Author Topic: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?  (Read 24153 times)

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Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2012, 10:06:18 am »
We can put all the taxes and regulations we want on sugar but it will not help the obesity problem.  You can put large labels, pictures of fatty hearts, the likelihood of dying of a stroke or what ever else you like on a package, people are still buying that pint of ice cream. 

The problem is not how much sugar is in food but how much of that food people eat and how much they lack any type of physical activity.
Actually, different sources of calories are treated differently by the body. If you take somebody on a 3000 calorie/day diet and replace 200 calories of sugar with 200 calories of something else (such as lean meat) their health actually would improve. We could also do something like what Mira suggested so that the pint of ice cream has less total sugar in it. I am a strong proponent of "less bad" dieting where people make a relatively small changes which increases overall health (ex: cutting out pop, throwing a 15 minute walk into your schedule, eating dessert every other day) and I see a reduction of the amount of sugar people consume as a step in that direction.

We can also see that other taxes of this nature, such as a federal tax on cigarettes, actually do reduce consumption. I fail to see why increasing the price of sugary foods wouldn't do that same thing. I'd actually expect a greater decrease because there isn't a physiological addiction to sugar like there is with nicotine.

Offline Lithp

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2012, 10:36:30 am »
Let me preface what I'm about to say by saying that, at this point, I don't really care whether or not this was intended to be serious:

Quote
And Lithp saying drugs instead of alcohol when he could have just checked the title of the thread is hilarious.

Before anyone else bitches about people being stupid because of slightly inappropriate phrasings, let me make one thing perfectly clear:

THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONCEPT THAN THE SEMANTICS.

I read the article before you did (on the IRC), I know it says cigarrettes, I was thinking about the general idea & inadvertently replaced the words. Same. Fucking. Bullshit. It does not change the meaning I was trying to express in the slightest.

Normally, I don't have a problem with Vene's condescension, because he usually does it when someone (A) ignores his sources or (B) tries to lecture him about biology. In both cases, this is an appropriate response. But in this case? God damn, who really cares if someone says "prohibition" instead of "regulation"? Fuck, for that matter, how do you know this won't turn into a prohibition of added sugars? Yes, the words mean very different things, but the point remains the same: Making laws about who can access this particular product is a terrible idea.

Now, back to the point:

Quote
We can also see that other taxes of this nature, such as a federal tax on cigarettes, actually do reduce consumption.

Obviously, making something more expensive will decrease its consumption. But this fails to account for other factors. As has been mentioned at least once in this thread, people buy unhealthy foods in part because they're cheaper. If you increase the price of unhealthy foods, without decreasing the price of healthy foods, you're just placing an additional burden on them.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 10:46:12 am by Lithp »

Offline m52nickerson

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2012, 10:49:57 am »
Actually, different sources of calories are treated differently by the body. If you take somebody on a 3000 calorie/day diet and replace 200 calories of sugar with 200 calories of something else (such as lean meat) their health actually would improve. We could also do something like what Mira suggested so that the pint of ice cream has less total sugar in it. I am a strong proponent of "less bad" dieting where people make a relatively small changes which increases overall health (ex: cutting out pop, throwing a 15 minute walk into your schedule, eating dessert every other day) and I see a reduction of the amount of sugar people consume as a step in that direction.

We can also see that other taxes of this nature, such as a federal tax on cigarettes, actually do reduce consumption. I fail to see why increasing the price of sugary foods wouldn't do that same thing. I'd actually expect a greater decrease because there isn't a physiological addiction to sugar like there is with nicotine.

I think taxing sugar and reducing that amount that people eat might help a few.  I think overall the obesity problem is more about how much people are eating over all.  Many will just change from those sugary foods to fatty ones or to food with high natural sugar.  Even if they choose healthier ones they still may overeat.  They maybe slightly better off, but is the cost worth it.  I don't know.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 04:16:57 pm by m52nickerson »
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Offline TheL

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2012, 10:51:37 am »
Do you know what is more dickish? When people ignore arguments made and go off wargarbling over imaginary bogeymen.

Incorrect.  Being a condescending dickhead is still more dickish.
You know what? Being condescending is what got people here to say that their analogies were bad. I don't really care about your feelings, I care about what is and what isn't.

But sugar?  Seriously?  Are we just supposed to go back to Ye Goode Olde Days when the big-name sweetener was honey?  Oh, no, wait, regulating sugar is just going to result in a HFCS surge.  As if we needed that.
HFCS is sugar.

Another voice to end corn subsidies. It's high-fructose corn syrup that's the problem, not sugar in general. (And HFCS is, as I said, in everything, so taxing it at a consumer level would just drive up the prices of all foods)
Wrong, biochemically sucrose (table sugar) is a dimer composed of one fructose and one glucose which is immediately broke into its constituents. HFCS is mixture comprised of a ~1:1 ratio of fructose and glucose. Nutritionally, they're the same and led to the same problems.

OK, why do my posts keep disappearing?  Ugh. *posts a note in "Forum Issues" about it*

Parents tend to not think of corn syrup and sugar as being the same thing, because they're labeled differently in ingredients lists on food packaging. Remember, the bogeyman held up to parents is "sugary foods," so parents are looking for the word "sugar."  When an ingredients list says "Flour, corn syrup, sugar, [blah, blah, blah], high-fructose corn syrup," how many people are going to make the connection that three different ingredients on the list are all sugars?  That's like expecting people to know without being told that "blueberry bits" and blueberries are not the same thing.

Ending corn subsidies will make it so that the use of corn syrup is no longer cost-effective.  Since other sweeteners tend to cost more, and sugar supplies are limited because of its limited growing range, ending corn subsidies should help cut down on the ridiculous amount of oversweetening in processed foods today.

Part of the reason why I avoid spices and sugars is because I want to taste food.  Not added junk, but the actual meats, grains, fruits and vegetables that are nourishing my body.  I spent so much of my childhood eating sugar-laden garbage that flavors other than "sweet" are a source of never-ending delight to me.  When I eat a Kashi bar, I taste grains, fruit, nuts, and chocolate or peanut butter if I'm eating those varieties.  When I eat any other brand of granola bar, I taste sugar and damn near nothing else.  It's overpowering.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 11:04:14 am by TheL »
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Offline Sleepy

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2012, 11:17:57 am »
Do you know what is more dickish? When people ignore arguments made and go off wargarbling over imaginary bogeymen.

Incorrect.  Being a condescending dickhead is still more dickish.
You know what? Being condescending is what got people here to say that their analogies were bad. I don't really care about your feelings, I care about what is and what isn't.

You know what you could also say? "Your analogy is bad because of X, Y, and Z." And you should care about it to some extent, considering the "don't be a dick" rule. Also, it's not limited to these circumstances.

Please do not belittle me with your lecture on "starvation mode." I fucking know what it is, I study this shit.

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Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2012, 02:48:45 pm »
Normally, I don't have a problem with Vene's condescension, because he usually does it when someone (A) ignores his sources or (B) tries to lecture him about biology. In both cases, this is an appropriate response. But in this case? God damn, who really cares if someone says "prohibition" instead of "regulation"? Fuck, for that matter, how do you know this won't turn into a prohibition of added sugars? Yes, the words mean very different things, but the point remains the same: Making laws about who can access this particular product is a terrible idea.
Lithp, this is a slippery slope argument. Let's talk about actual prohibition for the moment. It meant nobody could buy any sort of alcohol, but alcohol is currently regulated (Mira mentioned the requirements about maximum alcohol content earlier in the thread). As a result of this, regulation and prohibition really are different beasts. They are closely related, but distinct.

Quote
Obviously, making something more expensive will decrease its consumption. But this fails to account for other factors. As has been mentioned at least once in this thread, people buy unhealthy foods in part because they're cheaper. If you increase the price of unhealthy foods, without decreasing the price of healthy foods, you're just placing an additional burden on them.
From what I can see, this is probably the best argument against the proposal. Personally, that is why I like either what I suggested with the tax revenues being used to reduce the price of healthier foods or what Mira said about simply limiting the amount of sugar that can be added to food products. Mine would work to make healthier food more affordable and Mira's would reduce the sugar in food without increasing the cost.

I think taxing sugar and reducing that amount that people eat might help a few.  I think overall the obesity problem is more about how much people are eating over all.  Many will just change from those sugary foods to fatty ones or to food with high natural sugar.  Even if they choose healthier ones they still may overeat.  They maybe slightly better off, but is the cost worth it.  I don't know.
And how about the other negative aspects of overconsumption of sugar like diabetes? Are those not worth addressing?

You know what you could also say? "Your analogy is bad because of X, Y, and Z." And you should care about it to some extent, considering the "don't be a dick" rule. Also, it's not limited to these circumstances.

Please do not belittle me with your lecture on "starvation mode." I fucking know what it is, I study this shit.

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-Address the points given by others in as civil a manner as you can
Sleepy, I live with the person who wrote those rules and I've ran  a number of my posts by her. She didn't see a problem. Napoleon is also in this thread and he didn't see need to give me a warning (official or unofficial). And, you know what, what was said to me in the thread was belittling, to treat me as if I don't have knowledge of the subject when I've demonstrated on this forum and the old site that I do. Unless you really, really want to try and claim Zachski knows more about biochemistry and physiology than I do. If it was some other field like, say, history or psychology that would be one thing, but not when some ignorant layperson thinks he knows more than somebody who fucking studies this shit.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2012, 02:54:32 pm »
Vene, before you start claiming more bullshit about me...

I never said you were wrong.  In fact, you were right.  No one was calling for the banning of sugar.  This isn't the first time FSTDT has jumped the gun, but most of those times, the situation was resolved respectfully.  In fact, your dickish behavior made it take longer to correct the situation.

However, the fact of the matter is, you get away with a lot of dickish behavior.  Quite frankly, you have a tendency to forget that other people can be intelligent too.  There's a respectful way to do something and an ass-backwards way to do something, and you're certainly not doing it the respectful way.

And no, I don't care if Oriet or Napoleon okay it.  That, to me, does not handwave it, it actually makes it more of a problem.
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Offline TenfoldMaquette

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2012, 03:06:55 pm »
Prohibition didn't work for alcohol; somehow I doubt it'd work for sugar.
It's not like fucking prohibition. It's not banned and the proposal doesn't suggest it being banned.

I was more making a point about how trying to tell people what they can and cannot do with something commonly available (and legal) tends to backfire, and trying to implement restrictions via law is just going to create backlash. What we need to do is spread the idea that excessive sugar consumption is bad, so that it ingrains itself culturally and results in less consumer demand for such products.

Offline Lithp

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2012, 03:14:39 pm »
Quote
Lithp, this is a slippery slope argument. Let's talk about actual prohibition for the moment. It meant nobody could buy any sort of alcohol, but alcohol is currently regulated (Mira mentioned the requirements about maximum alcohol content earlier in the thread). As a result of this, regulation and prohibition really are different beasts. They are closely related, but distinct.

See, my point was, we have no idea what regulations these people--defined loosely as an activist group based around this idea--might suggest. It might well be prohibition. If they're related, & radical new regulations are implied to be proposed, it's worth it to consider both. 

Also, like Tenfold said, it's a good example of what happens when you overreact to a problem.

Quote
From what I can see, this is probably the best argument against the proposal. Personally, that is why I like either what I suggested with the tax revenues being used to reduce the price of healthier foods or what Mira said about simply limiting the amount of sugar that can be added to food products. Mine would work to make healthier food more affordable and Mira's would reduce the sugar in food without increasing the cost.

The only issue I have is that I fucking love sugar. Sounds sort of petty next to the other arguments, but it is what it is. When you're eating something not because you want to, but because you have to, DAMN does that suck. That is why, even though diet soda isn't really any more expensive, I'll typically go with regular soda. Diet tastes like shit. I know diet soda isn't exactly a health drink, but bear with that analogy, because I can't think of anything better right now.

With Mira's suggestion, I would add that the limits imposed are gradual. Most people would simply acquire a taste for the less sweetened food without even really noticing that changes are being made. I'm not sure how it could work with yours, because people would just see continual taxes being imposed on them, without seeing the long-term idea.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 03:17:18 pm by Lithp »

Offline Cataclysm

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2012, 03:18:45 pm »
What next? Regulating the sale of pencils because kids might accidentally get lead poisoning from the lead in the pencils.

What next? Regulating automobile safety because some family might accidentally go through a windshield?

You never heard of seatbelt laws, speed limit signs, and fuel efficiency?
I'd be more sympathetic if people here didn't act like they knew what they were saying when they were saying something very much wrong.

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Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2012, 03:22:44 pm »
Vene, before you start claiming more bullshit about me...

I never said you were wrong.  In fact, you were right.  No one was calling for the banning of sugar.  This isn't the first time FSTDT has jumped the gun, but most of those times, the situation was resolved respectfully.  In fact, your dickish behavior made it take longer to correct the situation.
Funny that people only started to retract their piss-poor analogies only after I started to behave in a way you disapprove of. I started out with trying to say, 'you are wrong because x, y, or z.' But people only started paying attention once I stated saying, 'you're an idiot and are wrong because x, y, or z.'

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2012, 03:26:55 pm »
Vene is falling into the appeal to authority fallacy, I see. While also using ad hominems against people he is arguing with. There were days when Vene was actually polite when he debated. I miss those days.

@Lexikon- Mira was being sarcastic.

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Offline Lithp

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2012, 03:29:06 pm »
>.>

That is because (A) more time & instances of you saying it had elapsed, (B) they were getting over their initial reactions, & (C) a big damn fight erupted in the thread, which drew attention towards the problem.

Hell, look at SpukiKitty acting like a raving goddamn lunatic in the thread about Komen & Planned Parenthood. She's more noticeable, sure. Also, to draw that conclusion, we have to ignore not only he fact that there could be other factors, but all of the contention that resulted.

Offline Cataclysm

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2012, 03:29:18 pm »
Vene is falling into the appeal to authority fallacy, I see. While also using ad hominems against people he is arguing with. There were days when Vene was actually polite when he debated. I miss those days.

@Lexikon- Mira was being sarcastic.

Sorry, I thought she was trying to do the same thing as GLaDOS.
I'd be more sympathetic if people here didn't act like they knew what they were saying when they were saying something very much wrong.

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Commenter Brendan Rizzo is an American (still living there) who really, really hates America. He used to make posts defending his country from anti-American attacks but got fed up with it all.

Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2012, 03:29:26 pm »
Vene is falling into the appeal to authority fallacy, I see. While also using ad hominems against people he is arguing with. There were days when Vene was actually polite when he debated. I miss those days.

@Lexikon- Mira was being sarcastic.
I miss the days when people here actually knew the meaning of fallacies. Ad hominem doesn't mean you were mean. Ad hominem would be me saying 'you're an idiot and are wrong' not 'you're an idiot and are wrong because x.'