Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Cartoon of the Day: Obesity Czar's Newest Idea


11 Comments:

At 6/05/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I thought cartoons were meant to exaggerate. This is not not at all outside of the realm of possibility for Herr Bloomberg.

 
At 6/05/2012 2:30 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

NYC government minions might be hiring for elastic inspectors for size 36 pants.

Thus, the demand will be inelastic for <38, due to heavy fines for pant stretch schemes.

 
At 6/05/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Moe said...

I'm sure NJ Gov. Christie frowns on Bloomberg's shenanigans...

 
At 6/05/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

rather than punishing the innocent along with the guilty, if this is really how you want to go, how about just flat out taxing fat people?

let health insurance companies charge more for the obese and let employers pass that cost through to the insured.

add more to fica tax for the obese and give breaks to the lean.

all this nonsensical steering of habits will never work and punishes those who have done nothing to get to the guilty.

if the goal is really fewer fat people, tax fat people, not the whole society.

 
At 6/05/2012 4:37 PM, Blogger juandos said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/05/2012 5:34 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

i use the term "guilty" loosely and i am not pushing anything apart from market forces.

i think users should pay for what they use, simple as that.

i think you missed a whole pile of sarcasm in my response.

i think insurers should charge fat people, smokers, and other groups of fixable high risk more. if you get lots of speeding tickets and crash a lot, your auto insurance goes up because you are seen as high risk.

why should fat people be any different? insurers would happily do this if they were allowed to.

bottom line: go to user pays and let people make their own choices about what is important and who to insure and at what price, or better still, to an all cash HSA system with insurance for disasters only (the way insurance is supposed to work).

the problem with the current structure is that a fit guy has to pay more than he should to subsidize a fat guy. hard to see how that's fair (or desirable).

 
At 6/05/2012 6:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Oops my bad I should've used morganovich instead...

"rather than punishing the innocent along with the guilty, if this is really how you want to go, how about just flat out taxing fat people?"...

There are no innocents or guilty here, how about leaving them alone instead...

Personally I think cyclists, joggers, and other assorted health freaks should be taxed to excess since they're also the same people who side with the smoke nazis, the salt nazis, and the palm oil nazis to name just a few...

"i think insurers should charge fat people, smokers, and other groups of fixable high risk more. if you get lots of speeding tickets and crash a lot, your auto insurance goes up because you are seen as high risk"...

First of all said risk is at best debatable...

Excess exercise 'hurts the heart' and cause dangerous long-term harm, say scientists

Black girls don't benefit as much from exercise: study

It now turns out that the influential 1993 EPA report "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders" was as phony as a three-dollar bill

"why should fat people be any different? insurers would happily do this if they were allowed to"...

Oh sure! Any company would be happy to charge more if they get a government imprimatur regardless of whether that imprimatur based on junk science or not...

"the problem with the current structure is that a fit guy has to pay more than he should to subsidize a fat guy. hard to see how that's fair (or desirable)"...

Where's the real evidence that the supposedly fit guy is actually fit?

 
At 6/06/2012 6:15 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I'm one of those health freaks, Juandos, but I don't side with the Nazis in outlawing behaviours I choose not to engage in. It seems sort of anti-liberterian to tax people for ideological impurity based on their exercise habits, doesn't it?

Insurance companies generally charge higher risk groups more because they are more expensive. The obese are quite expensive to maintain. They probability of developing expensive chronic conditions like diabetes and arthritis increases with large weight gain. That's not junk science. It's reality.

In fact, airlines should be free to charge fat people more because it costs more to transport a 300 pound person than a 150 pound person.

But, none of Bloomberg's shenanigans are about improving lives or keeping anyone healthy. Just like Obamacare, Nanny Bloomberg's aggressive intervention is intended only to increase his power, cost be damned.

 
At 6/06/2012 6:36 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Juandos, from the article about the dangers of over-exercising:


Extreme exercise such as marathons may permanently damage the heart and trigger rhythm abnormalities, warn researchers.

They say the safe ‘upper limit’ for heart health is a maximum of an hour a day - after which there is little benefit to the individual.

A review of research evidence by US physicians says intensive training schedules and extreme endurance competitions can cause long-term harm to people’s hearts.
Damage: Excessive endurance exercise can do long-term harm to the cardiovascular system, U.S. scientists say.


Considering that most Americans can't scrape their butts off the couch to engage in any kind of physical activity (most Americans don't even take the 5000 steps per day minimum to reach a minimally healthy amount of physical activity), I really don't think we're in danger of over-exercising as a country.

Moreover, it is quite silly of you to argue that the well-documented risk of fatness is junk science while pointing to a study about increased health risks for a tiny minority of the population that participates in extreme endurance sports. I mean, it doesn't get junkier than that.

I mean, in the article to which you link, it says in black and white that most biomarkers return to normal within one week and that SOME participants (a mere 12% in in ONE study) develop patchy myocardial scarring.

It doesn't say what the study controlled for. Arrhythmia runs in my family. Arrhythmia is fairly common and I will likely develop it whether I run marathons or not. Does the study control for that or not? We don't know. All we do know is that marathon runners are overall much healthier than the obese - even if there is some small percentage of this small minority that may develop some small unfavourable complications.

The effects of obesity on the heart are far worse than the possible effects of marathons.

 
At 6/06/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

methinks says: "insurance companies generally charge higher risk groups more because they are more expensive"...

Like I said before, with the government imprimatur based on questionable science the insurance companies would be crazy not to take advantage of that situation...

methinks says: "Moreover, it is quite silly of you to argue that the well-documented risk of fatness is junk science while..."...

Well documented or over repeated?

"The effects of obesity on the heart are far worse than the possible effects of marathons"...

Well thank you Dr. Methinks...

I'll let all the hypochondriacs near me know that nugget of news...

 
At 6/06/2012 11:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

No, Juandos. Well documented. There is a bunch of tripe that is over-repeated. For instance, the obese (not necessarily super morbidly obese, just regular obese) don't live as long. This bunk. It's only true IF the obese person also has diabetes or heart disease. It is not clear that obesity causes diabetes. While the two are correlated, a causal relationship has not been established. It might very well be that diabetes causes obesity or there may be a third factor.

However, the constant strain on the heart obesity imposes is well documented. Marathoners don't even begin to compare.

Like I said before, with the government imprimatur based on questionable science the insurance companies would be crazy not to take advantage of that situation

Without any government intervention in the insurance industry, fat people would pay more for insurance because they are more likely to suffer complications. There's no junk science involved. Insurance companies don't sort out cause and effect relationships. It's enough to know that if you're fat, your risk of diabetes risk is higher whether diabetes causes fatness or fatness causes diabetes. And, incidentally, regardless of which one is causing the other, the solution is still to lose weight.

And, yes, I do take a special interest. I do find it kind of strange that you derisively call me "Dr. Methinks" when you are making basically unsupported claims yourself and you aren't a doctor either.

 

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