The future vision of Demolotion Man is closer than you think...

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by amazingfantasy15, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. amazingfantasy15 Registered

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    http://www.slate.com/id/2139941/nav/tap1/?GT1=8019

    Junk-Food Jihad
    Should we regulate French fries like cigarettes?
    By William Saletan
    Posted Saturday, April 15, 2006, at 7:31 AM ET

    Goodbye, war on smoking. Hello, war on fat.

    In a span of two months, smoking bans have been imposed in Scotland, enacted in England, Denmark, and Uruguay, proposed by the government of Portugal, and endorsed by the French public. China has banned new cigarette factories. In Virginia, our third most prolific tobacco state, senators voted to ban smoking in nearly all public places. The Arkansas legislature, backed by a Republican governor, passed a similar ban and voted to extend this policy to cars in which a child is present. Tobacco companies have won a skirmish here or there, but always in retreat.

    So, we've found a new enemy: obesity. Two years ago, the government discovered that the targets of previous crusades—booze, sex, guns, and cigarettes—were killing a smaller percentage of Americans than they used to. The one thing you're not allowed to do in a culture war is win it, so we searched the mortality data for the next big menace. The answer was as plain as the other chin on your face. Obesity, federal officials told us, would soon surpass tobacco as the chief cause of preventable death. They compared it to the Black Death and the Asian tsunami. They sent a team of "disease detectives" to West Virginia to investigate an obesity outbreak. Last month, the surgeon general called obesity "the terror within" and said it would "dwarf 9-11."

    How do we fight it? Everyone agrees on exercising and eating responsibly. The debate is over what the government should do. Health advocates want to restrict junk-food sales, regulate advertising, require more explicit labels, and ban trans fats (also known as partially hydrogenated oils), which are often put into crackers, cookies, and other products to prolong shelf life. They marshal the kind of evidence that won the war on smoking: correlations between soda, junk food, obesity, disease, and death. Lawyers who made their fortunes suing tobacco companies are preparing suits against soda companies. Two months ago, when President Bush gave a health-care speech at the headquarters of Wendy's, activists compared the hamburger chain to Philip Morris. They see themselves as waging the same brave struggle, this time against "the food industry."

    But somehow, "the food industry" doesn't sound quite as evil as "the tobacco industry." Something about food—the fact that it keeps us alive, perhaps—makes its purveyors hard to hate. For that matter, the rationale for recent bans on smoking is the injustice of secondhand smoke, and there's no such thing as secondhand obesity. Last year, a Pew Research poll found that 74 percent of Americans viewed tobacco companies unfavorably, but only 39 percent viewed fast-food companies unfavorably. This week, a Pew survey found that more Americans blame obesity, especially their own, on lack of exercise and willpower than on "the kinds of foods marketed at restaurants and grocery stores."

    These obstacles don't make the assault on junk food futile. But they do clarify how it will unfold. It will rely on three arguments: First, we should protect kids. Second, fat people are burdening the rest of us. Third, junk food isn't really food.

    Targeting kids is a familiar way to impose morals without threatening liberties. You can have a beer or an abortion, but your daughter can't. The conservative aspect of this argument is that you're entitled, as a parent, to decide what your kids can do or buy. That's the pitch Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, made last week in a bill to crack down on junk food in schools. The liberal half of the argument is that kids are too young to make informed choices. In this case, it's true. Studies show that little kids ask for products they see on television; fail to distinguish ads from programs; and are heavily targeted by companies peddling candy, fast food, and sugared cereal.

    This stage of the fat war will be a rout. In schools, the audience is young and captive, and the facts are appalling. According to a government report, 75 percent of high schools, 65 percent of middle schools, and 30 percent of elementary schools have contracts with "beverage"—i.e., soda—companies. The sodas are commonly sold through vending machines. The contracts stipulate how many thousands of cases each district has to buy, and they offer schools a bigger cut of the profits from soda than from juice or water. Soda companies, realizing they're going to lose this fight, are fleeing elementary schools and arguing that high-schoolers are old enough to choose. But health advocates refuse to draw such a line. They're not going to stop with kids.

    To keep junk food away from adults, fat-fighters will have to explain why obesity is the government's business. Some say the government created the problem by subsidizing pork, sugar, cream, high-fructose corn syrup, and other crud. Harkin reasons that the government pays for school lunches and must protect this "investment." But their main argument is that obesity inflates health-care costs and hurts the economy through disability and lost productivity. Last month, former President Clinton, a confessed overeater, told the nation's governors that obesity has caused more than a quarter of the rise in health-care costs since 1987 and threatens our economic competitiveness. It's not our dependence on foreign oil that's killing us. It's our dependence on vegetable oil.

    If the fat-fighters win that argument, they'll reach the final obstacle: the sanctity of food. Food is a basic need and a human right. Marlboros won't keep you alive on a desert island, but Fritos will. To lower junk food to the level of cigarettes, its opponents must persuade you that it isn't really food. They're certainly trying. Soda isn't sustenance, they argue; it's "liquid candy." Crackers aren't baked; they're "engineered," like illegal drugs, to addict people. Last year, New York City's health commissioner asked restaurants to stop using trans fats, which he likened to asbestos. But he ignored saturated fats, which are equally bad and more pervasive. Why are trans fats an easier whipping-cream boy? Because they're mostly artificial.

    This, I suspect, is where the war will end. Ban all the creepy-soft processed cookies you want to, but respect nature and nutrition. New York City is purging whole milk from its schools, despite the fact that milk has steadily lost market share to soda during the obesity surge. A fact sheet from Harkin implies that schools should treat milk, French fries, and pizza like soda, jelly beans, and gum. Come on. How many people died in the Irish jelly bean famine? How many babies have nursed on 7-Up? How many food groups does gum share with pizza? If you can't tell the difference, don't tell us what to eat.

    ---------------

    This is getting ridiculous, pretty soon we're all gonna be eating at Taco Bell, wearing kimino's and singing I'm a Yankee Doddle Dandy. Someone needs to stop this **** *amazingfantasy, you have been fined 1 credit for violating the verbal morality code* CRAP! It's already happened!
     
  2. Leto Atrides Guest

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    I agree in a broad sense. Just another example of overregulation by the government IMO (the problem in Demolition Man).
     
  3. lazur Registered

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    That's what happens when people abandon personal responsibility in favor of blaming someone else for their 'misfortunes'. Problem is, they aren't 'misfortunes' at all - they're bad decisions.

    Super size me, that film made by that guy about McD's food, made millions of dollars because of this. People, it seems MOST people, think it's normal to blame everything and everyone else for their fat asses, when all they really need to do to find the guilty party is look in the mirror.
     
  4. The Last Meatbag Registered

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    I better start liking Taco bell :(
     
  5. Flame on! Registered

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    Demolition18!

    EDIT: Demolition18 was an absolute nutter who posts nothing but ****ty story ideas, and reviews for Demolition Man on an old sci-fi forum.

    His Daredevil movie outline contained the important plot device that Daredevil doesn't have a drivers liscense. He wouldn't even bother to take the written...
     
  6. ShadowBoxing Registered

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    eh...as I very fit person myself, I do blame McDonalds for a lot of the obesity. People, the majority of them, are very maliable. The message of TV, movies and massmedia is that this stuff tastes good and if you want to be cool and have fun you should eat it. What Spurlocker did was incredibly bold and smart on his part. By outing them for the addictive and manipulative things they do he started a counter culture movement against fast food. In a way using their own weapons against them.
     
  7. black_dust FrEaK-A-ZoId!!!

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    Whats Your Boggle!????
     
  8. Leto Atrides Guest

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    That's the good way to do it. Having the government try to stop it is not, IMO.
     
  9. jaguarr Be Your Own Hero

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    I agree, but lazur has a point in that people have shirked personal responsibility in our culture and THAT is what ultimately gets them into trouble.

    jag
     
  10. Batman15 Registered

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    super size me sucked and was overrated :down:
    the guy was a ***** to start with, and the message was ridicuously obvious from the start.
     
  11. black_dust FrEaK-A-ZoId!!!

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    well not really, they tested Morgan BEFORE he began and his weight and health dematicaly changed over 10 tens from the first results
     
  12. Flame on! Registered

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    Is Demolotion Man that movie with the brand new sun screens?
     
  13. Darthphere Kneel before 'Drox!

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    Oh god.....Taco Bell!!!!
     
  14. Flame on! Registered

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    I'll call myself Daredevil. I'll get around by swinging and leaping.
     
  15. Spider-Nerd Bring on the pressure

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    these guys are ******ed. People eat what they want. You wanna get fat? fine. You wanna eat super clean and be a body builder, fine.
     
  16. Batman15 Registered

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    a. I was pretty much talking outta my ass there just from my hatred for the movie, so yeah, dont really put to much thought into what i said.

    b. Up until that point he had only eaten vegetarian crap food, his body wasn't used to the meat and the sudden change in foods.

    c. What he ate wasnt normal. Sometimes hed have 2 cheeseburgers along with his meal and other extra food. He would eat more than a regular person would when they go to mcdonalds.

    d. He threw up after his first meal, something most people wouldnt do after a mcdonalds meal.
     
  17. Leto Atrides Guest

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    That's a big thing. I've never seen anyone eat that way, except people who would be 300+ pounds anyway.
     
  18. lazur Registered

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    I understand addiction. I quit smoking about five years ago. I stopped biting my nails when I was 20 after doing it most of my life (picked it up from my mom). I have dropped upwards of 30 pounds in a month when I've wanted to look good for summer. I've given up caffeine and carbonated drinks. I've stopped eating crap food.

    Point is, whether McD's food, in particular, is "addictive" or not is up for debate. Some would argue that ALL food is addictive, since, you know, we sort of need it to survive. But I seriously doubt it'll ever be proven that people can be actually ADDICTED (meaning developing a DEPENDANCE) to a certain taste, such as the taste of a cheeseburger. YUMMY? Yes. MUST HAVE? No.

    Any time you drove through the drive-thru at McD's, or walked through the front door, YOU made the decision to do so. So unless you can prove or show that they inject their food with chemicals that cause physical dependance, you have to step up to the plate and take the blame.

    See, I like to eat McD's or Burger King, or some other fast food on OCCASION. I also smoke the occasional ciggy when I'm drinking. I'm sick to death of people with fat asses and black lungs coming along trying to TAKE AWAY my occasional treat because they can't control their own bodies and minds.

    To the general fast food "addict":

    Stop ruining it for everyone else who CAN control themselves. Get a handle on your own life already and quit trying to blame everyone else for your stupid decisions.
     
  19. Odin's Lapdog Registered

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    john spartan, you have been charged two credits for violation of the proper conduct act, this money will be deducted accordingly from your account.
     
  20. lazur Registered

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    Oh okay, so if I eat nothing but chocolate cake and ice cream for six months straight, you mean it may not be good for me and my health might be affected? OMG!

    :rolleyes:
     
  21. Mister J Enlightened to the Great Darkness

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    Tell me when they open the CryoPrison.


    And Spurlock is a grandstanding idiot. There have been a number of cases where people at exclusively at McDonald's at lost weight and lowered their cholesterol. The difference is they behaved like human beings and not trick monkeys.
     
  22. Kritish Registered

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    I wouldn't be surprised if smoking is banned in my lifetime.
     
  23. jaguarr Be Your Own Hero

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    :up:

    jag
     
  24. amazingfantasy15 Registered

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    It'll never be outright banned states and the federal government make too much off the taxes. In Chicago, they passed a smoking ban that prohibits smoking in most restaurants and bars and increased cigarette taxes by $1 within a month of each other. That's crap.
     
  25. Kritish Registered

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    It's the same way in Dallas.
     

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