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Poll: Food for thought

Should the government be regulating what we eat and drink – and how much – to try to hold down health care costs?

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  • Bakerj

    People do get addicted to Coca Cola and Pepsi, high caffeine drinks evidently.  Taxes where people can eat to an excess should be taxed so that there is money for research and treatment

  • Maylyn89

    Regulating what we eat and how much is not necessary, just stop subsidizing corn production thereby removing the most disease producing product additive, fructose corn syrup.  ALSO   Cattle shouldn’t be eating it either, it makes them sick causing the need to dose them with antibiotics and 
    making meat unhealthy for human consumption. Cattle should be out eating grass, not in feed lots eating corn.  Next the FDA should stop allowing GMO in our food.  GMO are not anything the would naturally be produced in nature and does nothing but put all the power in the hands of huge corporations that will in the end completely control all farming in America.   IT is these huge corporations that are making the public fat.  The corporations are what need to be regulated. 

  • Anna Narbutovskih

    I agree that the government needs to stop subsidizing corn and the other four commodity crops. But its largest role should be in the area of nutrition education. Very few people realize that refined white wheat flour is metabolized exactly the same as white sugar and is possibly a larger contributor to diabetes than sugar. Nutrition education and reconnecting with the land through community gardens would help solve the problem.

  • Eugene Schreiber

    The ubiquitous availability of soft drinks that are loaded with cheap and a dangerous form of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, are a prime driver of  obesity and diabetes.  These drinks should not be available in our public schools.  As some of the other responders have truthfully pointed out, the government should not  be subsidizing corn.  Government could play a big role in promoting nutrition education.  This is an area where knowledge is lacking and which even most doctors know little or nothing.  Other countries such as Germany, Austria, Sweden etc. have prohibited use of amalgam (mercury) fillings by dentists, but our FDA does NOTHING.  Feeding animals 29,000,000 pounds annually of antibiotics to promote weight gain is insane!!!  The Department of Agriculture is silent.  As pointed out there is a constructive role for government, but as things stand now, it’s apparent that government supports and protects industry to the detriment of the public.  Hence, in its present form, the government and its agencies is part of the problem.  Nixon in 1971 declared war on cancer creating the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  But the war is not faring well.  In the 40 years since its inception the NCI has spent over a TRILLION dollars of public money but hasn’t come up with a single cure, though there are a few doctors with no public money who are curing cancer.  Is it that money is a corrupting influence?

  • Unkerjay

    Of course not.  Think of how this will impact the soda industry, the fast food industry, the weight loss industry.  It’s unamerican.  It’s not in keeping with the american tradition of rugged independence, opulence, excess, FREEDOM.

    We should have the absolute right to indulge, to over-indulge.  AND not have to suffer the consequences of doing so.  

    Whether it’s banks, guns, soda, hot dogs, chicken, pork, deep fat fried (fill in the blank), we are a nation that wants what we want when we want it and should NOT be deprived of it on the mere grounds of the direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional consequences to our health or safety, or economic well being.

    Survival of the fittest be damned.  We’re after something far more important.  The right to self destruct.

    Hallelujah and pass the biscuits and gravy.

  • Jharmer81

    This question is written in such a way as to bias the response towards “no.”  The program was talking about taxing  the biggest size bottles of pop to discourage drinking a large quantity of sugar.   I would vote yes to that proposal, but would have to vote no in your survey.

  • Vsanfi

    The government is responsible for public health, I think it should go farther to discourage the consumption of excess sugar, which is a drug that causes diabetes, heart attack, and Alzheimer’s, and drives up my medical insurance premiums.

  • lgfromillinois

    Some roll for government is necessary, to educate  on healthy habits, to prevent unhealthy ingredients being added to products, and to regulate quality and quantities of otherwise healthy ingredients.  Limits to that roll exist now and will be maintained.  Sickness and high health costs from obesity and related diseases are a terrible burden on the whole nation.

  • Merick Chaffee

    David Kessler, a former surgeon-general who defeated the tobacco industry, wrote a book about how  the food industry is addicting the public to become compulsive over-eaters by making them addicts to fat, sugar and salt. The food industry has kept this information out of the media as much as possible. Need  to Know should have a program presenting this important information

  • OJ

    When given the choice we then to over eat and drink.  The concept of all-you-can-eat when it pertains to unhealth foods needs to go.

  • Jean LeFrancois

    The problems is multifaceted, one thing though they are not talking about is what capitalism is doing to cause obesity. One thing they did not address is the CDC finding that artificial sweeteners causes a large amount of dumping of insulin into the blood as the body thinks it is fixing to get this large load of sugar into the blood stream. The sweetener is so small it has not got any notable calories, but the body does not recognize it as such. Thus the calories are not there, the blood sugar drops (less the 70 starves the brain of needed energy to work and can kill you, so the body starts this craving for food. The food is eaten, usually in the form of quick fixes such as sugar, thus starting the bouncing of sugars up and down. The sugar rises, more insulin, then it drops as simple sugars are consumed by the body fastest, and thus back to low blood sugar and the cycle repeats. This is causing the phenomena of “grasing” meaning that the person then eats a little all the time. This is then causing a small but consistent over eating of calories thus increasing the weight.

    The CDC wrote about this about 17 months ago in a 30 year study because of the obesity epidemic that was identified 16 or more years ago… It coincided with the introduction of sweeteners, but the mechanism of action was not known or understood. Now that it is, the sweeter industry is big business. they don’t want the publication to come out because they would have to stop putting it out, like the tobacco industry did not want the effects of tar and nicotine out.

    This is a huge portion of the problem that people want to blame sugar when in fact before there were sweeteners the obesity rate was 5%, now thirty years later it is >55%…

    To tackle the problem of obesity, before there is a sugar tax, there needs to be a large scale push to take sweeteners out of the market place. There is not useful purpose for them, they thought initially they would help the diabetic community to have some alternative to sugary confections…

    Additionally, before you take out sugar or tax it, you need to do something about the fast food industry consistently giving out fried high calorie food. McDonald’s, Taco Bell and alike needs to have healthier choices. Subway does and it is not hurting their business.

    I realize that this is one epidemiologist’s opinion, but I am not only an epidemiologist but a Seventh-
    Day Adventist, that our health studies are used all the time to compare meat eating to vegetarianism. I am not a doctor, but have enough college credits to have a BS in Nutrition, and in Psychology. But I am a Public Health Epidemiologist, Biostatistican and Certified Public Health Nurse. I have been in the business 34 + Years.

    Doctors need to stay with Medicine. They may say what happens in Diabetes, but Nutrition and Public Health needs to be handled by Public Health Doctors, Public Health Nurses, Public Health Epidemiologist. Most DOCTORS only know SECONDARY and TERTIARY Medicine.

    Public Health Officials and specialist handle PRIMARY PREVENTION…

    I have nothing against doctors as I have many friends that are… but I have 5.5 years of education past a master’s degree and just not in the right spots to have a PhD or DrPH, in more then one area.

    Look into this before looking and pushing for taxing the people. They need to start with capitalistic companies that make a profit…

    We did not have this problem 35 years ago…

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Sugars are natural, Artifical Sweetners are unnatural and man made, they need to go.

  • Jean LeFrancois

     They now know the thing that is addicting the public is the artificial sweeteners by the ‘mechanism of action’ read the new CDC publications on the obesity epidemic and artificial sweeteners. When the tobacco industry was being fought, the artificial sweeteners were too new to know what was causing the problem. Did not mean the problem did not exist, just we did not know the cause of lung cancer in 1920 either.

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Education will not stop the low blood sugar because the dumping of insulin into the blood steam. You have a natural body mechanism at work. Artificial Sweetness are the reason the body is dumping the insulin… So look to the cause to find the solution not the presumed solution. The artifical sweetener industry would love us to tax sugar and other things. It will make them more money and complicate and escalate the problem…

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Public Health is not from the Government. I is supported by the government because it helps the whole population. You want to have a cholera epidemic or TB epidemic with out the help of the health department. Lets remember the “miasma theory” was popular at one time too for the black death and yellow fever…

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Good old capitalism, lets put Cocaine back in Coka Cola…

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Read the mechanism of action of artificial sweeteners please then you will find the culperate.

  • Jean LeFrancois

     This was around before we in America had the obesity epidemic. I agree we should not support hybridization. But I do not thing sugar is the problem, no more then I think honey is the problem. Artificial Sweeteners are made in a chemistry lab, not grown… Get a handle on biology…

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Let’s get rid of the farmers all together… hum, we could get rid of the cattle and pig industry too as they are linked to heart disease. While we are at it, lets get rid of pig and chickens cause they are linked to many of the flu epidemics too. Oh, lets not eat any oysters cause they can cause mercury poisoning… (Bible said not to eat shell fish anyway as well as pig… Look we don’t have to tax or get rid of anything… We need to stop eating chemicals, like artificial sweeteners and while we are at it processed cheese. Do you know a lot of those sliced cheeses you buy are made with plastics not real food at all.)

  • Jean LeFrancois

     Caffeine is a natural product. We just need to stop condensing it into quantities that are harmful. An 8 oz glass of Orange Juice is what 4-5 oranges. Who in their right mind sits and eats 4-5 oranges in one sitting. Really, Caffeine is in coffee too… lets ban coffee and chocolate as chocolate also has caffeine. Read what is in a lot of natural products. Condensing them to over concentration is a problem. What it takes 14 ears of corn to produce one tbsp of corn oil. Now who eats that much corn in one sitting.

  • Anna Narbutovskih

    Artificial sweeteners are indeed very bad for health and they should be eliminated. But the main drivers of our current health problems are the consumption of highly refined and processed foods. Refined sugar, corn fructose and refined flour are almost certainly the main causes of diabetes. I know many people who never went near artificial sweeteners and still have type 2 diabetes.

    Refined foods are the problem.

  • Vicoct

    I would favor taxing sugary junk food items.  If the public is being stuck with such extreme health problems due to high use of these “food” items, the public health system should at least have additional funds with which to educate the public and also supplement the cost of treatment for related disease (diabetes).  Regulation of certain products known and documented to be a source of the problems could be outlawed?  I’m not sure about that.

    I know the food industry is dead set against any taxation of their products and then the food industry isn’t paying the cost of the health crisis. 

  • Older and wiser

    The problem is kids not having a mother that cares enough to stay home and raise her kids. She leaves them in the care of someone who cannot provide the one on one supervision to guide kids in the ways of proper eating habits and ends up letting TV or video games be the true babysitter, and every other commercial is for food of some kind.  Kids are not getting enough good old fashioned exercise and neither are their moms !  You can see that when you walk down the street and observe all the 60+ inch butts in spandex !  Elephants don’t eat corn, they eat grass, but they eat tons of it.  It is not the food that is making people fat.  It is their lack of self-control, the bad influences of the media, and the educational system that teaches them to expect government to solve all their problems for them  ! 

  • Alan

    Although the question is worded with a bias toward “yes,” it is a question that shows what is happening with our government thinking it is somehow the great equilizer. Government got itself into the “healthcare” business now your seeing the consequences. It won’t be long before people are required to exercise, not allowed to drive cars, etc. etc. because government (we the people) can’t afford to pay for any injury or health problem. Please understand, the US Federal Government has no money. Zippo, nadda

  • Anovoa1

    The government is already too intrusive in American lives. Stop Big Brother from overstepping its control on Americans way of life.

  • SylkeC

    Has the Government done a good job on this so far?  Hello?!  Food pyramid?!  And when was the last time anyone’s health care costs have gone down?!  Wake up!  What we need is campaign finance reform so the politicians don’t have to prostitute themselves to contributors, such as the food (and pharmaceutical) industries, who then promulgate standards that only contribute to their bottom line!  But, alas, we do have the Government we deserve in this country; and unless we do something about it, it’s downlhill from here…

  • Responsibility

    Freedom comes with responsibilities.  With freedom for individuals, dangers to individuals and to societies should be controlled by regulations.  Regulations may come from families, schools, communities, churches, – -  or governments.  Since governments have become the accepted legal authorities, legal regulations are required when too many individuals, families, and communities fail to act for the common good.

  • krypton

    I wish they’d just stay the hell out of the “This is healthy, this is not” business and go back to the “if someone sells this, consumers are going to die unnecessarily”. I’ve had to learn a lot more than I wanted to about Lysteria lately. And maybe keep bloomberg’s mouth shut, too. A little less “Stop behaving like children and do what we tell you to!” And if you insist on people eating healthier foods, YOU better be ready to pay for them yourself. There’s tons of media traffic out here to tell us what to eat and why. Finding out all the cantaloupes marked with a certain label are lethal is not so common. But one more completely inedible “food pyramid for a glorious life of health and complete happiness” will be 500 percent more than I want my tax money to go to.

  • CJ

    So you want to have your freedom to eat yourself and to allow your children to eat themselves into an early grave while other countries take steps to curb their health care costs and promote healthier lifestyles. At some point, the rest of the world will erect a mammoth gravestone that stretches from sea to shining sea bearing the words “Here lies the remains of a once great nation”

  • deep dpi

    it is crap !!!!]