Are you saying that the ability to damage one's health through a combination of overeating and under-exercising should be a guaranteed right?
What I'm saying is that the government has as much power as you give it. If the government is going to subsidize a nation's health care then it has a fiscal responsibility to keep that cost reasonable. If you read my post carefully you'd see that I never stated the government should have the right to dictate personal behavior.
There's an awful lot of talk about rights these days but what about personal responsibility?
You seem to be missing my point. I agree that the government has a fiscal responsibility if it's subsidizing health care. Overeating is not the only unhealthy activity that individuals engage in. Sitting in front of your computer playing WoW is also unhealthy (I saw your post). If the government can ban overeating, they can ban WoW. The list of 'unhealthy' activities they can ban are infinite. The question is, where do you draw the line?
I'd rather keep the government out of the business, entirely, but most people don't seem to agree with me.
While I don't agree with any county pronouncing regulations on its people's physical stats, I can understand its desire to want to curb a developing trend.
Let's take America, for example. What did Americans, look like 50-60 years ago? I'll bet that, for the most part, you had healthy people. Maybe an occasional overweight person but not the 1 out of 3 statistics we are starting to hit now.
What happened? The explosion of fast food and quick food. Restaurants and junk food, if you will. Junk food and fast food is now full of empty calories that are harmful to the human body - no wonder more people are getting cancer.
So Japan. 50 years ago nearly ALL Japanese people were skinny skinny skinny and looked like they needed to gain some weight. What happened? After WWII the western culture came like a deluge into their country and a couple of decades later the introduction of McDonalds and all kinds of chain stores from the West.
Japan isn't stupid. I think they just don't want things to go the way they are going for us in America. Too bad the way they're going about it isn't something isn't respecting people's freedom and privacy but I can certainly understand their motivation.
Remember all the fat people in Wall-e. Couldn't even get back in their chair without help from a robot. That isn't so unbelievable the way it would have been 60 years ago.
NYC and LA both banned transfat or something like that.
a lot of things are possible overseas that isn't possible here.
For instance, overseas, democratic countries regularly call for impeachment of presidents that are corrupt or don't listen to the will of the people. even presidents that have strong ties to the military. and yes, there are MASSIVE protests, where hundreds of thousands of people will gather and protest together for an impeachment of a corrupt president with strong ties to the military.
such a thing is unthinkable in the US today. cultural, letter of the law, doesn't hold that much of a distinction for me.
This is an interesting topic. Too bad it was in "Health and Fitness"... I don't hang around the gym that much. Never know what's happening here. Ok, first some quotes and then I will make a point that should be there...
Originally Posted by prplchknz
My first reaction,was this is terrible, I'm against the government controlling the people when it comes to things like this. I hate the smoking ban for the same reason, but majority like it, so I guess I'll live.
Yes, my first impression also.
Originally Posted by heart
Are they crossing a personal boundary here? Do people have the right to be fat or unhealthy if they chose to be so?
I smoke, but I have no objection to limiting smoking to the smoking areas. It's not for my good, but for other peoples well-being and convenience, so I don't argue. I still get plenty of cancer to inhale.
Originally Posted by CzeCze
Japan and many east asian countries are more 'communal minded' societies where individuals are able to sublimate their individuality for the greater good.
So it's a different sense of 'personal boundaries' versus community responsibility/citizenship, etc.
Good point to remind.
Originally Posted by Mort Belfry
We're constantly told from one quarter that we as humans need to minimise our effect on the planet, and from another quarter that we need to be as healthy as possible. These two ideas completely oppose each other. Surely the best way to minimise human effect is to MIMINISE THE HUMANS!
If governments enforce people to gain an extra ten years on their lives, that's just more resources they're going to take and a larger trail of shit left in their wake.
Originally Posted by proteanmix
Anyway, I think this topic in general is pretty interesting. I suppose the underlying argument is should you be forced to do something that is ultimately good for you.
Originally Posted by nozflubber
As for the efficacy of health care costs, I think that's a moot point for reasons mentioned and probably just politic rhetoric to get it passed. The REAL issue here about overweight people is how energy inefficient they are (in food costs, not just fuel) and how we cater to the sins of sloth in this country. I'm so tired of seeing fat people, as well as perfectly fit ones, ride the elevator up two stories when it would be better for them, as well as others, to just suck it up and take the stairs and get that extra bit of excercise. Walk instead of driving a half mile to the corner station or liquor store. It's not that hard, but people feel so entitled to do the bare minimum because they have a "right to be fat". Fine, be overweight, but don't be pissed when the whole that carries thier own weight and costs better than you do want to tax you for your extra burden. I hope Japan gets it passed.
Here we are getting close to my way of thinking. It's not that it bugs me that people are lazy, what bugs me is that the food is running out. It has lots of reasons, partly tied to the fuel prizes and biofuel and so on, but also on meat consumption. This is a major issue. I dont care if people are fat-asses, thats not a big deal. If they die younger, all the same. But if some folks don't have enough to eat because the country on the other side of the world has people three times bigger eating all the food... now, that is not fair.
Dont get me wrong, Im not that big a world-saver. I eat meat. But I wouldn't have any problem with not eating it if no one else will either and it saves some people somewhere. I wouldn't have problem with one-child-policy if it keeps the world overpopulation in control. Just give me the right reasons for this kind of policy and I'm behind it.
I remember reading in a Newsweek or Time article somewhere... God, someone help me remember which article this was... that if Americans earning something like $250,000 or above donated just 10% of their earnings to a properly-run resource allocation charity, they'd cut world hunger by 30 or 40% or something... I don't remember the percentages, but it was astonishing.... even if the percentage of world hunger reduced was 10 or 20%, wouldn't it be worth it?!?!??!?
The Islamic edict of zakaat, the universal donation of [Edit: 2.5%...]* of one's wealth to the poor, would be an excellent principle for people of all groups to follow, Muslim and non-Muslim, theist or atheist, alike.
* I'd originally written 10% and was corrected.
As for the drive to reduce obesity in Japan, I think it's a good idea... as long as it doesn't become draconian, like the beastly Indira Gandhi and her "labia-lipped" (thanks Rushdie) son's, Sanjay Gandhi's, crazy forced sterilization campaign.
Last edited by Samuel De Mazarin; 08-15-2008 at 04:00 AM.
Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.
Realize us, Madman!
I razed a slum, Amen.