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  1. FrankG
    Just nitpicking but Heroin/Morphine is a very useful painkilling medication when used appropriately.

    Why is it assumed that taxation is the only recourse here? Currently the price of sugar (notably HFCS) is artificially maintained lower than its true market cost by massive subsidies. The only beneficiaries that I see out of this arrangement are the food and beverage manufacturers who (by packing our food with cheap, refined calories) gain massive profits at the sake of both the tax-payers and the nation's health... oh and let's not forget the government representatives who reap the financial rewards of supporting this policy.

    Remove those subsidies, set things back to a level playing field and as Dr Feinman suggests above, let's have honest, open, evidence-based and unbiased debate on the subject. Then we can truly have a freedom of personal choice.

    I guess for me the government intervention required to put things back to a level playing field -- i.e. fair market price... same for everyone -- is quite a different approach than coercion using regulations and taxation.

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  1. Isobel Riel
    Metabolic syndrome is healthier than fascism.

    I will applaud any truly voluntary solutions, and wholly reject and oppose any which resort to violence, i.e., "the gun of the law".

  2. Confused
    Hi Isobel

    "Metabolic syndrome is healthier than fascism"

    Every state in the USA has strict rules against driving while intoxicated, serving alcohol to minors, stating how much alcohol can be served to patrons, and limiting the hours bars can be open.

    I notice America has lived with these common-sense rules for generations now without descending into the Mussolini zone.

    Please explain to me why removing soft-drink vending machines from schools or limiting portion sizes back to 20 oz. will suddenly be the tipping point for totalitarianism. Please link to any good public health studies showing a negative benefit ratio for preventing this.

    For some reason I just can't fathom, my liberty doesn't feel the least bit constrained by an inability to sell Scotch to school children. But it seems you clearly have an understanding that limiting my freedom to sell whiskey to Girl Scouts - and the government's refusal to let them buy it - is deeply harmful.

    Are there benefits to high-proof hooch for little girls we don't know about? Please offer me a quality study on this one, too.

    Thanks!

  3. Stacy in USA
    I think, Confused, what you might not get is the mistrust many on the right and those of us who are Libertarians feel for the institutions and bureaucracies that want to regulate our choices. This mistrust is rational considering how poorly many of them have performed in the past. Our food regulating agencies are only one example. We could also discuss a plethora of other public services in the US that are currently in shambles - public education being a nice example.

    While I would never equate regulating sugar with fascism, I will fight within our democracy to prevent allowing agencies the capacity to further regulate when they've illustrated just how corrupt and incompetent they are as they are currently structured. I will support anyone and anything that uses private funds to educate the individual about nutrition.

    You might consider having a bit more trust in the average American rather than assuming they're children not capable of making rational and informed decisions. Once given the information, many will willingly give up their soda and chips making those regulations utterly useless.

    Why is the first response on the left always authoritarian?

    Our first goal should be eliminating the subsidies on sugar production, not attempting to control the behavior of our fellow citizens using government as our enforcer.

  4. Isobel Riel
    Instead of stealing money to give it to the sugar industry and then stealing more of it to tell us sugar is bad "but everything is good in moderation", I would prefer they not steal in the first place.

    The only "regulation" necessary is to insist that sugar and heroin both be pure, and properly labeled.

  5. Mike
    "The only "regulation" necessary is to insist that sugar and heroin both be pure, and properly labeled."

    Goodness. Now descent into total lunacy. The blog comments have evidently been taken over by extremist political eccentrics. Now society can't even protect its members (inclusing minors) against dangerous drugs.

    And, no, members of society are not atomized units that don't interact and that may be considered as if they were separate, having no effect on each other, and in terms of a greatly simplistic notion, descending from 18th century enlightenment liberalism, of "harm" (understood in an impossibly limited and unrealistic sense).

    And if its the drug addicts' "personal choice" to take dangerous drugs -- regardless of what it does to his driving ability, propensity to commit crime, or anything else -- then it would also logically follow that he should be denied medical care when the inevitable consequences of his actions follow, since how is the trouble and expense he puts everyone else to everyone else's responsibility?

    It's interesting that this peculiar and extreme ideology of personal choice without responsibility thrives exceptionally in America and is rare elsewhere.

  6. Stacy in USA
    LOL

    "It's interesting that this peculiar and extreme ideology of personal choice without responsibility thrives exceptionally in America and is rare elsewhere."

    It's interesting that some folks think this is a negative. As if it's a bug, not a feature.

    The good news is whatever limiting laws or regulations some try to impose will need to be democratically passed. Good luck with that.

  7. Confused
    It seems as if the vegans have finally given up trolling this blog - when will the libertarians do likewise? Free the Animal is where you want to be, folks, not here in LCHF land.

    Paleo will never become a mainstream movement while you guys run around arguing we have to give pure heroin to kids. All the while arguing how "rational" you are!

    But this is Andreas' problem - he's hopped on the Paleo bandwagon and these right-wing extremists are the core believers there.

  8. Stacy in USA
    "Paleo will never become a mainstream movement while you guys run around arguing we have to give pure heroin to kids. All the while arguing how "rational" you are!"

    Wow, talk about conflating arguments. You might want to re-read. You seem to be confusing different commenters and different arguments.

    I'm not a Paleo; I'm LCHF and also Libertarian. I didn't suggest NOT regulating heroin, but I did suggest we have a rational basis to be suspicious of regulation.

    Also, it's pretty presumptuous of you to attempt to police who can and cannot comment or visit this sight. Again, why so authoritarian and also angry?

  9. FrankG
    Once again I find myself saying that our respective governments are supposed to be our representatives.

    Now I fully accept that it in many countries that seems NOT to be the case... in the USA and UK for example I see major policies being drafted and driven by rich and powerful, self-interested, lobby groups BUT does that mean we accept this as fait accompli and work on the assumption that government will never represent our needs over big companies and a select group of powerful, rich families?

    That seem like a a defeatist attitude to me.

  10. I will explain why "removing soft-drink vending machines from schools or limiting portion sizes back to 20 oz. will suddenly be the tipping point for totalitarianism."

    Removing the hyperbole, it will be the tipping point for regulation without adequate science as in the low-fat fiasco which is still going on. The government (via their academic and medical advisors make it hard to even buy full-fat foods, never mind not know which science is accurate).

    I know more science than Hizzona' Mayor Bloomberg but he can with barefaced power, sweep me from his sight.

    To make my point, I offer the logic problem that I have posted elsewhere. I will reveal answer in a couple of days but I am tabulating results. It is a classic logic problem (it is not a problem in diagnosis).

    Linda is overweight and has consistently had difficulty losing any amount of weight, despite having "tried everything." Which is most probable?

    A. She is on a high carbohydrate diet.
    B. She is on a high carbohydrate diet with high amounts of refined sugar and starch.

    1. Please send answer directly to me: feinman@mac.com so others are not influenced.
    2. Please do not share with other bloggers or social media.

  11. murray
    Sugar is very different than heroin; the analogy is silly. Heroin is unhealthy at any dose typical of use. Obviously one can consume a fair amount of sugar, especially if physically active, without ill effects and arguably with beneficial effect at lower does. The regulatory difficulty is that it is beneficial at lower doses and the threshold for ill effect varies per person. How can sugar be taxed fairly, without overtaxing low users and under-taxing excessive users?
  12. This is a replay of low-fat. Will we hear all sides in a real scientific debate or will it be decided by the Ancel Keys (Lustig) and the Senator McGoverns (Bloomberg)?
  13. FrankG
    Just nitpicking but Heroin/Morphine is a very useful painkilling medication when used appropriately.

    Why is it assumed that taxation is the only recourse here? Currently the price of sugar (notably HFCS) is artificially maintained lower than its true market cost by massive subsidies. The only beneficiaries that I see out of this arrangement are the food and beverage manufacturers who (by packing our food with cheap, refined calories) gain massive profits at the sake of both the tax-payers and the nation's health... oh and let's not forget the government representatives who reap the financial rewards of supporting this policy.

    Remove those subsidies, set things back to a level playing field and as Dr Feinman suggests above, let's have honest, open, evidence-based and unbiased debate on the subject. Then we can truly have a freedom of personal choice.

    I guess for me the government intervention required to put things back to a level playing field -- i.e. fair market price... same for everyone -- is quite a different approach than coercion using regulations and taxation.

  14. FrankG
    BTW from what I understand the corn farmers (for example) also do not benefit from the subsidies... they simply allow them little more than to break even. This same money could be used (if necessary) to support them in growing some real whole food, to support their local economy for a change.. like they used to.

    Another vital step, as I see it, which also involves government intervention is the divorcing of that government from lobby groups. Surely we all disagree with the current arrangement which (so far as I can see) gives money more of a say in public-policy than it does the voting public? Again not a taxation. not a regulation but a fair and level playing field... sounds, to me, an awful lot like the same sentiments expressed by "[insisting] that sugar and heroin both be pure, and properly labeled".

  15. The problem with government regulation is that we can't trust them to do the right thing. Most of them are idiots and the rest make rules according to how much money they're going to get to do so. The idea here is backwards, which is where it fails. You can't make crap healthier for you by simply making the portion size smaller. It's still crap. Just because you reduce sodium, fat, calories, or whatever, it's still crap and nothing can change that. What we eat either moves us toward health or toward disease. That should be the starting point.
  16. FrankG
    You don't trust your government to do the right thing? So what are you doing about it, other than moaning and complaining on-line?

    If they don't represent you then let them know and if they fail to act then vote them out of office... that would be a start.

    We are not powerless onlookers in this disaster but so long as you continue talking as if you are, then you may as well just let this faceless "them" do whatever they feel like

  17. Totally agree with FrankG (although friends keep trying to keep my curmudgeonly style under control). I think that diabetes is the point of attack because the science is clear. There is a diabetes caucus and there is a senate bill to create a commission on diabetes. See, e.g. http://diabeticsurvivalkit.com/2012/07/30/new-government-commission-c...

    Meet with your elected officials. They or at least their aides will meet with you; it's their job. Be brief and polite and ask for representation on the commission of people who understand low carb in diabetes. One suggested to me that i send him a short check list to use if the issue came up (he meant if more people contact him and his colleagues). Possibly helpful is the 15 theses as in my blog post http://wp.me/p16vK0-c3.

    You will likely find that, as I have, that your representatives are serious, intelligent and interested in what you have to say. It is only that there are many other influences that accounts for the crap that they actually turn out. But we can make a change. It has to be a serious grassroots movement. As FrankG says, moaning and complaining on-line, is an alternative but less likely to change things.

  18. Olivia
    @Confused & Mike. So how many people have you stopped yourself from murdering or raping or burglarizing because you stopped, snapped your fingers and said "darn! It's illegal." Are you complete sociopaths unable to engage with society without some assurance of state paternalism to restrict your free access?
    If my kid gets on heroin -- it's MY fault. Not yours, not the school's, not society's. MINE. The full weight of that responsibility weighs on my shoulders now in all the decisions I make including how I engage in society. Abdicating the responsibility of my health, well-being, and happiness to someone else, such as the government, is a guarantee of failure -- as I experienced continually for the first 18 years of my life and continue to witness. Some people are so terrified of responsibility that you can't pay them to do it...
    Meanwhile, stay tuned for the latest for-your-own-good tax that bankrupts all the alternative consumer choices while leaving the one big bad company it's designed to "punish". Big government loves big business. The Rolodex of people to have blackmail material on or backscratch-favor trades with is more manageable.
  19. murray
    FrankG, I entirely agree that sugar subsidies and regulatory advantages should be eliminated. Taxation is not the only issue.

    I acknowledge heroin has uses as a drug for acute conditions. So does chemotherapy. Neither are nutrients, whereas sugar is a nutrient--the glucose is metabolized directly for energy. Perhaps alcohol would be a better analogy to sugar than heroin. We do not permit our kids to drink either alcohol or soda pop. They can decide for themselves once they are adults. We don't ever drink soda pop as adults but we do have a small glass of wine with dinner. We tell our kids the difference is that their brains are still growing so it is prudent for them to avoid alcohol for now. The soda is imprudent at any age in our view.

  20. Miriam
    I have to agree with Dr. Mark, and also ask the question: what qualifies someone like a mayor to make health decisions for me? That's at the heart of this problem. It's not heroin or sugar, it's whether a pencil-pushing beaurocrat should be making off-hand, across the board decisions for the entire population. And while he or she might be taking the advice of a "professional," most of us are reading this particular blog because we disagree with many "professionals" about all kinds of things diet related. You like the sugar/soda ban because you agree that sugar is harmful. What about next year, when Mayor Bloomburg bans red meat? Butter? How about the coconut oil regulations, when we now realize how healthy coconut oil is? The problem is that once you start making the bans on things we "can all agree on," like soda, it eventually HAS to move into things we don't agree on, like coconut oil, because there are always proponents of one side of a health issue or other who are particularly influential, noisy or even threatening.

    And although it may have been Mayor Bloomberg who was the mover and shaker in the New York soda ban, it is normally NOT freely elected officials who make these regulations. It is an army of un-elected, lifetime beaurocrats living off our money who usually make them, and the result is rarely a "ban" but instead a tax, which usually means money in the pockets of the ones making these decisions. There are exceptions, but we cannot sort through every official to find them, and the general rule is that no one who is making money off whether a decision goes one way or another can be trusted to make it. Not only that, but there is then a temptation to tax things that have much less evidence against them, just for the extra cash.

    And here we also run into a problem that socialized medicine causes: the fact that the public is picking up the tab for everyone's health care means that even honest beaurocrates feel forced to make at least some of these decisions. And with all the controversy and all the disagreement among doctors, nutritionists and scientists, they aren't in any position to make them. The only way to solve this problem is personal responsibility–which is the other side of the coin of freedom and is usually conveniently forgotten by liberals and conservatives alike. Personal responsiblity means that I am the one responsible for my own health care, and my own health choices. No one is allowed to make decisions about what I eat–but no one is picking up the tab for my poor choices, either.

  21. Isn't the science first? Sugar is called a toxin, compared to cigarettes, etc. But nobody, including Rob Lustig has been able to tell me one disease (not counting well defined inborn errors of metabolism, fructose intolerance, etc.) that is clearly linked to fructose or sucrose. Not a risk factor, not high triglycerides (which correlates better with total carbohydrate). A disease. Something with the strength of evidence even slightly comparable to cigarettes. If this went to court, if this were a toxic tort case, you would have to show harm. Actual disease. You have to have epidemiology but first you have to have harm. If Sam Waterston ever got Lustig on the stand, he'd tear him to shreds.

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