June 9, 2009

Advice not followed.

Quit nagging!


Pogo said...

One good thing about our descent into recession/depression and socialism: obesity will decline.

It's inevitable when food's more expensive or r less available.


Alcohol use will rise, though, so hard to say.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Quit nagging? Hey here's a novel idea. Follow a healthy eating and exercise filled lifestyle and that will go a longer way to reduce health care costs than turning the whole shebang over to ObamaCare.

traditionalguy said...

Where do these studies find the surging fat, lazy and depressed people? They are not in Atlanta, where fitness is the the norm. Do people in Wisconsin seem that way? Maybe these unhealthy people all hide out at home watching TV which shows 30% Food advertising. I understand the modern advice is to take pills for feeling better, and that food/carbs can be used by miserable people as a substitute for missing love in their lives. The French eat very well and don't get so fat. The Texans eat more beef, and larger portions than other people, and stay skinny. My only thought is that the corn syrup sweeteners in everything today and the growth hormones in the meats fatten the consumers more today.

ricpic said...

How do we know that there is a correlation between the slight increase in so-called bad habits and worsening health? The article has not one word in it about an increase in heart disease or diabetes. Since this is the health gestapo Times I'm sure such statistics would be front and center, if they exist. But they're not front and center. I don't buy it.

Fred4Pres said...

There is a new green grocer farm stand that undercuts all the local produce stores. Awesome. Cheap peppers, tomatoes, brocolli, etc. Yet it is still difficult to do five a day.

EDH said...

You mean to tell me those hip "truth" (actually, "hate" the tobacco companies/executives) ads lavishly funded by the "tobacco settlement" didn't work?

Oh, shit! Didn't see that one coming.

Penny said...

Many years ago I was invited to my bosses home for dinner. His wife, while lovely, was somewhat of a health nut, and the dinner was just awful, from this carnivore's perspective. At the end of the meal, he looked at me and said, "We might not live any longer, but it sure will feel that way."

Skipper50 said...

Let us move back to a "mind your own business" society.

PatCA said...

"Your lives are hopelessly screwed up, and only the NYT can save you."

--The NYT

The River Otter said...

Unhealthy food is cheaper and easier to obtain in poorer neighboorhoods. Starches and HFCS, salt and sugar instead of healthier, natural ingredients, are prevalent. I think as the economy declines Americans will become more obese.

Bissage said...

Biology is destiny which is why eating a great many fruits and vegetables makes good sense, so long as you are descended from a race of people who survived on that kind of stuff for thousands of years.

In keeping with this unassailable bit of common sense, I have just polished off a liverwurst sandwich.

Somehow, it just feels right.

Penny said...

I feel morally superior today, having had a salad for lunch. And I am not even drooling over Bissage's liverwurst sandwich.

Hahaha You call that stuff "meat"? It's gray, for cripes sake.

PatCA said...

"Unhealthy food is cheaper and easier to obtain in poorer neighboorhoods."

On what do you base that statement? Just curious.

blake said...

On what do you base that statement? Just curious.

I'd guess from shopping. Soda is cheaper than juice, (poor) carbs cheaper than fruits and vegetables, low quality (or canned or processed) meats cheaper than high quality ones.

It seems to me that the less food production has to rely on unreliable Mother Nature, the more costs can be reduced and the cheaper the food gets, therefore the more processed the food is, the more its price drops relative to natural foods.

We have these RDAs for vitamins and some minerals, but it's interesting how little that has changed since I was a kid. Did we really figure everything out so long ago? And if so, why doesn't a multi-vitamin/mineral keep everyone in perfect health? Genetics?

Joe said...

The missing part of this story is that these dietary recommendations are just made up out of thin air. There is precious little real science behind them.

(Even the vaunted RDA numbers aren't very scientific. Dietary science is up there with psychiatry and sociology in quackery.)

blake said...


I'm inclined to agree. Recent experiences lead me to believe that there are people who know stuff, but they aren't making studies for the government--or medicine.

emeraldgryphon said...

On what do you base that statement? Just curious.

I'd guess from shopping. Soda is cheaper than juice, (poor) carbs cheaper than fruits and vegetables, low quality (or canned or processed) meats cheaper than high quality ones.

I'd have to dispute that, blake. You have to know where to shop, but there are discount grocers in many cities now with the penetration of Aldi into the US market. If you pay attention, it is much cheaper to buy real food and prepare it than it is to buy junk foods. The junk foods are much easier and faster to prepare.

For example, I can make mac and cheese for my kids for about 3/4 the cost of the box with none of the preservatives. IQF whiting filets are cheaper per pound than canned tuna. A whole chicken that I can get 3 meals out of (roast chicken, leftover cooked meat for a casserole, and a chicken soup from the carcass) costs the same as one meal of premade breaded fused chicken tenders. Frozen apple juice concentrate is 2/3 the price of a 2 liter bottte of generic soda.

It takes time to cook and clean up, and I think that is where the problem lies. You have to have the time. Some people have the time and still don't eat well or feed their children well; others don't have the time from trying to make sure there is enough income to feed everyone.


Harsh Pencil said...

Liverwurst is the best thing in the world. A slice with a slice of onion on a sandwich. I don't care if it's meat or not.

blake said...


Fair points, all. It isn't as if most people are clamoring to get closer to "source" foods, and deal with the prepping and cleanup time.

To argue that it's cheaper in the larger economic sense, you have to take the viewpoint that labor isn't to be factored in, whether because you don't value your time or because the prepared stuff is unacceptable. (Just to rephrase one of your points a little.)

Volume is a big factor as well. I can go get a burger for 99 cents: I can't make one for 99 cents. Possibly I can make ten for 50 cents each.

The ultimate issue is whether or not your food is nutritious as you think. You can make macaroni and cheese cheaper than you can buy it (maybe! Trader Joe's sells some really cheap and remarkably pretty tasty mac & chee in a box) but how much is there in the way of nutrition in that?

Calories, yes. But the cheap macaroni is made from bleached white flour. There's a longstanding story that rats won't eat bleached white flour, so devoid of nutrition it is. Whole wheat and other grains are, of course, more expensive.

Back in Adele Davis' day she used to point out that you could save money by not buying the prepackaged cookies and cakes (which are bad for you) and buy plenty of fruits and vegetables for the same money. Not so anymore. Not even close.

There are plenty who argue that our current fruits and vegetables don't pack nutrition like they used to, too, and some science to back that up.

And, of course, if you're just measuring based on calories per penny, junk food will always win.