Health N***s keep trying

August 9th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

David Fisher reports:

Health officials worried about an obesity epidemic want fast-food advertising dropped from public property, including bus shelters, and are questioning fast-food and soft-drink sponsorship of public events.

They have also raised concerns over the lack of political power to stop fast-food restaurants being built near schools and in poor areas.

The moves by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service are a return to the healthy-eating principles which drove the national ban on pies in school tuck shops.

I’m sorry but fuck off and leave us alone. Jesus Christ I am sick of these people trying to control our lives, and what we can see or do.

No food is entirely bad, it is all about moderation.  It sounds like they want to ban chinese takeaways in some areas. Will sushi bars be allowed though? FFS.

I know the Auckland Regional Public Health Service is not under the direct control of the Minister of Health, but could he please cut their funding or something.

Auckland health board clinical director Robyn Toomath said the over-turning of the tuck shop rules marked the beginning of a struggle to change behaviour through Parliament.

“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to persuade central government to take responsibility for these things. At the moment, that’s not happening. So either we give up and say nothing can be done, or do you say, ‘Hang on, is there another level where we can influence the environment?’, and that’s the tier we’re talking about now.”

The translation is “Oh never mind the people voted for a different Government that doesn’t believe in banning pies from tuckshops, we’ll just carry on regardless and use our taxpaayer funded jobs to ignore the Government”.

“Obesity is a genetically, biologic-ally based state. If you inherit genes that make you a food seeker, and you put that person in an environment where food is being promoted and it’s 24/7 and it’s cheap and palatable, that person will respond to that stimulus.”

God forbid, free choice be recognised as a factor. Why doesn’t Dr Toomath just call for all food outlets to be closed down and replaced by government cafetarias that will serve appropriate meals only?

Dr Toomath: “I don’t have a bone to pick with the fast-food industry. They’re a business, they have shareholders … and they’re clever at what they do. The people I do have a bone to pick with are the regulators who’ve just taken their hand off and said ‘Go for it, do what you like’.”

The bone I have is with taxpayer funded lobbyists.

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72 Responses to “Health N***s keep trying”

  1. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Restricting fast food in poor areas? Lmao

    What would the UN say about such discrimination.

    Poor people must get sick of being told they are stupid and need protecting at all times.

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  2. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    these people are everywhere .. just had my 2nd bike ride on the roads in 5 years or so .. that’s far more dangerous to my health than the pie I’m having at lunchtime (pepper steak covered in tomato sauce).

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  3. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Health N***s keep trying

    Tags: health ****s

    Godwinned in the TITLE! :-)

    Oh and on a serious note – I don’t really believe many people voted National because they are ideologically opposed to getting school tuck shops stocking healthy food instead of fatty shit. Do you believe people did? Really?

    [DPF: It is not about what school tuck shops stock but about whether the state should be dictating it to them. And yes I firmaly believe many Kiwis were sick and tired of nanny state telling them what they could and could not do - such as water pressure maximums for showers]

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  4. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    DPF: Oh never mind the people voted for a different Government

    Let no one stop John Key from borrowing $300 million a week.

    [DPF: Off topic - 20 demerits.]

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  5. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    “Health N***s keep trying” I’m guessing N***s is Farrar’s attempt to sidestep the far right’s obsession with Godwin’s law. Perhaps Farrar could point to the specific instance of the National Socialists attempt to stamp out fast food, because there is no shortage of parallels between what the Nazis got up to and what the current administrators of the Anglosphere believe is acceptable.

    This is similar to the pokie machine problem, the reason the wealthy do not need to worry about being swamped with fast food outlets and pokie machine parlours is they possess the political clout to prevent such an eventuality.

    People at the bottom of the socio-economic heap are targeted by the predatory thugs that own society, and the predatory thugs and their business class mercenaries do not like being told their parasitic endeavors are exacerbating the problems of the subject populations on which they prey.

    “Poor people must get sick of being told they are stupid and need protecting at all times.”

    What an idiot thing to say when it is so obvious that what poor people are really sick of is being the fodder on which the wealthy feast.

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  6. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    “And yes I firmaly believe many Kiwis were sick and tired of nanny state telling them what they could and could not do – such as water pressure maximums for showers”

    Though evidently not tired of Peter Dunne telling them what they can and cannot do.

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  7. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    While I agree to a large degree with Yoza’s evaluation of the problem, I don’t think that government bans are the solution. Or at least, I’m sure there are better solutions.

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  8. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Bazinga!! Berend cops one in the chook for being a dick, nicely placed upper cut to the glass jaw…

    Anyhoo, on topic…

    I have three kids. They have veges nearly every single night with dinner – spuds, carrots, broc, you name it. Come the weekend, most Saturdays lunch is a pie.

    Why is this so damned hard for people to understand? Some foods are treats. Get off your lazy arse and teach your kids to eat properly.

    /rant

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  9. ObligatoryMarxist (37 comments) says:

    How then, would you, ahem, ‘right wingers’, if I may be so crude, have a public health policy organization respond to obesity problems? I will agree that trying to get government to ban advertising is a dumb way of trying to help, regardless of if it would be an effective strategy or not.

    I just find it odd that you’re annoyed with a public health policy group making suggestions on public health policy. Do you believe we should not have public health policy? Or that they should only make suggestions that fit within your ethos? Or are you merely exasperated at the uselessness of suggesting policy that the current government would never implement.

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  10. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    “People at the bottom of the socio-economic heap are targeted by the predatory thugs that own society, and the predatory thugs and their business class mercenaries do not like being told their parasitic endeavors are exacerbating the problems of the subject populations on which they prey.”

    Oh wah fucking wah. They have no one to blame but themselves if they are so fucking retarded that they shove all their benefit down a pokie machine while their kid sits in the car all night on a school night. These people are not victims, they are trash that should not be breeding.

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  11. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    “If you inherit genes that make you a food seeker” wtf?

    So your genes make you fat?

    This is an attempt to take the blame away from individual responsibility,another socialist theme of our times.

    Everyone is a “food seeker”. The problem is eating more food than you need and not exercising.Too simple.

    And there is a bigger picture of the attempt at social control. A lot of this came about in Britain with the BBC and a campaign against drink driving (which had some merits),that has been extended to tobacco.
    I’ve heard Labour ministers talk about “modifying peoples’ behaviour” . It is now mainstream and dressed up as a social good.Who can argue with that?

    This is where the “right” or what’s left of it really need to come out of the blue corner and fight back……..but sadly the towel was thrown in a long time ago.

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  12. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    But the National government introduced the no smoking legislation in private properties as bars and restaurants. The National Party is as nanny as the Labour Party & Greens.

    This fucker, Robyn Toomath should mind her own fucking business and leave the public to east & buy fatty food whenever they choose to do so.

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  13. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Larger portions of fattier food in more locations I say. If you are too stupid to care for your own health then eat yourself to death and get the fuck out of my gene pool.

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  14. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    How much political clout do i need to simply not play pokie machines and to not buy a pie?

    How does a shop having its door open prey on anyone? you show me the pokie establishment or dairy that is literally preying on people and forcing them to consume and i might consider agreeing with you.

    otherwise your example is just another one of the lefts pathetic ‘poor people are too dumb to avoid x bad behaviour or habit so we have to ban it for them’ crusades.

    its personal choice. you can choose to be like Yoza and be a fat bastard eating pies all day on the pokie machines, or you could simply… choose not to. or choose to have 1 pie and play pokies for 10 minutes.

    Yoza is one of the idiots who thinks that income = wealth so the less we hear of its opinion on what the wealthy or the poor do the better.

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  15. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    The problem we have is we pay too much tax. We wouldn’t be funding these idiots if there were no money. Tax allows these funds to be available, and then an industry arises to ensure the money gets spent.
    As for obligatory marxist (wake up and smell the coffee, it’s 2012 not 1917), the real question is why we have a public health system. Ultimately, such schemes will be wound down across the western world as government runs out of other people’s money.

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  16. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Berend – you really are irrelevant. The Nats are trying to manage and minimise the borrowing because the Labour Government spent money like a drunken sailor – leaving the Government with long term structural deficits. and that was before the GFC and the earhquakes.

    Maybe the deficits would not be so high is labour had controlled the spending and did not fund self important groups as DPF writes about in this post.

    Now bugger off until you learn to be relevant and let the grown-ups talk.

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  17. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    ObligatoryMarxist (12) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I just find it odd that you’re annoyed with a public health policy group making suggestions on public health policy. Do you believe we should not have public health policy? Or that they should only make suggestions that fit within your ethos? Or are you merely exasperated at the uselessness of suggesting policy that the current government would never implement.

    I’m annoyed at paying tax to pay their salaries whilst they advocate the removal of my freedoms. We have universal health care because it’s more efficient. It shouldn’t be an excuse to have the government attempt to regulate how we live our lives. If it is going to be used as an excuse to invade our lives and tell us what we are allowed to do with our own bodies then I’m happy to get rid of universal health care and I’ll rely on my health insurance provider.

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  18. djp (59 comments) says:

    They tell us what we can smoke
    They tell us what we can drink

    I am not surprised they want to tell us what we can eat

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  19. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi. Yes, National did make bars smokefree. The difference is that smoking directly affects the health of those around you. One does not suffer passive eating at Macca’s.

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  20. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    One reason why governments,of both persuasions,are shitting themselves is because there is a tsunami of fat bastards hitting the hospitals and there’s nothing they can do about it except pay up.

    No government would dare say to a smoker with shot lungs,fuck off you done it yourself.
    No government would tell a humongous blob ,fuck off you can’t have new hips/knees what ever it is you’ve fucked up,it’s your own fault.
    The media and whoever was in opposition would crucify them.
    nyone remember the faux outrage when the fat Pacific womans’ power was cut off ? Even the PM Klark turned up to that bun fest to berate the power co. Don’t pay your power bills at the cost of your own life!How irresponsible is that? It’s part of the devaluation and destruction of democracy that the last 40 years have seen. Governments must pander to the lowest common denominator and keep spending other peoples money on social problems that are insoluble. All down to a lack of individual responsibility.

    So work harder the gummint needs your money to give to useless fuckers who eat,drink and smoke too much.

    Main cause of children admission to hospital? Dental decay. So the public health system is being fucked up because parents won’t teach their kids to brush their teeth od go to the excellent dental clinics provided by us all around the counrty. What a fuck up!

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  21. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Slightlyrighty,

    That decision should be up to the owners of the properties to decide who can smoke in their premises and who can’t. Customers and potential employees should then make a choice whether to apply for a job at that smoking environment or perhaps if diners want to dine at that restaurant or not. Freedom of choice. No, the government simply dictated to the owners that they can’t have that freedom. The Cigar bar in Parnell was closed as the result of this stupid fucking nanny legislation.

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  22. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    djp:

    They tell you what side of the road to drive on, too!

    Is there no end to their tyranny?

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  23. marcw (249 comments) says:

    If they were really serious about “healthy food” they would be banning the most popular and unhealthy fast food… yes, fish and chips. But no, they always go on about the franchises, because… well because they are the big bad Americans you see. They are truly pathetic and I agree their funding should be more carefully monitored so their message (which they do have a role in promoting) is more reasoned and relevant. Keep out the zealots including that idiot Selleman. (Sorry if I have the spelling wrong, but you know the one, always on about the demon alcohol and won’t be happy until it’s banned from sale.)

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  24. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    DPF – stop being so mamby pamby.

    The word Nazi doesnt just refer to the political party that had an influence in europe last century.
    The use of the term has morphed – sort of like how the meaning of Gay has morphed.

    Nazi can mean any or all of the following:
    Superiority:
    esp racial superioroty (like the maori language nazi’s who consider themselves superior when they want to correct evryone over pronounciation)
    Extreme right wing:
    with views on strict behaviour and punishment.
    Central Control:
    the Communists could have learned a lot from the nazis on how the set behaviour rules for everyone.
    Swift implimentation of policy:
    No need to ask focus groups about what to do – just issue an edict.
    Reward and punishment programmes:
    Fire half the workers and tell the others to make the place run well – or else (mind you one does need a suitable threat – they used the ‘re-education’ camps as the threat)

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  25. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    We have universal health care because it’s more efficient.

    er what? up is down, black is white.

    Price control and nationalisation increase efficiency, you heard it here first (if you missed the 1930’s)

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  26. tom hunter (4,863 comments) says:

    If it is going to be used as an excuse to invade our lives and tell us what we are allowed to do with our own bodies then I’m happy to get rid of universal health care and I’ll rely on my health insurance provider.

    Waihana

    Remember that argument we had some months ago about the pros and cons of mangling a constitution to embed “positive” as well as “negative” rights? Such as making “health care” a constitutional right?

    Remember how I pointed out that the imposition and coercion of the state upon citizens that would be needed to deliver such a “right” would be without limit – both in terms of the resources demanded of others to deliver on the “right”, and the restrictions placed on citizens to try and limit that infinite demand – and the society-rending tensions of trying to balance these forces?

    Well here we are baby. And it’s only going to get worse – and democracy is not going to fix it.

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  27. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    I get 20 demerits from pointing out this government has different priorities than banning pies? What’s off-topic about that? Or can I only denounce the health n***s and stay on topic?

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  28. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi (1,915) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Slightlyrighty,

    That decision should be up to the owners of the properties to decide who can smoke in their premises and who can’t. Customers and potential employees should then make a choice whether to apply for a job at that smoking environment or perhaps if diners want to dine at that restaurant or not. Freedom of choice. No, the government simply dictated to the owners that they can’t have that freedom. The Cigar bar in Parnell was closed as the result of this stupid fucking nanny legislation.

    Yeah but the “freedom” to work is really not entirely a matter of choice. Either you work or you go without. So in that context it’s not really true that it’s purely a matter of choice for the employee to tolerate unhealthy working conditions. But there should be some scope for businesses to have smoking indoors if sufficient measures are taken to mitigate the risks to employees.

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  29. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount (1,557) Says:

    Price control and nationalisation increase efficiency, you heard it here first (if you missed the 1930′s)

    Sure a public health system is a bit less efficient dollar for dollar.

    But it’s more effective at picking up the poor people who would otherwise die in the gutter under a 100% user pays system. I guess it depends on what sort of country you want to have…

    ;-) But the topic went —————> that way!

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  30. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    fast food outlets target the poor and vulnerable I hear people say .. umm, really.
    Every Sunday, we have a family roast .. when all turn up it is 8 adults and 3 grandchildren (the kids don’t count in this example)
    So, you can get a decent sized beef for $15-$18 (or a couple of chickens for $18-$20. Add potatoes, kumera, carrots, peas, leak, cauli and brocoli and you are up to say $30. A great meal and sometimes leftovers!! (give or take, that’s about $4 each).
    So, how much to feed 8 adults at say KFC, McD’s, Wendy’s, Burger King etc?
    these “poor” people need to learn to cook and save a bloody fortune. (we always have takeaways on a Friday .. yum)

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  31. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    tom hunter (3,294) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Remember that argument we had some months ago about the pros and cons of mangling a constitution to embed “positive” as well as “negative” rights? Such as making “health care” a constitutional right?

    Yep. I can’t remember the context, but a valid point in any case. :)

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  32. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana, stop fucking wanking around about property rights. The owners have the rights to their premises. The workers & diners don’t. If you don’t like the smoking environment simply because the owners decided that their smoking is allowed in their premises then go somewhere else.

    This is what you said above.

    Weihana…

    It shouldn’t be an excuse to have the government attempt to regulate how we live our lives.

    Who’s the WE that you refer to? Everyone else excluding the bar & restaurant owners? Regulating bars & restaurants of what their owners can be allowed to do in their private properties is exactly what you’re moaning about as I have highlighted above.

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  33. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    The problem here is people with their hearts in the right places but who for quite genuine reasons cannot appreciate the large picture. Health professionals think that if only society can get rid of the causes of various kinds of ill health then there will be more resources to treat ‘worthy’ patiients who are on long waiting lists. Give me Dr Toomath any day over that rat-bag surgeon who, when caught drink-driving fought the charge tooth and nail (unsuccessfully) instead of admitting he had goofed and would take it on the nose.

    One can well imagine doctors getting ‘warped’ over treating road smash victims caused by drunk drivers or avoidable obesity and thinking ‘prohibition’ would be an effective ‘quick fix’. If society is not ready at large for ‘prohibition’ of alcohol, smokes, fast food, etc, it will just not work. There were severe restrictions on alcohol 50 years ago – 6 o’clock closing, no licenced restaurants (unless within a hotel), etc – but they did not work.

    The answer IMO is going to be a ‘softer’ longer term approach aimed at gradually changing general public attitudes. For example smoking or being caught drink-drive is no longer as ‘cool’ or ‘bad luck’ respectively that they once were. Actually, I would have thought that if Dr Toomath could persuade the Auckland Council to outlaw fast food ads on bus shelters, it could be worth a go. There is an almighty big difference between limiting advertising and closing down fast food joints.

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  34. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount (1,557) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    We have universal health care because it’s more efficient.

    er what? up is down, black is white.

    Price control and nationalisation increase efficiency, you heard it here first (if you missed the 1930′s)

    Ok, an oversimplification, but the point is that relative to the American system of health ours appears more efficient. But if there is an added cost to universal health care, and that cost is the gradual abolition of all freedoms relating to personal lifestyles choices, then I would gladly trade in universal care for the American system.

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  35. tom hunter (4,863 comments) says:

    Jesus Christ I am sick of these people trying to control our lives,

    No you’re not. Not sick enough anyway. None of the people moaning and bitching here about these restrictions are sick enough of these ever increasing restrictions on what we can do in our lives to actually change the fundamental aspect of the system that necessarily drives them.

    When a government (whether local or central) offers to do something for you for “free” there are rules that get imposed. Playcentre gets lots of new playgrounds and other goodies – parents have to attend courses on teaching and gain points. Woe betide a Playcentre that opens a session without at least one parent there who has sufficient points; big trouble if an inspector just happens to turn up. The Council mows the verges in front of my house instead of me – it gets to take down the tire swing I set up for my kids because it presents an OSH hazard to the mower driver.

    You wanted “universal”, “free” health care – well, nothing is free and the bill is just starting to arrive.

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  36. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    Down with all these mind-control freaks and totalitarians. Robyn Toomath, fuck off and disappear, will you?

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  37. ObligatoryMarxist (37 comments) says:

    Ok, here’s a question then, for the people who are talking about getting rid of socialized medicine; Are you ok with going back to the times when people died on the streets from disease, where wage-earners could only eat soup because their teeth were rotten through, and where an infection would usually mean amputation, because it was cheaper than medicine?

    If your argument is that this would not happen, why wouldn’t it happen? What is so different now from pre-1930s that we would have a healthy society without a society that looks after it’s health?

    I agree, however, that Government shouldn’t be forcing us to eat anything. At the same time, I think it is important to look at the coercion that the fast food industry places on us to eat unhealthy. The amount, and psychological technique they use to advertise is as much coercion as, say, war propaganda was. (meaning if you don’t think war propaganda was coercive, then we have a fundamental disagreement about what is coercion.)

    So the question is, what, if any, is an appropriate method of giving at-risk people the tools to counter that coercion. Government banning the ads? No, that’s silly and heavy handed. Giving communities the opportunity to ban fast food outlets from their own streets? Perhaps, it is their community after all, but people do have cars and commute a lot. How about encouraging communal healthy eating through schools? Pot-luck breakfasts for students and parents.

    All of this is irrelevant, however, if you’re of the mind that it’s not a problem, or at least, not -your- problem, and you’d rather just see all of them suffer from obesity.

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  38. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi (1,916) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Weihana, stop fucking wanking around about property rights. The owners have the rights to their premises. The workers & diners don’t. If you don’t like the smoking environment simply because the owners decided that their smoking is allowed in their premises then go somewhere else.

    This is what you said above.

    Weihana…

    It shouldn’t be an excuse to have the government attempt to regulate how we live our lives.

    Who’s the WE that you refer to? Everyone else excluding the bar & restaurant owners? Regulating bars & restaurants of what their owners can be allowed to do in their private properties is exactly what you’re moaning about as I have highlighted above.

    I agree that “The owners have the rights to their premises”. But I don’t agree this right is unfettered. I do not agree that this right should be recognized to such an extent that they may use their property in such a manner as to exploit the economic conditions which may compel some people to accept unsafe working conditions in order to put food on the table.

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  39. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @DPF 10:17 am

    It is not about what school tuck shops stock but about whether the state should be dictating it to them

    So you defend to the hilt the state dictating that schools report assessment under seriously flawed National Standards, but disagree with it dictating that they sell healthy food to our kids. I’m struggling to see the logic here.

    [DPF: Schools are there to educate, not to feed, But you miss the point. No item of food is unhealthy per se. A steak pie can be an absolutely fine lunch on a cold day for a kid, if it complements what they have for dinner, and they don't have one every day.

    Your state control fad is totalitarian and offensive. Stop trying to force your choices onto others]

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  40. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    tom hunter,

    You wanted “universal”, “free” health care – well, nothing is free and the bill is just starting to arrive.

    For me it’s swings and round-a-bouts. One person drinks a lot of beer, another person eats a lot of crap food and another person never exercises. But it’s not even limited to unhealthy people either. A healthy gymnast could break their neck on a balance beam, a rugby player might dislocate a shoulder, a surfer may get caught in a rip.

    Somehow it seems to me that injuries from some types of activities are considered morally acceptable whilst others are considered morally objectionable, yet in all such cases they are similar in that they impose a cost on other people for the choices of an individual. But that doesn’t matter because injury from sports is “good” and injury from consumption of unhealthy foods is “bad”.

    I would be just as happy if we could keep universal health care and simply stop moralizing about what people do in their personal lives.

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  41. tom hunter (4,863 comments) says:

    I’m struggling to see the logic here.

    Toad
    A case of apples and oranges. The government’s “imposition” in the case of education is on the educators to tell the public how well they’re doing, rather than compelling parents to do one hour of homework per child per night, which would be a better comparison.

    Or think of it from the government provider viewpoint: the imposition on government education providers is the same as demanding that government health care providers produce data on how well they’re doing in terms of operations, treatments, and resources used. Which they do – and which is seen as perfectly fair by taxpayers.

    Of course, if I did accept your argument, I’d have to point out that since you support the premise of “universal and free” in both areas you face the same looking glass logic.

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  42. mara (787 comments) says:

    I quite like the “food seeker gene” theory. I think I have it, but I also have a “don’t want to be a fat fuck” gene which keeps the seeking under control. This latter gene seems to be being bred out of society. Eugenics anyone?

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  43. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Schools all try to get the Heart ‘tick’ and other commendations for ‘healthy’ tuck shop food as well as doing what parents ask for. But kids are allowed a pie occasionally which is what Labour tried to ban.

    We don’t need the State in our bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens.

    Part of the problem today is the size of everything. Our bottles of pop used to be quite small and only for parties. Mums could make a tin of spaghetti stretch to feed four kids. Boys today will eat a whole tin on their own. Our plates were filled up with four or five veg, from the garden or bought cheaply, just as we can today, from the shop. Baking (like scones) was used to fill us up along with bread.

    It would be far more useful if these health commandants showed us what healthy portions are for normal kids and adults and how little protein etc we actually need each day, remembering that your body doesn’t care whether the protein is expensive fillet or cheap chicken. Because food is easy to get, we tend to eat too much and even too much fruit will make you fat with all its sugar.

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  44. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    @Toad
    Tom’s correct

    You need to understand the difference between information and state control.

    The Labour party lost the election (back in Clarks reign) when rather than simply educate the public that energy efficient bulbs might be better or efficient shower heads save money they instead wanted to make them compulsory. That is not only a ridiculous nanny state over reaction but leads to a world of anomalies and problems like where you cant actually use CFL bulbs with dimmers etc.

    Many see the tuck shop issue as the same sort of issue

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  45. wreck1080 (3,918 comments) says:

    We will end up like the States (we have far less obese+ people in NZ) on the current trends.

    In NZ we see mostly elderly on mobility scooters. In the states, I observed excessively obese people (including husband and wife couples) on mobility scooters .

    It reminds me of the movie Wall-E — where the people stopped moving because they were too fat.

    Education is useless — everyone knows if you don’t watch your diet and/or exercise then you’ll get fat. You only need to learn that once at school.

    Government schemes don’t work either .

    It is solely up to the individual (or parents of children) to take care of their health and appearance.

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  46. tom hunter (4,863 comments) says:

    Somehow it seems to me that injuries from some types of activities are considered morally acceptable

    Oh indeed.

    It’s quite funny, considering that we’ve endured weeks of debate on this blog in which people are supposedly desperate to get the state out of the business of making determinations as to what is and is not morally acceptable.

    We’re seeing that what is defined as morally acceptable changes over time, which is a tough enough challenge for any society. However, when the actual machinery of state is dependent for its survival on those “moral” determinations it must be deeply involved in trying to change them – with all that implies for the liberty of the citizen.

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  47. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    ObligatoryMarxist,

    You asked what we should do about fat people? How about Government ads about what constitutes a healthy meal? How about encouraging people to sit at the dinner table together, which apparently few people do anymore. We have drunk driving ads, why not healthy food ads. For the clueless, they’d be quite informative.

    Include health warnings for fizzy drinks, the way we have smoking ads now. Show everyone how coke as a metal cleaning fluid, so imagine what it’s doing to your teeth!

    It would be fun designing these ads.

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  48. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    “Show everyone how coke as a metal cleaning fluid”

    Semi-urban legend there….

    Lemonade will do the same. It’s the carbon dioxide in the fizz creating carbolic acid which reacts with the metal.
    Coke has a bit more critic acid as well but it’s basically the same.

    The worst bit about that legend is your stomach has viciously strong hydrochloric acid (up to pH of 1.5) swilling about, making Coke look pretty pathetic.

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  49. Lucia Maria (2,428 comments) says:

    Lance,

    Before the fizzy gets to your stomach, it touches your teeth. Pretty awesome though, that our stomach acid is far more vicious!

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  50. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Grendel August 9th, 2012 at 10:40 am.

    +1

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  51. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Can’t anybody opposing the Health Officials position tell me how the proposals would effect them. It seems a lot rant about it without having a direct stake in it. If booze wasn’t advertised I’d still buy it, I look for best prices and so on. I try to avoid fast food because the local trend seems to be covering them in sauces to the extreme. The occasional burger puts me off trying again for some time. It’s when buying something as a treat for one of the children that I get tempted by the pictures and so I sometimes go back a day or 2 later and get sharply reminded that burger soaked in bbq sauce and mayo is crap.

    I wouldn’t mind somebody explaining the difference between knowing where the local maccas is needing and to be reminded about it a bus stops or on motorway exits, or by kids giving reminders.

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  52. Hair Removal Specialist (80 comments) says:

    “I would be just as happy if we could keep universal health care and simply stop moralizing about what people do in their personal lives.” – exactly.

    I think this is similar to the whole anti-smoking thing. From what I understand smokers pay more than their fair share of taxes and actually provide a surplus to the government even after taking into account health care costs. This is partly because smokers die younger meaning less superannuation costs. In my mind, the same would apply to obesity. Obese people will generally die younger and will therefore be less of a burden on tax payers in regards to superannuation than non-obese persons. Therefore – problem fixed – we should all eat as much fast/fatty (and often enjoyable) food as much as we like. The government and taxpayers can be happy we are sending ourselves to an early grave. In fact, the government could even subsidise the marketing budgets of fast food restaurants to ensure that this benefit for society is acheived.

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  53. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Can we please turn Dr Toomath into burgers?

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  54. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    IMHO a big part of the problem is working wimmin. They are so rushed when they finish work and have to go to pick up the little ones from day care that they either get fast food on the way home or cook fast food becuase it is well fast food. If we went back to the time when Dad went to work and his taxes allowed him to keep Mum and the kids then Mum could take care of the kids and the house and have a decent meal on the table when dad came home.
    Fact is working wimmin “we want it all’ put themselves and their husbands and the kids thru hell trying to do everything.
    OK Im a pale male and stale but I figure looking after a house and the kids and Dad is bloody hard work and when you try and add a full time job then you get chaos.

    Is it any wonder we have so many broken marriages with all the pressures. I see a very sad generation of people 2 incomes living up to or beyond their means and under extreme pressure. Are they happy. I dont think so. They havent got time to be happy. Its a 24/7 existence they have condemed themselves 2.

    And when its too late they will wake up and realise that having the flash house 2 cars the big screen TV etc etc really doesnt take the place of a happy family life like some of us have had in the past.

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  55. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Some of you people wont be happy until we are all going around calling each other comrade, and digging mass graves for the counter-revolutionaries.

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  56. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    ObligatoryMarxist (13) Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    The amount, and psychological technique they use to advertise is as much coercion as, say, war propaganda was. (meaning if you don’t think war propaganda was coercive, then we have a fundamental disagreement about what is coercion.)

    I rely on the dictionary definition of the word:

    coercion
    “the use of force to persuade someone to do something which they are unwilling to do”

    Advertising and propaganda does not amount to a use of force. The concept of “force” means to use physical power to make something happen or alternatively to remove any alternative choice from the person you are trying to force. Advertising and propaganda constitutes neither a use of physical power nor a removal of alternative options. Any person is free to ignore advertising and propaganda and nothing is forcing them to take notice of such things other than their own inclinations.

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  57. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    DPF says “I am sick of these people trying to control our lives”

    They want to drop fast food advertising from public property. It’s excessive for David to describe this an an attempt to control his life. Are the restrictions on advertising of tobacco an attempt to control his life? These kinds of measures only exert control over the subset of people who are involved in the food food or tobacco or advertising businesses. Unless David is involved in these businesses I expect he will have more or less the same degree of control over his life with or without fast food ads on public property, or tobacco advertising restrictions.

    The real question is whether we gain more than we lose by restricting advertisers in this way. For restricting tobacco advertising, well if it means less kids take up smoking, then I am pretty sure we gain a lot more than we lose. This assumes of course that you value healthy and economically productive children and adults, and that you aren’t too worried about how some people will never have ads to inform them just how pleasurable a nicotine high can be.

    Restricting fast food is obviously a less clear cut case because Big Macs et al are not as lethal or addictive as cigarettes. But it shouldn’t be rejected out of hand because it is “trying to control our lives”

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  58. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    it shouldn’t be rejected out of hand because it is “trying to control our lives”

    Yes it should be unless there is a clear and present threat to other people’s lives or property.

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  59. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Good grief Alan. Having a rule that council bus stops should not carry advertising for fast food is hardly a draconian measure. The question is whether it is good or bad overall for ratepayers (the owners of the bus stop). Is it worth the council giving up some advertising revenue in the hope that this will lead to a healthier population and a situation where our tax bill to pay for the health system is greatly reduced?

    I think it possibly might be. I’m certainly not willing to throw the idea out on purely ideological grounds. This is an empirical question, and it could go either way depending on the evidence.

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  60. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    “Why doesn’t Dr Toomath just call for all food outlets to be closed down and replaced by government cafetarias that will serve appropriate meals only?”

    FFS David, don’t give her any more stupid ideas.

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  61. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    willtruth – Yes it should be rejected out of hand. This is an example of the slippery slope or the frog in the boiling water (which ever you prefer). We accept one little thing “what harm could it do”, and then they are back again for the next bite.

    We are going through one of those at present – the gay marriage bill. Only a very few years ago, gays wanted civil unions, “but not marriage, no we dont want to be married”. Nek minute…..

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  62. chiz (1,144 comments) says:

    Kowtow:The problem is eating more food than you need and not exercising.Too simple.

    Actually it may not be that simple. There are a number of other factors, such as low Vitamin D levels, or central heating, or viral factors, that may be at least partially behind the obesity problem. Some of them are discussed here.

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  63. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    One Track. So councils should not be able to reject advertising on their bus stops from fast food advertisers, because that would be as bad as giving equal human rights to gays?

    Great argument!

    I’m sure DPF is thrilled to have you on his side.

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  64. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    willtruth – you missed the point I was trying to make. Why bother, so I wont.

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  65. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    the real question is why we have a public health system. Ultimately, such schemes will be wound down across the western world as government runs out of other people’s money

    Absolutely agree. NZ’s growth in spending on healthcare has exceeded GDP growth by 2% for the last 30 years. Our current national care bill is around 9% of GDP, but closer to 11% if we include the healthcare components of ACC. Based on current trends, sometime between 2030 and 2050 we’ll need to spend 100% of our GDP on healthcare. Anyone see a problem here?

    We need a fundamental shift in the way we are doing things. Providing more care to meet rising demand is unsustainable, but it’s a case of successive governments kicking the can down the road, blaming the last administration and scoring political points from proclamations about the future value of their actions, which seldom materialise only to become fodder for the next administration’s blame game.  

    I believe we need to design a system that rewards healthy lifestyle choices, while proving care for the genuinely ill. Those who place demands on the healthcare system will need to pay more – either time on waiting lists, or direct part-funding for their care, or both. Care where the person has combination of obesity and type-2 diabetes is an obvious candidate for this type of focused change.  

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  66. wat dabney (3,769 comments) says:

    Health Niggers?

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  67. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    KK
    says :I believe we need to design a system that rewards healthy lifestyle choices

    How? Cameras in the home? Daily weigh in at the citizens transport terminal?
    Just banning everything?

    We don’t need a fucking system, we need to be left alone. As long as my behaviour affects no one negatively during a day, I’m rest well, leave me alone.

    I work ,I pay taxes, I have health insurance, I register my vehicles, I pay rates, I pay school fees, I have never asked for or recieved one cent of government support. No fucker will direct how I eat or spend my money or what I read or watch .

    Society will always have a lowest common denominator, we have to stop pandering to them. If they want to be fat bastards and live in track pants and pyjamas good on ‘em. But stop ropeing the majority of us in with them.

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  68. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    PEB – I propose a trial.

    We establish that the average cost of providing annual healthcare to, say, a 50 year old male is, say, $2500. We track healthcare costs (doctors visits, hospital, pharma etc). Perhaps a healthcard used to pay for everything. If my annual spending is more than $2500, that’s fine. No problem. The state cares. And, other than general taxation, I don’t pay a cent. If it’s less than $2500, then just beforee Christmas I get a payment of, say, 80% of the unspent balance.

    There might be a few fat bastards in track pants who decide that getting (and staying!) healthy is worth it, ie there’s a direct and immediate benefit in assuming some control. Of couse as a 51 years old male the next year the care budget would be higher, and the year before probably lower.

    Then widen the scheme to all other gender/age combinations. I can hear the protestations already, but the needy will get care because those that have choice will exercise it, thereby not soaking up care capacity.

    There are a million reasons why this crazy idea (or another) might not work, but do they outweigh the absolute certainty that the current system will fail?

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  69. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    KK

    Tax rebate for health insurance premiums, incentiivse those that care about themselves- the fat bastards don’t so forget about them and move on.

    health insurance is bloody cheap if you start it early enough, its ridiculous if you want to start at 50 but health insurance should be a must demand in any employment contract, onc eits started you can continue for life

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  70. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    willtruth, banning advertising on bus shelters was only one aspect of their campaign. You know it would never stop there and the principle stands – only that which is seriously harmful should be subject to Government interventions since they always have unintended adverse consequences, even if only to grease the path for worse interventions.

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  71. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    Come on David, channel that anger into a conference of the like minded http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/conference-2012/

    A simple solution being to allow people to opt out of the public health system and get a proportion of taxes back.

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  72. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I say anyone who is a net taxpayer should be exempt from shit rules like this. That includes fast food chains.
    Everyone else should be forced to be vegans.

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