Campaigning against individual responsibility

February 17th, 2014 at 6:53 am by David Farrar

The are gathering today. Stuff reports:

Health advocates are drawing battle lines against “Big Food”, claiming drastic intervention is needed to stave off a diabetes crisis in New Zealand.

As adult nears a third of the population, individual responsibility for diet and exercise is clearly not enough, said Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, an Otago University of Wellington health academic who is co-ordinating a seminar today in Wellington.

Government policymakers were reluctant to legislate against “Big Food” – industry powers such as Fonterra, Coca-Cola, Heinz Wattie’s, fast food chains and Foodstuffs and Progressive supermarkets, she said. Many so-called nutrition research bodies were sponsored by Big Food, she said. Dietitians New Zealand, for instance, stated on its website that it is backed by Unilever and Nestle.

How terrible. I’ve got a rule of thumb which is often correct. When so called researchers are more focused on the companies involved in an industry, than anything else, they’ve lost perspective. They just want to damage the companies they personally disapprove of.

Jenkin said “tainted” research was presented at select committees as unbiased fact. “They’re corrupting science.”

The translation here is that anything I disagree with is corrupt.

She claimed Big Food was more powerful than Big Tobacco, and likely to be more aggressive if policy turned against it.

The industry put the onus on individuals to fight obesity, so governments tended to promote diet and exercise rather than legislating against unhealthy food, she said.

Of course it fucking is, because there is nothing wrong with so called unhealthy food in moderation. I almost never eat chocolate due to its very high calorie and sugar count. But when I go tramping, then I buy some chocolate to make up scroggin for energy during the tramp.

I don’t want any fucking busy bodies legislating to tell me I can’t buy chocolate because it is unhealthy.

However,some governments had stood up to Big Food. In Britain, manufacturers have been forced to reduce fat, sugar and salt, and New York’s governor attempted to restrict portion sizes and introduce nutritional information in restaurants.

Including nutritional information empowers choice. That is a good thing. But having the state try to regulate portion sizes and dictate food composition is barking mad. These researchers seem to think that individual choice and consequences have no role in society.

Over 20 years I became very large. This was not due to advertising, or sugar in fizzy drinks or anything like that. It was simply because I ate too much food. It wasn’t the type of food as much as the amount of food. And then a couple of years I lost most of it by simply eating less and exercising more. It is that simple. Not easy, but simple.

In New Zealand, politicians remained cowed by Big Food, she said. In deprived towns and suburbs, fast food outlets were so numerous as to be unavoidable.

So effing what? It isn’t compulsory to go in. And even if you do, one can actually get quite healthy food in them. It’s about balance, not about banning food.

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69 Responses to “Campaigning against individual responsibility”

  1. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Its anti US Companies by stealth.

    Who funds this woman?

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  2. Sidey (250 comments) says:

    PEB,
    I suspect we do…

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  3. Manolo (13,833 comments) says:

    DPF, good to read your strong words against the food nazis.
    Surprise, surprise, the source of this study is a hapless academic from Otago University.

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  4. Sidey (250 comments) says:

    I’ve managed to get to my late 40’s weighing less than 80kg at 184cm (6ft). Have had fish & chips once in the last 3 years, no KFC or McD’s. Haven’t bought a fizzy-type drink in years. Moderate exercise. I did this without needing the State telling me what size portions I am allowed or how much sugar is allowed in the items I pay for with my own money. I used common sense.

    What’s next, some sort of voucher system to control what & how much people eat? Personal minders to accompany people when they step outside their door to stop them being dragged into Maccas by burly owners?

    Cliffs have existed for ever. I’ve never felt the need to jump off one as I know it would be bad for me. But we should ban them to protect the terminally stupid.

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  5. OneTrack (3,112 comments) says:

    ““They’re corrupting science.””

    Jenkins is the one corrupting science. Any science stopped when she started on to the leftie dogma in favour of taxes and against American companies. Is she pushing for a spot on the Green Party list?

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  6. Dave_1924 (116 comments) says:

    Very strong words DPF.. but I agree with you. It is endless – personal responsibility setting is all the first point. Don’t buy the shit food and drink in the first place. As for kids TV – send the kids outside to play or get them playing cards, board games if its wet outside. My son got treats growing up but that’s what they were treats of choc or a fizzy drink, they weren’t large parts of his diet. Result he grew up a standard healthy size. If Labour get in we can expect this get traction and more lifestyle control activities to be given air and cash

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  7. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    DPF, go on tell us what you really think…

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  8. calendar girl (1,242 comments) says:

    “Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, an Otago University of Wellington health academic who is co-ordinating a seminar today in Wellington”

    What’s her actual role as a “health academic”? Is she a Professor” Or a lecturer? In what specific discipline?

    These questions arise because she sounds more like a “social scientist”, preccupied with lobbying Government and changing the world through media releases than with what most of us regard as academic science. Her language is shrill and extremist, rather than that of an academic scientist. One further example in the article: “New Zealand is appalling. You’re sniffing KFC wherever you go.”

    We could observe, in passing’ that this is another in a growing number of politicised public statements coming out of the fraternity of Otago University (Wellington branch this time). There must be another election rolling around.

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  9. flipper (4,081 comments) says:

    This is the same line of rubbish that has been pushed for years by AU’s Swinburn…. and now some other silly Auckland bint…and, of course, the Otago/Canterbury Selman and Peter Davis mobs. .

    It is an example of the control mechanism that is endemic in all “researchers” who depend upon PR to promote their employment.

    Each one of them will have pitched a case to either a Government department/agency or a university research grant committee.
    Their salaries, of course, are ;picked up taxpayers when they are attached to an institution. A major problem with indentured academics. Just NUTS

    F****** food Nazis …. they are as bad as the wowser Nazis….. but make good headline grabbers for the children running the MSM.

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  10. calendar girl (1,242 comments) says:

    Sorry, Manolo – didn’t see your earlier reference to Otago.

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

    I liked the bit where she said

    You are sniffing KFC where ever you go

    So even the smell of food from the evil Food Pushers is a bad thing. These people are seriously crazy, but they have a lot of power. That is what is scary.

    As as aside – I saw you crossing the street the other Day DPF – You are a shadow of your former self. As someone who has lost 20kg and kept it off for a year by doing the same as what you are doing, I salute you. You are more of a role-model than any number of Otago University of Wellington Food Nazis will ever be.

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  12. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    …governments tended to promote diet and exercise rather than legislating against unhealthy food, she said.

    The government has a shitload of legislation against unhealthy food, and a sizable number of health inspectors to enforce it. You try selling food that’s rotten, mouldy, infested with vermin or laden with dangerous bacteria and you’ll find yourself in trouble pretty quickly.

    Of course, what this ignorant twat means by “unhealthy food” is “food I have a moral objection to,” which is not actually what “unhealthy food” means at all. If these University of Otago fuckwits could scrape together one functioning brain from among the lot of them, they’d know that obesity is the result of people eating the kind of high-carb diet promoted by university pontificaters like themselves for the last 30 years, not the result of someone opening a KFC across the road.

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    More of these left-wing taxpayer-funded non-productive Green/Labour supporting losers. Why do these academics continually attack the sources of our entertainment and enjoyment, is it because they have a hatred of anything that makes buck, or are they just envious?

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  14. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Jenkins is the one corrupting science.

    If she claims that what she’s doing is “science,” she’s a bare-faced liar. What these guys do is social science at best.

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  15. Mags (38 comments) says:

    Gabrielle Jenkin:
    I am a social scientist working in the multi-disciplinary area of public health research with a focus on food politics, food policy making and the influence of food policy on population health and nutrition. My PhD was on food and nutrition policy and politics in New Zealand. My current research involves an examination of food marketing to children on television and via the internet and the relevant rules and regulations around this.

    ‘Food politics’ really? No medical or health related qualifications, just another ‘do as I say’ socialist

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  16. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Gabrielle Jenkin, Department of Public Health

    BA (Sociology), MPH (Dist), PhD

    Research Fellow; HePPRU

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  17. Colville (2,269 comments) says:

    DPF said Fuck ! Twice ! :-)

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  18. Bovver (173 comments) says:

    Fuck personal responsibility, the liberal left elite must have the tools to enforce their food regime on the masses for their own good.

    That said when I was in Brisbane last month I liked that every food outlet had to display how many kilojoules was in each food item, this allows me as me as the consumer to make an informed choice.

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  19. Mobile Michael (452 comments) says:

    As a Dad, it’s my job to teach the kids that a healthy balanced diet can be tasty. (My low fat tikka masala is always popular.) Yes, the kids pester for Maccas and fizzy, but I say no. The second factor is excercise, which as the media have convinced us that there are pedophiles and kidnappers everywherr makes sending the kids to the playground unsupervised as socially acceptable as cannibalism.

    After all, Dr Jenkin is just using the same methods as big food. Make your message bold and loud so it can’t be ignored.

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  20. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    I’d choose Big Food over Big Government any day.

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  21. calendar girl (1,242 comments) says:

    Her whole tertiary education, right up to PhD level, has been focused on “food politics, food policy making”!

    If you start from an assumption that you can change something through politics, then obviously there is no other way to bring about change, e.g. in harmful diets. No role for personal responsibility when you can legislate.

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  22. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    The reason why people are getting fatter is simply a result of their lives getting easier due to ‘labour saving devices’ and the rise of attractive technology meaning sitting on a couch looking at facebook 5 hours a day is suddenly a valid entertainment option.

    At the same time they also are scoffing calories down as if they had a manual labour job 9 hours a day, 6 days a week.

    I agree dpf. Too much food and too little exercise leads to fat people.

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  23. J Bloggs (241 comments) says:

    What this person will be saying in 10 years time:

    “There is a clear correlation between the rise in childhood obesity and the introduction of console gaming systems in the late 70’s early 80’s, which accelerated with the introduction of the Sony Playstation during the 90’s. The Government should look at legislating against console gaming systems and put a hefty tax on televisions to discourage lazy bastards from blobbing out on the sofa and encourage them to exercise instead”

    sheesh

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  24. James Stephenson (2,188 comments) says:

    I’ve got a rule of thumb which is often correct.

    It’s easier to just ignore people as soon as they start sticking “Big” in front of something as a perjorative.

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  25. Odakyu-sen (676 comments) says:

    It’s all about power and control.

    A proven and effective tactic is to use the actions of whichever half of the population who are of below-average performance to try to convince the other half that they too are no better, and must conform to the new rules (for everyone’s good).

    In other words: use the actions of the lowest common denominator to control those who do not need or desire to be controlled.

    (That’s the usefulness of lowest common denominators and why you must always maintain a sufficiently large number of them.)

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  26. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    I love the names the intelligentsia resorts to. Big food. Big oil. Big pharma.

    Why is Big Tertiary Ed producing these legions of little control freaks? To what sinister end? When will the resistance begin? Fight Big Ed!

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  27. flipper (4,081 comments) says:

    RRM…..

    Well spotted!

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  28. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    There are none so dictitorial as the virtuous … fantastic job to loose 20kg … but not everybody has the self control and intelligence to achieve that and it seems common sense to apply financial encouragement which will save the government money in the long term … if it is more expensive and so only purchased on rare occasions it becomes a greater treat. The increased tax can be put to looking after those who do not alter their habits … a form of ‘user pays’ …..

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  29. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘Too much food and too little exercise leads to fat people’

    Well yes and no, too much of the wrong kind of food and not enough exercise leads to people being fat.

    The problem here is that a lot of foods we eat have high sugar and fat levels and it is not always obvious, for example a can of baked beans has 5-7g of sugar per 100 grams so if you eat 1/2 a can that is 2-3 teaspoons of sugar you have just eaten.

    I don’t have an issue with pressure being put on food manufacturers to be more open about what is in our food and to make food more healthy.

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  30. Mrs Trellis (34 comments) says:

    How about “NO COLOUREDS” signs outside KFC, BK and Maccas :)

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  31. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    If it affects only the low intelligence what possible effect will it have on the high intelligent people on this site?

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  32. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    jcuk –

    I’m not fat and I enjoy kfc every once in a while.

    What good would it do charging me a fat tax for eating there? Absolutely none!

    But you want me to pay more as punishment for what you deem a poor choice.

    Go away your highness, I’ll eat what I choose, who the fuck do you think you are, deciding what should be taxed and incentivised?

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  33. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    Problem obesity is a result of compound poor exercise, genetics and poor diet. It is true that self-discipline and prudent reformed eating habits can ward off escalation of one’s medical condition, but that is true primarily of individuals in this context. If one has parental responsibilities, then it may be the case that inexpensive eating items are the preferred solution if one has other life expenses, such as escalating rental accomodation costs, educational expenses, electricity costs and other relatively onerous obligations to meet. Even if one is engaged in low-income work, and not on a benefit in this context.

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  34. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    Fat slobs and their greasy rolls are an incredible burden on the public health system and something needs to be done either by denying health care or hitting them in the pocket (just as we have done with smokers).

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

    There are none so dictitorial as the virtuous … fantastic job to loose 20kg … but not everybody has the self control and intelligence to achieve that and it seems common sense to apply financial encouragement which will save the government money in the long term … if it is more expensive and so only purchased on rare occasions it becomes a greater treat. The increased tax can be put to looking after those who do not alter their habits … a form of ‘user pays’ …..

    What you are proposing is not ‘user-pays’ but subsidising those with poor eating habits by financially penalising those who do have self-control. It is not my fault someone has no self control. If a person cannot eat 500 calories less in a day they deserve to be fat with all that goes with it.

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  36. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    What I love about these blog posts is that DPF used to be quite a fattie himself (before he got back into shape).

    If we take his assertion that obesity is entirely an issue of personal choice then we must conclude that he choose to be a fattie for all those years.

    What a strange choice for him to make!

    [DPF: Yes I did. It was not a choice in the sense of a positive choice, but a choice in the sense that I ate too much because I enjoyed it, putting short-term pleasure ahead of long-term gain.]

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  37. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    except jake that smokers pay vastly more than their health costs in tax, they are also less of a burden on taxpayers in old age, because this is when health costs are highest, and they have helpfully vacated the planet by then.

    This unhelpful truth is why the “experts” had to invent spurious secondary and tertiary health risks – which have never been proven to be true.

    Fat bastards, maybe they are a burden, but I treat with considerable caution so-called experts trying to impose punishment on those who dont follow their preferred choices in life. Particularly when the experts are so often pushing political barrows and claiming scientific justification,

    If you really look, you will see that the explosion in obesity actually followed the introduction of the so-called “food pyramid”. Seems the human animal is actually designed to live on meat protein and fats, with lower doses of carbs, but we mustnt question science or the food nazis… everyone knows that vegetarians are our moral superiors, therefore more vegetables makes you a better person.

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

    [DPF: Yes I did. It was not a choice in the sense of a positive choice, but a choice in the sense that I ate too much because I enjoyed it, putting short-term pleasure ahead of long-term gain.]

    Weight gain kind of sneaks up on you as well. I was 51 and had got fat. Not from eating junk food but from eating too much over a long time. A kilo every year or so adds up by the time you get to 50. Control portion size, drop that morning or afternoon tea that you don’t need and the weight will fall off you. It is not hard.

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  39. wf (447 comments) says:

    Every time I go to Taupo, I buy a burger combo (with chocolate shake). My dog LOVES the fries. Neither of us are over weight, in fact, I might have to start eating the fries too –

    Odakyu-sen (206 comments) says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 8:24 am

    “It’s all about power and control.

    A proven and effective tactic is to use the actions of whichever half of the population who are of below-average performance to try to convince the other half that they too are no better, and must conform to the new rules (for everyone’s good).

    In other words: use the actions of the lowest common denominator to control those who do not need or desire to be controlled.

    (That’s the usefulness of lowest common denominators and why you must always maintain a sufficiently large number of them.) ”

    Blackmail. Nice try, but it doesn’t work on me.

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  40. Than (475 comments) says:

    I am a social scientist working in the multi-disciplinary area of public health research with a focus on food politics, food policy making and the influence of food policy on population health and nutrition. My PhD was on food and nutrition policy and politics in New Zealand.

    In other words she has no qualification related to medical science or the biochemistry of nutrition, yet she has the gall to claim research she disagrees with is “corrupting science”.

    A useless busybody who should be ignored.

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  41. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    However, as one can see, there are an abundance of suitably qualified medical practitioners and research scientists at the forthcoming Fizz symposium: http://www.fizz.org.nz

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  42. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    LMAO wtf is Big Food?

    BIG food sound really scary :O almost evil!

    “dammit joe, i said i wanted 20 teaspoons of sugar in that muesli bar! you know i have money in Big Pharma who treat Big Diabetes”

    This bitch pops up every few months with this crap.

    The paper should put “Dr Gabrielle Jenkin (not a real doctor)”

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  43. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    Big Food?

    The local fish and chip shop is “Big Food”?

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  44. Odakyu-sen (676 comments) says:

    When I hear “Big xxxx” I immediately think of smokey back rooms with lots of pinstripe-suit-wearing gents who look like Winston Churchill clones, doing shady deals and pulling strings…

    Is the writer trying to project their conspiracy theory paranoia onto me?

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  45. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    I don’t want any fucking busy bodies legislating to tell me I can’t buy chocolate because it is unhealthy.

    Again I’m minded to ask you to remind your readers how you feel about busy bodies legislating on tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, heroin et al.

    If you accept one do you not admit a spectrum of public interest in what people have access to? Then it becomes, as people often like to claim when evidence is on their side, all about the evidence of harm.

    An absolute claim of disinterest in busy bodies making law is unconvincing when it isn’t consistent. So if one accepts evidence of harm justifying legislation against individual demands then shouldn’t this be all about the evidence rather than an apparently insincere (for it’s lack of general application) demand for freedom?

    Wherefore then is the rebuttal to the argument that sugars are a dangerous, addictive substance deserving of regulation? Exactly why doesn’t the logic that the harmful addictive nicotine requires regulation also apply to sugar?

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  46. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    [DPF: Yes I did. It was not a choice in the sense of a positive choice, but a choice in the sense that I ate too much because I enjoyed it, putting short-term pleasure ahead of long-term gain.]

    ——————————–

    But don’t you see the contradiction? You’re intelligent, educated, and not poor – yet for many years personal responsibility couldn’t stop you from gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. Which is why I’m a little surprised to see that you’re arguing in favour of a principle that – in your own experience – didn’t work.

    The problem is that the intensity of the short-term pleasure caused by sugary foods outweighs any thought of the long-term consequences and some people are literally eating themselves in ill-health and sickness. So I think it’s entirely reasonable for public health officials to investigate regulating certain categories of food.

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

    But don’t you see the contradiction? You’re intelligent, educated, and not poor – yet for many years personal responsibility couldn’t stop you from gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. Which is why I’m a little surprised to see that you’re arguing in favour of a principle that – in your own experience – didn’t work.

    He is arguing for personal responsibility. DPF got fat because he chose not to take personal responsibility for his weight gain. When he did he lost the weight.

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  48. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    gump, that’s bullshit. The short term pleasure doesn’t outweigh the thought of long term consequences. People ignore it. I’ve put on weight a couple of times, before I was running about 80km/week, and I knew exactly what I was doing. It takes a person deciding “enough” to change, no tax will do that for you.

    DPF’s experience shows that it does work. If it was impossible to change then how did he do it so dramatically? He always had it in him, and when he decided enough is enough, he sorted it out far quicker than it took to do the damage.

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  49. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Wherefore then is the rebuttal to the argument that sugars are a dangerous, addictive substance deserving of regulation? Exactly why doesn’t the logic that the harmful addictive nicotine requires regulation also apply to sugar?

    1. Sugar hasn’t been demonstrated to be addictive (it’s been asserted to be addictive, which isn’t the same thing).
    2. Smoking is dangerous in the sense that using it as directed is likely to kill you. Sugar isn’t dangerous in any sense of the word unless you consume enormous quantities of it, which is true of a wide range of products including water.
    3. A quick squizz at the glycemic index reveals a number of foods that will raise your blood glucose levels as fast as, or even faster than, sucrose. So it’s an extensive regulatory path to start down, and one a lot more open to being gamed than regulating nicotine is.

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  50. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    Gump – are you playing devils advocate? or do you honestly think that way?

    what a miserable world we would live in if people like this woman were in control.

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  51. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    Yes, but then David is a highly motivated, intelligent and articulate person who usually pays attention to evidence-based medical and scientific opinion when it comes to health matters. Unfortunately, in some instances, frugality* may triumph over child health and dietary needs in the context of others. P.M is entirely correct about the use of sugar as “addictive’- certainly not in the APA’s DSM IV sense of the word, which only covers alcoholism, narcotic abuse and problem gambling as bona fide ‘addictions.’ Insofar as the sugar content of something goes, though, P-M, I suggest that you sit in on a diabetes prevention food intake introductory session at some point. Sugar is quite prevalent in many contexts, including those one wouldn’t necessarily think of at first- such as fruit juice.

    *If you know that something is eventually going to harm you but the positive alternative is far more expensive, then unfortunately, a short-term personal cost-benefit analysis is going to mean that you put the cheaper junk food item as preferred above the more prudent dietary choice.

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  52. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    CG

    Can you give me some examples of foods high in sugar for which the only alternatives are “far more expensive”?

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

    People keep talking about this ‘cheap junk food”. I have always found it incredibly expensive as a way to feed the family. Can you point me to the outlets where I can buy this cheap food source?

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  54. Longknives (4,764 comments) says:

    Isn’t NZ going to be a fun place to live once we have a Green Government?

    Dad- “Sorry kids no Fish n Chips this Friday night, Comrades Russel and Meteria had the shop closed down….But we can have lentil and mungbean stew again?”
    Kids- “Yay Mungbeans!”

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  55. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    “Yes, but then David is a highly motivated, intelligent and articulate person who usually pays attention to evidence-based medical and scientific opinion when it comes to health matters. Unfortunately, in some instances…”

    ah, good ole socialists. most people are stupid and need CG & co to tell them how to live..

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  56. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    …P-M, I suggest that you sit in on a diabetes prevention food intake introductory session at some point. Sugar is quite prevalent in many contexts, including those one wouldn’t necessarily think of at first- such as fruit juice.

    I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, Chardonnay Guy, so am well acquainted with the extensive and annoying insertion of different kinds of sugar into all kinds of foods that don’t need it (thank Christ I’m not living in the USA, where you can hardly buy anything from a supermarket that some twat hasn’t sugared). It’s hardly in the same league as nicotine though.

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  57. Than (475 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller – Fish and chips usually qualifies. At ~$2 per piece of fish/hotdog/scoop, that can feed a family of four for $12-15 dollars. But I agree the “Big Food” options (KFC, McDonalds, etc.) are definitely more expensive than cooking for yourself.

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

    $2.00 a scoop or for a piece of fish? I am living in the wrong place.

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  59. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    @dime

    “Gump – are you playing devils advocate? or do you honestly think that way?”

    ————————

    The only thing I strongly believe in is evidence based decision making.

    The evidence we have shows that the rate and severity of obesity is increasing. So it seems logical for public health authorities to investigate the causes and potential responses.

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  60. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    “The evidence we have shows that the rate and severity of obesity is increasing. So it seems logical for public health authorities to investigate the causes and potential responses.”

    Do you factor in personal liberty?

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  61. Mark Thomson (82 comments) says:

    A good issue to keep in mind when contemplating our votes in this year’s election (yes I’m looking at you Epsom :)).

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  62. chris (647 comments) says:

    I feed a family of 4 for $12 to $15 and it’s infinitely more delicious and nutritious than any cheap takeaways. Doesn’t take long to cook either. I’m all for cooking classes at school (we had them at intermediate school when I was a kid) and against taxation as a means to regulate.

    It won’t work half the time anyway. Look at something like Coke. Whack a 20% tax on “sugary fizzy drinks” and I bet the price of Coke will remain roughly the same.

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  63. Odakyu-sen (676 comments) says:

    Longknives

    I don’t know which part of that post is more frightening; the part where the father tells his kids that the shop has been closed down, or the part where the kids respond with “Yay Mungbeans!”

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  64. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    I bet these will be the type of stupid rule Trevor supports; it’s only ones affecting his bike that the doesn’t like (see other post). Well until we can pick and choose, why should he?

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  65. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    So when does the local French pâtisserie become ‘big’ – after opening it’s 4th shop or 40th?

    When I was a chef, I used to work in one in Melbourne for a year – and their food was ten times richer than maccas ect.

    Butter, sugar, eggs, milk, creme, pinapple jam, custard, glaze, alcohol and chocolate all went into creme filled chocolat croisants . I used to decorate most products that were made – and hardly touched the stuff – not because it was bad, but because too much would have been bad.

    The shop itself traded in a wealthy area where mostly women used to buy once or twice during the week- and mostly males on Saturday or Sunday morning.

    These people weren’t buying lots of product, just 1 or two items each – probably one for their partner- as having two or three of these products DOES make you feel sick. They’re essentially treats.

    People who made this food were very talented industry professionals. Just like in France where they don’t have an ‘obesity epidemic’.

    IMHO – If fatty food is taxed it will then be places like these that will go out of business – and not maccas who run their businesses on 14 yld part time school kids who are known in the industry as ‘box cutters’. These places sell food that does not satisfy your hunger – so you then consume more food shortly afterwards.

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  66. Hamish_NZ (46 comments) says:

    Why not instead tax people if they are over a certain modified bmi, or waist to hip ratio. Then you allow personal choice over the exact mix of food choices a person makes, and tax the actual problem rather than taxing one small group of the populations idea of bad food. After all I can get fat eating too much french food too.
    Could be done by giving every kiwi a free gp appointment once a year, at which the doctor weighs/measures you and if you are over the recommended limits passes this info onto IRD who tax you an extra 10% or whatever as part of paye.

    But I bet the health nazis wouldn’t go for it as it would in their eyes unjustifiably penalise the poor. Even though it’s been proven eating well doesn’t cost significantly more than eating crap.
    Plus this way at least most people would get a benefit out of taxing bad choices.

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  67. OneTrack (3,112 comments) says:

    Harriet – “So when does the local French pâtisserie become ‘big’ – after opening it’s 4th shop or 40th?”

    Never. “Big” is simply the lefty code word for American. So, it doesnt matter how many salads McDonalds sells, or how many thousands of calories the French patisserie puts into their cream buns, patisserie equals “diversity” and McDonalds equals “evil”.

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  68. SW (240 comments) says:

    Chris – out of interest, how do you feed 4 people for $12 – $15? What sort of meals do you cook?

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  69. ShawnLH (5,265 comments) says:

    Individual responsibility? But aren’t we all just slaves to our genes and have no choice but to over-eat, have sex before marriage, sleep with the same gender, cross dress, drink fizzy drink’s, eat Mcdonalds and KFC every day, spend ourselves into debt, drink alcohol and smoke ciggies then send our kids to schools with a lunch……..

    We gave up on individual moral responsibility a long time ago, and liberals on both the right and the left are at least partly to blame.

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