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Obese people may be banned from eating.

  1. Feb 5, 2008 #1
    ...at restuarants in Mississippi that is.


    http://politisite.newsvine.com/_new...ississippi-to-ban-fat-people-from-restuarants

    I heard that this was on the TV news this morning so I googled it. The above link is one of probably many sites that has this story. What is this country coming to? I know there has been a thread on PF before concerning a fat tax, but this proposed law is just plain crazy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    According to a dutch study reported on the Reg http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/05/healthy_tax_burden/
    It's those selfish health freaks that cost the taxpayer by living long enough to get expensive, long lasting diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
    Obese people only cost the health service £187,000 over a lifetime compared to £210,000 for the joggers.
    The ideal citizen are the smokers who pay lots of tax and die quickly of untreatable lung cancer at the peak of their earning power before the pension kicks in.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2008 #3

    ShawnD

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    tru dat

    People who live into their 90s are the ones who will kill things like medicare and social security. The people who chose to die young are, in a sense, taking one for the team.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2008 #4
    Does that mean they are not going to promote health because the earlier a person dies the less insurance companies, and SS has to spend on you?
     
  6. Feb 5, 2008 #5

    G01

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    :rofl: It's true though!
     
  7. Feb 5, 2008 #6

    Moonbear

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    I guess that's one way of looking at it.

    As for the story in the OP, I heard about it a couple days ago. Some of the other stories I've seen have dismissed it as a way of publicizing the obesity problem in the state, and not something that really had a rat's chance of surviving for passage (I'm sure there are at least a few overweight legislators in that state who enjoy eating at restaurants who would ensure such a thing never became actual law).

    If you read the original bill (not that I remember where I saw it...don't know if the story in the OP links to it), it is pretty vague, leaving the definition of who would be restricted from eating out up to the state health deparment, and has no means of enforcement attached.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2008 #7

    ShawnD

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    It's a catch 22. If people support good health, it raises the burden on tax payers to pay for long term care for those who just refuse to die. If you run a tobacco company, which arguably does the exact opposite, you're evil.

    It's interesting to think the idea of choice is the last option. That movie Demolition Man is a lot more realistic than anybody expected.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2008 #8

    Moonbear

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    I don't have a problem of what people choose for themselves. Overeating hurts the person who does it, but nobody else...I'm not talking tax burden or cost of insurance, because one can measure those things and if there's a substantial extra burden for someone at a particular amount overweight, then the cost can be shifted to them...their responsibility for their choice. Likewise, if someone told me, hey, you're being so healthy that you're likely to live to 102, and we need to charge more now so your insurance after you retire still covers you that long, then okay, fair enough, I'm paying for my choice. Smoking is different because it affects the people around you when you're smoking, not just yourself. If smokers never smoked in public places or around any non-smokers, then there really wouldn't be as much of a cry to stop them.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2008 #9

    ShawnD

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    You may be right that this is just a publicity stunt. Then again, classic liberals think a lot of stupid things were publicity stunts, but they still happened. Did anybody think the government was going to build a fence along the boarder of Mexico? Sounds equally silly, but it really happened.


    True, but second hand smoke is a small risk when you look at the big picture. How many are killed by second hand smoke? Isn't it only a few per hundred thousand? What is killing the other 99.9% of people?
     
  11. Feb 5, 2008 #10
    I'm wondering though if obesity also affects other people. If kids find themselves surrounded by obese people, will they be influenced in some way (subliminally) to accept obesity as normal, or in an extreme case healthy? That way the person won't feel guilty when gaining weight?
     
  12. Feb 5, 2008 #11

    ShawnD

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    When they find that nobody will have sex with them, they'll try a bit harder to lose the weight :wink:
     
  13. Feb 5, 2008 #12
    You don't have any rights that can't be taken away from you in the name of protecting children.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2008 #13

    Moonbear

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    It's hard to quantify how many are harmed by second-hand smoke, since it's hard to quantify that exposure at all. Those who live with or worked in offices with smokers when it was still permitted to smoke in offices, or who work in places where there is known to be a lot of second-hand smoke (bars, smoking section of a restaurant) might be easily identified, but if a non-smoker gets lung cancer when they're 40, do we have a way to know it wasn't because they were in a carpool driven by a friend's parent who smoked when they were a kid? If we know cigarettes are harmful to the smoker, what difference does it make what end of the cigarette you're inhaling the smoke from? This is still relevant to the person who chooses NOT to smoke if someone who chooses TO smoke has made the decision for both of them to threaten their health in that way.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2008 #14

    ShawnD

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    Wouldn't this alone mean a ban on smoking is wishy washy at best?

    The EPA's initial estimates were 3000 people per year died from second hand smoke. It's surprisingly hard to get numbers for how many people die in a country, so the best I could find was 1995, which is 2.3 million in the US. That means roughly 0.13% of people die from second hand smoke. Then in 1998 the EPA's study was thrown out in a federal court because it was found to be yet another pull-numbers-out-of-ass EPA report, not all that different from their report stating that America was running out of landfill space. That same EPA report stated the risk of developing lung cancer with no exposure to second hand smoke was 10 per million, while the risk when exposed is 12.5 per million. Not statistically significant.

    So how does second hand smoke compare with other dangerous things we don't think of as dangerous? In 2003, 43000 people died in car accidents. Driving your car to work is 14x as dangerous as sitting in the same vehicle as someone who smokes. If you're worried about second hand smoke in a car, your worries are pointing in the wrong direction.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2008 #15
    Once again, its natural selection and survival of the fittest (literally!)
     
  17. Feb 5, 2008 #16

    NoTime

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    There seems to be a fairly significant relation between cars/trucks and lung cancer.
    The proposed mechanism is small carbon clusters with attached metal ions.
     
  18. Feb 5, 2008 #17

    mgb_phys

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    Both my parents smoke - so I'm going to die of second hand lung cancer.
    I grew up in the 70s with lead in petrol and additives in Sunny Delight.
    In the 80s I ate canteen food - with mad cow disease.
    I used Mercury and Benzene in the lab.

    I'm doomed - so at least I now have an excuse to buy a big motorbike when I hit 40.
     
  19. Feb 5, 2008 #18

    NoTime

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    Nobody gets out alive :eek:
     
  20. Feb 5, 2008 #19

    wolram

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    Governments should stop being hypocritical, if every one stoped smoking, driving, drinking alcohol for a week there would be mass panic.
     
  21. Feb 5, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yep, all of this nonsense about banning this and banning that based on the cost to the public has opened the door to absolute control over our lives - there is no logical limit. And it certainly is not in line with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    They lost me on the 2nd hand smoke business when they claimed that 2nd hand smoke is worse than smoking. Clearly there is something wrong with this often heard but highly implausible claim since the smoker is exposed to the 2nd hand smoke as well.
     
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