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Speaker: Talking past each other: Ideological silos and research

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    We all need to think about how we talk about this.

    Which is true. But also cannot be a reason to do nothing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    some toddler snacks are as much as 60% sugar.

    I said above, thinking it was a bit over the top and unlikely to be necessary: " require labelling of the rest as per cigarette packets, just so there's no confusion. 20% of front of wrapper to consist of text UNHEALTHY SNACK ".

    Who's with me?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I'm not entirely sure why anyone thinks I am advocating "doing nothing". I'm advocating "not doing this as it is currently proposed". I'm also advocating for less emotive doomsaying and more sensible, encouraging, logical things that might actually work.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Danielle,

    Danielle, in reply to Bart Janssen, about an hour ago

    I'm not entirely sure why anyone thinks I am advocating "doing nothing". I'm advocating "not doing this as it is currently proposed". I'm also advocating for less emotive doomsaying and more sensible, encouraging, logical things that might actually work.

    How very dare you! :-)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A sugar tax creates incentives for manufacturers to reformulate their products to contain less sugar (eg the Nutrigrain example). It is apparently already happening in the UK with just a threat of a tax.

    A tax is just one way of many of addressing a problem of lack of wellbeing, however, measured, not the only method. And the effects might not be immediately obvious. But it is just one of many initiatives that could be implemented together as a package, or individually, to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

    Much of the discussion out there seems to be that sugar tax by itself is going to - or not going to - make a major change to consumption and behaviour. That's not how the real world works.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3194 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    I’m also advocating for less emotive doomsaying and more sensible, encouraging, logical things that might actually work.

    Jonathan Coleman got official advice on the Mexican soda tax late last year – the gist of which was "too soon to tell".

    But I don't think it's doomsaying to perceive a significant public heath problem developing. We don't have the problem the US is facing (40% of people likely to develop Type 2 diabetes!), nor the quantity of hidden sugar in our diets, but child obesity is increasing significantly here, mostly as a consequence of excess calories, and the implications of that are bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    NZ children have shocking dental health in some population groups. Can't access the Ministry site for some strange reason, but this 7-page PDF draws on some of their research late last decade.

    And at least (most) children supposedly get funded dental care. Dental health in adults is not measured as far as I'm aware.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t think it’s doomsaying to perceive a significant public heath problem developing

    That is rather different from "a sentence to a blighted, impaired life", which is what I objected to in your earlier post.

    These bodies are the only ones these kids have. They can't change bodies. They might be able to change, to a certain extent, how healthy those bodies are, but they might still grow up to be fat people even if they're healthier. I want us, as a society, to be really careful about how we other and problematise fat kids. So careful. Because hating yourself is no way to live.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Which is true. But also cannot be a reason to do nothing.

    This drives me actually batty. The request to tone down the fat hate is not tantamount to doing nothing. It's tantamount to toning down the fat hate.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    That is rather different from “a sentence to a blighted, impaired life”, which is what I objected to in your earlier post.

    Among the things I had in mind was the CDC page on child obesity:

    Health risks now

    Obesity during childhood can have a harmful effect on the body in a variety of ways. Children who are obese have a greater risk of –

    High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In one study, 70% of obese children had at least one CVD risk factor, and 39% had two or more.24

    Increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.25

    Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, and asthma.26,27
    Joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort.26,28

    Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (i.e., heartburn).25,26

    Psychological stress such as depression, behavioral problems, and issues in school.29,30,31

    Low self-esteem and low self-reported quality of life.29,31,32,33
    Impaired social, physical, and emotional functioning.29

    Health risks later

    Children who are obese are more likely to become obese adults.34,35 Adult obesity is associated with a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.35,36

    If children are obese, obesity and disease risk factors in adulthood are likely to be more severe.34,35.37

    Discrimination is clearly the source of some of those risks, and I’ve tried to be careful in the way I’ve phrased things. I’ve tried to refer to the source of the problem, which is environmental. I get why you don’t let medical researchers write social policy – I see the issue with that in drug policy, which I know more about. (And I see the corrosiveness of stigma there too.) But I would love to see far fewer empty calories hidden in staple food and drink, because the consequences seem really bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Among the things I had in mind was the CDC page on child obesity:

    Is there a point at which you accept that "a greater risk of" is not the same as "a sentence to a blighted, impaired life", or are you going to keep blockquoting me into submission?

    The reason I am annoyed by this, Russell, is that once you start using language like that, and there's a fat kid who is getting healthier but doesn't manage to lose the "right amount" of weight, then that kid has literally nowhere else to go, mentally or emotionally.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Okay. I've had enough of this.

    I work in Mangere. I hope to live there soon. I am a part of the community in a meaningful way through my teaching and my refuge work. There is a huge concentration of fast food outlets and some of the kids have shitty diets.
    Poverty is a big one but also the fact that many parents work 2 jobs, or night shifts, and the kids are given money to fend for themselves, so a pie for breakfast, bugger all for lunch, and maybe a can of coke and some hot chips to keep them going till dinner.
    Now. All of this is not necessarily connected to obesity. Of the hundreds of kids I see every day around the place, very few are obese. Why? Because they walk everywhere. Like, miles. Not just to get to school but to the town centre or wherever else they need to be.
    I see very few, I teach very few, obese children, Not empirical evidence for sure, but a hell of a lot more connected to reality than empty policy and empty talk.
    By all means, do something about the corporates. I agree there's too much sugar in our food.
    But please. Spare me the waffle about the links to obesity. I've been teaching in these communities for 20 years, and I've never seen this obesity epidemic they claim is happening.
    At my kindy, I tell the kids about the food that grows your brain, fills your tummy, makes your bones strong and builds your muscles. None of this bad food/good food shit. It's harmful, and like a tax on sugar, it's not helpful.
    Don't @ me.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I tell the kids about the food that grows your brain, fills your tummy, makes your bones strong and builds your muscles.

    What do you tell them?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Sacha,

    What I just said: what are the foods that do those things?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    How do they respond?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Can I please be anti-oodles-of-sugar-in-way-too-many-foods and anti-marketing-sugar-to-kids and pro trying out putting a tax on it without somehow hating on people who might be a bit rounded?
    Cos I'm a bit over-weight myself. And so are people I love dearly. And I'm really against punishing poverty.
    And I think taxing sugar makes sense. More to the point because I don't know much about it: isn't ignoring not just the advice but the *pleas* of public health professionals a bit daft?
    What if every cent was doubled or trebled and put back into (let's say) winz benefits and wff?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    What if every cent was doubled or trebled and put back into (let’s say) winz benefits and wff?

    Indeed. What if. (It's all part of my new book, "How To Fix Poverty By Giving Poor People More Money".)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    Been poor?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Please, stop using the word “obesity”. We’ve used it as a way to distance ourselves from people. Living, breathing, caring, hurting, people. Start talking about a war on “fat people”, and then at least we’re being honest about what we’re doing. We're othering people, and telling them they’re immoral and not worthy to be among us. Seriously, replace “obesity” with “fat people”, and see if you’re still comfortable with what you’re saying.

    I’m in favour of a bit of regulation here, rather than the more diffuse mechanism of taxes and price signals. And a bit of regulation / public provision of walkable suburbs, playing spaces, reasonable employment with a livable wage, all the things that make it possible for people to be fit and healthy, rather than worrying about policing their size.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Rather than weight, would people rather discuss it in terms of type 2 diabetes, because that is a pretty fine reason for a sugar tax in my book

    http://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/diabetes-data-and-stats

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    OK, what if we talk about type II diabetes instead?
    It's an extremely serious illness whose prevalence has risen rapidly. Costs people their eyes, limbs, quality of life.
    Cheap sugary foods cause diabetes.

    I don't hate, judge or other type II diabetics, I'm angry at the fucked-up food supply system (and poverty, and possibly terrible advice from the medical profession) that has led to this situation.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Topically, this popped up in my reading list this evening
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/low-tar-cigarettes/481116/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I was surprised when I was pregnant and having regular tests for gestational diabetes how easy it was to blow out your sugar levels. Ok, no surprises that muesli with yoghurt and fruit got me into the green squares one time, but a plain date scone would do it too. Carbs are quickly turned into glucose. Awareness about that would have helped more than a price signal, for me at least. But even with awareness, denying yourself something innately pleasurable and accessible is not easy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • NoFace,

    I have a relative who is an inveterate (I hope this means does it a lot) reader of the Listener. Has piles of them lying around, probably back to the 1970s.

    I haven't been a reader of the Listener in over ten years. I read through one or two and thought about starting it again.

    Then I came to a reply to a Jane Kelsey letter about a pro-TPPA, investor state dispute clauses- don't you worry about that son- editorial. The periodical stated an editorial response something like: we didn't include the views of any academics who were seen to be advocating for a position.

    In other words this: tpp legal should all be ignored on the basis that the research done is being done by people who also have a personal stake in the result. Not that the status quo advocates anything.That could go for much of the climate change science too methinks and I have vague recollections about a Listener writer who spoke to loudly on that topic also....

    long story short- thanks for the info about the farm crisis and the reviews, and the interview with Roger Hall, and Diana Witchell and Helene Wong...Oh, and the stellar work of Fiona Rae, of course!

    but for the above (and also for former John Key media trainerTM Bill Ralston's staggering column that tried to suggest that it was crazy for Labour and Andrew Little to suggest that dairy farmers should get some assistance, because that would destroy the perfectly beautiful and free market that exists in NZ where farmers stand on their own two feet with no assistance in any way from the state, really tut, tut, Bradford's Hollywood, anything else to round out the mag, geez) I'll continue giving it a pass

    Since Dec 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    Is there a point at which you accept that “a greater risk of” is not the same as “a sentence to a blighted, impaired life”, or are you going to keep blockquoting me into submission?

    No, I don't want to do that. I was trying to cite an example and I'm happy to clarify that and refer to instead to an increased likelihood of lifetime impairment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

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