly because theyre in such lousy shape.
According to the latest Pentagon figures, a full 35 percent, or more than one-third, of the roughly 31.2 million Americans aged 17 to 24 are unqualified for military service because of physical and medical issues. And, said Curt Gilroy, the Pentagons director of accessions, the major component of this is obesity. We have an obesity crisis in the country. Theres no question about it.
Most U.S. youths unfit to serve, data show - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times
December 25, 2008
Increasing obesity rate related to increased cost to society
Morbidities associated with obesity are also associated with high medical costs for care.
by Saad Shebrain, MD; Brant K. Oelschlager, MD
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health addressed the prevalence of obesity and found the U.S. obesity rate has increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades, according to results of a recent study. The researchers expect that by 2030, 86% of U.S. adults will be overweight or obese, with related health care spending projected to be as much as $956.9 billion. They concluded that without a change in peoples eating habits or exercise habits, the figures will continue climbing to a public crisis.
From an economic standpoint, obesity is costly for both individuals and society, with its associated major health problems leading to substantial economic consequences for the U.S. health care system. This includes both direct and indirect costs. Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity; indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs.
Increasing obesity rate related to increased cost to society
Did you read the OP? Labeling makes NO difference. It is not about lack of education. Everyone knows fast food is fattening. They just don't CARE!!!
Did you read the comment about children I posted from the guy who did the study?
So, what is your solution?
Isn't that the billion dollar question? I'm not arrogant enough to suggest that I know the solution, but what I do know is that government rarely is.
So all you care to do is whine. A huge part of crafting solutions will involve education. If government isn't the genesis or partner in that process, who will, Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar, the Burger King?
Do you support this?
Child Nutrition Act
The law also known as The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is part of Michelle Obama's initiative to end childhood obesity, moves to improve the quality of free meals in schools by providing schools with money to regularly update nutritional standards and also allow more children to qualify for those meals.
Yeah...And we all know what a cracker jack job the federal gubmint has been doing in terms of education education.
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