One Million (Preventable) Deaths Per Year

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Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Check these links for an introduction:

[url=http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/legislation/canadian_law... regulations[/url]

[url=http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1989/1989scr1-927/1989scr1-927.html]The Supreme Court decision - very interesting[/url]

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/youth-issues/ontario-ndp-wants-ban-food-ads-kids... real-life examples of enforcement[/url]

[url=http://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/WebForms/CommuniquePresse/CommuniquePresse.asp...'s a release (in French)[/url] from last July about McDonald's pleading guilty to 6 counts of violating the Act. Burger King was similarly condemned in an earlier case.

The fines are puny - but the violations themselves are the exception rather than the rule. Generally speaking, the rules are respected, and it makes a huge difference in terms of the climate IMHO.

Your questions are all good - but when you start with a social and political will, and legislation to back it, you can answer those questions.

Wow...thanks for those links!!  I'm going to take a look at them.

Fidel

The lazy-faire logic basically says that people should be free to buy anything private enterprise wants to conceal in food and consumer products, including carcinogens and artery clogging trans-fats. Because taxpayers can afford to foot the bills down the road. And the slobs should be free to die of poverty in any old corner of this rightwing Librarian setup. Afterall, who would care anyway?  What purpose should our AWOL stooges in Ottawa serve aside from collecting taxes from economic serfs while giving private enterprising jackals a free hand? It's kinda like letting the backyard go to seed and wondering if the dog will still be there tied to the garage a few years later. Whatever and maybe not, but who cares anyway? Their thoughts on public policies are anywhere from laughable to outrageous.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

If you are saying that all are equally vulnerable to the sales pitch, it is you who are the clown, Snert.

 

"Vulnerable to the sales pitch"?

 

If you're referring to adults with cognitive impairment, I'd certainly exclude them, and I think I have already. But if not, uh, how exactly is an adult "vulnerable" to a clown saying "try our McGiantBurgerJoyousMeal like me and my friend the Hamburglar!"?

George Victor

The explanation is in sociology going back 100 years to Weber.  Try catchup reading.

And I was afraid your enthusiastic type would miss the cognitive point.  You really see a world in black and white don't you? How very simple.

Polunatic2

Wayne Roberts at Toronto's NOW Magazine offers more excellent insights into food policy.

The skinny on what's eating us: 

CAMPAIGNS AGAINST OBESITY CAN'T BE ABOUT SELF- CONTROL - FAT ISN'T AN EATING DISORDER, IT'S A POLITICAL ONE.

Quote:
Being overweight is the least of the problems that come with obesity. Since foods that over-?deliver on calories also under-?deliver on nutrients (people are more likely to get fat from guzzling pop and gorging on chips than wolfing down green peppers and broccoli), dietarily induced disorders multiply in bodies that are both overfed and undernourished. 

So what’s behind this change? I’m guessing it’s a combo of many things, among them the decline in the quality of fast food, intensified inequality and the consequent quest of the poor for cheap food, and unrestricted access to kids by advertisers.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

The explanation is in sociology going back 100 years to Weber.  Try catchup reading.

 

Gosh, I'll get right on that.

 

Quote:

So what's behind this change? I'm guessing it's a combo of many things, among them the decline in the quality of fast food, intensified inequality and the consequent quest of the poor for cheap food, and unrestricted access to kids by advertisers.

 

Anyone on a quest for cheap food might want to look into rice, flour, beans, onions, potatoes, and about a hundred other foods that are all cheaper than the burger, fries and pop that seems to be the current gold standard for affordability.

Fidel

Thanks Polunatic2. They really do treat people like so much cattle to be profited from. They can blame people for being fat and unhealthy and for getting cancer, but lefties see through their bullshit. Private enterprising jackals want to rule with a free hand a world of sheeple, and the only thing standing in their way is democracy.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

While I strongly approve of banning advertisements aimed towards children, in the case of fast food I would like to take things a little further. All advertising for food (primarily fast food, but not exclusively) should contain certain basic information: calories per serving, an actual depiction of the serving this figure is derived from (if the serving size is 85g, but the pizza is 325g, then it should be clearly indicated how much of the pizza constitutes a serving), a nutritional breakdown (similar to the ones found on packaged food in the supermarket), what common allergens (peanuts, soy, dairy) it may have come in contact with during the production process. The information should be upfront, perhaps similar to those voice overs that we get on pharmaceutical ads coming up from the U.S. If consumers are going to make informed choices, then lets get the information up front.

Polunatic2

I would HIGHLY recommend Roberts' book "The No-Nonsense Guide To World Food". It's short but it's packed with great analysis, strong empirical data and progressive proposals to deal with the problem. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Here's something to chew on:

 
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/760828--a-useful-reality-check-for-canadians
 

Quote:

He found clear evidence that there is more economic mobility in Canada than the United States. Twenty-two per cent of American sons born to fathers on the lowest rung of the earnings ladder spent their lives there. In Canada, the proportion was just 16 per cent. Thirty per cent of American sons of fathers whose income fell below the median climbed into the upper half of earners. In Canada, the proportion was 38 per cent.
"There is a greater tendency for American children starting out at the bottom to remain stuck there as adults than there is in Canada," he concluded.

Quote:

They had similar views on how to reach these goals. Both expressed a strong sense of personal responsibility. Both said hard work was more important than any other factor - socio-economic status, education, race, gender or parental income - in determining how successful they were. Both said they would rather live in a country of equal opportunity than a country where wealth was evenly distributed.

There was only one divergence: Canadians considered their government more of a help than a hindrance in their quest to get ahead. Americans felt the opposite way.

Quote:

To Corak, this signalled a serious gap between what Americans want and what their government is doing. "There is an unmet need for better public policy in the U.S.," he said.

 

eta: I know it's not food related but it relates to Sven's OP and talking points.

Sven Sven's picture

 

Here's my take on the linked matters cited by unionist: 

Supreme Court Case:  The Supreme Court case didn't address the difficult "gray area" questions I posed.  Instead, it addressed a more fundamental and generalized question: Is the statute constitutional?  The court held that the statute is constitutional - essentially holding that the state has a compelling interest [the protection of impressionable youth] which justifies the state's impingement on any free speech rights the commercial advertisers may otherwise have).

Saputo Bakeries matter: The company "distributed material in child care centres advertising one of their muffin products called 'Igor'" - that seems like a very clear-cut violation of the law.

General Mills matter: The "Lucky Charms" website contained games intended for small children.  Seems pretty clear, by that description, but to truly understand the context, one would really have to understand why the games were characterized as "games intended for small children".

McDonald's matter: This one is a bit less clear cut, as it simply says the programs which contained the advertising were composed of an audience "where children under thirteen years form a large part of the audience".  What is key (but unclear) is what constitutes "a large part" of an audience?  50%?  25%?  10%?

And, unionist, you were right about the fines being puny.  General Mills paid $2,000 and McD's paid $12,000.  Not exactly "prohibitive"!!

Here's my general take on the law and of its likely effects - based on what I just read:

For very narrowly-targeted advertisements (in a daycare centers, on websites containing "games intended for small children," and programs where "a large part" of the audience is composed of young children), the law prohibits such advertisements.  But, in reality, I suspect that the law's effect is akin to taking a large and powerful showerhead with five hundred little nozzles in it and plugging a handful of the nozzles.  Advertising (including food advertising) is positively ubiquitous and is contained in an endless variety of media - most of which young kids have access to.  Given that, I suspect that the law, as well-intentioned as it may be, has had a very limited effect on food choices by youth.

Fidel

Snert wrote:
Anyone on a quest for cheap food might want to look into rice, flour, beans, onions, potatoes, and about a hundred other foods that are all cheaper than the burger, fries and pop that seems to be the current gold standard for affordability.

Yes, and that's why anti-poverty activists convinced McGuinty's government to boost spending on food allowances for poorest Ontarians from $5million in 2002 to $67 million in 2008-09, because we know that nutritious food is so cheap and so available to everyone any where, whether Northern Ontario or .  It's so cheap that McBurger joints everywhere have to distribute dollar menus and coupon flyers to attract the more affluent poor and those working two and three jobs a week to make ends meet and eating junk food on the fly because there's no time.

Sven Sven's picture

 

Fidel wrote:

The lazy-faire logic basically says that people should be free to buy anything private enterprise wants to conceal in food and consumer products, including carcinogens and artery clogging trans-fats.

The operative word in that sentence is, of course, "conceal".  But I don't think you'll find anyone here arguing that harmful food contents should be "concealed".

In fact, quite the opposite.

I think transparency (labeling) is necessary and good.  Then, let adults make their own decisions.  That goes for foods, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or anything else a person wants to put into their own body.

 

George Victor

The mind  rules.  You really are on a roll, eh Sven.  Ever try to put yourself in the shoes of someone in another social situation? I mean, there are categories other than "adults" and "children".  A whole host of categories that you avoid like a Big Mac.  Care to take a shot at it?  Their influences from birth in a family of certain socio-economic status to a lifetime of varying input? Your "reasoning" is from a closeted life, obviously. Try "breakiing out."

"The law" works from equally narrow, restricted parameters, of course.

 

Unionist

Sven wrote:
Advertising (including food advertising) is positively ubiquitous and is contained in an endless variety of media - most of which young kids have access to. Given that, I suspect that the law, as well-intentioned as it may be, has had a very limited effect on food choices by youth.

You may want to review [url=http://works.bepress.com/kathy_baylis/15/]this study[/url] (the full text is downloadable on that page) of the 1984-1992 period, i.e. soon after the legislation was enacted. The findings are striking. I'll just cite some of the concluding remarks:

Quote:
The consumption of fast food is on the rise along with related health concerns. Several countries are responding by considering banning advertisements of unhealthy food to children. One jurisdiction that has experience with such a ban, the province of Quebec in Canada, has banned advertisements to children since 1980. In this paper, we study the effect of this ban on fast food expenditure.

First, we match families by various demographic characteristics across Quebec and Ontario, for families with kids and those without, and …find that families with kids living in Quebec spend signifi…cantly less on fast food than their Ontario counterparts. We also match families within Quebec and compare French-speaking households, who will be more affected by the ban, to similar English-speaking households, and …find they spend less on fast food. As a control, we do the same comparison between French and English speaking families with kids in Ontario, and French and English-speaking families without kids in each of the two provinces, and …find a much smaller difference in expenditure. Estimates of the magnitude of the effect range from a decrease of 11 to 22 million fast food meals per year due to the ban. This amount translates into 8.9 to 23 billion calories.

There's lots more of interest there.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Yes, and that's why anti-poverty activists convinced McGuinty's government to boost spending on food allowances for poorest Ontarians from $5million in 2002 to $67 million in 2008-09, because we know that nutritious food is so cheap and so available to everyone any where, whether Northern Ontario or .

 

If you think I'm misrepresenting the cost of food, feel free to take a trip to your local grocery store. See for yourself what a few pounds of dried beans, or a sack of potatoes, or some nice Ontario carrots really cost. I'm not suggesting that starfruit from Thailand is dirt cheap, or heirloom tomatoes, though even those can't be more expensive, nutrient for nutrient, compared to, say, poutine.

 

Regarding the far north, I'm aware that a lot of food is prohibitively expensive up there. I would assume, though, that Taco Bell would be too. I don't see the far north as being a battle between healthy food and fast food so much between some food and none. That said, you do know that the government does at least try to subsidize healthy food for the far north, yes?

 

Here's what I think maybe you know, but don't want to say: healthy foods almost universally ARE much cheaper than McZany meals that come with a toy, but the hitch is, you not only have to be willing to shop for them, you have to cook them too! You can't just walk up to a counter and say "an order of lean chicken, two boiled potatoes and some carrots, please!" You have to actually take an interest, AND make a modest effort.

Sven Sven's picture

 

Per the study cited by unionist, the law in Quebec which banned the advertisement of junk food to children (13 and under) has resulted in an annual reduction of between $43 million to $82 million in reduced annual spending on junk food in Quebec.

Wow!! At first blush, that seems like a huge reduction in spending on and consumption of junk food.

But, what's relevant isn't the absolute number ($43 million to $82 million) of the reduction.  What's relevant is the percentage reduction in junk food consumption due to the law.  That's where the devil is.

So, I thought I'd look at some very rough numbers to come up with a very rough (but directionally correct) estimate of just such a percentage.

McDonald's sales in Canada in 2005 were about $948 million.  The Canadian population in 2008 was about 33.2 million.  So, the average spent on McDonald's only in Canada was about $28.55 per person.  Quebec's population is about 7.5 million.  So, in rough terms, let's say the spending on McDonald's in Quebec is about $214 million per year.

Now, while McDonald's is a very large player in the junk food market, it would probably be fair to say that it represents maybe 5% of the total fast food market.  I say that because look a few of the many "fast food" chains in Canada:

A&W

Arby's

Baker's Dozen Donuts

Blimpie

Burger Baron

Burger King

Captain Submarine

Chez Ashton

Chicken Delight

Cinnabon

Coffee Time

Country Style

Dairy Queen

Dic Ann's Hamburgers

Dixie Lee Fried Chicken

Donut Diner

Extreme Pita

Fast Eddies

Harvey's

Ho Lee Chow

Jimmy the Greek

Krispy Kreme

La Belle Province

Lafleur Restaurants

Lick's Homeburgers

Manchu Wok

McDonald's

Mister Donut

Mr. Sub

New York Fries

Orange Julius

The Pita Pit

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits

Quiznos

Robin's Donuts

Subway

Taco Bell

Taco Time

Tim Hortons

Valentine

White Spot

Williams Coffee Pub

Yogen Fruz

And, that list doesn't include thousands of independent fast food locations (non-chains).

So, for the sake of discussion, if McDonald's represents 5% of all fast food sales, then it would probably be a rough - but fair - estimate to say that fast food sales in Quebec are about $4.3 billion per year.

But, junk food is certainly not limited to fast food restaurants.  You have soda (Coke and Pepsi), snacks (hundreds of varieties of chips, candy bars, and cookies), sugared cold cereals (see the "Lucky Charms" matter above), bread spreads (jams, jellies, honey, etc.), and a long, long list of other junk food.

I would guess that grocery store and convenience store purchases of those latter categories of junk food positively dwarf purchases of junk food in fast food outlets.  But, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that fast food represents 25% of total junk food purchases.

That would mean that total junk food purchases in Quebec are about $17.2 billion per year.

Now, let's go back to that $43 million to $82 million range mentioned in the study:

That reduction in junk food consumption only represents a reduction of about 0.25% to 0.48% in total junk food consumption.  Or, to put it another way, over 99.5% of junk food consumption has continued, unabated, the ban on junk food advertising to children notwithstanding.

So, my rough guess is that the Quebec advertising ban has had a very, very minor impact on junk food consumption in Quebec.

The word "miniscule" comes to mind.

George Victor

From a guesstimate you produce estimaed $ figures?  Your "rough guess" smacks of the "science" of climate chage denial out thataway. The word ridiculous comes to mind.

Unionist

Sven - what are you talking about? Did you read the study? You certainly didn't quote it. Did you read what the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (linked above) had to say about fewer obese and overweight kids in Québec? If you're going to start with your conclusions and work backwards from there, you'll just end up... backwards.

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

From a guesstimate you produce estimaed $ figures?  Your "rough guess" smacks of the "science" of climate chage denial out thataway. The word ridiculous comes to mind.

The only guesstimates were (1) the 5% figure and (2) the 25% figure, both of which I suspect are actually high.

But, if you think those percentages are wildly understated, then let's see your numbers.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

Sven's conclusions must be the best news Macdonalds and the rest have heard in a long time.    If advertising doesn't effect the buying and eating habits of the public, then they no longer have to waste money on add campaigns.

 

Who says government intervention in the market place is bad for business?

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Sven - what are you talking about? Did you read the study? You certainly didn't quote it. Did you read what the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (linked above) had to say about fewer obese and overweight kids in Québec? If you're going to start with your conclusions and work backwards from there, you'll just end up... backwards.

I didn't start with a conclusion.  I started by trying to get a sense of what $43 million to $82 million in reduced consumption of junk food in Quebec really means relative to overall spending on junk food in Quebec.

So, what, specifically, do you disagree with in my analysis? Where is the flawed logic in the analysis of relative consumption reduction?

The claims of causality (i.e., that reduced obesity was caused by this law) are very difficult to establish, given the plethora of factors that influence health. But, a reasonable test of such a claim is to see what percentage of junk food consumption $43 million to $82 million represents. If that represented a 50% reduction in junk food consumption, then a causal link between reduced obesity rates would be much more credible than if junk food consumption was reduced by a mere 0.5%.

Sven Sven's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Sven's conclusions must be the best news Macdonalds and the rest have heard in a long time.    If advertising doesn't effect the buying and eating habits of the public, then they no longer have to waste money on add campaigns 

You can't draw that conclusion from my analysis.  In fact, I don't dispute the conclusion in the paper that junk food consumption was reduced by the advertising bans (i.e., advertising very likely does influence consumption rates).  My point is that the ban is, effectively, so narrow in scope that it probably only reduced total consumption of junk food by a very small percentage.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
Now, while McDonald's is a very large player in the junk food market, it would probably be fair to say that it represents maybe 5% of the total fast food market.  I say that because look a few of the many "fast food" chains in Canada:

Well, I'm not an economist, but...

And, for the Fast Food Hamburger Restaurant (FFHR):

Wow!

Sven Sven's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Wow!

The first chart is useful.

I would be very interested to see what the 55% figure is composed of.  Is it composed of all other fast food chains (such as those represented by the list I gave earlier)? Or does it include all other fast food chains and all independent fast food establishments?

Unfortunately, the website doesn't describe that piece of the pie in any detail. But that would be key information to know.

Speaking of McDonald's, does anyone know (without Googling it!!) which country in the world represents McDonald's second largest market (in terms of sales) after the U.S.A.?

al-Qa'bong

China?

George Victor

Just dying to know the name...and its relevance.

Sven Sven's picture

With respect to the 19% figure for McD's: Let's assume that the 55% figure is a comprehensive figure (i.e., it includes all other fast food establishments other than the "Big 7" -- meaning that McD's actually represent 19% of all fast food sales) and that the figures apply proportionately to Canada.

That would mean that the amount of junk food consumed in fast food establishments in Quebec would be about $1 billion per year.  If we assume that fast food restaurants represent 25% of all "junk food" consumed in Quebec, that would mean total junk food consumption in Quebec is about $4 billion.

And, what does $43 million represent as a percentage of that $4 billion figure?  About 1%.

Sven Sven's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

China?

That's a great guess (and probably would be one of my top choices as well).  Personally, I would have guessed Canada.

The answer???

[url=France!!![/url]">http://www.slate.com/id/2221246/]France!!![/url]

 

 

 

George Victor

Sven wrote:

 

Per the study cited by unionist, the law in Quebec which banned the advertisement of junk food to children (13 and under) has resulted in an annual reduction of between $43 million to $82 million in reduced annual spending on junk food in Quebec.

Wow!! At first blush, that seems like a huge reduction in spending on and consumption of junk food.

But, what's relevant isn't the absolute number ($43 million to $82 million) of the reduction.  What's relevant is the percentage reduction in junk food consumption due to the law.  That's where the devil is.

So, I thought I'd look at some very rough numbers to come up with a very rough (but directionally correct) estimate of just such a percentage.

McDonald's sales in Canada in 2005 were about $948 million.  The Canadian population in 2008 was about 33.2 million.  So, the average spent on McDonald's only in Canada was about $28.55 per person.  Quebec's population is about 7.5 million.  So, in rough terms, let's say the spending on McDonald's in Quebec is about $214 million per year.

Now, while McDonald's is a very large player in the junk food market, it would probably be fair to say that it represents maybe 5% of the total fast food market.  I say that because look a few of the many "fast food" chains in Canada:

A&W

Arby's

Baker's Dozen Donuts

Blimpie

Burger Baron

Burger King

Captain Submarine

Chez Ashton

Chicken Delight

Cinnabon

Coffee Time

Country Style

Dairy Queen

Dic Ann's Hamburgers

Dixie Lee Fried Chicken

Donut Diner

Extreme Pita

Fast Eddies

Harvey's

Ho Lee Chow

Jimmy the Greek

Krispy Kreme

La Belle Province

Lafleur Restaurants

Lick's Homeburgers

Manchu Wok

McDonald's

Mister Donut

Mr. Sub

New York Fries

Orange Julius

The Pita Pit

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits

Quiznos

Robin's Donuts

Subway

Taco Bell

Taco Time

Tim Hortons

Valentine

White Spot

Williams Coffee Pub

Yogen Fruz

And, that list doesn't include thousands of independent fast food locations (non-chains).

So, for the sake of discussion, if McDonald's represents 5% of all fast food sales, then it would probably be a rough - but fair - estimate to say that fast food sales in Quebec are about $4.3 billion per year.

But, junk food is certainly not limited to fast food restaurants.  You have soda (Coke and Pepsi), snacks (hundreds of varieties of chips, candy bars, and cookies), sugared cold cereals (see the "Lucky Charms" matter above), bread spreads (jams, jellies, honey, etc.), and a long, long list of other junk food.

I would guess that grocery store and convenience store purchases of those latter categories of junk food positively dwarf purchases of junk food in fast food outlets.  But, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that fast food represents 25% of total junk food purchases.

That would mean that total junk food purchases in Quebec are about $17.2 billion per year.

Now, let's go back to that $43 million to $82 million range mentioned in the study:

That reduction in junk food consumption only represents a reduction of about 0.25% to 0.48% in total junk food consumption.  Or, to put it another way, over 99.5% of junk food consumption has continued, unabated, the ban on junk food advertising to children notwithstanding.

So, my rough guess is that the Quebec advertising ban has had a very, very minor impact on junk food consumption in Quebec.

The word "miniscule" comes to mind.

Your final estimate Sven...$4.3 billion or $1 billion?  The world awaits your speculative announcement.

George Victor

Sven wrote:

With respect to the 19% figure for McD's: Let's assume that the 55% figure is a comprehensive figure (i.e., it includes all other fast food establishments other than the "Big 7" -- meaning that McD's actually represent 19% of all fast food sales) and that the figures apply proportionately to Canada.

That would mean that the amount of junk food consumed in fast food establishments in Quebec would be about $1 billion per year.  If we assume that fast food restaurants represent 25% of all "junk food" consumed in Quebec, that would mean total junk food consumption in Quebec is about $4 billion.

And, what does $43 million represent as a percentage of that $4 billion figure?  About 1%.

But not France, mon dieu, say it isn't so! There must be a "European breakfast" served there, baguette, croissant, with coffee.

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

Your final estimate Sven...$4.3 billion or $1 billion?  The world awaits your speculative announcement.

Based on the 19% figure in the chart linked to by Catchfire, it would appear that $1 billion is a very good number for Quebec.  If the 55% in the pie chart was only composed of other chains -- and didn't include any non-chain fast food establishments, then the 19% figure would, of course, be lower (and the $1 billion figure would, correspondingly, be higher).

But, assuming the 19% figure is the right number (and not a lower percentage), do you see any reason why the $1 billion figure is not a fair estimate?

Sven Sven's picture

France would have been one of the last (developed) countries that I would have guessed.

George Victor

And I'm sure that you are controlling for all the other varieables in your study.

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

And I'm sure that you are controlling for all the other varieables in your study.

I'm not claiming to have made an exhaustive "study".

But, based on what has been discussed here -- and any independent "study" you may have undertaken -- what do you think about the $1 billion estimate for fast food consumption Quebec?  If you think it's way off base, why?

George Victor

Dear old Sven. I could not give a fiddler's fart for figures you raise. Far, far back in this thread you ignored the idea that perhaps there is not a one to one relationship between the act of purchasing somethiing (whatever) and the relevance of that individual's willpower in that context.     The intervening variables would point to that.  Which you ignore, in finest bean-counting style.  I'm afraid, Sven, that we inhabit different worlds, but I thank you for furthering my insight into how the U.S. mainstream have been brought to think. If you can't give it a number in your empirical study, if there is not material value, it ain't relevant.    Evaluating a study from the perspective of humanity in real social settings, will ever play second fiddle.  Frightening prospect, really.

remember this one?

(gimme a mo)

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:

Dear old Sven. I could not give a fiddler's fart for figures you raise. Far, far back in this thread you ignored the idea that perhaps there is not a one to one relationship between the act of purchasing somethiing (whatever) and the worth of that individual's willpower.     The intervening variables would point to that.  Which you ignore, in finest bean-counting style.  I'm afraid, Sven, that we inhabit different worlds, but I thank you for furthering my insight into how the U.S. mainstream have been brought to think. If you can't give it a number in your empirical study, if there is not material value, it ain't relevant.    Evaluating a study from the perspective of humanity in real social settings, will ever find second fiddle. 

Well, two thoughts:

If someone claims that a ban on the advertising of junk food to young children causes a reduction in the consumption of junk food, how can one process or evaluate that claim without the use of numbers?  Hint: You can't.

Also, I never said that there is a "one to one" relationship between "the act of purchasing somethiing (whatever) and the worth of that individual's willpower".  I question the near-exclusive focus on systemic solutions to most every problem by many progressives.  If personal responsibility is ignored, or sneeringly discounted, most problems will remain firmly embedded no matter what systemic solutions may be dreamed up.  And, like I said above, that will suit many just fine -- because their jobs rely on convincing society that they systemic solutions are the only solutions (and if personal responsibility does, in fact, play a role, well, they might be out of a job).

George Victor

George Victor wrote:

The mind  rules.  You really are on a roll, eh Sven.  Ever try to put yourself in the shoes of someone in another social situation? I mean, there are categories other than "adults" and "children".  A whole host of categories that you avoid like a Big Mac.  Care to take a shot at it?  Their influences from birth in a family of certain socio-economic status to a lifetime of varying input? Your "reasoning" is from a closeted life, obviously. Try "breakiing out."

"The law" works from equally narrow, restricted parameters, of course.

 

 

Don't go away. I'll be back with another perspective that you are able to ignore with insular aplomb (notice I did not say with the sensitivity of a bag of hammers) ? : )

George Victor

Okay. Let's try it this way.  I am not going to fall into the trap of playing the numbers game. It's not relevant.  From the start,I have argued that some folks are more vulnerable than others to the mind game of advertising. That means exploring the many ways in which those people are "made" vulnerable. That comes from knowledge of how people function in social groups in society. Find their vulnerability and they are sold.

You, for instance, are a remarkable example of people vulnerable to conspicuous consumption. You are unable to concieve of peple who do not function in a similar way. Materialism has long ago replaced the ancient Greek virtues coming out of the aesthetic lifestyle...you know, a couple of millenia before the consumer society. 

Many of the most coruplent people in your society are folks who are least likely to give alternative lifestyles a thought. The leanest people in any society tend to be those with the fattest wallets.  That is another social categorization.  Then there's the ethnic differentiation. Obesity varies across ethnic lines.

ANd of course there is "level of education" to consider in a meritocracy (skewed as that concept is by inherited health, racial and sexual prejudice, etc.). 

You would reduce this rich world to simple  divisions of will power, a singularly gauche worldview, but clearly identifiable as Libertarian, as I said last summer. That's why I submit we inhabit different worlds, Sven.  And you clearly aren't ready to take up a work of sociological theory, let alone methodology. But one has to try to break through.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sven wrote:

I question the near-exclusive focus on systemic solutions to most every problem by many progressives.  If personal responsibility is ignored, or sneeringly discounted, most problems will remain firmly embedded no matter what systemic solutions may be dreamed up. 

 

Not surprising then that you ignored my post about how they go together.  Seems personal responsibility and systemic solutions are working better for Canadians.  Americans want systemic help too, they just haven't realized it yet.

Fotheringay-Phipps

We seem to have a confusion here. If Uncle Abe weighs 340 lbs, then he has a problem and he needs to do something about it. He needs to take charge of his life and, yes, make better choices.
If on the other hand we have a million preventable deaths caused by obesity, we all have a problem: I presume that's why the issue was raised here. If it were a million private problems, there would be little point in discussing it. So the question then becomes, what can we all do to alleviate this problem that affects us all? And making vague exhortations to buck up and show some will power just doesn't work. Shouting, "Manitoba! Drop and give me twenty! Come on, Wisconsin, get those knees up!" might work off some hostility to the fatties, but it's a ruinous substitute for public policy.

And that's what we're really talking about here. No-one doubts that each individual has some responsibility for their health. But when words like "epidemic" are used about obesity, we are talking about public health. If you download public-policy decisions to the individual, the results are predictable. The Land of Good Choices and Home of Personal Responsibility has, with the exception of a few Micronesian islands, the fattest population on earth. And it's not getting better. Appeals to will-power don't work. Because they're not an individualist contrast to collectivist solutions. They're just a remarkably feeble and discredited form of public policy. (See: Just Say No, Not Before Marriage,etc.) We need a public strategy to make us leaner, and bellowing, "You are all worthless sinners! Repent! Repent!" satisfies a certain strain of purse-lipped American Puritanism, but does nothing constructive.

 

E.P.Houle

My kids would rather get a dose of the clap than eat under golden arches but Sven's original post was that the collective has no rights. It's all individual responsibility. Tell that to Percy Schmeiser, or the people of Bhopal, or the continuous lies of the nuclear industry. A large wall of lawyers vs. some hungry/hopeless kid in my slum.

Merowe

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

We seem to have a confusion here. If Uncle Abe weighs 340 lbs, then he has a problem and he needs to do something about it. He needs to take charge of his life and, yes, make better choices.
If on the other hand we have a million preventable deaths caused by obesity, we all have a problem: I presume that's why the issue was raised here. If it were a million private problems, there would be little point in discussing it. So the question then becomes, what can we all do to alleviate this problem that affects us all? And making vague exhortations to buck up and show some will power just doesn't work. Shouting, "Manitoba! Drop and give me twenty! Come on, Wisconsin, get those knees up!" might work off some hostility to the fatties, but it's a ruinous substitute for public policy.

And that's what we're really talking about here. No-one doubts that each individual has some responsibility for their health. But when words like "epidemic" are used about obesity, we are talking about public health. If you download public-policy decisions to the individual, the results are predictable. The Land of Good Choices and Home of Personal Responsibility has, with the exception of a few Micronesian islands, the fattest population on earth. And it's not getting better. Appeals to will-power don't work. Because they're not an individualist contrast to collectivist solutions. They're just a remarkably feeble and discredited form of public policy. (See: Just Say No, Not Before Marriage,etc.) We need a public strategy to make us leaner, and bellowing, "You are all worthless sinners! Repent! Repent!" satisfies a certain strain of purse-lipped American Puritanism, but does nothing constructive.

 

 

Damn! Nice post.

G. Muffin

George Victor wrote:

George Victor wrote:

The mind  rules.  You really are on a roll, eh Sven.  Ever try to put yourself in the shoes of someone in another social situation? I mean, there are categories other than "adults" and "children".  A whole host of categories that you avoid like a Big Mac.  Care to take a shot at it?  Their influences from birth in a family of certain socio-economic status to a lifetime of varying input? Your "reasoning" is from a closeted life, obviously. Try "breakiing out."

"The law" works from equally narrow, restricted parameters, of course.

 

 

Don't go away. I'll be back with another perspective that you are able to ignore with insular aplomb (notice I did not say with the sensitivity of a bag of hammers) ? : )

GV, are you a (paid) writer? That's wonderful stuff. "Insular Aplomb" would be an excellent name for a showjumper.

Viking77

brilliant!

Sven - classic. Behind you 100%. Well, in the spirit of individualism, maybe 99 lol.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Be proud, Sven. You've got an honest-to-goodness dittohead pinniped barking and clapping his flippers for you.

Viking77

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Be proud, Sven. You've got an honest-to-goodness dittohead pinniped barking and clapping his flippers for you.

 

that's ironic, moron.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

How so, mensa member?

Viking77

Oh, and, as an Irish person, I find your moniker highly offensive and racist.

George Victor

The Rock's Irish descendants will see it as only a venal matter.

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