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Longevity Reporter - Why Focusing On The Obesity Epidemic Distracts Us From The Aging Epidemic

obesity aging society

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#1 s123

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 02:50 AM


Large amounts of precious resources are being spent on encouraging weight loss and healthy living. While the intention of trying to reinforce healthy living is laudable, the evidence is that our resources are being wasted on minimal benefits.

Society considers obesity a big threat that needs to be overcome, but being thin is seen as a panacea

The diseases caused by biological aging carry on incessantly taking the lives of 100 000 people every day. While age 87 is the most common age of death for people in the western world, little progress has occurred during the past decades.

Currently by the statistics of WHO 39% of the adult population aged 18+ in the world are overweight, and 13% are obese; in the US 35% are obese and 69% overweight respectively. These statistics are alarming, and a lot of people are obviously concerned, seeing obesity as the major cause of ill health and taking action to save resources and create a healthy population. 

Based on these statistics, in an effort to improve citizen health, governments in Europe are working hard to ban candy machines targeted to children in schools. Laws are also created to put taxes on unhealthy foods to benefit children. The desired outcome from this nannying is a reduction in the number of heart attacks that will occur in the 2060s-2070s brought on by the metabolic syndrome these children are expected to suffer as a consequence of a suboptimal diet. This reasoning is presuming that medicine won’t change before then, despite medical advances that with the right investments and work, might have considerable impact upon both the premature mortality caused by bad lifestyle choices, as well as the unavoidable aging damage itself.

How bad is obesity?

Less than 1% of all heart attacks occur in people under the age of 40 (of which a certain number are due to genetic defects and not related to atherosclerosis), and this pool of statistics includes many very obese people in the age range of 20-40. I do not want to belittle the fact that very obese adolescents are developing diabetes, and that sugar is the culprit behind the metabolic dysfunction - causing cancer and heart disease in one’s upper middle age. But let’s face the facts, the number of people below 40 who suffer fatal consequences from their weight remains very scarce. The leading causes of death below age 45 in Western Europe are by far accident and suicide. 

Currently 90% of us are expected to reach 67, whether healthy or unhealthy

The increased life expectancy, longevity prevalence (100+) as well as exceptional longevity (110+) in regions such as Okinawa known for a diet low in calories and plenty of vegetables and green tea, is well established. It is also known that this avoidance of particular age-related diseases is lost among genetically okinawan people adopting a western diet abroad. This offers tantalizing (but not strictly proven) clues that dietary factors might influence maximum longevity (~101 years in Western Europe for the top 1% born a century ago). Nevertheless the evidence by epidemiological studies in Europe is that people keeping fit and active in their retirement years often have better-than-average functionality and then rapidly decline in their mid-late 80s due to pathologies resulting from an unaltered intrinsic aging process. 

What needs to be understood is that there is no "fountain of youth" on a macroeconomic level to be earned through citizens living healthy, and many of the costs needed to implement “healthy living” are perhaps better spent focusing on using regenerative medicine to restore function to aging tissues. Even if obesity was outlawed, the medical expenses might go down less than you think in contrast to age-related disease; the gains are minimal compared to real breakthroughs that could give you more time regardless of your diet. 

So eat your burgers and fries, statistics show you can be "almost" as fat as you want and still count on reaching 60. For that matter just by being “moderately” obese (BMI 30-40), instead of morbidly obese (BMI 40+) you are still expected to reach 75. If we want to make some serious headway, we need to focus on aging itself instead of obsessing over expanding waistlines alone at the expense of real progress.

Guest contributor Victor Björk

 

http://www.longevity...-aging-epidemic


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#2 sthira

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 12:37 PM

So eat your burgers and fries, statistics show you can be "almost" as fat as you want and still count on reaching 60. For that matter just by being “moderately” obese (BMI 30-40), instead of morbidly obese (BMI 40+) you are still expected to reach 75. If we want to make some serious headway, we need to focus on aging itself instead of obsessing over expanding waistlines alone at the expense of real progress.


This is terrible advice to everyone, and I'm surprised to see it posted here. Maybe you're trying to be deliberately provocative? How difficult is moderate exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, eliminating junk processed foods and wearing a seat belt? We can all be healthy and well -- avoid the sadness and pain caused by obesity -- while simultaneously waiting and waiting and waiting for the slowing, slower, stupid slow "real progress" of "regenerative medicine" which may not even happen as imagined.
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#3 Mind

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 06:44 PM

I agree that more money should be spent on rejuvenation research than on government programs to promote eating the "correct diet" and getting your "required" exercise. I will personally continue to advocate for a healthy lifestyle in order for people to avoid obesity, but I have a difficult time supporting government funds for such endeavors. If the government is going to spend money it should be on curing disease and potential rejuvenation.

 

The root problem is that governments around the world have set-up health care systems that have become financially impaired. As the population gets older and more obese, the systems will go bankrupt. The "low-hanging fruit", in order to keep the systems solvent, is to force people to eat a specific diet and force them to exercise. Many people think this would be an acceptable plan of action and it would work (to keep the systems solvent), but I don't personally like the thought of being told what I can eat by a board of bureaucrats.

 

The optimal solution is to engineer fixes for our excess. If a cheap cure for cancer is developed, no need to ban smoking. If engineering can eliminate the negative effects of obesity, then no need to ban comfort foods.


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#4 Florian Xavier

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 07:42 PM

hs but where to get sens foundation pen ?


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#5 niner

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 08:41 PM

... I don't personally like the thought of being told what I can eat by a board of bureaucrats.
 
The optimal solution is to engineer fixes for our excess. If a cheap cure for cancer is developed, no need to ban smoking. If engineering can eliminate the negative effects of obesity, then no need to ban comfort foods.


The problem is that we were effectively told what to eat when the Nixon Administration decided to make corn very cheap by giving tons of money to farmers who grow it.  The initial idea was to pacify the population by making food artificially cheap, but eventually, all that cheap corn got turned into gigatons of cheap high fructose corn syrup.  Until the government can summon the courage to stop paying farmers to grow poison, I'm afraid we might need some rules to keep people from gorging on cheap sugar and turning themselves into expensive wards of the state.

 

A cheap cure for cancer would be great, but I don't want to go back to having to breathe disgusting cigarette smoke while I'm trying to eat, work, or otherwise enjoy life.  People can smoke in their houses and cars; it's not illegal.  People are welcome to smoke all they want, right up until the point that I have to breathe it or pay for the damage they do to themselves.


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#6 Mind

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:52 PM

 

... I don't personally like the thought of being told what I can eat by a board of bureaucrats.
 
The optimal solution is to engineer fixes for our excess. If a cheap cure for cancer is developed, no need to ban smoking. If engineering can eliminate the negative effects of obesity, then no need to ban comfort foods.

The problem is that we were effectively told what to eat when the Nixon Administration decided to make corn very cheap by giving tons of money to farmers who grow it.  The initial idea was to pacify the population by making food artificially cheap, but eventually, all that cheap corn got turned into gigatons of cheap high fructose corn syrup.  Until the government can summon the courage to stop paying farmers to grow poison, I'm afraid we might need some rules to keep people from gorging on cheap sugar and turning themselves into expensive wards of the state.

 

A cheap cure for cancer would be great, but I don't want to go back to having to breathe disgusting cigarette smoke while I'm trying to eat, work, or otherwise enjoy life.  People can smoke in their houses and cars; it's not illegal.  People are welcome to smoke all they want, right up until the point that I have to breathe it or pay for the damage they do to themselves.

 

 

Start your own restaurant and make it no-smoking like tens of thousands of other establishments did even before smoking bans went into effect.

 

Why can't smokers have their own gathering places to enjoy their habit? Does the entire world need to bend to your every whim?


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#7 niner

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:24 PM

 

A cheap cure for cancer would be great, but I don't want to go back to having to breathe disgusting cigarette smoke while I'm trying to eat, work, or otherwise enjoy life.  People can smoke in their houses and cars; it's not illegal.  People are welcome to smoke all they want, right up until the point that I have to breathe it or pay for the damage they do to themselves.

 

Start your own restaurant and make it no-smoking like tens of thousands of other establishments did even before smoking bans went into effect.

 

Why can't smokers have their own gathering places to enjoy their habit? Does the entire world need to bend to your every whim?

 

Is that what Libertarianism is about?  The "freedom" to harm other people?  I don't think asking people to not pollute my air is anywhere close to asking the "entire world" to bend to my "every whim".  Smokers can ALREADY have their own gathering places to enjoy their habit.  There are several near where I live, and I think that is an absolutely great idea.  I don't go there, and everyone's happy.

 

The problem with smoking is that if one guy lights up in a closed room, everyone in the room has to breath his smoke.  When one person or a small minority of people want to do something that harms everyone around them, they better expect some push-back.  We live in a democracy, and only about 20% of us smoke.  Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't want to breathe smoke, or else we would vote these smoking bans down.


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#8 Mind

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:40 PM

 

 

There are several near where I live, and I think that is an absolutely great idea.

 

Well, that is good. Where are those? In Wisconsin smoking has been banned in all indoor restaurants and bars. The same is true in most states of the U.S. (except Kentucky?).



#9 Mind

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:48 PM

 

 

Is that what Libertarianism is about?  The "freedom" to harm other people?  I don't think asking people to not pollute my air is anywhere close to asking the "entire world" to bend to my "every whim".

 

That is a logical non sequitur, I think. I clearly asked why can't smokers have there own places to gather and enjoy their habit? (referring to restaurants/bars/clubs) while non-smokers create their own establishments. If smokers create their own clubs for smoking, how is that "freedom to harm other people". I don't understand.



#10 sthira

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:01 PM

Is that what Libertarianism is about? The "freedom" to harm other people? I don't think asking people to not pollute my air is anywhere close to asking the "entire world" to bend to my "every whim".


That is a logical non sequitur, I think. I clearly asked why can't smokers have there own places to gather and enjoy their habit? (referring to restaurants/bars/clubs) while non-smokers create their own establishments. If smokers create their own clubs for smoking, how is that "freedom to harm other people". I don't understand.

I think I may agree with you, but I'm not sure. I'm always curious about where libertarians choose to draw the line. If you'd like to create restaurants and clubs where you gather together and smoke tobacco, ok, no prob. Do it! Have fun, light up, enjoy!

But you know it's harmful, right? So after smoking in your club for a few years or decades and you get sick, then what? You'll maybe get cancer (maybe not, of course, but many do). And so now to treat the cancer (possibly caused by happy times smoking in your clubs) you've got a big cancer-treatment expense. Tens of thousands of dollars? Hundreds of thousands? So what if you've not enough insurance, or double-insurance to pay? Then what? Don't pay it? Die? Go bankrupt? Charge it back to the taxpayers who now must pay your bill for the fun times you had that were bad choices? It's a public policy issue.

I don't think anyone cares really if you want to smoke tobacco. First, though, we don't want your poisonous air. So create your club, fine. But then, second, when you're sick -- and you knew the risks of addiction and disease beforehand -- why should the rest of us pay your bills?

Is this an issue? Where do libertarians draw the line between your own personal freedoms, and the freedoms of those affected by your bad choices? It's a discussion, I'm suggesting, not another harsh mean debate...
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#11 Mind

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:24 PM

Those are excellent points sthira.

 

I don't smoke by the way. Never have.

 

There are two issues here, that you clearly identify. One is freedom to associate/drink/smoke/what-not. The other, socialized medicine.

 

As I mentioned earlier, in a world with limited resources, a socialized medical system must necessarily place limits on what people can do. It is an ever evolving discussion. I would ban sugar just a soon as cigarettes. If we really wanted to help people and make sure the socialized system is financially sound we would force people to exercise as well.

 

In the absence of a system where one person is forced to pay for the medical bills of others, then naturally the smokers would have to deal with their own health issues, rely upon friends or family, charity, or community, in case they needed money to cover the bills.

 

So we live in a world of increasingly socialized medicine, which means there will be more and more restrictions upon what we can do. I don't like the thought of increasing restrictions and tyranny so that is why I suggested we focus on cheap effective treatments for the ill-health effects of people's bad choices. That way they can enjoy life the way they please (have smoking clubs) and it wouldn't place much financial stress on "the system".


Edited by Mind, 07 November 2015 - 06:29 PM.

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#12 niner

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:53 PM

 

There are several near where I live, and I think that is an absolutely great idea.

 

Well, that is good. Where are those? In Wisconsin smoking has been banned in all indoor restaurants and bars. The same is true in most states of the U.S. (except Kentucky?).

 

The ones I was thinking about are in Pennsylvania.  Wisconsin's Law is pretty hard core, in that it doesn't allow the creation of new indoor smoking clubs, although those that were in existence prior to the law are grandfathered in.  I think it should be possible to create new smoking clubs, but I wouldn't be so crazy about seeing an existing bar or restaurant declare "now we are smoking club" that just happens to serve food and drink.   One thing that the law is reasonable about is that it allows the creation of outdoor smoking areas, like patios.

 

 

Is that what Libertarianism is about?  The "freedom" to harm other people?  I don't think asking people to not pollute my air is anywhere close to asking the "entire world" to bend to my "every whim".

 

That is a logical non sequitur, I think. I clearly asked why can't smokers have there own places to gather and enjoy their habit? (referring to restaurants/bars/clubs) while non-smokers create their own establishments. If smokers create their own clubs for smoking, how is that "freedom to harm other people". I don't understand.

 

Well, you seemed pretty angry that I would impose my will on others by wanting to retain laws that prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, and workplaces.  I see those laws as protecting people from being harmed by others.   I hate to go full-nanny and point out that making smoking more of a hassle protects smokers who end up smoking less or quitting all together, but that is something that happens.   I'm of the mind that all drugs should be legal, although to sthira's point, I don't want to pay for the damage people might to to themselves.  Of course, we're already paying for the War On Drugs and its various negative fallout, so paying for other people's drug-induced morbidity would probably be cheaper.  Where I really draw the line is where someone else's freedom causes harm to innocent bystanders, like indoor smoking, drunk driving, or texting and driving.


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#13 sthira

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 07:08 PM

I'm not sure we should "force" people to not smoke, not eat sugar, and force people to exercise. I don't think that's possible. And as you say, who wants to live in a nanny state or a totalitarian society?

But I think public policy certainly shouldn't subsidize the things we know are unhealthy at the expense of things we know are healthy. Why give big taxpayer handouts to companies profiting off substances known to hurt us? It's like we have to pay twice just so companies that make bad things can profit. A tiny majority profits at the expense of everyone else. We subsidize going in -- tobacco, sugar -- and then we pay the bills for the damages caused to addicts. Why can't we subsidize healthier options?

Take the money out of tobacco, sugar and let's pay people to exercise? Haha... Government doesn't force you to excersize, rather it pays you for it. Everyone becomes a professional exerciser, and we're all paid in part by money formerly used to pay tobacco and sugar companies.

What a dream...

Brainstorm: how do we create a healthier society not by arguing ad infinitum with hot-button words like "socialized medicine" but how do we shift taxpayer dollars? We're all in this life and society together. If we don't work to change the bloated fucked up system, then the greed of the marketplace will continue to make us all -- the 99% of us -- keep paying.
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#14 Mind

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 11:11 PM

Cheap effective treatments. That is my answer.



#15 aribadabar

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 03:55 AM

Cheap effective treatments. That is my answer.

 

So any prevention is not worth the effort but looking for the elusive distant and uncertain "cure" makes sense?

That is some pretty twisted logic in my book.

 

Also , by treatment I suppose you mean cure not how most chronically ill get "treated" nowadays - keeping them as long as possible barely not dead because that is good for business.


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#16 sthira

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 10:40 AM

It's a strange argument. Prevention, the argument seems to go, is taking up too many resources and prevention is taking too much attention away from regenerative technologies and cures for aging. And that's my understanding of Aubrey de Grey's (public) argument, too. That is, even if we have Okinawan diets or perfect CRON diets, we exercise, we love and care for ourselves and others, we stay thin and healthy through the years, even given all that clean living, the eventual outcome is only two or three years of added life. The difference in life expectancy between Japan (or whoever's on top) is only a few years. So lay off prevention -- it matters little. I think I understand that reasoning. What I don't get, though, is jumping off from there and into the idea that banning candy machines from schools is a waste of public attention. Keeping kids and adults fit and healthy -- discourage sugar, tobacco; encourage exercise, kale -- is lopsided allocation of public money?

Just because de Grey thinks that doesn't mean it's true. We should do everything we can do to keep as many people from getting sick and suffering as possible. And we should start at the earliest stages in life. Six month old diabetes epidemic? Horrifying... We do everything we can do to advance cures for sickness and aging despite how well or badly people have treated themselves and been treated by society along the journey of life.

Regenerative advances will take longer to happen because we're too focused on stopping obesity is a dumb argument. We have enough knowledge and wealth to have both. The problem is greed. The problem is capitalism. The problem is people want to make money off of the sickness and disease in others. The problem is people want to make money by curing others. Take profit out of healthcare. Prevent disease and advance life extension because doing so will make the world a nicer place to live -- not for just you and your bank account -- but for everyone everywhere regardless of who they are and how they behave.
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#17 Mind

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 06:44 PM

 

Cheap effective treatments. That is my answer.

 

So any prevention is not worth the effort but looking for the elusive distant and uncertain "cure" makes sense?

That is some pretty twisted logic in my book.

 

Also , by treatment I suppose you mean cure not how most chronically ill get "treated" nowadays - keeping them as long as possible barely not dead because that is good for business.

 

 

 

 

I am all for prevention, just not forced prevention, a point I have made over and over and over and over and over and over and over in this thread and many others. Not sure why people do not comprehend that point. Do I have to say it 50 more times?

 

Different people have different thresholds for tyranny. Some people think it is just fine to stop all smoking in all places all the time. Many want to ban it altogether. It is just the latest form of prohibition. Like I mentioned earlier (many many many many many times, but apparently people ignored), if there is a socialized medical system, then there will be prohibitions. If we were really interested in people's health we would ban processed sugar and force people to exercise as well.

 

I know it is not popular nowadays, but I do value individual freedom.


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#18 Rocket

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 07:07 PM

 

 

 

Is that what Libertarianism is about?  The "freedom" to harm other people?  I don't think asking people to not pollute my air is anywhere close to asking the "entire world" to bend to my "every whim".

 

That is a logical non sequitur, I think. I clearly asked why can't smokers have there own places to gather and enjoy their habit? (referring to restaurants/bars/clubs) while non-smokers create their own establishments. If smokers create their own clubs for smoking, how is that "freedom to harm other people". I don't understand.

 

The liberal (& conservative) mind isn't one that can be reasoned with using logic.  Using that logic of the right to harm other people, fast food establishments will be next on their hit list after tobacco.  Of course longevity and radical life extension are also evil to many on the Left and the Right because it will lead to over population or population controls; it will also be bad for the environment; it's also against god's will. 


Edited by Rocket, 09 November 2015 - 07:09 PM.

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#19 niner

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:34 PM

I know it is not popular nowadays, but I do value individual freedom.

 

Individual freedom is very popular, as long as the person exercising that freedom isn't harming someone else.  If by "individual freedom" you mean "freedom to harm others", then yeah, it's not popular with most people.


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#20 pamojja

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 10:14 PM

 

I know it is not popular nowadays, but I do value individual freedom.

 

Individual freedom is very popular, as long as the person exercising that freedom isn't harming someone else.  If by "individual freedom" you mean "freedom to harm others", then yeah, it's not popular with most people.

 

When I was young I wanted to avoid as much harm as possible to others by me living. Therefore, not long after having a driver's license, I promised to myself never to own a private car again. That harm to everyone in society is still accepted by most people. Even when a life-long smoker wouldn't be able to combust more oxygen by his habit than a mere 100 miles driven by car.

 

I kept my promise and my appreciation of individual freedom. But again, nobody will ask about my values when combustion engine probably get banned in the not so distance future too..


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#21 niner

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 01:09 AM

 

 

I know it is not popular nowadays, but I do value individual freedom.

 

Individual freedom is very popular, as long as the person exercising that freedom isn't harming someone else.  If by "individual freedom" you mean "freedom to harm others", then yeah, it's not popular with most people.

 

When I was young I wanted to avoid as much harm as possible to others by me living. Therefore, not long after having a driver's license, I promised to myself never to own a private car again. That harm to everyone in society is still accepted by most people. Even when a life-long smoker wouldn't be able to combust more oxygen by his habit than a mere 100 miles driven by car.

 

I kept my promise and my appreciation of individual freedom. But again, nobody will ask about my values when combustion engine probably get banned in the not so distance future too..

 

Pamojja, I have to salute you for sticking to your guns and not driving a car.  Cars kill cities; they kill living things that they run over, roads and parking lots use up wildlife habitat and watershed, the list goes on.  The problem with cars and cigarettes is not the oxygen they use up, it's the stuff they emit.  Modern cars are very clean; cigarettes not so much.  Cars contribute CO2 to the atmosphere, contributing to a global experiment with our climate.  The worst-case scenario there is pretty bad.  I don't think that internal combustion engines will be banned (except in city centers) until there is a reasonable alternative.  This is coming soon enough, in the form of electric vehicles.



#22 sthira

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 02:03 AM

^^ Word. Yeah, cars suck, man. They seem to make life worse for everyone. Bring out the worst in people. Everyone complains enough about them: gridlocked suburbanites bullying up our neighborhood streets. They drive their stupid "ultimate driving machines" into the city from the burbs, they're wrecking stuff all around us, driving crazy through our neighborhoods, crazy people in metal boxes, oblivious to the life in the city, making city people pay for their bullshit, then they leave. They get in their stupid cars & clog their way back out into their gated communities. Racist fuckers. Haha.. Weird the car thing. And we pay higher taxes for their invasion. Hopefully better inventions are headed our way. Meanwhile, let's keep making safer streets without stupid cars. Let's keep making inner city bikelanes and walking paths and safer connections between neighborhoods. More trees in cities! Less streets! Cars won't be banned or forced out -- they'll just be rendered more and more obsolete as younger generations can't afford them, we forget how to drive them, and we forget why they even existed in the first place. Cars suck, man. Maybe driverless cars will be cool -- but cars just seem to bring out the worst in people.
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#23 pamojja

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:08 AM

Modern cars are very clean; cigarettes not so much.

 
Ask a cyclist like me. Smokers outdoors usually don't buff right in your face, cars do.

 

In 1994 I went overland through Africa. Eritrea at that time just had ended a long civil war. Don't remember the exact numbers, but at that time the victims of this war lasting for 20 years have been the same as in car accidents in Western Germany at that time within just one year.

 

There is virtually a civil war going on our streets affecting everyone - not comparable with reasonable smokers.

 

... until there is a reasonable alternative. This is coming soon enough, in the form of electric vehicles.

 
Like electronic cigarettes? Where we really don't know their harm yet?
 
I, for one, don't like the prospect of more Fukushimas..

 

 

But what can one do if one sees individual freedom as the only personal way? - Making the right choices in one's own life. On that it might become it's own momentum. Wrong choices are heading to extinction anyway.



#24 sthira

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 12:47 PM

Modern cars are very clean; cigarettes not so much.


Ask a cyclist like me. Smokers outdoors usually don't buff right in your face, cars do.
Yeah, me too, I cycle a lot -- side by side with cars and trucks in heavy traffic -- and it's the particulate-spewing delivery trucks that damage lungs. Soon these dirty trucks will be replaced by cleaner robots -- safer transportation options for everyone -- and while I'm really sorry for my delivery driver brothers and sisters who will lose their jobs, driverless vehicles will be transformatively good for all.

People are crazy in their cars -- texting, uncaring, unconscious at the wheel -- and they often don't see us on bikes or foot. Many drivers are courteous and respectful. But some are not. And it just takes one to kill or maim. Some drivers are even resentful that we are riding bikes on their roads. Some drivers think their individual freedoms to own the roads are more important than our individual freedoms as pedestrians and cyclists. Yet we all share tax burden to maintain the roads, yes? We on bike or foot just ain't as important as they are in their hard fast ugly boxes. Nor are other creatures' individual rights as important as theirs. They kill animals -- squirrels and opossums, birds and rabbits, deers and dogs, cats and owls -- and they dont really care. Not about the death, that is, oh they care about the fucking dent in the fender because they killed a wild mammal. That's because they think their own indie freedoms are so much more important than other creatures. Look at car windshields -- who speaks up for countless beautiful butterflies and moths, and all tiny winged miracles that are so casually smashed on windshields? All those little deaths are small tragedies, and yet are just jokes and inconveniences to drivers.

In 1994 I went overland through Africa. Eritrea at that time just had ended a long civil war. Don't remember the exact numbers, but at that time the victims of this war lasting for 20 years have been the same as in car accidents in Western Germany at that time within just one year.

There is virtually a civil war going on our streets affecting everyone - not comparable with reasonable smokers.

Wearing protective exoskeletons as fashionable clothes 3D printed for free will be cool. These exoskeleton clothing advances just cannot get here soon enough, in my opinion. Better transportation options, safer streets, safer human bodies protected by elegant clothing cheaply made to our own specs (and not clothes mass produced by giant corps using 6-year old slave children...) these will all be huge advances for everyone.

Edited by sthira, 10 November 2015 - 12:52 PM.


#25 Ark

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 12:56 PM

Obesity should be considered a form of mental retardation.
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#26 corb

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 01:24 PM

Everyone knows being fat, smoking and alcohol will "kill" you. It's a fact. It is probably learned in primary schools if not earlier at this point.
So why do we need to keep informing people that the earth is round? We don't.

And I have to wonder... is throwing money at these problems even worth it? Does it do anything at all?

Everyone knows the logic of a smoker or a middle aged woman that goes after the sweets - "I'll die someday anyway.". With that in mind you can keep informing them but they probably won't stop.

 

So when that is true, and no one does anything about the "someday" and instead concentrates on removing all the things a person might be enjoying in his life like food and drink - just so he can live a tiny bit longer and be miserable while he's at it - this will not change no matter how much money you throw at it.

 

And the sad thing is no one speaks about another fact of life - obesity is a risk in advanced age, sure - but so is LOSING WEIGHT.

The diseases caused by low BMI and high BMI in old people are pretty much a 50%/50% share.

High BMI kills you. Low BMI turns you into an invalid. What kind of choice is that? And do you realize keeping a normal BMI in your later years will be pretty much impossible regardless of your way of life?

High BMI to begin with is more of a mid age problem, most seniors lose weight quite readily.

 

So I have to agree. The "war" on obesity is not only a lost war, it's a meaningless war.

 

Next time though why don't you inject some more statistical data in the article so people can realize the futility of lifestyle changes in the big picture?

There were some good big studies from 2-3 years ago that highlight low BMI as the greatest all cause mortality risk for people over 70 and showed that people with above average BMI in that age category had the best overall health.

 

I'm sure people won't like my post but you have to understand, science is not a religion. Statistics show whether or not you have low or high BMI you WILL get sick. The diseases are different, they take a different time to reach their conclusion BUT and most importantly the ultimate result is the same.

 

 


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#27 sthira

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

Obesity should be considered a form of mental retardation.


No. It's an addiction created by food science in giant, gated corporations. Junk food is often the only option for struggling, low income people -- and the poison is subsidized by our tax dollars. Is an obese six-month old child mentally retarded?
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#28 Ark

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 05:26 AM

Obesity should be considered a form of mental retardation.

No. It's an addiction created by food science in giant, gated corporations. Junk food is often the only option for struggling, low income people -- and the poison is subsidized by our tax dollars. Is an obese six-month old child mentally retarded?


No, just their parents.
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#29 niner

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:30 AM

And I have to wonder... is throwing money at these problems even worth it? Does it do anything at all?

Everyone knows the logic of a smoker or a middle aged woman that goes after the sweets - "I'll die someday anyway.". With that in mind you can keep informing them but they probably won't stop.

 

 

We throw money at agribusiness to create these problems.  It wouldn't take money to make them stop.  It might take the removal of money, so we could spend it on something more useful, like curing aging.   Does it do anything at all?  Hell yes!  Look at the rates of smoking in the US.  Since we started doing things to make smoking less attractive, rates have plummeted.   If we applied just a tiny fraction of that courage to the problem of people being poisoned by sugar, we could make a huge difference.  It isn't likely to happen, though, because the "freedom" of children to get T2DM is too important.  That and the fact that our country is a plutocracy, so the bought and paid-for Congress isn't going to do anything to rankle their masters.


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#30 ceridwen

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 11:32 AM

It probably wasn't likely when the anti smoking campaign started that we would get this far. There should be a campaign against sugar
People need to be educated told that they are being poisoned
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