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The Sedentary Society - How Does That Get Changed?

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The Sedentary Society - How Does That Get Changed?

Old 08-22-08, 06:35 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Here's another aspect of the problem......the "blame game". It doesn't matter who or what is to blame, what matters is how do you effect change. The only time blame matters is if there is a crime, or liability. Other than that, we need to move past blaming Mom and Dad, or society, or work, and just address the problem and change the outcome by changing the variables that lead to it.
Agreed.

The real problem (if there is one) is how do you ACTUALLY get changes in human behavior, if change is desired.

Statting what should be or what ought to be is very nice. But, in actuality, it does little or nothing to make any difference, except, perhaps, to the small number of folks who might read this forum.

Which begs the question - is it really any of our business if folks are fat and sedentary? Some here have stated that it is not, and no one should be in the business of trying to change another's behavior. This is an interesting viewpoint, and I appreciate it.

My personal viewpoint, as I see folks sick and disabled and dying young from their sedentary life styles and resulting obesity and diseases, is that it IS society's responsibility to attempt to better things in some way or another. ALso, it costs "us" when folks are prematurely ill, hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated from this condition.

But, that is a personal viewpoint with which many of you disagree.

To me, at a minimum, government, education, society - WE - have a responsibility to at least
  • Provide education and information on the topic so that folks know the dangers of their lifestyle and habits, and how to change. This can be accomplished through schools, pamphlets, TV, internet, radio, newspapers, seminars and the like.

  • Provide info and education on nutrition, eating healthily on a tight budget, etc.

  • Perhaps provide financial incentives to those who are leading a more healthy lifestyle. This is already done in such things as life insurance policies, where folks who are not "healthy" are asked to pay more for a policy. Perhaps folks who don't fit in one airline seat should be asked to buy two seats - it is most uncomfortable sitting next to someone on an airplane who spreads over about a seat and one-half. Perhaps this could be done on a more positive basis, giving discounts to those with better lifestyles.

  • Provide opportunities for folks to exercise in appropriate, pleasant and safe environments. Provide day care programs so individuals can work out at a rec center or go for a bike ride. We do this at our rec center.

  • Teach folks how to build exercise into their daily lives - walk to the store, climb stairs, etc. Businesses could promote this by rewarding "stair climbers," etc. Provide bikes for business folks to travel short distances.

What other positive, simple proposals might you have?

I think it is highly unrealistic to think that we are going to move millions of folks out of the suburbs into more dense housing. It is just too expensive. Perhaps we might want to plan communities building in such a manner.

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Old 08-22-08, 07:37 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
It's a personal one, but it has societal implications, in my view. I'm not going to advocate any legislation to "force" the changes necessary, because ultimately that won't work, and opens the door to other major problems. It's a Social problem with multiple small local effort grass roots solutions, to my mind.

Get active locally, and address it with developing local rides that encourage new riders, or other physical activities, even. Doing what I do through the Clyde/Athena Forum is another example.....modeling behaviors and showing it can be done. I've reached quite a few people through this medium, as have others here as well. If each of you gets the message to, say, 10 people and positively influence them, and they do the same thing, another 10 each, and so on, guess what, we get a multiple exponential growth pattern spreading ripples. That's how to address it, I believe.

Legislating a forced solution will get resentments stirred, and there will always be those that just can't get off their butts. Other aspects of forced solutions is that it opens the door to discriminatory practices. Look back and see where Pam made reference to making fun of overweight people. I realize that isn't what she's advocating, but it's a realistic possible unintended outcome that will drive a large group of sedentary and overweight people away....exactly the opposite effect that is desired. We've had our successes because of the supportive environment we maintain here by conscious choice. We chose to embrace a healthier lifestyle and many of us have changed our lifestyles radically to achieve what we want.

The cool thing is, it's also a whole lot of fun! Push that aspect, reteach how to play, and as people change their views, they will tend to shift their lifestyles to accommodate their new wants/needs. Classic Maslov and Vygotsky behavioral patterns.
:Legislators can help in some ways, for example banning HFCS and trans-fats would be a good start. Legislators can also provide infrastructure, sometimes at low or no cost, for example a requirement that new business developments provide a secured bicycle parking spot for every so many car spots. Of course this may also mean that people will complain when all the bicycle spots are full, and they need to get the car. Amenities need to be provided either within walking or cycling distance. A reasonable walking trip is about 2km (1.2 miles), a reasonable bicycling trip would be about 10km (6 miles), This is the distance most people could reasonably cover within about one half hour, So 90% of the amenities should be provided within a 10km radius of home. The average person should be able to work, worship, be entertained and shop within that 10km circle. People who live in the downtowns of older cities, often can accomplish this.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:45 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
I think this thread is starting to fall into a moral predicament. With all the talk about insurance companies charging higher rates for things in order to make folks react positively. This is a dangerous line of thinking and takes us into highly charged political territory.

IMO, the only one who should decide what is a "positive" reaction for me is...well...me. I don't want any others making that decision for me. Nor should anyone else make that decision for me. I live my life the way I choose to (yes, I smoke a pipe (make 'em too) and occasional cigar). I do things that improve my quality of life as I see it. Not as someone else sees it. The govt. shouldn't be making those decisions for me. Insurance companies shouldn't make those decisions for me (they need to worry only about stock holders, bottom line, market share, etc. Not moral issues).

I point this out to reinforce that we're migrating into political territory and away from other issues.

One of the few things that can actually motivate someone to change behaviour is fear. Money is not generally a good motivator, at least not for the change that we're discussing. Fear is it. I changed because of fear. I would venture to guess that just about every one of you that took up biking to get healthier did it as a result of fear. Fear of death. Or fear of diabetes. Or fear of heart failure. Fear of something.

You want the population to change? You have to scare them. Not a generalized scare, but an individual one. Frankly, I don't even think it's realistically possible. Discussing this is like chasing a pipe dream. People will either change or they won't.

Yeah, I have a rather cynical view. But it does seem to be accurate, and I'm so rarely disappointed.
+1

I think you have it wrapped up in a nutshell.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:11 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
What other positive, simple proposals might you have?

In college I interviewed with Lutron (you know, light dimmers and the like) near Bethlehem, PA. They had a gym on their little campus complete with showers. Pretty cool but requires deeper pockets and I am sure that there is some sort of liability that a company needs to be willing to shoulder. If I ran a large enough company I would do this because it is a great recruitment and retainment tool, those who use it during lunch are going to have productive afternoons, and I could use it myself!

As for a private venture that would help - I really think that bike commuting would see a huge increase if there were just shower and locker facilities. I bet that some bike friendly downtowns could support a "cycle commuter club" that had indoor bike storage and locker and shower facilities. That way an economy of scale could be achieved because I don't think we are going to see a lot of companies dumping valuable cash and real estate into this kind of thing for 10 people.

I can see it now - check in your bike and it gets hung on a rack like those at the dry cleaner and goes whizzing around the facility.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:12 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
:Legislators can help in some ways, for example banning HFCS and trans-fats would be a good start.
That opens up a huge can of worms, since the companies that make products that use these things are very good at getting their addicts, excuse me customers, to form lynch mobs that threaten to rip the lips off them lib'rul elite politicians who are trying to take away their Crisco. I think that one thing government can do, though, is enact and enforce regulation on honesty in labeling. Case in point, a few years back McDonalds used to advertise their french fries as "made with 100% vegetable oil". Any sensible person would take that to mean that 100% of the oil used to fry their french fries is vegetable oil, since the alternative interpretation is "some of what our french fries are fried in is vegetable oil, and that vegetable oil is...100% vegetable oil, yessirreebob!" Unfortunately, the alternative interpretation is the truth, and McDonalds frying mix consisted in part of vegetable oil, and in part of beef tallow. Even more unfortunately, the person who discovered this was a Jain who had previously been a big fan of McDonalds fries, under the mistaken but reasonable belief that eating them was not a violation of his religious principles.

It was a slyly calculated piece of marketing in which McDonalds cynically took advantage of the disparity between how a reasonable and sensible person would interpret a statement, and how the statement could be contorted to mean something very different. Disingenuous disclaimers to the contrary, this was quite deliberate. This sort of thing deserves a beat-down, and until such beat-downs are handed out, this kind of deceptive marketing and labeling will continue.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:14 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by mhuntwork View Post
As for a private venture that would help - I really think that bike commuting would see a huge increase if there were just shower and locker facilities. I bet that some bike friendly downtowns could support a "cycle commuter club" that had indoor bike storage and locker and shower facilities. That way an economy of scale could be achieved because I don't think we are going to see a lot of companies dumping valuable cash and real estate into this kind of thing for 10 people.

I can see it now - check in your bike and it gets hung on a rack like those at the dry cleaner and goes whizzing around the facility.
Interesting.

Historically, prior to the automobile, the bicycle was an important social status symbol, and there WERE private bicycle clubs with lodging, showers and the like. It was a big status symbol, and folks did centuries, even on penny farthings, and other more simple bikes, wearing the darndest looking outfits, particularly the ladies!
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Old 08-22-08, 11:28 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Here's another aspect of the problem......the "blame game". It doesn't matter who or what is to blame, what matters is how do you effect change. The only time blame matters is if there is a crime, or liability. Other than that, we need to move past blaming Mom and Dad, or society, or work, and just address the problem and change the outcome by changing the variables that lead to it.
1,000,000+

We are responsible for our actions - we can't control the behavior of others no matter how much legislaturors think that will work, nor can anyone make us healthy. We ourselves need to be willing to take on the challenge. If we are parents, we can, hopefully, pass on good habits to our kids. But once they become adults, our control ends.

I just hope and pray someday, people will start to see what is happening with all this technology surrounding us and revolt! People will start to miss having good healthy home made family meals with everyone around the table, people will start to miss the outdoors when everything becomes a parking lot, and we are charged money to use that lot (and gas is $10/gal). Maybe then things ill change.

Denver... it's an interesting quandry - probably something most of us outdoor folks think about often. When did society stop having a love of getting out and getting dirty and sweaty??! BTW I am a firm believer of "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink..." I would bet if you provided free gym membership to the entire nation few people will partake. Heck half of us pay for gyms now and still don't use them! All of us knows what constitutes good eating habits. Schools already provide that information and we still flock to McDonald's. Education and legislation is not really an answer. Having more government seldom solve anything. I laugh here in California we pass a no cell phone unless with blue tooth use in a car and guess what, no one paid attention. Everyone still has that cell phone glued to their ear. Even sillier, people can still text! Nope, don't feel laws, rules or education has meaning especially when you have to address cultural, socio-economic issues and well just laziness.

What might work is removing a stigma from exercise. I like the fact some sports stars are getting celebrity status (such as David Beckham and now Mike Phelps). Hopefully more kids will want to emulate sports stars instead of Paris Hilton. I know what motivates most of us Clydes is our size and the stigma of being fat (and also health concerns). Who in our society wants to be called fat?

Funny here at work we were talking about bike commuting... several people contemplated it but stopped short because they didn't want people to think they had to ride, ie, because they lost their license. Isn't that sad?
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Old 08-22-08, 11:41 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by BCIpam View Post
What might work is removing a stigma from exercise. I like the fact some sports stars are getting celebrity status (such as David Beckham and now Mike Phelps). Hopefully more kids will want to emulate sports stars instead of Paris Hilton. I know what motivates most of us Clydes is our size and the stigma of being fat (and also health concerns). Who in our society wants to be called fat?
Nobody -- but they also don't want to exercise, and if someone can market a collection of lies and half-truths that tell them that they can eat pork rinds and still look like Paris Hilton, they're all over it.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:58 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
That opens up a huge can of worms, since the companies that make products that use these things are very good at getting their addicts, excuse me customers, to form lynch mobs that threaten to rip the lips off them lib'rul elite politicians who are trying to take away their Crisco. I think that one thing government can do, though, is enact and enforce regulation on honesty in labeling. Case in point, a few years back McDonalds used to advertise their french fries as "made with 100% vegetable oil". Any sensible person would take that to mean that 100% of the oil used to fry their french fries is vegetable oil, since the alternative interpretation is "some of what our french fries are fried in is vegetable oil, and that vegetable oil is...100% vegetable oil, yessirreebob!" Unfortunately, the alternative interpretation is the truth, and McDonalds frying mix consisted in part of vegetable oil, and in part of beef tallow. Even more unfortunately, the person who discovered this was a Jain who had previously been a big fan of McDonalds fries, under the mistaken but reasonable belief that eating them was not a violation of his religious principles.

It was a slyly calculated piece of marketing in which McDonalds cynically took advantage of the disparity between how a reasonable and sensible person would interpret a statement, and how the statement could be contorted to mean something very different. Disingenuous disclaimers to the contrary, this was quite deliberate. This sort of thing deserves a beat-down, and until such beat-downs are handed out, this kind of deceptive marketing and labeling will continue.
The issue with honesty in labelling, is that companies will spend billions of dollars to find loopholes. By law, in Canada, ingredient lists must be in the order of amount of contents, so when making a product that is 60% sugar, 39% water and 1% artificial flavour, you have a problem, people will look at the fact your cola is more sugar then water, and freak, the solution is that you use 3 different sugars, so that each sugar is listed as a separate ingredient and water then ends up on top. This is why many products use glucose, fructose and dextrose as ingredients, so that sugar is further down the ingredient list, then it really should be. Another trick is when including something that people would not like to find in their food, simply use the scientific name, rather then the common name. Third trick is to trademark another name for it, then use that. With the right name, the entrails of sheep with diarrhoea can sound quite pleasant.

It's like the way they market low fat, when I first heard the term applied to a high fat product like salad dressing, I asked myself, so what did they replace the fat with? Turns out the answer is more sugar, probably high fructose corn syrup! I could go on, but I need to go, and just realized, so back later.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:02 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
...and if someone can market a collection of lies and half-truths that tell them that they can eat pork rinds and still look like Paris Hilton, they're all over it.

Isn't that what WOW! potato chips were all about?


are those still on the market????
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Old 08-22-08, 01:13 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
The Sedentary (and obese) Society - How Does That Get Changed?

I was wondering if there were any thoughts or ideas on how you get folks to change their sedentary and other habits, which seem to lead to unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, and a host of related physical conditions and diseases.

Any personal stories?

Think about this on a societal level. Is there anything that leaders in health, government, schools, etc., could do to make a real difference?

What made a difference (if anything) in your own life?

I do believe the US of A is the fattest and most sedentary nation in the world, and in history. I am making the assumption that being the fattest and least exercised is not a good thing.

Ideas, folks? Or is this simply a lost cause? Or, perhaps it just doesn't matter?

Two words, my friend. Zombie apocalypse.

Think about it.
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Old 08-22-08, 01:21 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Ka_Jun View Post
Two words, my friend. Zombie apocalypse.

Think about it.
Four pages, best post.
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Old 08-22-08, 02:51 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
That opens up a huge can of worms, since the companies that make products that use these things are very good at getting their addicts, excuse me customers, to form lynch mobs that threaten to rip the lips off them lib'rul elite politicians who are trying to take away their Crisco. I think that one thing government can do, though, is enact and enforce regulation on honesty in labeling. Case in point, a few years back McDonalds used to advertise their french fries as "made with 100% vegetable oil". Any sensible person would take that to mean that 100% of the oil used to fry their french fries is vegetable oil, since the alternative interpretation is "some of what our french fries are fried in is vegetable oil, and that vegetable oil is...100% vegetable oil, yessirreebob!" Unfortunately, the alternative interpretation is the truth, and McDonalds frying mix consisted in part of vegetable oil, and in part of beef tallow. Even more unfortunately, the person who discovered this was a Jain who had previously been a big fan of McDonalds fries, under the mistaken but reasonable belief that eating them was not a violation of his religious principles.

It was a slyly calculated piece of marketing in which McDonalds cynically took advantage of the disparity between how a reasonable and sensible person would interpret a statement, and how the statement could be contorted to mean something very different. Disingenuous disclaimers to the contrary, this was quite deliberate. This sort of thing deserves a beat-down, and until such beat-downs are handed out, this kind of deceptive marketing and labeling will continue.
In Canada, which has much more strict labelling laws, it's not much better, companies will pay their lawyers millions of dollars to look for loopholes in the law, and sometimes, if the penalty is just a fine, then paying the fines when you get caught, are just part of the cost of doing business.

In Canada there was a private member's bill to require limited nutritional information in restaurant menus. The restaurant industry went on an intense lobbying effort and the bill was defeated. What were they trying to hide? That the supposedly healthy meals can have more fat, calories and sodium then the supposedly unhealthy ones. CBC's Marketplace did a story on it which you can find online here It's worth a viewing.
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Old 08-22-08, 02:51 PM
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http://www.welcomescreen.aol.com/red...270x1200442699

"ALABAMA -The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they'll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.
Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who don't work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.
Alabama already charges workers who smoke — and has seen some success in getting them to quit — but now has turned its attention to a problem that plagues many in the Deep South: obesity.
The State Employees' Insurance Board this week approved a plan to charge state workers starting in January 2010 if they don't have free health screenings." For more, click the link above
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Old 08-22-08, 06:47 PM
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Great posts!
Personally I agree with some of the other posters on the idea of fear. I hate to say it, but it works for me. I was watching a TV show about a 1000 lb man and it just scared (and saddened) me into changing my life.

I somewhat agree with the "blame game" theory. Just like overcoming fears, it takes a lot of guts to man up to accepting blame. Sure it'd be nice to up and walk out on my sedentary job because I don't think it's healthy to sit all day, but at the same time it'd be nice to place the blame on corporate america for giving us little vacation and personal time.

Maybe it's just the engineer in me, but it just seems that evolution is always driving us to "find an easier way". Shave a few seconds off this production time, make this more efficient, build this cheaper, make this faster, yada,yada, yada... We all could make the arguement that the invention of the bicycle made people slightly lazier...beyond horses, we obviously got around somehow.
You typically never see a fat Amish person. LOL

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Old 08-22-08, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
In Canada, which has much more strict labelling laws, it's not much better, companies will pay their lawyers millions of dollars to look for loopholes in the law, and sometimes, if the penalty is just a fine, then paying the fines when you get caught, are just part of the cost of doing business.

In Canada there was a private member's bill to require limited nutritional information in restaurant menus. The restaurant industry went on an intense lobbying effort and the bill was defeated. What were they trying to hide? That the supposedly healthy meals can have more fat, calories and sodium then the supposedly unhealthy ones. CBC's Marketplace did a story on it which you can find online here It's worth a viewing.
I saw that episode and it was quite interesting. How about the calories and fat content in the kid's menus? Off the chart! Some of the choices were equal to what a kid should eat in an entire day.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:36 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
I saw that episode and it was quite interesting. How about the calories and fat content in the kid's menus? Off the chart! Some of the choices were equal to what a kid should eat in an entire day.
The one I found most interesting was the supposed healthy meal that was the equivalent to 4 big macs What I think is a large (no pun intended) part of the problem, is that not only do you have a food product that is high in fat, sodium and calories, but the plate contains enough to feed a family of 6 in South America for a week! Personally I would like to see restaurants offer a cheaper and smaller version of a lot of the meals.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:28 PM
  #93  
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This thead is great, reminds me of my final year as a sociology major and some of our class discussions.

In the end alot of it comes down to the individual.

One recent report I saw that disappointed me had to dowith our new star Michael Phelps. He is going to endorse Frosted Flakes. While I enjoy them on occasion and know they are not ideal I see alot of little want to be little kids wanting to down boxes to "Be Like Mike", unfortunatly these little kids will not swim 7 hours a day and burn the calories he does. I say even if they are your favorite cereal Mike that is ok but like it or not you are now a role model to lots of little kids and well you may not be helping matters even if it is all unintentional.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:54 PM
  #94  
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Zombie apocolypse!

Don't even joke about the undead. We already have enough vampires!
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Old 08-23-08, 05:53 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Bigboxeraf View Post
Zombie apocolypse!

Don't even joke about the undead. We already have enough vampires!
Yeah except we call them something else, politicians..
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Old 08-23-08, 06:14 AM
  #96  
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What`s wrong with an obese, unhealthy society? I`m not being sarcastic. I`m curious. Is it the financial impact of lost productivity at work? Increased healthcare costs? Something else? My question, why do we care?
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Old 08-23-08, 06:27 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by mikesdca View Post
What`s wrong with an obese, unhealthy society? I`m not being sarcastic. I`m curious. Is it the financial impact of lost productivity at work? Increased healthcare costs? Something else? My question, why do we care?
Great question.

Why should we care?
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Old 08-23-08, 06:38 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by mikesdca View Post
What`s wrong with an obese, unhealthy society? I`m not being sarcastic. I`m curious. Is it the financial impact of lost productivity at work? Increased healthcare costs? Something else? My question, why do we care?
There are a few issues, first is that you have increased health care costs, and some loss of productivity, but those are relatively minor, the biggest problem is that an obese and unhealthy society breeds an even more obese and unhealthy society. It designs things and encourages the setup to be that intended for an obese and unhealthy society, Look at modern US cities like Jacksonville, FL, Phoenix AZ and Houston TX, they are on a massive car oriented scale, the best tool for an obese and unhealthy society is the motor car. Now I have to walk over to the store and pick up a couple of things, not taking the bike for other reasons.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:57 AM
  #99  
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For some strange reason, I like to see folks operating at their most efficient pace.

I lead bicycle rides for seniors, encourage various activities, am extremely involved in various "betterment of life" activities, advocacy and political movements for individuals with disabilities.

Why?

I don't really know why - I guess it is just me!

Having two sons with profound disabilities is also a strong motivator.
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Old 08-23-08, 07:24 AM
  #100  
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Let's see, type II Diabetes is currently projected to affect about 33% of the population over the next 20 years. We're talking billions of dollars in extra Health care costs from this factor alone, and lost productivity, yes. Add in hidden costs such as increased costs related to quality of life issues, and other costs not listed here, you have an expensive proposition here if not addressed.

Originally Posted by mikesdca View Post
What`s wrong with an obese, unhealthy society? I`m not being sarcastic. I`m curious. Is it the financial impact of lost productivity at work? Increased healthcare costs? Something else? My question, why do we care?
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. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
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