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White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the wipeout-xxxxl dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 477

theodp writes "The winners of the childhood obesity infographic design contest sponsored by GOOD and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative are in, and the overall winner calls out Sony's PlayStation as a major milestone on its timeline of childhood obesity (together with Coke, Pepsi, mall food courts, fructose and high sugar tariffs, TV, McDonald's, and other fast food). Somewhat ironically, the First Lady's other anti-childhood obesity efforts include a $60,000 video game contest."

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Hmmph. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475784)

Calling out specific systems(without research: "did the NES/SNES keep more asses in more seats for longer than the Playstation" is a perfectly valid empirical question) seems counterproductive at best, libelous at worst.

The basic fact that consuming more energy than you use makes you fat, though, seems too obvious to even bother arguing about anymore. This is conservation of energy, not subtle epidemiology.

Re:Hmmph. (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475822)

I agree with you, but it makes sense that the later-generation consoles would be more easily blamed as more and more parents became afraid to let their kids play outside unsupervised and decided it was okay to pass increasing amounts of parenting onto the systems. As somebody below you pointed out, the XBoxes should also share the blame.

Re:Hmmph. (3, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475858)

The Xboxes, our society giving more rights to criminals, gun control laws that embolden said criminals, lack of police power. There is enough blame to go around but it starts out with parents not wanting to at least keep an eye on their kids and send them outside.

Yes, there is a lot of work to running a house, no one has to tell me this, but don't blame the XBox or Playstation or Wii when your kid gets fat from sitting in the house all day.

Re:Hmmph. (4, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475830)

To be fair, the basic laws behind statistical mechanics are equally simple, yet thermodynamic behaviors can be complex and non-obvious.

The epidemiology is:
Why are people using less energy?
Why are people consuming more energy?
What subtle biochemical and metabolic effects might be involved?

There are a lot more subtle biochemical effects than one might initially suspect.

Re:Hmmph. (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475942)

To be fair, the basic laws behind statistical mechanics are equally simple, yet thermodynamic behaviors can be complex and non-obvious.

The epidemiology is: Why are people using less energy? Why are people consuming more energy? What subtle biochemical and metabolic effects might be involved?

There are a lot more subtle biochemical effects than one might initially suspect.

I rather suspect that a sociological/psychological approach to the first two questions is more appropriate if you want a cure.

CC.

Re:Hmmph. (2, Funny)

B4light (1144317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475956)

Can you give me the answers?

Re:Hmmph. (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476126)

Ah, but it is epidemiology. Sure, we know why a given person gets fat. Too much energy in; too little energy out. But why is the population as a whole getting fatter? Is it a general trend towards sedentary lifestyles (i.e. energy out)? Is it a general trend towards higher calorie diets (i.e. energy in)? Is it a combination of the two? If these trends are behind the rise in obesity, what are the drivers behind these trends?

I think you understate the complexity of the issue when you reduce it to a mere question of "conservation of energy".

Re:Hmmph. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476236)

i think it's because it's hard to blame the wii and xbox is a US product why is every politicians wife anti some media?

Re:Hmmph. (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476272)

> The basic fact that consuming more energy than you use makes you fat
> seems too obvious to even bother arguing about anymore.

Obvious but wrong. Clearly it's not so simple. You like many other people miss out the amount excreted. Unless you consider excretion of calories to be using those calories, which would be stupid.

I don't see many diet researchers measuring the amount of calories in the feces or other excretion. And there certainly are differences.

Also people are now noticing the differences in digestive systems: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526141845.htm

Many obese people have bacteria and digestive systems that are more efficient and/or converts food into stuff that makes them fat.

Some probably have cultivated those bacteria through poor diets (poor at least from a modern day "plenty of food" sedentary lifestyle perspective), others might just be unfortunate.

So I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that in some unfortunate people the food becomes changed by their bacteria so that they need to eat more or feel like eating more.

For example:
a) Say you need a minimum of 10 x A, 10 x B, and the food is 10 x A and 10 x B, but the bacteria keep converting half of the A to B, so you need to consume 20 x A and 20 x B, and end up with 10 x A and 30 x B. You meat the "A" requirement but you get fat and unhealthy.

b) Alternatively your bacteria might just do better on a fattening diet and so they have evolved to make sure (by various means) that you feel like eating a fattening diet suitable for them. After all who's the boss? You (10 trillion cells) or the 100 trillion bacteria in your gut? If it's a democracy you lose ;).

It's certainly not all due to bacteria either, but just pointing out it's not so simple when you get to the details :).

FWIW, I'm not fat (puny and skinny actually), but I'm not one of those who place the blame for obesity completely on the obese. Or think they are lesser beings than I am (they most certainly are greater in some ways ;) ).

Something is missing (1)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475792)

Xbox360 isn't on this list?

Re:Something is missing (2, Informative)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475868)

Of course not. Xbox is Microsoft, an American company and a big lobbyist / campaign contributor...

Re:Something is missing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475990)

Xbox is a subsidiary of Microsoft, an American company and a big lobbyist / but a surprisingly small campaign contributor.

Which says it all! If you haven't noticed yet, this is just another political "think of the children" ploy. Don't be fooled because it includes multiple liberal pet peeves of freedom, along the lines of "We will tell you what you can eat and do, when and where" bullcrap. But they are still required to play by the fancy political rules, which is what gives it away as dishonest by only mentioning a foreign brand. Come on people, encourage more exercise, but do not try to demonize inanimate objects because of your own choices.
  IT IS CALLED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
Hope you didn't mind me fixing your quote.

wheres the story? (4, Interesting)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475798)

"lets throw in a gaming console amongst other big culprits that help fatten up kids" If your fat its because you didnt exercise enough as a kid and you probably ate shit. More so, its probably the fact that you ate shit. Oh, and your parents probably didnt push activity and exercise on you. "LETS BLAME SONY!" I call it a witch hunt

Re:wheres the story? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475876)

Yeah, there is a pretty sad disconnect between the time line and the graph. The events might as well be totally random, most of the events aren't even events, just milestones, might as well have started with the moon landing. I'm also highly suspicious of the 2% blip around 2004 which is implied is due to McDonalds stopping supersize. As big as they are, I'm doubtful that it could have such a large impact. The timing doesn't really match either. More likely, somebody thought "ugh, gonna find something good that happened that year".

Re:wheres the story? (2, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475892)

I don't see where they're blaming Sony. They're calling out video games as a contributing factor in childhood obesity, which is probably true. Maybe instead of blaming Sony they could educate parents or something. I wonder how they might educate parents? I don't know, maybe some kind of graphic that shows the rise of childhood obesity and points out a lot of contributing factors that parents could work on avoiding? Something like that?

Re:wheres the story? (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476248)

Personally I blame, in no particular order. Government for telling people that the world is coming to an end, and keep your kids inside. I blame 'think of the children' idiots, for telling everyone that their kids are at risk from *random thing here*, and they should be coddled from birth until they leave. I blame psychologists for repeatedly saying the same things as the 'think of the children' idiots, along with telling parents that males should be quiet and demure. While prescribing drugs to keep them 'under control' aka ADHD.

I blame the media for doing the same thing and reinforcing it. And I blame parents for not being well informed, and following what the media presented, and what the 'school psychologists' told them. Along with being told that games like cops n' robbers(or variations like cowboys n' indians), or war, or any supper-happy-stupid childhood games are bad for them because it 'reinforces negative stereotypes'.

Pretty sure that covers it, I know I'm missing a few like school boards, and such. I don't however blame the kids, but I pity them. Because of all that, they never had a childhood where they could actually go out and enjoy themselves.

Re:wheres the story? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476112)

"Oh, and your parents probably didnt push activity and exercise on you"

Which they shouldn't. It should be a recommended, but optional thing. If you don't want to be healthy, that's your choice. But, if you're going to force people to try to be healthy, well, there's plenty of adults that need "help," too.

Re:wheres the story? (0, Troll)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476204)

Yeah, look at any fat kid and you will notice one constant among them: fat parents. Its not genetics, but overall lifestyle.
I play video games more than ever now and have attained a below-average BMI and am well past what my doctor calls "clinical fitness" since ditching a car and biking to work every day. Singling out any one factor of lifestyle is missing the point; its overall lifestyle composition that matters.

Re:wheres the story? (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476258)

While I agree that overall lifestyle does play a huge part in a lot of peoples weight and physical condition, there's a good chunk of it that simply is genetic. I've seen people who eat incredibly well and do very physical work put on a lot of weight, and there's a good amount of people out there (myself and a lot of my family included) who eat like shit and are thin as a rail. If anything though, lifestyle does tend to make you feel overall better physically, which I've noticed since I started volunteering at a zoo doing a lot of physical work after years as just doing computer tech work.

Wheat and grains (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475804)

Actually, it's all down to heavy consumption of wheat and grains, and starches too, high fructose corn syrup, and the demonization of saturated fat.

Re:Wheat and grains (4, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475854)

Bread and grains have been an enormous component of staple diets for ages. Even today, in a lot of third-world countries, people eat primarily starch. It's only recently that this has contributed to widespread obesity. I'm going to have to say that it's not as simple as people eating grains and other starches.

Maybe part of the problem is demonizing things that are the unpopular food item of the moment. Like saturated fat. Or starch.

Re:Wheat and grains (2, Interesting)

nattt (568106) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475900)

And for vastly longer than "ages", grains were not part of our diet at all. The recently obesity epidemic has coincided with the (incorrect) assumption that eating fat makes you fat, that eating cholesterol is bad etc. What's the life expectancy of a 3rd world grain eater?

Now that wheat consumption is linked to heart disease (whereas we now see saturated fat is not) and how starches and sugars interact with our metabolism through insulin, and low cholesterol is associated with increase cancer risk, you really have to think that the diet of grains needs serious consideration, and the advice to base our diets on grains (advice given by grain producers and their lobbies) and that such recommendations are very suspect.

Re:Wheat and grains (3, Insightful)

ndlxs (230949) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475856)

Actually, it's all down to heavy consumption of wheat and grains, and starches too, high fructose corn syrup, and the demonization of saturated fat.

I have always thought that perhaps federal corn price supports have lead to overproduction of corn, thus artificially cheap high fructose corn syrup, thus artificially cheap sodas/crap foods, thus obesity.

Re:Wheat and grains and MEAT, too! (4, Insightful)

Niophant (1121801) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475926)

I'd throw subsidies for meat production into that ring as well. Subsidizing meat leads to overproduction of meat, which in turn leads to cheap processed low-quality meats, which is what fuels McDonald's and all the other fast food chains out there. I think the real irony is that the government is paying these companies (vicariously) to make us fat with one hand and then dishing out all these bucks to fight obesity on the other hand. If the government would just stop mucking up the system in the first place we would all be a lot healthier mentally and physically!

Stop ALL farming subsidies (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476172)

Capitalism has the answers to that. Let food prices rise, farming subsidies are Evil.

Huh (4, Informative)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475816)

It barely even mentions the playstation. It seems to be more pissed off at soda then anything else.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475820)

Cue angry nerds who miss the point that is is pointing out that kids should eat sensibly and exercise more.

Huge Idiot (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475826)

Anyone who thinks it's not the food we eat here in the U.S. is completely missing what is going on. Carbohydrates are a nearly direct path to building body fat. Nearly everything on store shelves have breads, sugars and starches in them. Many other countries have successful laws and regulation against the types of foods we eat in the U.S. every day. It's as if other nations know and understand about nutrition and the U.S. somehow doesn't. Okay... so that doesn't seem too likely that our experts don't know about it while the rest of the world does. So what could it be?

Re:Huge Idiot (4, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475874)

Corporatism.

Re:Huge Idiot (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476182)

This comment brought to you by Corporatism, a subsidiary of Capitalism.

Re:Huge Idiot (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475884)

So what could it be?

Feel-good, pointless, politics as usual?

Re:Huge Idiot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475918)

What could it be? Industry lobbying to not restrict such foods. I mean, the food pyramid was negotiated with the various affected industries for crying out loud. Follow the money. It's the answer to everything, sadly.

Re:Huge Idiot (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475974)

Wasn't that clever of me? I ask the question and lead the answer but I don't answer it directly? Now I can avoid being a conspiracy theorist. It's interesting that we, the general public can accept that lobbying (which always means donation of money and typically lots of it) results in all sorts of bad legislation and the prevention of good legislation. We accept this much and because it's accepted, it's not "conspiracy." Seriously? How is lobbying and what I consider to be legal bribery NOT conspiracy?

And when unthinkable, unimaginable or horrific things happen, it's "conspiracy theory" and could never possibly be true because we KNOW that while the leaders of other governments and business will do terrible and horrific things, OUR government and the people who run it would never do such things. And anyone who thinks such things are "conspiracy theorist nuts!" Amazing duality of standards.

Re:Huge Idiot (2, Informative)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475992)

Do you know what the leading cause of obesity is?

Eating too much.

Blaming it on the food you eat isn't going to help anyone. You could lose weight eating only bacon, cholesterol notwithstanding, if you limit your intake. The only way to lose weight is to consciously make an effort to eat fewer calories than you burn.

Re:Huge Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476268)

Please, please, PLEASE stop perpetuating the myth that "all calories are created equal" they are not.

An example: which is healthier: 1000 Calories from brown rice or 1000 Calories from Jagermesiter? That might seem absurd to you, but it isn't. Fructose and alcohol place nearly the same stress on the liver. It's just one crosses the blood-brain barrier (and gets ya drunk) while the other doesn't. A high calorie diet with the appropriate amount of dietary fiber is MUCH better than a high calorie diet without. Fiber limits the rate at which calories get metabolized and keeps things moving through your system.

I suggest everyone take 1.5hrs and watch "Sugar: The Bitter Truth"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Re:Huge Idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476020)

Good point. Don't also forget that we have a nutrition in the U.S. that is utterly wedded to food pyramids, almost like a cult. When carbohydrates have been shown to be a huge factor in obesity and type II diabetes, we still have almost every nutritionist in this country talking about servings of bread and other carbs even for diabetics. There are no good carbs. There are PEOPLE who can ingest carbs without significant problems, and PEOPLE who need to really limit the carbs. I completely cured my type II diabetes by following a very low carb diet and my cholesterol and lipids have never been better since I follow a loose interpretation of Atkins.

Re:Huge Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476120)

Carbohydrates are necessary for having glucose in your body. Your brain needs glucose. Maybe this is why you're an idiot claiming you "cured" your type II diabetes. See how cured it is when you drink a 12 pack of Mountain Dew in a day. People that aren't diabetic can do that. You can't. You're still on a diet to maintain your condition. So am I, and I sure as hell don't call that a cure, it's a workaround at best. If you dietitian says all carbs are bad, you need to find a new dietitian.

Re:Huge Idiot (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476068)

Because we are not going to accept the loss of independence created by a government nanny state. Regulating food is not a legitimate government function.

What about the cutting of recess at schools (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475828)

What about the cutting of recess at schools and short lunch times at some of them.

Some schools even have a recess / lunch where you have to eat fast to get some recess time!

also what is point of a 30min lunch when you have to use half of just waiting in line to get / pay for the food?

Re:What about the cutting of recess at schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476220)

What about the cutting of recess at schools and short lunch times at some of them.

Some schools even have a recess / lunch where you have to eat fast to get some recess time!

also what is point of a 30min lunch when you have to use half of just waiting in line to get / pay for the food?

In what strange place do you live? Normal people bring lunch.

nonsense (4, Interesting)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475832)

Does reading books also cause obesity?

America is sugar addicted and everything we eat has corn syrup and corn starch.

Re:nonsense (3, Insightful)

tyroney (645227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475946)

Yup. Being active might make you healthier, but I wish everyone would stop equating exercise with weight loss. I wouldn't focus entirely on corn, (though it's a big stupid problem here in the US,) regardless of content people simply eat too much for the kind of lifestyle we live. (lumberjacks have an excuse. I don't.)

Re:nonsense (1)

thedarkone64 (890959) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476190)

Sorry to pedantic, but this is Slashdot after all.

Corn syrup is not sugar, and many people believe that it is actually worse than sugar [yeah, I know, citation needed]. If this is the case, it is very bad, since thanks to the corn lobby influencing our tariffs, a lot of our products that used to use sugar as a sweetener now use corn syrup as a cheaper alternative.

Your statement should have read "America is corn addicted and everything we eat has corn syrup and corn starch."

Why not create a solution (1)

BionicSniper (947382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475836)

Instead of pointing blame at people why not create a solution. They already have the mechanism in place. Gym during school should not be just some time for kids to play basketball and dodge ball. Make them run, do calisthenics, and other real exercise. Make them run for 20+ minutes and do push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, flutter kicks, etc. If they are too fat to do everything make them do as much as they can. If the have asthma then work them up to running longer distances.

Re:Why not create a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475890)

The gym teachers will need to be careful. The first Asthmatic kid they put in the Hospital will cost the school PLENTY $$$$ in lawsuit settlements!!!

Re:Why not create a solution (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475964)

Make them run for 20+ minutes and do push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, flutter kicks, etc.

Sounds like the military...

2 mile run in less then 15 min..
45 situps in 2 min
45 push ups in 2 min

when do we start the BRM (Basic Rifle Marksmanship)?

These are kids... give them a fucking game to play.
Make gym be an hour and a half.. have them play flag football, basketball, soccer or something that can be FUN.
If they cant hang because of asthma.. have them get a doctors note on what exercise they CAN do.
Perhaps we can even put a swimming pool back in the schools. Swimming is a great exercise, and the kids will love it.

You cant make an asthmatic person a great runner.

Ohh and flutter kicks? Fuck that.

Re:Why not create a solution (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476240)

Want to know something here. I hated GYM! I truly despised GYM, and I always got a C. Except one semester I got an A. In that semester instead of focusing on football, basketball, and so on, we did track and field. I happened to be one of the fastest long distance runners in our class and my grades showed it. Yet did the Gym teach support me and say, "hey you are pretty fast why not do track and field?" No they ignored me because I was a geek. An out of place cog...

I would have preferred a 2 mile run, 45 situps, and 45 pushups over the football games where I did nothing anyways. That's the rub. Those that are not good are moved to the side ignored... I would prefer if they matched the Gym class to what people wanted to do...

Re:Why not create a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476280)

You cant make an asthmatic person a great runner.

Not entirely true. Paul Scholes [wikipedia.org] and David Beckham [wikipedia.org] are both professional athletes and asthmatics. Being midfielders they run pretty much twice the length a forward or defender will run during a game. It's not uncommon to run 9 - 10 miles during a game. Considering the usual Premiership schedule, where it's not at all uncommon to play 3 games a week, and consider that Scholes has around 650 official games played for Man U., probably over 800 games counting non league appearences -- friendles, reserves and pre-season matches -- plus 66 caps for England (plus a boatload more at Schooolboy level, and youth national teams like U-21, etc), he probably has over 1000 games to his tally.

Re:Why not create a solution (1)

BionicSniper (947382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475994)

The reason we have gym in school is to keep the population in good health and shape for the draft.... It should basically be a boot camp

Re:Why not create a solution (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476094)

"The reason we have gym in school is to keep the population in good health"

Well, then, it fails. Miserably. Again, a few hours a week isn't going to change someone with an unhealthy lifestyle. If they don't want to be healthy, that is their own choice.

Re:Why not create a solution (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476086)

"Gym during school should not be just some time for kids to play basketball and dodge ball."

Physical education should always be a choice. A few hours a week isn't going to help someone at all. If they want to be healthy, they'll be health. If they don't, they won't be healthy. Very simple. You can't force choices such as this on people. Mandatory gym classes (and many other classes) are absolutely idiotic to begin with.

Playstation? (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475840)

Is there really a strong correlation between the playstation and obesity?

I see a stronger correlation between the portion/serving sizes.

When parents keep programming their children from young to finish everything on their plate and don't waste, think of the starving in Africa etc, they sure are going to find it difficult to not try to finish a super sized meal/drink.

And the businesses are sure happy to sell larger sizes. You can more easily sell larger portions for higher revenue and profits. Only a few snobs like going to expensive restaurants to get very expensive food in tiny portions.

As for "food preparation time", I eat out very often and thus spend nearly zero food preparation time and I'm not obese. It's just a matter of what you choose to eat and drink.

Here's a tip, cut out the sugar water and fries. Only have them as a treat once in a long while. Do fast food establishments in the USA make it easy and convenient to just order water with their burgers? Or is it more expensive to do so than to order it with sugar water?

Value meal (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475922)

Do fast food establishments in the USA make it easy and convenient to just order water with their burgers? Or is it more expensive to do so than to order it with sugar water?

The "value meal" gimmick at U.S. quick-service "workaurants" is roughly buy a burger and fries and get a free Coke.

Re:Value meal (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476030)

Yeah same here, but can you get free water instead of the free coke?

If you still get the free coke, because of "parent programming" as I mentioned, you'd be tempted to finish it, on behalf of the starving kids in Africa. Even though your drinking it or not has zero effect on whether those kids starve or not (mass starvation is mostly due to bad politicians/leaders).

Of course if people consume and spend more and only die soon after their most productive ages, then overall it is actually better for the country in economic terms.

The young ones cost the country and produce little, so it's a loss if they die. Most only start being a net gain after their 30s. But past 50+ most stop being such a great contributor and start costing again.

So it's good economically if people conveniently died (due to obesity related diseases or smoking or whatever) sometime after the net gain period and before the "cost" age.

Most people will eventually die. Thus if you're obese (but not so obese that you can't be productive) or a smoker, thanks for your sacrifice. :)

Re:Value meal (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476118)

The "value meal" gimmick at U.S. quick-service "workaurants" is roughly buy a burger and fries and get a free Coke.

That Coke costs them roughly a nickle, and maybe a few more pennies if you include transport & the cup.
You'd be hard pressed to find a higher margin item in the food industry than fountain sodas.
It's almost impossible for them to give it away because it already costs them next to nothing.

Re:Playstation? (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476048)

"Is there really a strong correlation between the playstation and obesity?" Based on my anecdotal observation, there is a hight correlation, with fast food, Wal*Mart and Fox News.

Secret formula to fight obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475850)

Exercise more, eat less.

And she left out one thing: (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475852)

What about the fucking PARENTS, Michelle? I'd point at the parents as the single biggest reason for childhood obesity. It's supposed to be their job to make sure their kids remain healthy and active. Instead, a lot of them are just fine grabbing McDonald's and letting the kids stare at the TV for hours on end. It all boils down to people. Politicians just love pointing the finger at everything but people, because people vote. Playstations don't.

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475936)

You didn't bother looking at the graphic or the Let's Move website, did you?

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476000)

Agh, serves me right for hastily posting toward the top. Misleading summary, but the point still stands, and I find it really sad that some sort of campaign for this is necessary. Are parents really so stupid that they don't realize this?

However, I also question the validity of many claims made by the winner. 7.5hrs average daily screentime for kids? How in the hell does that happen? You'd have to sit in front of the TV the moment you get home from school and go to bed past 10PM! And who the hell gives an infant soda? My kid is over 2 and the only soda he's had are little sips of non-caffeinated soft drinks that myself or my wife were having. We do not give him soda at home. He gets juice.

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476070)

7.5hrs average daily screentime for kids? How in the hell does that happen? You'd have to sit in front of the TV the moment you get home from school and go to bed past 10PM!

Don't forget weekends -- two days a week of watching 12 hours of TV can really boost your average.

My kid is over 2 and the only soda he's had are little sips of non-caffeinated soft drinks that myself or my wife were having. We do not give him soda at home. He gets juice.

Note that from an obesity perspective, fruit juice isn't much better than soda. Fruit juice is also full of sugar.

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476290)

I am going to be cynical here...

"He gets juice:" Oh now that's MUCH better... Ever seen the calories in juice?

http://www.hookedonjuice.com/ [hookedonjuice.com]

The proper answer should have been... http://www.volvic.ch/ [volvic.ch]

These volvic drinks have a slight taste of something, but very little calories... Or just plain water.

Re:And she left out one thing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476014)

It is wrong too to condemn this without actually investigating it. Any attempt at gathering information is just that, gathering information.

Re:And she left out one thing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476050)

Politicians just love pointing the finger at everything but people, because people vote. Playstations don't.

So you're basically saying that Washington does what Sonydon't?

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476150)

"What about the fucking PARENTS, Michelle? I'd point at the parents as the single biggest reason for childhood obesity."

Really? I'd point at the kids, since ultimately it is their doing. If they don't want to be healthy, that's their own choice, and no one should try to force them to be healthy unless they want to be. Unless the parents are forcing them to eat or giving them only unhealthy food to eat, as you said in your comment. Or, if you are trying to force people to be healthy, well, there's plenty of adults that need "help," too.

"and letting the kids stare at the TV for hours on end."

Again, this is a choice. If they want to do that, fine.

Re:And she left out one thing: (1)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476214)

Make good food more affordable then, make time to prepare good food a priority. Don't blame the working poor for taking the easy way out in their 2-job-a-day lives to feed their families. I hear this particular justification from better off people all the time who have no idea how most people are getting by today. Next time, look at the checkout chick and ask yourself how they're feeding themselves on minimum wage. Then get off your sanctimonious high horse.

Re:And she left out one thing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476284)

What about the fucking PARENTS, Michelle? I'd point at the parents as the single biggest reason for childhood obesity. It's supposed to be their job to make sure their kids remain healthy and active. Instead, a lot of them are just fine grabbing McDonald's and letting the kids stare at the TV for hours on end. It all boils down to people. Politicians just love pointing the finger at everything but people, because people vote. Playstations don't.

But then we won't have the nanny-state government leading the way.

Remember, Hopenchange knows what's best for you!

Use of 'Chubby Typeface' Applauded by Judges (1)

theodp (442580) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475880)

Other awards were given for Best Design [awesome.good.is] ('We also like how the chubby typeface is evocative of obesity') and Best Information [awesome.good.is] ('Bonus points for the great smaller serving of spaghetti').

Re:Use of 'Chubby Typeface' Applauded by Judges (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476100)

Both of those are about as crappy as it gets. Looks like the graphics on a playschool "computer". Your tax dollars at work!

Re:Use of 'Chubby Typeface' Applauded by Judges (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476174)

You're RIGHT!! The government should employ some top notch graphics artist and buy some new Macs to make sure the graphics are up to your standard. That's where I want MY tax dollars to go. /endsarcasm

Id rather they just had the intern do it, its cheaper.

Re:Use of 'Chubby Typeface' Applauded by Judges (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476134)

This makes me wonder if we could then start referring to overweight people as not fat, but "bold."

Lol? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475898)

Ya, because we all know playstation was the FIRST video game console EVAR RITE?

Oh look more hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475910)

They also forgot to mention the Xbox360, PC's, how about excessive sugared/salty/high fat callorie junk food they fail to properly regulate, oh and maybe all desk office jobs such as politicians sitting their ass's fatned by their corporate lobbyiests while pretending to be working in the name and for benefit of the general people/society.

Meanwhile distractions such as these are what matters in the white house, hell would freeze if they looked at all the "obesity" in wall street, it sure is fatter than ever, yet no one bothers to tax them propperly, its preferable for them to once in a while just drop some pocket change in the public media as a gesture of good will in the name of the children and poverty.

Re:Oh look more hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475976)

You didnt RTFA. They call out inactivity, fast food, and soda.

"Somewhat ironically"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475916)

Only "somewhat"?

Playing video games to reduce the obesity-inducing effects of video-game playing is, to borrow an old quote, like screwing for virginity.

Madam First Lady, what about all those kids who'll grow obese while practicing for this tournament?

That's why... (1)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475932)

... I started eating Wees, which are by far more dietetic than ps's.

Corn Subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475940)

Then we point the finger back at our government for its corn subsidies and sugar import tariff.

It's fairly simple people. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33475950)

No soft drinks, no pre-packaged boxed snack foods (seldom cereal), no chips (well, chips and salsa occasionally). Seldom eat out at fried food joints (maybe once a week). Stick to wheat breads, fruits and vegetables, yogurt, meats, sushi and rice.

Essentially if you cut out all the 'americanized' boxed and packaged foods that are mainstream, as well as soft drinks, your overall feeling of health increases rapidly. Did I also mention coffee and beer/wine are essential? And no, I don't miss ANY of that crap processed and preserved food I've cut out.

If you listen to and feel out your body just a little, and think about the history of mans food consumption, its all pretty clear what the body CAN effectively use for food.

Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (3, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475958)

If pointing a few fat fingers at videogames is the best our fearful leaders can do to address the obesity epidemic, it's already over.

America is laboriously waddling itself into an early grave rife with gout, diabetes, pancreatitis, and countless other chronic ailments that turn the phrase "quality of life" into a cruel joke.

The problems come from every direction: Subconscious feeding instincts that don't translate well to calorie abundance, marketing honed to razor sharpness that capitalizes on these instincts, food designed to do the same, and a general lack of accountability from top to bottom all combine to create a horrifying socioeconomic problem that I don't see us pulling out of.

Nobody cares. About themselves. About what the things they sell others do to those people.

Just give everyone that wants it some meth. Keep the daily doses reasonable and people's brains would take longer to turn to mush from the drugs than their current sedentary lifestyles.

Re:Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (0, Redundant)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476052)

That's because we are going for the real solution to obesity: just get over it. Stop caring about how other people live there lives. The reality is that people choose to be obese and don't care. So what gives you the right to intrude in to their lives and demand them not to be? The real obesity crisis is the laws and regulations that will be employed in an attempt to stop the obesity "crisis".

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476090)

Absolutely correct

Re:Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (1)

Spazed (1013981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476158)

At the very least it makes my insurance go up. If we continue down the path of socialized medicine, then I am forced to pay for their fat related illnesses.

Those are pretty direct ways their being obese harms me. That's without going into the environmental or social impacts of it, which are a bit more indirect but still noticeable.

Re:Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (0)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476222)

At the very least it makes my insurance go up. If we continue down the path of socialized medicine, then I am forced to pay for their fat related illnesses.

You have just discovered one of the problems with socialzed medicine. In a free society, people need to be free to take risks with their body. For example, athletes and construction workers need to take risks while they do their jobs (some sports are more likely to hurt people than others) and construction is and always will be dangerous. In a socialized system, we subsidize all this, but don't keep the profits (the endorsements and buildings). Therefore we suffer.

That's without going into the environmental or social impacts of it, which are a bit more indirect but still noticeable.

The environmental impacts of obesity are a whole different ball game. Do fat people consume more food than normal people, all that much even? Fat people add weight to cars increasing their gas consumption even, if you want to get pedantic. I don't see the social impacts, other than that people dislike fat people.

Re:Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476210)

Where did I demand anyone not be obese?

All I ask is they take personal responsibility for their choices and not expect society to shoulder the cost of diabetes maintenance, gastric bypasses, knee and hip replacements, and the host of other known consequences of obesity.

I appreciate your sympathy, but somewhere along the way we have to recognize enabling for what it is.

Nonsense (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33475982)

If kids spent all day reading books instead of playing games would they get equal blame? In both cases a kid is just sitting there doing nothing.

Two birds with one stone (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476008)

Less obesity and less national debt from underpaid idiots using credit to buy this crap for their kids.

Entertainment did it (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476046)

Blame entertainment for everything! Violence, obesity, and whatever else you can find! Never blame the actual people themselves, and instead conclude that people can't differentiate between what we know as reality and what we know as fiction. If people don't want to do anything but play video games, that's their choice, let them. If they do want to do more, that's their choice, let them. It's their fault, period.

DDR (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476062)

But what about Dance Dance Revolution?

I think this would be less of a problem (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476064)

If we all fingered the Playstation less. Then again, they were the first sex bots. (Posted from the future.)

A side-note to starches.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476078)

First off, starches will make you a lard-ass, young or not as many posters have mentioned. What goes hand-in-hand with this is that as our purchasing power decreases because of economy, lost job, shrinking value of the dollar, whatever, starches are the only affordable choice. You can feed your family for a month on rice and ramen, or have a few meals with meat and/or vegetables. It is almost a forced issue that in order to even survive many have to eat unhealthy amounts of starch.

Video games make people fat. (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476102)

That's why Japan, motherland of modern gaming, and Korea, land of professional gaming and gaming addiction, are the fattest countries in the world!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obesity_country_comparison_-_path.svg [wikipedia.org]

...oh, wait.

Re:Video games make people fat. (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476206)

Wow... the two countries that amaze me on that graph are
1) Canada - I would have figured proximity to US and sharing of many US cultural (McDicks and similar food dishes... + the Quebec extreme calorie cultural dishes ... eg poutine, maple sugar shacks) values would cause Canada to have a obesity rate closer to the US.
2) Mexico - Different language, very different culture, different food from the US... i would have thought their obesity rates to be much lower.

Stop subsidizing corn (1)

Dunderflute (1001355) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476136)

Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc, etc.

Stop subsidizing corn. Instead subsidize wheat and healthy fruits, and vegetables. Make it illegal for advertisers to target young children with food ads, most of which are unhealthy.

"A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup [wikipedia.org]

HFCS has been linked to obesity, liver disease, and one study in 2005 found "measurable amounts" of mercury in 9/20 samples tested within the US.

http://ehjournal.net/content/8/1/2 [ehjournal.net]

If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that it's more economical for some farmers to grow corn even during a surplus because of government subsidies. I don't have a citation for it though.

Question for those who Blame Lifestyle (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476138)

I am a late teenaged person, I eat only fast and junk food, don't exercise, and drink at least 3 cans of regular soda a day. I am underweight, and have several friends with similar operating scenarios. Please explain.

Re:Question for those who Blame Lifestyle (2, Insightful)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476260)

Give it a few years... add beer and a lowered metabolism and you're set ;)

Mixed message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33476142)

"Somewhat ironically, the First Lady's other anti-childhood obesity efforts include a $60,000 video game contest."

According to her isn't that like promoting healthy eating by having a pie eating contest?

Irony (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476148)

Somewhat ironically, the First Lady's other anti-childhood obesity efforts include a $60,000 video game contest."

Can anything really be ironic when the government is involved?

Sorry Sony (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476164)

I just can't risk becoming obese from now on only Xbox for me.

Marketing (1)

Spewns (1599743) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476202)

The main target in marketing and advertisements of fast food is children. Happy Meals, toys, clowns, cartoons, McDonald's PlayPlace, etc. - the list goes on.

Marlboro can't market their harmful product to children anymore with Joe Camel, so why should McDonald's and others be able to?

Google: "C is for Lettuce" lyrics (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 4 years ago | (#33476264)

(I'd post the lyrics themselves, but Tim Crist, a.k.a. "Worm Quartet" packs a lot of lyrics into one song.)

On top of everything he sings/raps/screams about, another cause comes to mind and it's the parents' own damn fault for this, because they won't stop thinking about the childhood injuries. To prevent boo-boos at school, athletics programs get pared down to sub-Special-Olympics levels. Playgrounds get dismantled because someone could get hurt on them. Public ball fields and open spaces are either infested with drug dealers or more profitably developed into McMansions.

If the thought of sending children out into that cold, cruel world to get some exercise makes you at all pale, clammy, or weak-kneed, then congratulations, you may be part of the problem. If you've ever voiced those concerns and made other parents afraid, then damnit you are the problem.

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