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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    That's funny you would say that, because people were a lot healthier in your parents' time.
    They were thinner and I would guess less likely to suffer from conditions related to obesity, but healthier?

    I don't know if I agree with that or not.

    Just as one example, my dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure when he was 17 years old. But there was nothing that could be done about it then, so he had high blood pressure for many years and died when he was fairly young because of all the damage he suffered before treatment was available. His mother never got treatment for her high blood pressure and died even younger.

    Was he healthier than someone who has high blood pressure now?

    Now you could argue, I suppose, that more people have high blood pressure now, but I don't know if that is true or not, either. For one thing, in my parents' day, people didn't go to the doctor nearly as often as they do now, so a lot of people went undiagnosed and untreated. For another, the definition of "high blood pressure" has changed over the years and with those changes, the percentage of the population with high blood pressure has changed, too.

    Another example: I have asthma and have had the exact same symptoms since birth, but I was not officially diagnosed as asthmatic until I was 19 because the definition of asthma changed. As near as I can tell, I inherited the condition from my dad's mother (the same one who had high blood pressure) and there is evidence that asthma has been in her family line for generations. But not one of those people was ever actually diagnosed with asthma because people weren't back then. Statistically, of course, more people suffer from asthma now than they did in the past, but I wouldn't say that presents you with an accurate picture of asthma in previous generations.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Gary Taubes, who frequently writes on diet issues, wrote a book called "Why We Get Fat" that is fascinating. The "calories are calories" argument gets pretty seriously debunked, as does the efficacy of the government's food pyramid. (Taubes has serious credentials: (He) has won the Science in Society Journalism Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.[4] He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy.[14] -- from wikipedia.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Fat...9688898&sr=8-1
    There are so many different studies about this.
    This one is from 2009.
    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater
    That's funny you would say that, because people were a lot healthier in your parents' time. With all that knowledge, and with all those choices, we have never been unhealthier. You say an average person can comprehend a healthy diet and make those choices, but 40% of the population of this country - and I am strictly speaking of the US - is overweight. Soon, the average person will be overweight.
    Nah, it's quite similar in Germany and Britain. It's just a really jinxed situation. We want to eat, for tens of thousands of years we've been wired to consume high-calory food, because it was rare and when it was there, it was supposed to be eaten. Our bodies are wired to really pack on the pounds when there is a food surplus, and they are wired to reduce the amount of energy our bodies need, the very moment we reduce the food intake (that's why lots of diets are doomed to fail). Then there is capitalism. Mr. Capitalism wants us to eat. While it also wants us to look like barbie dolls. We are wired to move around - a lot. Walking, running, hunting - kilometres over kilometres. But our modern lifestyle dictates that we have to be able to arrive at places as fast as possible. Mr. Capitalism is so kind and provides us with the fastest and most enviromentally destructive means to get to places, while offering us awfully expensive gym memberships, because an active lifestyle is important. During those often non-physiological work-outs at the gym we blow out our knees / shoulders / elbows, because high-energy aerobic and whatever you can do there - not really part of the physiological equation. So Mr. Capitalism to the rescue - there are excellent orthopaedic surgeons, who are worth every penny, and really expensive but so very useful rehab programs. Unfortunately during the recovery process you are bound to pack on the pounds, all that surplus of food and the ad for the new wrap / burger / taco place looked so very seductive. But don't fret about it, there is an awesome new gym around the corner and this great new diet program you can sign up for, just $92 a month!

    Actually, it's a miracle that mental health issues aren't more rampant than estimated.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    When the ingredient list is full of things you can't pronounce, why does anything think that's good for you? I'd like to give the general population more credit than that....
    I can not tell you how many times I have been shopping with people my age and they load their carts up with things like that. I absolutely do not give the general population more credit than that. These things are marketed like crazy and are advertised as healthy and most people do not look beyond that. I look at the shopping carts of people around me and am consistently appalled by how few people actually buy whole foods.

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    I feel like you're making it more complicated than it is. Bottom line....a carrot is healthier than a bag of Doritos. Whether that carrot is organic or not, it's clear to even a person that's not well educated in food that fruits and veggies are a better snack than cupcakes and cookies, and that grilled chicken is better than the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. To say the average person goes through that thought process and that just makes it "too confusing" to make a good choice, just sounds like an excuse.
    YES. A quarter pounder with cheese tastes better, but a bag of dried lentils is not only healthy and cheap, I can make it part of ten meals. I want doritos, but that bag of dried prunes is about the same price and lasts longer, is healthy, and blunts my sugar cravings. A dozen eggs is part of twelve meals, much cheaper and healthier than one serving of fast food.

    But lets make it out of our reach, and leave to experts to tell us we will only fail, so why try? Once we are all fat and blaming everyone but ourselves, will there be participation trophies handed out? Screw the prunes and carrots, and someone else can go out into the Florida heat and put five miles in for me. I want a trophy.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    A dozen eggs is part of twelve meals, much cheaper and healthier than one serving of fast food.
    I'm not trying to cheer fast food, but you can get a burrito at Taco Bell for under $1. I've yet to see a dozen eggs that cheap (and as you mentioned, the eggs are only "part" of a meal).

    Hate to say it, but in more than a few cases, you can buy fast food cheaper than you could make it.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I'm not trying to cheer fast food, but you can get a burrito at Taco Bell for under $1. I've yet to see a dozen eggs that cheap (and as you mentioned, the eggs are only "part" of a meal).

    Hate to say it, but in more than a few cases, you can buy fast food cheaper than you could make it.
    Burritos are pretty good - you are getting protein from the beans and dairy from the cheese. I don't like sour cream, so I always leave that off.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

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    I'm not trying to cheer fast food, but you can get a burrito at Taco Bell for under $1. I've yet to see a dozen eggs that cheap (and as you mentioned, the eggs are only "part" of a meal).
    A dozen large eggs are $1.39. With my daily egg I have a fruit and oatmeal. The oatmeal lasts at least 2 weeks, and is 1.59. Fruit costs about $10.00 for 2 weeks. Yes, your taco bell burrito is cheaper, but my healthy breakfast still costs me only about $1.15 per day. Right now I am grabbing free mangos and bananas daily, so I could cut out the fruit expense, but I like blueberries and strawberries. I find loose change every day on my walks, so I am still ahead of the game. There is a Zona Fresca right next door, and I could go and freegan there. I keep thinking about it, and they're pretty friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    Fruit costs about $10.00 for 2 weeks.
    I spent $45 on fruit yesterday and doubt if it will last the weekend.

    Granted, there are four of us, but still. $10 worth of fruit wouldn't last two days in this house. Of course, I don't get any of it free, so maybe that makes up some of the difference.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    I just became a one person household. Publix always has 2 for 1 specials, so my money goes further. If I can't eat it before it goes bad, I freeze it.

    Our sales department has a couple of meetings a week, and we get invited to scavenge the remains of their catered lunches. The one thing that remains untouched is raw vegetables and fruit, so I also take that home a couple of times per week. Usually apples, carrots, and celery sticks, but my motto is if it's free it's for me. I would get in a hairpulling match if I went for the cake, though.

  10. #110

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    who eats one egg as a meal?

  11. #111
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    So, leesaleesa, you're able to keep your food bill down and eat healthy because of your particular circumstances (free food, no compunction about eating caged hen eggs, scrounging, etc). Works for you but you do know that most families can't do that, don't you?
    3539 and counting.

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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    But lets make it out of our reach, and leave to experts to tell us we will only fail, so why try? Once we are all fat and blaming everyone but ourselves, will there be participation trophies handed out? Screw the prunes and carrots, and someone else can go out into the Florida heat and put five miles in for me. I want a trophy.
    I really don't think I have at any point said that no one should try, or that we should blame everyone but ourselves.

    I think the onus is on the American people to start demanding better-quality food at reasonable prices. Definitely people need to educate themselves and make better choice, but MacMadame is absolutely correct when she says that most people eat by habit and conditioning, and that the food industry is working very hard to figure out how to sell us more of their product.

    The generation of people with small children are already eating horribly, which mean that their children are going to learn to eat horribly. It's a really bad cycle and for people to change it they have to self-educate, because many high school health classes are too vague and have to cover a lot of material besides food (such as sex ed) in their curriculum (and many are being cut for budget reasons). The media tends to only blame people for getting fat while shoving ads for crappy food at us.

    I do not think that food industries are entirely to blame, but I do not think that individuals are completely to blame either, and at the end of the day the industry is only going to change if people demand that it does individually, three times a day, by what they put on their plate.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I do too find it really aggravating when processed garbage (like anything in a 100 calorie pack, snackwells cookies, etc..) is marketed as a healthy choice. I guess eating 100 calories of cheeze its is better than eating a 300 calorie bag, ....but still. Processed garbage is still just processed garbage, no matter what packaging it's in. Is it really that difficult to discern this?
    I would say, based on my experiences talking to people online on weight loss sites that, yes, it really is difficult for many people to discern this.

    I well remember one story from someone who needed to lose about 300 pounds and lost 70 and then stopped. She was completely mystified as to why but then talked about going to Taco Bell and getting a Taco Salad for lunch and how she told them to leave the fried tortilla strips off it to be healthy and not eating the shell, but when she got home and looked it up on the web she was totally shocked at how many calories it had even with those modifications.

    I'm thinking, your kidding, right? How can someone who has spent almost their entire life dieting (she started when she was 8), not understand that cheese is mostly fat and the ground beef in a fast food item is made from meat with a high fat content and the sauce is full of sugar? But she didn't.

    At least she's starting to check things out and won't get fooled next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    Once we are all fat and blaming everyone but ourselves, will there be participation trophies handed out?
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    So, leesaleesa, you're able to keep your food bill down and eat healthy because of your particular circumstances (free food, no compunction about eating caged hen eggs, scrounging, etc). Works for you but you do know that most families can't do that, don't you?
    Yes, it's pretty easy to eat cheaply if you're able to shift your food costs to someone else--like your employer. By that logic, you can eat real cheaply if you only eat at soup kitchens.
    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    I think the onus is on the American people to start demanding better-quality food at reasonable prices.
    How would that happen?

    Where I live, you can buy local organic produce, but it runs anywhere from 50-300% more in cost. And the quality of the food isn't always that good, nor are the serving sizes comparable.

    The reason for the cost differential is it costs more to pay local farmers who tend to grow in smaller quantities, and there are lower yields with organic produce, so prices have to rise to compensate for that.

    How would you change that? Offer more agricultural subsidies?

    Costs associated with large-scale farming are mitigated by hiring migrant workers (often undocumented) to work the harvesting, thus keeping food prices down. If you paid a fair wage, food prices would go up exponentially.

    I don't know how you get to better quality food while paying lower prices for it. What did you have in mind?

  15. #115
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    Just stop drinking shit and drink water instead, like you should. Problem solved.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I don't know how you get to better quality food while paying lower prices for it. What did you have in mind?
    Supply-demand. By the model, theoretically, if we demand healthier food with less processed garbage, they will supply it, and the cost will lower.

    The issue is demanding it now at its current price. I think very few people are able to properly prioritize healthy food over other expenses. In the past people spent a much larger portion of their budget on food than they do now. I cannot tell you how many people I had run in to who have smart phone and HD televisions that take up an entire wall and then claim they don't have the money to buy healthy food. Uh, yeah, no wonder you don't - you'd rather have a huge television than eat healthy. And very few people seem to be able to acknowledge with any sort of reality how much they'll be paying in health care costs later for their decisions now. I feel like I see so many children under 10 who are already obese these days and I always have this angry conversation with their parents in my head (so that I don't say it out loud ).

    In places with farmer's markets, you can get healthy, locally-produced vegetables in the summer for much less than in the store normally. Of course, this isn't a year-round fix, and some places do not have access to farmer's markets, but it is a fix for a couple months a year, and farmer's markets are becoming more and more popular.

    Obviously, I can acknowledge that the lowest denominator of people cannot necessarily afford to prioritize healthy food over things like water or electricity. But, theoretically, if everyone else does, the market will change to accomodate the changing tastes.

    And it has already, a little. There is a growing faction of people who are demanding quality, unprocessed foods. Natural and organic sections of grocery stores are growing larger all the time, which is a good sign. And if it continues, hopefully those things will become more affordable as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Just stop drinking shit and drink water instead, like you should. Problem solved.
    So true. Well, not that all problems will be solved, but an awful lot could be immediately if people just started drinking water more instead of sugary fruit juices and pop. And I hate bottled water with a passion. I wish everyone would see this.
    Last edited by michiruwater; 06-15-2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    I find this to be so frustrating. The idea that cutting out sugary drinks will solve obesity is preposterous. Are sugary drinks good for us? NO! They contribute to diabetes and certainly add calories. But, foods with a high fat content are even worse. They lead to coronary artery disease and add even more calories than sugar. The combination of the two (on a regular basis) - deadly! I also find it :roll eyes: that the ban will not effect sugar-free drinks. Sugar is unhealthy, but sugar substitutes are safe :roll eyes:! There is also some research that shows that sugar-free drinks can confuse the body and lead to weight gain.

    I read these threads and I understand that some healthy food is more expensive. But, there is no way I can believe that a carrot is more expensive than a bag of chips. Eating less is not more expensive than eating more. Exercising can be free, just go outside and walk or run. the problem is that people are lazy about getting enough exercise and fast food and treats taste good. Portion control and education is key. People can have a more healthy diet and not spend $$$$. We don't need to get healthy food at stores like Wholefoods. We can just go to the local supermarket and buy what is on sale, use coupons, shop wisely.

    Leesaleesa, I do believe that we can eat healthily at a reasonable cost. But, no way would $10 worth of fruit last 2 weeks in my house. I have 3 people.

    I do believe that it is about personal responsibility. We do not and should not need or want the government controlling what and how we eat.

    MacMadame, you are right, that people don't always understand what they are eating. Your story is a great example. I always :roll eyes: when someone thinks that having a salad means they are eating healthily. they don't even consider the fat, sugar, and calories of the 3/4 of a cup of dressing they glob on it. Or the bacon, cheese, processed meats. The good part about your story is that the woman is now researching what she eats. Too many people are just too lazy to do that. The information is out there, they just have to want to know.

    If the government wants to get involved with our eating habits, they should make it mandatory for all restaurants (fast food and others) to publish the calorie/nutrition content in their menu items. Food we buy in grocery stores do that, why not restaurants. Then people would have no excuse.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    And I hate bottled water with a passion. I wish everyone would see this.
    I suppose that there are places where it is needed, because of poor tap water. But, I agree with you. Of course I am fortunate that our water is good. But, the chemicals that leach into water in plastic bottles is ! I suppose glass bottles is better, but I drink water from the faucet .

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Supply-demand. By the model, theoretically, if we demand healthier food with less processed garbage, they will supply it, and the cost will lower.
    But there are built-in costs that aren't really negotiable. For example, labor. The reason you can get some organic produce cheaper is because it's largely harvested by undocumented workers. Also, larger agri-businesses are able to fudge what counts as organic such that the difference between organic and non-organic is slim at best.

    That certainly brings the price down, but it's coming at the expense of workers and food quality.
    In places with farmer's markets, you can get healthy, locally-produced vegetables in the summer for much less than in the store normally.
    I've yet to see a farmer's market (and I've shopped at them from coast to coast) that doesn't cost substantially more than the supermarket.

    There are some small neighborhood markets that will charge an arm and a leg for organic produce, so maybe for those it could be a bit cheaper. But by and large you'll pay a premium for shopping at farmer's markets.
    But, theoretically, if everyone else does, the market will change to accomodate the changing tastes.
    This seems more like wishful thinking to me.

    I think the reality is if people want better food, they will either have to grow it, or pay substantially more for it. There's really no other way around labor costs other than that.

    BTW, not sure if you read barbk's link, but the author argued eating more fruits actually leads to weight gain--not weight loss. His argument is you need a higher fat diet to be healthier and lose weight, and this is backed up by study after study. We're so accustomed to thinking eating fruits and carbs are good for us, we do that even though it ends up packing on the pounds.

    Food for thought

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    Oh, I've heard that many times, yes, and I definitely think that fats are villified more than they need to be. I've read a bunch of stuff both for and against high-fat diets and I haven't quite come to my own conclusion on that yet, which is why I didn't post on it I have genetic issues with both triglycerides and cholesterol (in addition to the type-1 diabetes thing), so for me personally a high fat diet is a poor idea. I do think a diet should be well-balanced in carbs, protein, and good fats. I can't stand Atkins-type diets that cut out an entire macronutrient (though I do believe they've sort-of changed that recently).

    And yes, I can fully agree that my ideology might seem like wishful thinking. I've always been a bit of an idealist, which can lead to trouble in these sorts of arguments Also, I live in Michigan, which has the second-highest number of farmer's markets in the country (California has more), so maybe that has something to do with the fact that I can get many items cheaper there than in stores? I can't say for certain. I'm mostly just talking about fruits and vegetables. Honey at a farmer's market will always cost more.

    And also, while organic produce would be harvested by undocumented workers, the same can be said for pretty much all produce. I read an article about strawberries recently that just horrified me. I think it was in the Food, Inc. companion guide. There's no way to have a global market that doesn't rely on undocumented workers. In my idealistic world, we would do our very best to eat as locally as possible and bring food back to the communities instead of relying on an unsustainable global market. If everyone in Michigan spent $10 per week on MI-grown food, we would keep several million dollars in the MI economy each week, which MI in particularly desperately needs.

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