There are a good amount of productivity hacks and emphasis on time management skills on HN; should I dismiss those articles with a complaint about personal responsibility? No. 'Just try harder' rarely works. If it was that easy, you wouldn't have to try harder in the first place.
Personal responsibility exists, but the human brain is lazy and impulsive, and it takes a ton of outside intervention to get it aligned with modern society (parents, schooling, socialization, etc.). It's no wonder we have appetite control problems since we're dealing with human hardware that's hundreds of thousands of years old.
To be clear, I have mixed feelings on the "war on sugar". It's just that the "Whatever happened to personal responsibility" cliche others have brought up is shortsighted.
Also I'm sure they will see less soda being bought inside the city, that is a win right? Except people are just shopping outside city limits. Kinda like dry counties were you just pick up your booze on the way home.
The market is incapable of self-regulation, that much has shown itself to be true. Removal of marketing towards children and easy access to vending machines will go a long way in improving public health in Australia. The days of avoiding a nanny state in Australia are pretty much gone, the government regulates everything, and for the most part it hasn't actually been bad at all.
> but they need to pay their own healthcare costs somehow.
Terrible idea, Medicare is one of Australia's shining institutions (even with all it's bureaucratic flaws). The American healthcare model has literally 0 chance of ever being adopted in Australia. The simple fact is we live in a socialised society, and so when burdens are placed on the public infrastructure from profit hungry corporations, the natural response is to regulate and deal with it. We saw it with cigarettes, hopefully we see it with sugar, and one day with alcohol too.
I think you should read this as arguing for Tax on Negative Externality, also called a Pigovian tax. Such taxation aims to solve the problem that the social cost of a market activity is not covered by the private cost of the activity.
Should going outside without a hat on be ticketable?
And what about people over 70, falls cause many bone and brain injuries, and many deaths in the elderly, and it's expensive and dangerous. Should we require a helmet and kneepads for anyone over 70 to be work at all times when walking?
And what about salt? Heart problems come from more places than obesity, and it's heart problems that are a huge drain on the healthcare system; will we also ban salt?
How about a sedentary office lifestyle, this is also bad for your health, will we tax sitting? Will the gym, like voting, become compulsory in Australia?
Skin cancer and heart disease are major issues as is the elderly falling over, and if there were predatory organisations which were peddling products that abused human weakness to capitalize on addiction, or running around pushing old people over, I think we should look into handling those organizations. However salt and sunshine are absolutely vital to the proper functioning of the human body, whereas eating a bag of skittles and downing six bottles of coke is not. And corporations are out there peddling sugar because it sells, and that is predatory behaviour and the bill is footed by the Australian public for the profit seeking of a tiny minority. That is what this recommendation seeks to stop.
I'll concede sun and salt are in a different category, but it seems morally wrong to tax my sugar because someone else can't moderate their own intake. Why is it our position anyway, to tell someone what they can't do if it doesn't affect us? If we tax sugar, alcohol, salt, etc, then the man who has these each in moderation, once a month or whatever, is now paying higher taxes not on one product, but across the board, where none of it harms him because he partakes rarely of any one category.
If this was America where much of the healthcare wasn’t socialized and it was every poor schlob for themselves, then you might have a point.
It's been done with cigarettes.
No, because that's some crap I just made up to sound ridiculous. You could, however, tax the top 1% more than the bottom 99%.
The severity of the negative incentive has to match the severity of the action/inaction. This includes whether the negative incentive is passive or active, i.e. taxing someone is less severe than fining them.
Sugar is incorporated into almost every food by corporations to increase addiction & taste. It's a slippery slope, thus, taxes makes sense.
Similar to tobacco.
taxes don't make sense because people will just substitute sugary foods for other types of food. isocaloric exchange of sugar for other nutrients doesn't lead to weight loss. so the end result is that consumers pay more for something they enjoy (sweet food and drink) without any public health benefit.
Then we make law to print warning labels about the danger of sugar on every product that has added sugar.
These would be more effective than tax.
Things like veggie burgers are probably a little better but when I look at the ingredient list it's still scary long. I can make burgers myself from around 5 ingredients or less.
Sure, but why is 5 ingredients better? That's the question you haven't offered any defense of.
I just ate a sandwich. I put three kinds of peppers on it. Would it have been better for me if I'd only put two? It had soy-based meant on it. Would it have been better for me if it'd had regular ham instead?
"Less processed" might be a useful heuristic for health, and "fewer ingredients" is likely a useful heuristic for "less processed", but you've presented no evidence for that claim, and it's definitely very far from universally true.
If you think that a specific process, like squeezing oranges, results in a product that has less nutritional value in comparison to a different product (whole oranges), then great. Say that. That is an actionable, specific, testable, and coherent nutritional guideline for society. Meaningless, unscientific buzzwords aren't what we should base nutritional guidelines and policy on.
Nope but one orange has 12-17g of sugar and one cup of OJ has 21g. So maybe about two. I could easily eat that in one sitting.
I mean look what happened to "the war on fat", the sugar war will be no different. I feel that excess consumption of artificial sweeteners, salts or fats will be the next problem.
It's the same for climate change. People constantly think it's governments that need to fix climate change without making any of their own lifestyle changes to help address the issue.
Maybe you're right, but these markets exist because people buy these products. Coca-cola got to where it was today because people drank it by the kilolitre.
I found it REALLY hard in modern society. I could do it as I am well off, but it is very difficult to eat cheaply and healthily.
Many people have appetites which lead to them only wanting to eat a healthy about of food. If you are like that, great! I, like many other people, do not. I'm hungry all the time and almost any food it is easy to get contains a huge amount of unfilling but tasty calories.
Word. It simply is impossible to eat cheaply and healthily. Cheap or even reasonably priced food is usually rubbish or requires so much cooking that the savings on the food itself are countered by the price of cooking it.
A good electric pressure cooker can cook things very efficiently. It's even better than a traditional pressure cooker because it's insulated. You can cook dried beans with it easily, and dried beans are cheap. It's good for rice too, which is also cheap. Add some frozen vegetables and eggs and you have a reasonably cheap and healthy diet.
Staying healthy solo is easy. Staying healthy as a family is hard.
Thinking about places like: Mexico, India, Sri-Lanka.
And really, the hardest part of eating well is definitely the cost, but also the knowledge (what I know today could have made college-me much more effective!).
What I've noticed is over the years more and more in stores 'food items' are things I absolutely will not buy.
The flip side is well paid professionals that come to work every day to work relentlessly to exploit weaknesses in peoples personal responsibility and consciousness.
I've read that new research say, "Sugar is more addictive than cocaine." So does personal responsibility still apply?
Indeed. But when a poorly educated population with few alternatives ia actively marketed to, then perhaps the outcome is more a reflection of corporate exploitation than a reflection of informed consumer choices.
How has that been working out so far?
I think it comes down to a certain healthy degree of (acquired) snobbery towards what you eat. If availability of food is no longer a concern, snobbery can very well take it's place! For example I could not imagine treating myself to eating a Hershey bar or Dunking donuts or whatever. Same as I wouldn't eat off the garbage bins behind a restaurant.
I guess there should be data on this (in relation to tobacco/ alcohol).
My personal biases tell me that people don’t have great self control. Shifting social norms, such that over-consumption is less socially acceptable might help. But that’s hard to do (and something different than education).
No. This has been beaten to death in dozens of studies going back to the 50s. Education does not trump brain chemistry.
> Shifting social norms, such that over-consumption is less socially acceptable might help.
It would help a lot, but food purity laws would help more. It would be nice if I could find a loaf of bread in a supermarket that didn't have HFCS in it.
Regarding beard, curiously enough I’ve just started using a bread maker. Takes 5mins to setup in the evening and can be timed to have the bread ready when you wake up, recommend.
Not completely sure it's bread, though.
This is the key. We are social animals and we heavily regulate what we eat based on what other people eat.
But we have been socialised to avoid strong judgement of obese people.
Personally, I refuse to eat with obese friends unless they are actively trying to eat a healthy and well proportioned meal.
In the same way that I don't hang out with friends when they smoke.
Think about the difference in social response you will get if you admit you don't eat with obese people vs you won't sit at a table of smokers while they smoke!
But I don't care. I've been obese and I'm not going back.
I hope you understand that there are a lot of very intelligent people working at food companies who work on undermining people's self control and hooking children to their products. This is a losing battle for a lot of people.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together
...All while a few become unfathomably wealthy and powerful, and the rest move in the opposite direction. All while we fail to invest in infrastructure, quality education, and functional public health, mental health, and nutrition.
Edit: pop this into Google: war on sugar uk usa
My point being, a war on sugar is the wrong way to battle the obesity crisis. Get people to eat more fruits and veggies and to spend more active time outdoors.
>but smoking organically grown tobacco without additives and filters doesn't seem to do much harm from my experience.
Get an x-ray or ct scan of your lungs. Or get your VO2max tested. Quit for a month and try testing it again. I assure you, you'll see a difference just from your airways and nasal passages not being inflamed.
This sort of comment is pure regression to the mean, which is not what we want HN to be.
Besides that, I agree that meat is a superior food compared to sugar and it will get you more easily fat, if compared on calorie by calorie base.
But this does not say anything about the addictiveness of sugar or the health problems that come from overconsumption (diabetes, etc).
Will say, most people can control their meat intake (some not), but most can not control how much sugar they consume. Especially if it is omnipresent and hidden in many foods you might not suspect.
meat... will get you more easily fat if compared on calorie (for) calorie (basis)