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View Diary: Obesity - is it political?! (72 comments)

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  •  no "corporate plot", but reforms and laws needed (2+ / 0-)
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    theran, lesliet

    It is not just an American problem, and it is not just big corporations that are "guilty".  I see two things: as technology progresses, the ratio of the cost of high-calories foods, and individual transportation, to income decreases.  Hence the unhealthy lifestyles are increasingly affordable, and thus affecting the poor.

    However, all income groups become fatter in my observation.  At least, the middle class and middle class children are affected a lot.

    1.  Oblige all food providers, including "mom and pop" restaurants and fast foods, to provide nutritional information for their meals.  I think some science and engineering is needed to create affordable "food testers" for, say, small pizza joints, Chinese restaurants etc.  And they can use scales too.
    1.  Regulate the size of "regular portions" and "supersize discounts"?  Outlaw -- or tax -- "all you can eat" (except for, well, carrots, to use "stick and carrot" method)?
    1.  Restructure the way agriculture is subsidized to steer it away (to a degree, of course) from bulk commodities like corn and fat meat to vegetables and fruits.
    1.  Make active lifestyle easier.  Sidewalks or wide shoulders anyone?  Public transit?  Bike paths?  More access to state forests and more trails?  Gym vouchers for the poor?  Here some ideas can be shared with energy saving.  (And bulk commodity agriculture is an energy hog as well.)
    •  Not enough vegetable and fruit growing capacity (1+ / 0-)
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      I read somewhere (don't have the reference, sorry) that if everyone in the US tried to start eating healthy tomorrow they would not be able to obtain the necessary fruits and vegetables because we don't have the capacity to grow them in the U.S. This speaks to your point 3. We need to start encouraging growers to switch to producing more fruits and vegetables, which will not be an easy process.

      I very much support your points 1 and 4 also. For those who talk about "personal responsibility", the need for 1. should be obvious. How can you control your intake if restaurants won't tell you the composition of the food they're serving you.

      Not so sure about 2 - that seems like a bit too much government control. Although I have to admit that it bugs me when I go to a place like McDonalds and order a small hamburger and they tell me I can have two cheeseburgers for the same price, and when the healthy salad costs 5 times as much as that less healthy hamburger.

      I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies..

      by lesliet on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 07:44:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt... (0+ / 0-)

        that salad is more healthy.

        fewer calories, yes, but not more healthy.

        got stats?

        •  Hamburger vs salad (0+ / 0-)

          Well, I was referring specifically to the Asian salad with grilled chicken, eaten without any added dressing (since there's a glaze on the chicken which is adequate). From the McDonald's web site...

          Hamburger: 250 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, .5g trans fat, 520 g sodium, 31g carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 6 gm sugar, 12 g protein, % daily values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 10%, Iron 15%

          Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken: 300 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 890g sodium, 37g carbohydrates, 23g carb 5g fiber 12gm sugar 32 g protein, % daily values: Vitamin A 130, Vitamin C 90%, Calcium 15%, Iron 15%

          So they're roughly comparable in calories and fat. But the salad has less saturated and trans fats and more protein. There's bit more sodium and sugar in the salad - probably due to that glaze. But because the salad has pea pods, carrots, almonds, and mandarin oranges, there's actually some vitamins in there and more fiber. And at a greater volume, the salad is more filling and satisfies my hunger longer than a small hamburger alone.

          Some of the other McDonald's salads are worse, with things like bacon and cheese in them. And if you get the crispy chicken or slather them with dressing all bets are off. But I think the Asian salad with grilled chicken is a pretty healthy choice. It just costs 5 times as much as the hamburger.

          I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies..

          by lesliet on Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 08:25:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is... (0+ / 0-)

            more than half the recommended sodium intake (using the non-industrialized british RDA).

            But honestly, for a salad, I'm surprised at how nutritionally sound that is.

            Volumetric isn't everything... protein and fat are a lot of what keeps people full.

            But one of the best diet foods is popcorn.

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