We Bite Back

Obama White house wants you to see calorie counts everywhere
Page 1 of 1

Author:  epic [ Tue May 11, 2010 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Obama White house wants you to see calorie counts everywhere

...to beat obesity "within a generation".

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162- ... 03544.html

The advisory panel proposes better food content labeling on products and vending machines. Restaurants and vending machine companies are urged to display calorie counts. The experts say the FDA and USDA should cooperate with the food and beverage industries to develop a standard system of nutrition labeling on the front of packages.

*Emphasis added.

The task force also sees a potential pocketbook approach to keep people from buying unhealthy foods. It calls for analyzing the effect of imposing state and local sales taxes on less healthy products.

Extensions of the "fat tax" meme...

...but isn't this just shifting blame from the food producers to the consumers, making the consumers pay for cost increases in using healthier ingredients, producing new marketing/packaging with new labeling, and breeding fresh insecurities about body size in the masses? Won't this hit the poor in the wallet when food prices are already high?

Is anyone in favor of these changes? If so, why?

Author:  Lauri8 [ Tue May 11, 2010 11:08 am ]
Post subject: 

I think its helpful to know the nutritional info of our food, however I too think the focus should be shifted to WHY so much of it is so unhealthy, and lets fix that part. We shouldn't just be encouraging the entire country to calorie count, we should be educating them on a balanced healthy lifestyle, and how to make good choices. The nutritional info will be lost on people who don't know how to make good choices. Example: lowest calorie does not mean most healthy. Low fat does not mean low calorie does not mean most healthy. I do think it'll be good for people who have to watch their sodium intake etc.

Author:  Becky [ Tue May 11, 2010 11:54 am ]
Post subject: 

^You know, Colorado was considering placing sin taxes on junk food a while ago too.

Author:  Kaz [ Tue May 11, 2010 11:54 am ]
Post subject: 

I don't think it is fair to put this all on Obama. This has been coming for a long time.

Author:  epic [ Tue May 11, 2010 12:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ashley wrote:
I always wonder what the cost of anorexia, bulimia, inc. rakes in per year in response to a statistic like this.

It's surprisingly difficult to find ANY info on this that's not 8 or more years old. It seems that no one is counting this, though the cost of treating anorexia seems to be way higher than "regular" in patient care.

Hints of that here: In Germany:

For anorexia the cost of illness amounts to approximately 195 million euros (73 direct costs and 122 mortality costs, for bulimia it comes to around 124 million euros (12 direct costs and 112 mortality costs).The annual cost per anorexia and bulimia patient is approximately 5,300 and 1,300 euros, respectively. This cost-of-illness analysis underlines the significance of indirect costs due to premature death, but also highlights the extremely cost-intensive treatment. The hospitalization cost of 12,800 euros per anorexia patient is markedly higher than the average hospitalization cost of 3,600 euros.

Here's a PDF from the UK which questions the effectiveness of expensive IP care vs OP care.

If we knew how many people were seeking in patient care and the cost per patient in each region, we could do our own calculations on the cost.... and maybe even create some cost comparisons to in-patient care for other maladies... like other mental health problems, cancer, etc. (Maladies where there are more publicly published statistics. Why are statistics on the overall costs associated with eating disorder treatment so difficult to find??)

I think the information is being presented one-sided to only show how these measures will "fight obesity" without talking about any other disordered eating issues, or taking food producers to task for decades of exposure to food advertising, and processed foods made with cheap, hard-to-metabolize ingredients. Those with anorexia or bulimia will be "marginalized" and no statistics gathered (I expect) because any findings that might conflict with the obesity findings (which they will use to roll in new taxes on food (to cover other costs in the greater economy like general health care concerns, interest charges in the debt, etc)

Given that some people are currently spending as much as $100,000 for in-patient care for anorexia, I would expect there to be more statistics on just how many people are being pushed into a predicament where they go into debt slavery for help, or they pass on the help because they can't afford it. (And then if that help actually saves them or just moves some zeros around in a temporary way, weight wise and economically. If that's the case then there should be some investigation of whether or not the entire structure is predatory (because it lands those struggling/suffering with anorexia into debt slavery (or their families into debt slavery) in order to pay for it. (Or at best, just widens the class divide between rich and poor, since the rich and afford to drop that cash on IP care faster and easier than "everyone else".)

The worst part is when lawmakers try to make objective determinations about what is "unhealthy." Something funny happened here in the States in IL late last year:

http://www.csnews.com/csn/news/article_ ... 1004005726

What a bizarre article!!! It reminds me a little of how the FDA is going after people who make any sorts of claims about if a food has any medicinally beneficial qualities, by saying that those people are advertising the food as a "drug".


Like all sorts of words are being rewritten on us. It's madness.

Author:  epic [ Tue May 11, 2010 12:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Kaz wrote:
I don't think it is fair to put this all on Obama. This has been coming for a long time.

This is his wife who is spearheading this initiative...

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-0 ... psico.html

By reaching out to corporations, Obama has sought a higher profile than her immediate predecessor, Laura Bush, who focused on literacy. And though she was caricatured as a radical during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama has defied predictions that she would be as polarizing as Hillary Clinton, who was criticized for her role in forging a failed health-care plan.

Obama is positioning herself as the “dignified center note” between Bush, “who was more reserved,” and Clinton, “who was in your face,” according to Douglas Brinkley, a historian at Rice University in Houston.

Author:  epic [ Tue May 11, 2010 12:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6 ... mesticNews

The report to U.S. President Barack Obama calls for specific actions that can be taken by government and private industry to battle a national health crisis but does not call for new funding or legislation.

The above quote suggests that maybe all of this is just PR - that no new legislation will be put forth in actuality... because they aren't gonna put money behind it? Then I come to this point in the article:

Obama appointed the interagency panel in February and gave it 90 days to develop recommendations for ending childhood obesity within a generation. He named first lady Michelle Obama to lead the campaign.

Which tells me Obama told his wife to come up with this report or recommendations three months down the road, now she is doing so, and what they do next is anyone's guess. (Maybe nothing... aside from this report.)

Author:  Spender [ Tue May 11, 2010 2:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

We have two taxes in Canada, a federal tax, which applies to all goods and services, exempting groceries and certain other items. Restaurant meals and single serving foods, like chips and sandwiches and stuff are subject to the federal GST. I bought half a peeled and cored pineapple the other day, and was charged GST on the basis that it was a prepared "single serving" food and yet, I could go and buy a dozen doughnuts and NOT pay the GST because it is not a single serving. What compounds this lunacy is that we are moving to harmonise our provincial tax with the federal tax, which means that soon I will be paying 13% total in tax on fresh, peeled and cored pineapple. what a travesty.

Author:  epic [ Tue May 11, 2010 2:48 pm ]
Post subject: 


Actually, out here in the Atlantic provinces, we've had the harmonized sales tax for years, combining both provincial and federal sales taxes. On July 1st when the country gets a year older, here in Nova Scotia we'll see our sales taxes go up to 15% on every dollar. BC and Ontario will go up to 12 and 13%.

And any thoughts on what do you think this will do to sales? Do you speculate this might trigger a deeper recession?

Author:  Blue Decay [ Tue May 11, 2010 5:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

It doesn't seem that they're trying to push any new legislation at the moment, just putting the idea out there to see how it's received by the companies, agencies, public, etc. I remember reading an article a while ago (although I'll be damned if I can remember where it was now) that talked about re-vamping the nutrition labels on processed/packaged foods to make them more accurate to how people eat: i.e. making a "serving" an entire bottle of Coke rather than 1/4 a bottle. I don't see anything wrong with tweaking the labels like that, but I'm not sure how much good putting them on the front of packages would do. That does seem like something that would only affect people who are already sensitive to that kind of information (like eating disorder sufferers), while others would still easily ignore it.

Author:  Disneylove [ Tue May 11, 2010 5:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

The task force also sees a potential pocketbook approach to keep people from buying unhealthy foods. It calls for analyzing the effect of imposing state and local sales taxes on less healthy products.

I don't understand how this can possibly work. How does one determine whether a food is "healthy" or not? Where is the line drawn?

Author:  MovingOn [ Wed May 12, 2010 8:27 am ]
Post subject: 

They'd be better off making healthy foods like fresh produce cheaper, rather than taxing the unhealthy. The stores offer numerous ways to have healthy food without the "hassle" people complain of, but the problem is they're expensive! Fresh apples and pineaples are a fraction of the price of packs of apple slices and sliced pineapple. I doubt it costs that much to prepare them. We need cheap, EASY ways to eat healthily. I might be happy to prepare fresh food, but not everyone else is. Make it possible for someone to eat a good diet with little more work or expense than living off junk, and more and more people might do it.
People are inherantly lazy *shrugs* they will always go for the easy option. We need to try and get round that rather than change it.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 4 hours
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group