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First world health problems are mostly diet and exercise related.
I don't have a problem with socializing health care. It's a noble idea.
What I do have a problem with is using my tax money to react to the problem, rather than actually trying to prevent and fix it.

The current generation of US children will live shorter lives than their parents.
How the junk food industry won the war against children.

Wow! Reuters has published a scathing account on how the junk food industry bought the US government and defeated just about every initiative proposed to save children from the life-wrecking effects of their disease-causing products.

This is a must-read column for anyone curious about how our corrupt government fails America's children.
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Well, if they can get this kids hooked on Junk Food, it'll increase the Heath Insurance sector later in life. and from the way it looks, that's government owned. So why wouldn't they want to increase business.
Seems like step 1 is revamping lobbying laws. Outlaw corporate donations entirely, limit individual donations to a reasonable amount.

This would probably make it easier to pass things like socialized health care. :)
Dave Hill
C'mon, people. Little Suzie there didn't run down to McD's herself to buy a burger. While there's definitely a role for government to help with education and support, and reform of lobbying laws makes sense, too, it's a matter of PARENTS taking responsibility for what they buy to feed their kids.

Really. I've got a daughter I've raised over the last decade. Junk food and fast food are one-off treats or a dessert, not a staple meal. That's how we raised her (and try to live up to ourselves, too).
+Dave Hill I think the question here is how to reach the parents more effectively than the fast food people do.
+Matt Mastracci, if we need the government to protect us from the fast food industry to teach us it's not healthy to let kids eat Lunchables every day, then we're doomed already.
It seems as though the traditional model of one parent staying home with the children and the other parent working to pay the bills doesn't actually pay the bills anymore, so there is no parent at home to prepare healthy home cooked meals. The easy (and cheap) alternative is fast food, but like most things cheap it's not the quality you need.

The fast food (and junk food) industry are predators, and we have voluntarily looked the other way while they prey on us for far to long.
+Dave Hill But would it have been your daughter's fault if you had raised her differently? American Individualism is a sketchy basis for political philosophy at best, and it's completely ridiculous when the consequences of goofball parental decisions are suffered by their children.
"The current generation of US children will live shorter lives than their parents."

That runs pretty much directly against everything I've ever heard about lifespans... do you have any reliable data to back that up or are you just saying that because there's a lot of junk food available? As someone living in Boulder, CO (the healthiest city in America), I highly doubt this claim. Advances in healthcare technology are coming at faster and faster rates, and there's no slowing down... not to mention human lifespans have been steadily increasing since the middle ages. Just because there are some foolish people that are eating themselves to death doesn't mean that the entire generation of people will suddenly start dying sooner than the generation 20 years behind in medical technology...
Should be: How parents failed at parenting
I love how ppl hate on fast food but they sure do like McDonalds French fries. Also, in moderation nothing is bad for you.
How your children are raised should not be the responsibility of the government, schools or anyone else but you, the parent.

Stop being children yourselves and take responsibility for the children you raise instead of trying to place the responsibility and blame on everyone else.
That article was written over seven years ago, and while valid at it's time, does not include nor foresee the advancements in medicine that have been made since that time. Have you seen any sources more recent than that?
+Richard Reich, no, it would have still been my fault (at least to some point of her ability to make responsible decisions).

Now, that said, I can't completely agree with +Jody Vogt's perspective, because I do think we have a societal responsibility for how children are raised. Schools do play a role (indeed, we ask them to) -- so a school lunch program that serves crap food has some responsibility for teaching bad habits.

But in general, parents have the most control, especially with younger kids, and even where they are handing those kids off to day care for certain periods, they have a responsibility to make sure that those custodians aren't using bad food.
+Braden Litke I'm not going to Google any more for you. Maybe you should cite your sources saying otherwise, other than a nondescript "everything you've heard". :)
FWIW, I don't think anyone here is saying that the government should raise their kids for them.

I don't have my own kids so I will refrain from commenting on what that is like. I do know that I intend to raise them well, and raise them healthy.

However, that is the extent of my involvement in the childhood obesity epidemic. I can raise my kids, but I cannot do a thing to affect the childhoods of children who are not mine. And I agree, the blame should be laid at the feet of the parents; however, when I see a child who is obese enough to look unhealthy, I feel bad for the child. This should not be an unpopular viewpoint: I hear most people like children. I feel bad, and I want something to be done. Legislation, if properly implemented, would be an example of something that can be done.

Yes, I hear you; it SHOULDN'T be the role of government to raise kids. However, if a large proportion of people do not properly raise their children, everybody suffers. News flash: a large proportion of people do not properly raise their children. If you feel that "role of government" arguments are an end-all-be-all answer to this issue, then I say to you this: driving drunk is unsafe, and no one disagrees about this, however, the role of government should not be to decide how people drive. Do you disagree that that is a silly statement?
+Braden Litke Only one of those is a legitimate citation. (PRB)

It's from 2006, and it even argues that our life expectancy is levelling off.

And for some reason I really doubt you paid 34.95 to read the springerlink article.
+Mike Elgan Thankyou for posting that link. I personally don't blame the WH as the "Change" we NEED just Can't happen in 1 or even 2 terms.
Tax dollars to prevent health problems?!? Our conservative friends can only read this as even bigger government with more power over people. I have to wonder if they are the legislators that profit most from having an obese population.
As both sides of the argument are just predictions based on past information, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Our taxes are already being used to pay for health care for the people who don't have insurance and just walk into the ER. There are numerous stories of people who know what questions to answer which ways in order to get the healthcare they need, without paying for it. Socialized healthcare solves part of it by using tax dollars from these people and pays for the system that is already taking care of them. It still does not solve it for the other set of Americans who don't work, and just "leech" off everyone else.
+Koushik Dutta The WP article links to an interactive graph that shows that in only about four or five counties in the entire country have the life-spans not GROWN. Every single other one has had at least some growth, and (especially in my area), there are a lot of places that are still propelling forward at over 4%. The URL even specifies that it varies widely by region, and that there are "some places" that it's decreasing. There will always be "some places" that humanity isn't thriving as well, that doesn't mean it's that way for the entire nation.

The underlying study is much more scientific, but unfortunately doesn't prove what you're after. It only compares the United States to countries that are doing better in terms of life expectancy growth. It doesn't say that the trend is reversing, it says that the United States isn't keeping up with the growth that some of the other nations are. Still an increase of lifespan, just not as fast of an increase per year. That doesn't imply that the rate will slow, stagnate and reverse for the entire nation, and not by a long shot.
+Koushik Dutta Nationalising/Socialising/Unifying any Health Care System has already demonstrated it is the most effective method of treatment to a countries citizens, and not just a "noble idea".
While the UK doesn't rank in the Top 10 Healthiest Countries in the World - it is in the top 20 in Europe I believe - (; and the Top 2 at least employ a Nationalised service (;
As you say I won't Google any more for you, but I think it shows that if you do wish to tackle obesity problems via your Health Service then surely this is the best method to approach it from?
Yes it will be your tax dollars paying for someone else's service, but then the same is true when you require medical assistance (which I do not wish upon you btw!)
+carl burnett I like the idea of socializing health care; I wasn't being sarcastic when i said it was a "noble" idea. I just don't think it will work in this country due to lobbying, and how much control the food and pharmaceutical industry has over our politicians. We treat symptoms (sell pills), not the sickness.

If lobbying (legalized bribery) were not an issue, I really believe it would work in the US. What's the lobbying situation like in the UK?
safe to say that if the u.s. congress comes up with any idea it won't work
Yes this whole ordeal is a vicious cycle which started in the 50's (okay probably earlier) with the McDonalds assembly line increasing demand and pursuing cheaper, cheaper, more, more... Its not really just traditional junk food either, its the fact that most americans really dont know much about nutrition. this is part because most americans dont CARE to know, they would rather take the pills to treat symptoms later than give up their treats now. the part that the govt/big business is responsible for is keeping people in the dark to make a buck. the same goes for most health related issues, and for some reason people who are doing real research into PREVENTING problems instead of 'advancing' medicine and treatments for the problems later are not given proper attention, the information is out there, but its not what you hear about.

it wraps together what a lot of you ahve been saying, yes we need to fix the system to add protection, parents need to do their research make good choices and teach their kids to make good choices, and if each industry and business acted with true ethics they would spread as much information as possible to actually improve quality of life, not just extend the years.

+ Koushik Dutta
America already enjoys one if the Largest " social " healthcare system in the World ... It's the Millions of the Military (& all its branches) PLUS All the family members of these Active and NON active members, numbering in the Tens of Millions, possibly approaching 25% of the populace ! Oh, and let's not forget all the Current and PAST MEMBERS of Congress ! And I'll bet that 90% of these, when questioned would Completely Deny getting ANY TYPE of " Socialized Healthcare "...Just as Many Medicare Recipients deny receiving ANY TYPE of Government Assistance.
Our political system has Dramatically Changed and now ENCOURAGES & DEPENDS on the Ignorance of our population. Now, THAT is Sad. Capitalism has been Replaced by Corporatism : a Nation By the Rich & For the Rich. We Americans can No Longer state that we Live in & Enjoy the Benefits of a Democratic Society.
The " CHANGE " we NEED will take Multiple Administration's to accomplish.
Hmmm, government mandated exercise? I think you may be on to something here...
The fact that big Macs are cheaper then salads, don't help the fact people will choose big Macs...especially when you can supersize everything and still be cheaper then a small salad
Fact is, a hamburger is actually reasonably healthy. Its the pound of fries and liter of coke that's going to make you fat.

There is a documentary named "Fat Head", look it up on netflix. Starts off a bit weak, but stick with it, it's mindblowing.
It is the economy boom/doom that has made both parents work pushing parents for quick alternatives to healthy cooking. Time is a premium and money is readily available. Fast food combined with excessive TV watching and no exercise makes it worse. This is the bane of a growing economies.
+Koushik Dutta Sorry, I probably just read in to it too much!
Yeah lobbying here in the UK is still a problem (Just look at the "Leveson Inquiry") but there are those that want to place a cap on how much someone can contribute.
My personal belief is that a Nationalised Health Service is definitely the most effective and fair way to treat the people of that country - and I've always been amazed at the opposition of such a thing in the US to be honest. So I do hope you eventually get one.
Fast food isn't easier or cheaper. Calculated the price vs protein, fiber and vitamins/mineral content. It is not cheap. Also much easier to open a can of beans than it is to drive-thru or go into a fast food establishment. The fast food industry is only predatory towards lazy, uneducated fat fucks. Natural selection, if you are too stupid to know a fat sandwich is unhealthy or smoking has I'll effects then you suffer of your own accord and no one else's.
In addition, fair is the difference between what one person can do and another can not. You can not effectively legislate fairness as the outcome is inherently unfair. If you are unable to acquire a product or service by your own means, how is it fair that you still are entitled to such luxuries. All the while I must pay for mine solely because I have the means. That is wrong.
+Koushik Dutta Until healthcare is socialized, there is no motivation to prevent the problem. As long as corporations make money from the poor health of citizens, either by creating it or insuring against it while simultaneously running our government, there will be no serious prevention effort.
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