Sunday, June 03, 2012

Obesity Czar Bloomberg's War on Sugar

"Mayor Bloomberg believes that government has a duty to educate its citizens and even to "nudge" them in the right direction. But the real lesson here is that a government that pays most health-care bills will soon be dictating the everyday behavior of its people. An America that needs government to protect its citizens from 20-ounce sodas has bigger problems than obesity."

~WSJ editorial yesterday

40 Comments:

At 6/03/2012 10:22 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Mayor Bloomberg has a net worth of $20 billion +. He could easily fund awareness programs on super sizing portions and links to obesity. Instead, Mayor Bloomberg imposes his gluttoness appetitie for public power, and moves NYC government to the position of morbidly obese.

 
At 6/03/2012 11:08 AM, Blogger juandos said...

People in New York city deserve that clown...

 
At 6/03/2012 11:21 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Of course, if we didn't subsidize the production of high fructose corn syrup and jack up the cost of sugar, we'd have less of a problem here.

 
At 6/03/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Itchy said...

A more effective strategy would be to force all fat people to run on treadmill generators to power the city. This solves the obesity problem and the climate change problem.

 
At 6/03/2012 12:00 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

A more effective strategy would be to force all fat people to run on treadmill generators to power the city. This solves the obesity problem and the climate change problem.

:) What Bloomberg needs to do is to pass a law that would change the gravitational constant. All of us would weigh less and everyone would be happy.

 
At 6/03/2012 1:00 PM, Blogger Lenilson Moreira Filho said...

Obesity rises public health costs.The money comes from tax. Is a everyone issue to fight against this epidemic burden. The author of this blog us under service if sugar industry? Please tell me?

 
At 6/03/2012 1:16 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Lenilson,

Obesity rises public health costs.

That there is a "public" healthcare system is the problem, not the solution. As with everything economic, the best solution is to NOT have government intervention.

And it takes less than 10 seconds to see who employs Mark Perry, but I understand that if your too lazy to understand the economic issues, why not continue that laziness and launch an ad hominem attack, amaright?

 
At 6/03/2012 1:45 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Obesity rises public health costs"...

Well public health costs rise due to the inane actions of liberals, progressives, and other forms of societal debris...

What should we do about that situation?

Just asking is all...

 
At 6/03/2012 1:56 PM, Blogger Itchy said...

NYC should have a two tiered system. If you receive "Public" Healthcare then you should not be allowed to consume anything unhealthy. If you pay for it yourself who is Mayor Big Brother to tell you what to eat or drink.

On a similar note, if you are healthy why can't you enjoy a 48oz bucket of sugary goodness if you want to indulge? Only unhealthy people should be forced to drink water. Every restaurant owner should be deputized as agents of public health and given the authority to determine who can and can't have > 16oz of soda.

 
At 6/03/2012 1:57 PM, Blogger Itchy said...

What about refills? That 2nd 12oz refill should be punishable by death in the name of "Public" Health!

 
At 6/03/2012 2:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Itchy: "Every restaurant owner should be deputized as agents of public health and given the authority to determine who can and can't have > 16oz of soda."

Authority? We don't give no stinking authority. Business owners could be required to install a scanner at the entrance that measures height, weight, and then calculates BMI.

:)

Or maybe not. Obese customers would quickly learn to enter on tippy-toes wearing hats.

 
At 6/03/2012 3:31 PM, Blogger Duncan said...

It usually goes back to an ineffiecency caused by the government. Cheap HF corn syrup and cheap corn fed meat caused by subsidized ag allows consumers to buy alot more than otherwise would. And this is a surprisingly stupid move by Bloomberg.

 
At 6/03/2012 6:05 PM, Blogger jorod said...

Bloomberg is used to giving orders. He has no compunction about limiting peoples freedom. He should have been a Corporal.

 
At 6/03/2012 6:25 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

A high tax placed on sugar would do wonders. Use the revenue to pay for public health plans.

Higher taxes on cigarettes seem to have worked wonders on consumption?

Normally I wouldn't recommend taxes on anything...

 
At 6/03/2012 6:29 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Cabodog, why stop at sugar? Why not tax calories and fine people for not exercising?

 
At 6/03/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

NYC should have a two tiered system. If you receive "Public" Healthcare then you should not be allowed to consume anything unhealthy. If you pay for it yourself who is Mayor Big Brother to tell you what to eat or drink.

Will you stop charging people who smoke and don't eat well taxes that they already pay, supposedly to pay for the extra healthcare that they consume? Do they get a special card that exempts them from all the taxes that are already put on booze, cigarettes, fast food, etc?

 
At 6/03/2012 6:36 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

A high tax placed on sugar would do wonders. Use the revenue to pay for public health plans.

Sugar is not the issue here. We already artificially raise the price of sugar (though tariffs), while simultaneously subsidizing the production of high fructose corn syrup. If sugar was allowed to be purchased at its natural price (and similarly with high fructose corn syrup), we'd have a lot less of an issue with obesity. Corn syrup really messes with the body.

Higher taxes on cigarettes seem to have worked wonders on consumption?

Not really, no. Taxes on cigarettes are a fairly new concept (the MSA which really set the standards for taxes and tobacco advertisements came about just in 1998). I'd say there is more influence from the information campaign against cigarettes and the de facto outlawing of cigarettes that has had more of an influence. Of course the taxes do have an influence, but I don't think they've had that large of an effect.

 
At 6/03/2012 6:36 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

A high tax placed on sugar would do wonders. Use the revenue to pay for public health plans.

Why not just let people pay for the healthcare that they use just as they pay for the food that they eat without bothering to play central planner through the tax system? After all, food is just as essential as health care and we do not have the government supply it.

Higher taxes on cigarettes seem to have worked wonders on consumption?

I think that changes in attitudes have done much more. And this may have escaped your attention but people who die earlier due to smoking contribute more to the transfer systems than healthier people who live longer. If people smoke less and live longer SS and Medicare have to pay out more than they would have.

Normally I wouldn't recommend taxes on anything...

You should have stuck to your normal behaviour because you can't justify the taxes in the way that you think you can.

 
At 6/03/2012 6:52 PM, Blogger Itchy said...

Will you stop charging people who smoke and don't eat well taxes that they already pay, supposedly to pay for the extra healthcare that they consume? Do they get a special card that exempts them from all the taxes that are already put on booze, cigarettes, fast food, etc?

I hadn't thought out my totalitarian plans that far. I still like the power the city with treadmills idea better.

 
At 6/03/2012 7:07 PM, Blogger Michael Haltman said...

Mayor Michael Bloomberg starring in "The New York Nanny State of Mind" (Video)

At The Political Commentator here: http://bit.ly/LhOze3

 
At 6/03/2012 8:18 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Removing corn subsidies would do a lot to reduce obesity..

...From cheap sugars to cheap meats, all would become more expensive at their free-market, non-subsidized price..

 
At 6/03/2012 8:19 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Fat people vote mostly Democrat, so they will never be required to do anything difficult.

 
At 6/03/2012 10:09 PM, Blogger JakeW said...

[b]Higher taxes on cigarettes seem to have worked wonders on consumption?[/b]

As VangeIV said, I think the significant decrease in smokers is more of a result of cultural abhorrence than price increases. Cigarettes are very price inelastic, anyway.

 
At 6/03/2012 10:09 PM, Blogger JakeW said...

Also, how do you guys get bold text lol. I failed.

 
At 6/03/2012 10:35 PM, Blogger Ken said...

JakeW,

HTML basics. Also, the tags for bold, italics, and links are listed below the comments box.

 
At 6/04/2012 7:12 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Stupidity cannot be outlawed

 
At 6/04/2012 7:58 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Stupidity cannot be outlawed"...

No moe it can't but it can be enshrined in legislation...

 
At 6/04/2012 10:09 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

if we are going to insist on having government funded health insurance (itself a bad idea compared to cash grants) then it ought to come with rules. they should do this with all aid programs.

if you get unemployment, you need to look for a job and to do some sort of work for the state. community service, whatever.

if you get government healthcare and have body fat over X level, you need to go into a diet and exercise program and start losing it or you lose your coverage.

you don't want to do those things, great, you do not have to, but you also do not get any benefits.

subsidizing diabetes and heart disease seems like a poor use of tax dollars.

funny how such notions tend to make the same folks who are so interested in intruding into the lives of the healthy by banning big gulps so upset. they seem fine with taking away freedom for you won good, but not with attaching your own good as a price for aid.

 
At 6/04/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/04/2012 10:20 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

") What Bloomberg needs to do is to pass a law that would change the gravitational constant. All of us would weigh less and everyone would be happy."

or begin using geometric weighting and quality adjustments on blood pressure readings so that 180/120 becomes 120/90 and everyone is healthy again.


of course, this might leave some of us with dangerously low blood pressure and in desperate need of intravenous bacon and salty snacks.

i think there's a great allegorical tale waiting to be written here akin to animal farm for cpi.

 
At 6/04/2012 10:25 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

itchy-

i ran through the math on your treadmill idea just for fun.

let's say the average fat person can put out 200 watts on a treadmill (and trust me, they can't, 100 is a more reasonable assumption).

200 watts for an hour is .2kwh.

so, even running 24 hrs a day, a treadmill would provide fewer than 5 kwh per day of power.

let's round up to 5 just to be generous.

5 kwh is worth a whopping 22.5 cents on the wholesale market.

thus, a treadmill produces a fantastic $82 a year worth of electricity if it's perfectly efficient and runs 24 hours a day at a pace many recreational athletes find difficult.

in reality, you's be lucky to get $20 of power out annually.

you'd maybe cover 10% of the price of the treadmill over it's entire useful life. this would make solyndra look like a good investment.

notions that you could even power the gym they were in with them are likely untrue.

 
At 6/04/2012 11:34 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

In honour of Herr Bloomberg's edicts, I made a batch of homemade caramel this weekend.

In case y'all don't know, caramel is sugar, butter and cream. Those are the only ingredients - except that I add salt. MMMMMMMM. So good. Especially on the flourless chocolate cake I baked to go with it.

No matter what the government does to try to outlaw obesity, I can think of a million ways in which people will get around it.

Note how unsuccessful the government is in eradicating drug use by criminalizing it. Or alcohol. Forced elimination of sugar will meet with a similar expensive fate - except sugar is easier to get. You know, fruit juice has as much sugar per cup as soda and I can reduce it to a syrup easily on the stove. What will the Gestapo do about that?

 
At 6/04/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

Bloomberg the hypocrite: http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=5023

"Bloomberg [LP] is known for providing free food from snack bars loaded with cereal, soup, bagels, chips, fruit, candy, nuts, soft drinks and all kinds of coffee drinks. It's a nice perk (one that causes more than a few new employees to put on what is known as the "Bloomberg 10," as in pounds)"

 
At 6/04/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

5 kwh is worth a whopping 22.5 cents on the wholesale market.

thus, a treadmill produces a fantastic $82 a year worth of electricity if it's perfectly efficient and runs 24 hours a day at a pace many recreational athletes find difficult.

in reality, you's be lucky to get $20 of power out annually.

you'd maybe cover 10% of the price of the treadmill over it's entire useful life. this would make solyndra look like a good investment.

notions that you could even power the gym they were in with them are likely untrue.


I don't know if you intended it but you just made a wonderful argument against the anti-fossil fuel ranting of the econuts. We owe our great standard of living thanks to the availability of cheap fuels that produce for so little the work that would be required to be done by domesticated animals or slaves.

 
At 6/04/2012 2:02 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The other thing that people should pay attention to is Bloomberg's war on salt intake. Studies actually show that a diet that is low in salt increases the likelihood of stroke and heart disease.

 
At 6/04/2012 2:03 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

if the us wants to cut obesity, it should remove the absurd depression era laws around enriched flour. to comply, starches (like potato) are added to get vitamins. but this ups calories and massively ups glycemic load, promoting insulin production and fat storage as well as driving diabetes risk up.

our bread and pasta is a nutritional horror.

 
At 6/04/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich: "if you get government healthcare and have body fat over X level, you need to go into a diet and exercise program and start losing it or you lose your coverage."

But that undermines the entire argument for redistribution in the first place.

 
At 6/04/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"you'd maybe cover 10% of the price of the treadmill over it's entire useful life. this would make solyndra look like a good investment.

notions that you could even power the gym they were in with them are likely untrue.
"

Bah! Physics be damned. We expect imminent breakthroughs in treadmill technology, as we do in wind and solar and battery technology. :)

 
At 6/04/2012 7:37 PM, Blogger Itchy said...

itchy-

i presume you are joking about the treadmills, but in the event you are not, it's difficult to think of a worse idea. let's run through the math just for fun.


I thought my sarcasm was obvious. I still think it's debatable if it will be more cost effective (and actually effective) as means to reduce obesity than Mayor Bloombrother's ban.

I'm not talking fancy treadmill with a TV, variable speed fan, multiple workout setting. I'm talking a belt, two wheels, some gearing to get a 10:1-ish increase on rotational, a coil and a magnet. I think I'm on to something...

 
At 6/04/2012 8:30 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I thought my sarcasm was obvious....

You know that it is. The problem is that some posters on this site make statements that you might assume are ironic or sarcastic only to find that they were intended to be serious. That is why I have a rule to react to almost everything straight up.

 

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