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Author: SloanT Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 756381  
Subject: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/12/2002 10:29 PM
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Check out the link:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&u=/nm/20020312/sc_nm/health_obesity_costs_dc_1

Some interesting snippets:

The study found that obesity -- linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers -- raises a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.
(while smoking was 21 and 28, respectively)

and:

Obesity rates in the United States nearly doubled in the 1990s -- from around 12 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1998, when the study was conducted. In comparison, daily smokers made up 19 percent of the population and 6 percent were classified as heavy drinkers.

The recent Surgeon General's report said 27 percent of Americans are obese, and 61 percent are overweight.

People with a body mass index -- a measure of weight in relation to height -- of more than 30 are considered to be obese. For example, somebody who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds or more.


I wonder what the definition for overwieght is as I find it hard to believe that 61% of the population is overweight. I suppose I probably fall in that category. After all, I gained 40 pounds in college... :)

Finally, what RE's will care about:

In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase.

Further support for the argument that those who use more healthcare services should pay for it? Perhaps that would serve as a deterrent, much like a sin tax?

st
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Author: tymmo Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63513 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 1:13 AM
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So maybe we can start charging healthcare insurance by the pound?

tim


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Author: otterrivervalley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63516 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 2:15 AM
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on the subject of taxes, out here in Washington, heard the other day there is talk of taxing "expresso" (something like 10 cents/cup) to help replace a shortfall of funds that were used to support day care centers.

got to like our governments, they invest in tobacco companies at the same time they are sueing same tobacco companies for health care costs to treat "victims" of tobacco products.

now I hear this one where they are going to tax coffee to help out day care centers.

next week, lets see, maybe it will be twinkies and fast food resturants to fight obesity (or at least that is what some special interest groups are advocating needs to be done).

can see it, some one in our government is responsible to keep a list of what services or products are already being taxed to pay for some services, and their job when called upon is to find the next "product" for generating income for the government. Think we used to be called nickeled and dimed to death. Sounds like we may have to change the phrase to "dime and qtred to death".

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Author: ChocoKitty Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63527 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 8:26 AM
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Oh puleeeeze. If the government really cared about public health, they'd tax large corporations more and use those taxes for treating stress-related illnesses. (tongue in cheek)

CK

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Author: Savagegrace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63534 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 10:21 AM
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In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase.

May I assume this means an average increase for everybody in the pool? Waaaay low I believe.

I have two relatives who are seriously overweight and have MAJOR health problems as a result. There is no doubt in my mind, combined, they have easily exceeded $100k in health care costs, and it's not over yet.

We, as a society, are evolving. Think about the woman that just got convicted yesterday for murdering her kids. A few years back it would have been sympathy and a free ride. Decades before, if she had kept her mouth shut, a few indigents and blacks would have been picked up and a confession would have been coerced. After all, blame must be put on someone for such a heinous crime. Back then, the majority would never have thought that a mother would do something like that! Easier to think some miscreant did the deed than a mother.

The stage was set when the tobacco companies became responsible for the payment of smokers health. That got the snowball rolling. When do you think it will stop? It won't.

Society is now coming to terms with individual responsibility. Teenagers use to have a free Get Out of Jail card, if they got drunk and killed a pedestrian. After all, they're just kids.

We put kids away for life now.

Equality is a tribal mindset.

Everybody should pay the same for health care.....right? Don't count on it for much longer. Expect extremely high premiums and top end limits for smokers and people overweight.

In the near future expect more stupid taxes on items that cause such. Until of course, GQ Public realizes where the real problem lies.

If you take an honest look at society and where it's heading, you'll see there are no more, Free Rides.

Your Humble Servant,
Gracefully Savage







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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63538 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 10:58 AM
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<<on the subject of taxes, out here in Washington, heard the other day there is talk of taxing "expresso" (something like 10 cents/cup) to help replace a shortfall of funds that were used to support day care centers.

got to like our governments, they invest in tobacco companies at the same time they are sueing same tobacco companies for health care costs to treat "victims" of tobacco products.

now I hear this one where they are going to tax coffee to help out day care centers.

next week, lets see, maybe it will be twinkies and fast food resturants to fight obesity (or at least that is what some special interest groups are advocating needs to be done).
>>


Thus is the American moral impulse accomodated in new "sin taxes," although surely Democrats wouldn't call them that?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: otterrivervalley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63539 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 11:01 AM
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SavageGrace, well said. But the thing I see happening more and more, is the penalty is applied to ALL of us as a nation. In other words, we all end up paying for others problems.

Until that ends, the government is going to continue to pit one group against another, or as they say it, the haves versus the have nots. And with the trend heading slowly towards the haves SHOULD contribute to the well being of the have nots (instead of on a voluntary basis), afraid there maybe a trend towards why should I bust my but to pay for someone elses problems thru forced taxation. (I know a few people who could earn more but have decided the extra effort isn't worth it because of how much of a tax bite they face for every extra dollar earned plus loss of the tax credits if they earn "too much") And I know a few who say why work, the government is paying me just fine for doing nothing...

what ever happened to the revulsion of "taxation without representation"?

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Author: Savagegrace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63541 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 11:52 AM
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In other words, we all end up paying for others problems.....what ever happened to the revulsion of "taxation without representation"? OtterRiverValley

The learning curve of the Tribal Mind is a pendulum swing. It always swings to excess then comes back, knocking off a few heads in the process.

If you take a look at a number of European cuntries you'll see they got stuck at the level you're talking about. The workers paying for everything and everyone (how would you like to pay for an addics drugs?). I worked with some Dane's a couple of decades ago. Something like 70%+ of their pay went to taxes. Oh yeah, that's some free health care!

If these states individuals do not take their government back, we'll be in the same boat.

So far I have a dentist and gerontologist (both in training) setup for the RE Foundation. I've also braced a constitutional lawyer. Why? Because if the people do not take back control of the government, in 3 to 4 decades the RE Environs will need to succeed from this Union.


Savagegrace


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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63557 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 6:39 PM
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How about we try freedom personal responsibility for a change?

Rather than FORCING people to pay for each other's health care, thereby pitting the thin against the heavy (or smokers vs non-smokers, etc), lets get the government out of the "wealth redistribution business" (which is, essentially, what government health care is) and let people pay for as much or as little health care as they want. Then we can allow adult CITIZENS of a FREE COUNTRY to choose to eat what they want without worrying about government agents spying on them.

Bottom line: The problem isn't health care or obesity or smoking or drinking, the problem is too much government.

jb



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Author: otterrivervalley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63560 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 7:05 PM
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Bottom line: The problem isn't health care or obesity or smoking or drinking, the problem is too much government.

so true and there is no end in sight. As long as there are special interest groups around, there will be politicians lining up for their votes. As long as there are others willing to contribute either for "protection" from government policies or to influence policies, we will have politicians willing to "work" with their constiuents.

bottom line, we need term limits to break this cycle...



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Author: davidausa Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63563 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 8:24 PM
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Rather than FORCING people to pay for each other's health care, thereby pitting the thin against the heavy (or smokers vs non-smokers, etc), lets get the government out of the "wealth redistribution business" (which is, essentially, what government health care is) and let people pay for as much or as little health care as they want.

Lest anyone think your proposition makes sense, here are a few problems with it:

1. Health insurance didn't develop because people were forced to take it, it developed because people realized they needed it and CHOSE to buy it (or work for companies that provided it).

2. The government isn't the main force that pits those with healthier behaviors against those with unhealthy behaviors, the main force is Adam Smith's invisible hand: in a FREE market, health insurance costs more for those who choose unhealthy behavior. (Government intervention often prevents insurance companies from charging what they should to, for example, people stupid enough to remain addicted to tobacco).

3. As a society, we must either accept the inevitable consequences of large portions of our population not being able to afford health care when they need it, or we must find a way to pay for it. There's no alternative in a free country (although there is an alternative for a controlled economy: rationing of care or quality).

4. It's silly to pretend that most of 5% of people in any given year who consume more than 50% of health care resources could afford to pay for this health care out of their pockets. It's equally silly to assume that people could afford health insurance unless a large proportion of the population is required in some way to participate.

I could go on, but I think the above makes the point.

--David

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Author: nas90skog Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63565 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 9:08 PM
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I am a firm believer in personal responsibility, but I grow a bit uneasy when we talk about segregating out those who don't meet a specific set of criteria.

For those of you who believe that this is warranted, may we assume that you also boycott products and services that are created and produced by these same people that you want to penalize for lifestyle choices that you don't agree with. Since you wish not to share some of the burden of human frailty and imperfection, I think its only right that you would also eschew the benefits that these same people bring to us.

If we really want to cure the weight problem, we should tax the living daylights out McDonald's so they can't create commercials like their latest. The one where a parent is holding a darling little infant and the background voice says "First step, First word, First French Fry!". Its no wonder this country has a weight problem with sinister minds like that polluting the airwaves.

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Author: JLC Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63566 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/13/2002 9:50 PM
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<<<I wonder what the definition for overwieght is as I find it hard to believe that 61% of the population is overweight. I suppose I probably fall in that category. After all, I gained 40 pounds in college... :)>>>

By the BMI (Body Mass Index) method, overweight is considered a BMI>25, obese is BMI>30 and morbidly obese BMI>40. Conversely, underweight is a BMI<15. To calculate BMI, take your weight in kilograms (or pounds divided by 2.2) and divide by your height in meters squared (or height in inches x 0.0254). My own personal example 6'2" and 195#. (195/2.2)=88.63.......(74*0.0254)*(74*0.0254)=3.53......88.63/3.53=25.1.
Therefore, by BMI, I'm overweight by about 3 pounds. Personally I disagree with this because I have a low percentage body fat, around 10%. Not body builder lean but lean. The BMI tends to misrepresent the outliers in the population, think of just about any NBA, NFL, or NHL player. But it is a reasonable judgement.

61% of the population as overweight, easy to believe. Since reading that article about 2 months ago, I've kept an unofficial tally of patients I see, and that's about right.

JLC


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Author: otterrivervalley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63574 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/14/2002 8:36 AM
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ugh, not sure I like where some of the discussions on this subject are going. If I am reading some of the latest replies correctly, I get the sense that some think what happens as a result of what WE as individuals chose to do is the fault of others?

For instance, tax McD's so they can't run ads? WHY? Who said kids need to eat at McD's? So McD's target children? Parents have the responsibility for their childrens well being don't they?

and what happened to the word NO from parents? Our kids get to watch a few of their favorite cartoons and we often get pestered to buy this or that. We find it very easy to say no, and we don't hestitate to tell them its garbage or junk food, we don't hestitate to tell them its a waste of their money, we don't hesitate to tell them its not good for them. And they are 4 & 6.

and telling them NO works.

in closing, just getting tired of the "blame others for our own weaknesses", tired of the "the government needs to regulate", tired of the "the government needs to take care of those who made poor choices by transferring wealth from those who didn't make poor choices, who chose to make it on their own, who took responsibility for themselves". And am I sorry for my attitude, NO. Maybe if we stopped making it easy for people to get help, just maybe, more would take responsibility for themselves.

That said, I also realize this attitude doesn't apply to all situations as there are numerous examples of where hardworking people fall on hard times due to no fault of their own. But they are the exception.

In my opinion, somehow we need to get into the school system and prepare kids for life. Somehow we need to get kids to understand that they are responsible for what happens to themselves, that they have to learn to accept the consequences of their own actions and that its not acceptable to blame others for influencing them to make the wrong decisions. And its time for parents to teach/reinforce to their kids to make smart decisions, to think for themselves. Then if they choose to eat at McD's then its their fault if they become overweight. But we don't need the government thinking for us/regulating what we are allowed to hear.....

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Author: nas90skog Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63592 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/14/2002 2:21 PM
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For instance, tax McD's so they can't run ads? WHY? Who said kids need to eat at McD's? So McD's target children? Parents have the responsibility for their childrens well being don't they?

And they are 4 & 6.

I was being facetious about taxing McD's while at the same time trying to point out that they have very little in the way of social conscience.

Please enjoy this blissful time with your kids. Soon they will be leaving the nest and you will be smack dab between them and the literally thousands of messages they get every day encouraging them to make choices that are frequently at odds with a parent's view point. Were it so simple as you make it sound.



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Author: jtr56 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63632 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/14/2002 11:27 PM
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I get the sense that some think what happens as a result of what WE as individuals chose to do is the fault of others?

Dontcha know that most peopil are iggerant and cent even spel?

Great post!!

Your humble savant {;)
jtr

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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63714 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/16/2002 12:21 AM
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"The one where a parent is holding a darling little infant and the background voice says "First step, First word, First French Fry!". Its no wonder this country has a weight problem with sinister minds like that polluting the airwaves."

Personally I think we are too concerned how other people look, about other people's problems and should keep our nose out of other people's business. My wife and I own McDonald's stock. I like Big Mac's. I am overweight, and it's nobody's d@mn business what I eat. We are all going to die; you can bet on it. A guy I knew, J*hn Ch*k*, at the Vet School was really into that diet where if you reduce your calorie intake by 30% and stay skinny you will live 50% longer than anyone else. I got a call a couple of weeks ago telling me that he had died of cancer at the ripe old age of 42. He suffered by not eating, in fact he had a pet python, that he also starved, said it would live longer. I wonder if his pet snake is still alive. A good friend of my wife's was always so proud that she could fit into the same dress that she wore when she was in high school. She had only been retired about eight months and she stepped off the curb and was hit by a car in Dallas, TX. My father was thin as a rail and he died two months after her retired at age 65. Another friend of mine's father retired at age 62, thin as a rail, and he died of a heart attack 8 months after he retired. We are all going to die. You can bet on it. So what? I read that almost everybody has serious health problems if they live past the age of 80. Doctor's need to quit using heroic means to keep people alive when they know they are going to die. I read that 30% of health care budget is spent on the last three months of life. 100 years from now what is it going to matter? "A vegetarian might live to be 100 but it will seem like 200." (<- Winston Churchill). - Art

http://www.survivalscience.org/

http://www.victorzammit.com/book/index.html

http://www.survivalscience.org/schwartz/frame1.htm



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Author: mazske Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63728 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/16/2002 10:19 AM
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Ah, Art. You and I will always differ on this.

Yeah, we must enjoy living today. Kind of like saving our money to RE, but at the same time spending enough to enjoy today. I'm not a vegetarian and I'm not a health nut. That being said, I try to take care of myself and I eat fairly well. Swimming has done wonders for me both physically and mentally. Yeah, I may get hit by a truck tomorrow as I'm driving down the road. Or, when I retire at 50, I may die at 52 of a heart attack. I can't predict the future. All I know is that I should do my best to keep my weight down and to take care of myself. If nothing else, I won't get as winded as easy when I'm 150 pounds as I would if I was 225 pounds. If my knees get worse as I get older, I would suspect that my knees would appreciate supporting 150 pounds versus supporting 225 pounds.

In a previous post you told about all of your physical ailments. I'm not saying that you can become perfectly healthy, but I'd bet that you could improve the way you feel.

If nothing else, picture something happens and you are required to use a wheelchair and your wife has to push you. Would she rather push your current weight or would she be better of pushing a little bit less. Same deal if you have a minor heart attack and the rescue squad has to carry you out of the house. I've seen overweight people on stretchers get dropped because the rescue folks couldn't carry them. I've seen rescue workers hurt their backs because of carrying large people.

I understand where you are coming from. My one grandmother is probably 100 pounds overweight, but at age 80 she is mentally sharp, but she forever complains about her knees, back etc.

However, my grandfather is pushing 90 and he use to be 6'1" or so, now he's much shorter, and he probably weighs 130 pounds soaking wet.

One is underweight and one is overweight. My grandmother will go to a buffet and take two plates and still go back for more. My grandfather eats much less.

Every person is different. All I can say about my grandmother is that if she could have prevented herself years ago from getting so overweight, I'd bet she would get around better now. She has a tough time walking due to her weight and her bad knees, ankles, hips etc.

Just my 2 cents, whatever that may be worth.

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63733 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/16/2002 11:24 AM
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nas90skog wrote:
Please enjoy this blissful time with your kids. Soon they will be leaving the nest and you will be smack dab between them and the literally thousands of messages they get every day encouraging them to make choices that are frequently at odds with a parent's view point. Were it so simple as you make it sound.


I find that raising children is a lot easier with the TV unplugged in the closet.

Vickifool

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Author: nas90skog Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63746 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/16/2002 2:29 PM
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I find that raising children is a lot easier with the TV unplugged in the closet.

I wouldn't disagree with that, but to my way of thinking, it only delays the inevitable. There are very few places one can go these days without being bombarded. If we hide the TV's, turn off the internet and hide them in the basement, we can limit their exposure. If they are going to function and exist in current day society, my experience tells me its a bit more difficult.

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Author: nas90skog Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63748 of 756381
Subject: Re: OT: "Twinkie Tax"? Date: 3/16/2002 2:49 PM
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Personally I think we are too concerned how other people look, about other people's problems and should keep our nose out of other people's business. My wife and I own McDonald's stock. I like Big Mac's. I am overweight, and it's nobody's d@mn business what I eat. We are all going to die; you can bet on it.

Hey Art, I don't disagree with you on this point. Of course we get carried away with it and there are certain, anecdotal incidents that illustrate how fate may deal us cruel twists. However, science shows us that on the whole, there are things we can do to influence the quality and longevity of our lives. Whether one chooses to participate is an individual decision. I just think that McD's would be far happier if no one was interested in their own health.

As long as we are relating anecdotes, I am reminded of Frank Layden, ex NBA coach of the Utah Jazz was it? He had a wonderful sense of humor and weighed well over 300+. When people pried about his weight, he simply replied, "Hey pal, when I die I want to be sick!" A few years later he went on an aggressive weight loss campaign. When asked why, he related how when he was in his early-mid 50's, a couple of close acquaintances who were concerned for his health asked him how many 300# people he knew who were older than 60. When he couldn't find any, he decided to get on the stick.

Its a personal choice.

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