Sorry for the uber late response, but I had a paper to write and I wanted nothing to get in the way. Unlike BBS posts, one Microsoft word page, double spaced, takes me about 4 hours to do if IâEUTMm lucky. So a 5 page paper takes 3 days to complete, at least.
At 13 hours ago, Camarohusky wrote:
You got it right.
Here's a quote for the article: "This discovery could have salient implications on the study of sugar addiction in humans. Ã¢EUoeAs far as humans are concerned, thereÃ¢EUTMs no good scientific evidence yet,Ã¢EU Hoebel said."
Yes, you start out with a hypothesis and often times you test the hypothesis out on non-human subjects. Hoebel is being careful and not saying that showing how what critics of HFCS say about HFCS is true for rats shows that it's true for humans. It's certainly more cautious than the kind of science that was used to show how fat causes heart disease.
However, I don't care if this is right or wrong. It still is nitpicky.
Now, A Switch to a more evolutionary-based diet for Americans is not going to solve every kind of life-style induced health problem. And I hope I never argued that such was the case. It obviously won't address other kinds of problems like lung cancer.
However, Obesity is directly linked to the body's insulin resistance, which sugar intake plays a key role. And if the new science which contests the lipid hypothesis is correct, it also does play the chief role in HEART DISEASE which is one of the major burdens on life-style induced healthcare costs. A movement away from sugars and starches won't eliminate diabetes or heart disease, but it will have an impact.
Unlike some people I have no grand vision of how âEUoeWeâEU [Read as the Government] Will bring about a healthier public. I do know, however, that the status quo is both politically profitable, and BAD in the perspective of encouraging healthy behavior.
My mentioning Carbs and high fructose corn syrup was also not about advocating a Government Crusade against these things. But to point out 1. The American Diet was healthier BEFORE large scale Government involvement in what the American diet ought to be. 2. The Diet the American Government recommended was, in large part, listened to, and with disastrous results. 3. Governments had, and have, a stronger incentive to tell people to eat things that Agribusiness and/or Vegan evangelists than what is actually.
Number three is absolutely the most important. My HFCS is part of a larger argument about the dangers in trusting the Government to be a force for positive lifestyle changes. Things like the Primal, Paleo, and Atkins diets might be incredible beneficial health effects but the Government has all the reasons in the world to oppose these diets. If it happens that these diets *are* wrong, then the Government being right is a matter of luck rather than something systemic.
As for your broad holistic approach, Exercise and eating less are intuitive measures for improving health. You'll have a hard time finding anyone who doesn't know that these things are good for you, though there will be disagreement as to how effective they are compared to the composition of diet. As such, if you want the Government encouraging people to do these things, you'll have to figure out some way of making people eat less and be more active.
The politically popular method of doing this is taxing sugary foods, but this is simply an attempt to make the foods the Government made artificially cheap expensive again. YouâEUTMre spending tax dollars to simultaneously make foods cheap to produce and then taxing them to make them expensive to buy. Now even when people donâEUTMt realize the link between carbs and sugar, most people realize that soft drinks, candy, etc. are Evil and so taxing them isnâEUTMt pure political suicide.
On the other hand, a âEU~nutritionally neutralâEUTM plan that simply makes people eat less is either going to be impossibly difficult to enforce, or politically suicidal, or both. And if it turns out that there is actually a real relationship between a foods price and its nutritional value, you may actually end up creating a program that encourages people to eat MORE junk in relative terms.
Beyond education, which as IâEUTMve explained is a waste of time because it tells people things they already know, the Government has two basic tools [or I should say, approaches] they can use to discourage eating. The first involves forcibly reducing the amount of food they are able to buy at the individual level, the second is fiddling around with supply and demand and making all food more expensive across the board, presumably through taxation. [Again weâEUTMre assuming nutrition Neutrality, We donâEUTMt know what kinds of food are healthy and which ones are not, so weâEUTMll just encourage people to eat less of everything and hope this works]
LetâEUTMs take the first approach. The government forcibly limits the amount of food people can buy or eat. I think you can understand why this is politically unpopular on multiple levels. Beyond the fact that limiting what food people can buy as an explicit policy would be incredibly unpopular with the general populace, which is of secondary importance, it is also politically unpopular at the level of interest groups, because any policy that cuts a consumer base for an industry would force that industry to contract heavily.
Sin taxes are different, if the sin taxes are on substances with a very inelastic demand [Either a practical necessity in the case of gasoline, or highly addictive in the case of soft drinks, alcohol, or tobacco] the incidence of the tax falls mostly on the consumers. [Sin taxes that fail to do this run the risk of eliminating the business entirely]
Even the most efficient method of enforcing this conceivable would still require quite a bit of effort. To the extent you donâEUTMt have government agents spying on households and supermarkets is the extent to which both households and supermarkets [restaurants too presumably] would greedily ignore the central plan and render the program pointless.
The alternative is to raise prices across the board, forcing people to eat less without having to send the food-gestapo to raid the refrigerators of households. Again weâEUTMll ignore political popularity. The problem with this method is that food typically consists of superior and inferior goods. When the price of all goods rises, the demand for superior goods may fall, but the demand for inferior goods rises proportionally or near-proportionately. So imagine if Steak is originally 20 dollars and hotdogs are 5 dollars, but the government doubles the price of both. Hotdogs are now 10 dollars and steak is 40 dollars. People might marginally buy less steak, but more likely they will engage in substitution, and buy hotdogs instead. Leaving their consumption unaffected.
Now if it turns out that the foods that are typically the cheapest, turn out to be the least healthy. What youâEUTMve done is encouraged people to increase as a proportion of their diet the foods they SHOULDNâEUTMT be eating. Now we started with the assumption of nutritional neutrality as a matter of policy, this doesnâEUTMt imply that nutrition doesnâEUTMt matter; only that we donâEUTMt know what is nutritional and what is not; hence is the idea that the Government ought not encourage one diet over another. But in trying to make all food more expensive, the government DOES encourage a certain kind of diet.
For example, imagine a program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of cars on global warming by making cars more expensive across the board.
Continued on the next post.