Flaw in the argument
Surely I should be paid more to keep me in good shape?
(round is a shape, right? And pizza is expensive!)
Steven 'Cuddly' R
Being a fat teenager is not pleasant. Your school chums will bully you, adults and kids will fat-shame you and you’ll live in a perpetual nightmare of sweaty guilt and impotent rage, punctuated by periodic beatings and ritual humiliation. And to make things even worse, you’ll earn less than everyone else when you grow up. …
Pizza is expensive my a***.
Try having two healthy, no-fat-anywhere - only muscle, borderline hyperactive kids which are not interested in chocolate, live on fruit, vegetables and steak and do 3-4 sports each (f.e. my older one does basketball, fencing and waterpolo). If you live in the UK or norhtern Europe, you will cringe every time you pay the bill at the shopping till in a supermarket. You will also want to take Jamie (the celebrity healthy eating cook) and bash his head into the table every time you see him or every time you see your credit card bill.
There is a vicious feedback look here at work:
1. Junk food is relatively cheap per amount of calories it provides. A healthy shopping bill is 4-6 times higher than junk food (at least in the UK).
2. Obesity goes hand to hand with stress and depression. You do not expect depressed people to climb up the ladder and try to get a better salary. They are usually too depressed for that.
3. As you go more depressed and do the KungFu Panda routine of "I eat when I am upset", you go more obese, get less money and so on. More junk food, more depression, less money, more junk food.
So unless you can find someone to inspire you and do a "Panda you can eat now, haver a dumpling", you are only going to continue down the slippery slope.
Voland's Right Hand --- as a parent I have to agree.
I saw Mr Oliver on telly feeding his young a very healthy breakfast of various bits of tasty fruit. Back of the envelope tells me that was over £4 of fruit each. That's £240 a month for two kids or £360 for three. These are not amounts that the majority of the UK could easily afford for a total food bill, let alone just the kids' breakfasts. Good quality protein is similar - compare the prices of mass produced burgers with even fairly cheap cuts of beef.
Gym membership round here runs at about £40 a month, and although jogging is free, shoes that are good enough to give you 6 months of injury-free jogging most certainly are not.
I suspect, as I think do you, that we may be seeing a correlation/causation confusion anyway: obesity here may just be a marker of coming from a relatively more disadvantaged background.
"I saw Mr Oliver on telly feeding his young a very healthy breakfast of various bits of tasty fruit. Back of the envelope tells me that was over £4 of fruit each. That's £240 a month for two kids or £360 for three. These are not amounts that the majority of the UK could easily afford for a total food bill, let alone just the kids' breakfasts. Good quality protein is similar - compare the prices of mass produced burgers with even fairly cheap cuts of beef."
If your food bill is too high, you need more imagination, not a fix of junk food.
In-season fruit bought from a market stall is dirt cheap. Out of season or exotic fruit bought from a supermarket is extremely expensive and often tastes worse.
Vegetables are generally healthier than fruit (less sugar), and are even cheaper. Carrots, swede, beetroot, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli, onions, kale, spring greens are massively nutritious and are always cheap. Peas, green beans, tomatoes, peppers aubergine, courgettes, marrow, squash are equally nutritious and are cheap for much of the year.
Lentils, beans, eggs, tuna, mackerel, chicken thighs, pork are all cheap sources of high quality protein. Roasting joints of most meat are also economical unless you pig out. Braising joints are even cheaper and often taste better (slow cookers cook less than £20 these days).
Potatoes, brown rice, brown pasta, home-made wholemeal bread (bread makers are cheap) are dirt cheap sources of very healthy carbs. Porridge is probably the healthiest breakfast cereal available; it's also the cheapest.
A diet based on those ingredients would cost significantly less than one based on ready meals, crisps, biscuits, cakes, and trashy snacks. It would also be healthier and tastier.
Anyone who claims they're too poor to eat well is lying. The truth is probably that they're too lazy to cook and they're looking for an excuse.
"...shoes that are good enough to give you 6 months of injury-free jogging most certainly are not"
You don't need expensive running shoes; research suggests that cheap shoes are less likely to cause injury. You can buy a full set of running gear including shoes from Aldi for less than the cost of one month's gym membership.
Anyone who claim's they're too poor to exercise is lying. The truth is probably that they're too lazy and looking for an excuse.
"You can buy a full set of running gear including shoes from Aldi for less than the cost of one month's gym membership." Honestly, if you don't know that some people would struggle to get even that, you might really have a very warped idea about how poor some of our poor really are.
I'm not defending MYSELF here. I'm well paid, can cook and exercise a lot. I'm a bit on the heavy side, but that is not making me "pro-fatty" I'm just anti-villification.
What I'm saying is that I find some of the judgmental attitudes being expressed to be rather harsh, and that I find the "fat people are lazy, feckless and generally rubbish" to be quite an unacceptable condemnation of a fairly large and probably quite varied group of people.
'"You can buy a full set of running gear including shoes from Aldi for less than the cost of one month's gym membership." Honestly, if you don't know that some people would struggle to get even that, you might really have a very warped idea about how poor some of our poor really are.'
I totally get that some people would struggle to find £40, but I only made the comparison because there was an earlier suggestion that people are unfit because gym membership is cheap. Most (but not all) Britons can afford that much for sports wear.
In truth, you don't need special gear to go running though. Cheap trainers are fine (£15 from Aldi) and you can wear them as regular footwear in between runs. Marginal cost: £nil.
I only wanted to paraphrase the "I'm in great shape - round is a shape, right?" line, I wasn't being entirely serious. ;-)
Anyway, it's not the junk food that keeps me in 'great shape', it's the wholesale lack of excercise - once I get settled at the new job, I'm going to get the train in and walk 3/4 mile form/to the terminating station to the office.
Why not do it now? I'm in the 'training' period where I'm learning all the systems, so 9-5 is a must - and if I miss the first, 7am train, I'm guaranteed to be at least 45mins late (due to that 3/4 mile walk). Once I'm settled in, flexi time is an option so I could do 10-6 etc - or WFH in the morning, train in, train home in the afternoon. For now tho, driving is the key to being on time all the time. And draining my wallet - 80 miles a day at 30-ish mpg = expense. So less money for even cheap pizza, I suppose....
I used to walk a mile and a half to work (and back again!) when I worked up north - I could eat anything I wanted (even pizza) and stayed a stable shape (that wasn't so round) - I miss those days...I imagine being a youth helped too. I'm now a 30 something old giffer, I can't lose the weight like I used to. Not that I'm even remotely trying, of course. I have a reputation to maintain!
I'm surprised at the zero votes on the post though, you'd think starting a 30+ post discussion would earn me someone's ire, he says, tempting fate....
Steven "Bat Fastard" R
+1 for Waitrose. I always found their prices to be very close to Asda and Tesco but crucially their vegetables lasted longer. I got sick of stuff like broccoli only lasting a day or two before discolouring from Chavco. Waitrose had an own brand vegetable line that comes from their own farms, I guess it just cuts out some of the process so it's quicker to the shelf.
Some of their stuff is more expensive and if you want to live like Patsy and Eddie then sure it's going to cost you but I managed to feed my family from there for the same money as the other places. My only real indulgence was their fresh dijon mayonnaise :)
"If your food bill is too high, you need more imagination, not a fix of junk food"
I actually agree 100%. But it doesn't change the fact that I saw him on telly showing what a healthy breakfast looked like and this particular healthy breakfast is way beyond the financial means of a lot of people.
Couldn't agree more re healthy eating. Plus that twat Oliver had a lot to answer for. Everything that used to be cheap but decent he featured and the price went stupid. Cod cheeks, scrag of lamb (perfect for a crock pot curry), oxtail etc as soon as he mentions it the price triples.
At least horse carrots are still cheap, only decent thing the EU ever did.
If you go online and are not fussed about last year's colours you can get decent running shoes for around or not much more than that £40 for one month's gym membership. My last pair of shoes (Asics gel pulse goretex) cost me £50. They were the last pair that shop had so were heavily discounted and they were in my size! You would normally pay a premium for the goretex versions but in this case they were the cheapest pair I could find. Roughly page 3 of the search, so not much effort expended.
As for running clothes, buy in the sales and only in the sales, online. Which means buying summer stuff in winter and vice versa. Much, much cheaper than the gym. Self motivation not supplied though.
Nonsense. The price of beef is the price of beef. If you buy it from someone other than a butcher then you have to add in extra overhead associated with that. That kitchen and those tables and chairs and the whole place to house them isn't free. Not even if it's fast food.
Tit for tat you can make anything cheaper yourself. Usually it's dramatically cheaper.
Now GLAMOUR food is more expensive. I can shop at Safeway or Whole Foods. Both will offer equally healthy options. You just have to avoid the obviously trendy nonsense.
Is it the French that make stuff based on what's in season? This can have a dramatic impact on price. You can easily pay 5x for something when it's not quite harvest time or when it's the wrong season and it needs to be flown in from another hemisphere.
Kung-fu panda is a cartoon. Jamie Oliver is a TV entertainer who likes to sell books.
A healthy shopping bill is not 4-6 times higher than an unhealthy one, unless you're suggesting I could feed a family of 4 for £30-£40 a week, given enough frozen pizza.
Don't eat when you are bored, sad, restless, waiting at a bus-stop, stuck in traffic, on the phone, watching telly, etc.
Do eat when you are hungry. If you stop eating crap your body will soon be able to inform you when it needs food, which should only be a few times a day if you're doing it right.
Stop blaming the world.
Depression is a disease. Go to a doctor, not a baker.
@ CADmonkey, "Stop blaming the world.".
Not sure about that. I had a look at "the most obese countries in the world" and among the first seven you find the USA, New Zealand, Australiia, UK, Canada, and Ireland. As It cannot be the language (joke alert) it has to be the food industry. The Americans but sugar in the milk, Tesco puts sugar in their sausages (as kids love it!!).
You should be concerned, and pulling all restrictions on that industry is hardly the way to go.
It is indeed about the world we live in.
Indeed the World might be against you (historically it always has been, one way or another), but it's still not The World's fault if you are weak-minded or apathetic about your and your family's health. No-one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to eat this rubbish. In First World countries, the Stupid don't perish as easily. In the words of Jello Biafra "Give me convenience, or give me death"
Reminds me of the study that found the Spanish have a low fat diet and low blood pressure; the French have a high fat diet and low rate blood pressure; and that Aussies, Yanks and Brits have a medium fat diet and high blood pressure. Conclusion: speaking English is bad for your blood pressure.
4 packets of grapes (cheap ones), 4 packets of oranges (cheap ones), 12 cucumbers, 6 packets of tomatoes (cheap ones are unedible in the UK), 4 melons, a box or two of cheap strawberries, and other fruit and veg. That is 70+ quid using the cheapest ones. Two brats that do not eat chocolate and two adults which end up eating the same stuff as that's what is in the house will go through that in 3-4 days. Add to that meat (not the expensive one either, definitely not prime cut beef) and you are looking at 160+ 2 times a week.
People seriously have no idea what an expense is a healthy kid which eats fruit and does not eat chocolate, candy and junk. They should try feeding one for a month.
"1. Junk food is relatively cheap per amount of calories it provides. A healthy shopping bill is 4-6 times higher than junk food (at least in the UK)."
If you choose to eat Soil Association certified, holistically grown according to feng shui principles, along with over-dosing on all the expensive "super fruits", out of season veg, and premium cuts of rare-breed organic meat grown by artisan small-holders, then yes, it is expensive. And if your baseline is a diet made up of 100% Aldi 99p pizza, you'll see a big difference.
But that's not the reality. I notice the fat and the poor seem quite able to find the money for a whole lot more fast junk food than I can afford. Having a McDonald's breakfast (plus enormo shake), elevenses from those greasy, revolting vans that hang out in every DIY store car park, a bucket of 5hit lunch from KFC (plus full sugar 1 litre drink), McFlurry and cheeseburger for afternoon tea, and then going home for the most heavily loaded pre-made deep pan pizza (one per person) is a whole lot more expensive than eating properly.
Compared to a normal balanced diet involving everyday mostly UK sourced meat and veg, simply prepared, then fast junk food is substantially more expensive. And even if the poor have to live on a diet of 99p pizzas, that doesn't justify or explain being FBs - being an FB is about eating too much regardless whether that is balanced or not, and the cure is not to eat as much.
Even junk food is not that bad if you don't eat too much. My girls sometimes drag me to McDonalds because they are currently giving away books with the children's meals. Since I'm there I also eat there - a children's meal. I swap the fries for a salad, and the entire meal with a milkshake comes to 3 euros and is about 700 calories. So, with the salad, it's nutritionally not too bad (I also drink the joghurt drink instead of a soda) and quite cheap. It also is about the right number of calories - for an adult!
Junk food can be not *too* bad if you pay attention to how much of it you eat and quite what you eat.
This may explain why I am baout half the size of the rest of the clientel in McDonalds...
> Even junk food is not that bad if you don't eat too much.
Long ago I realized that the portion sizes at fast food establishments were not sustainable. You either should eat the kids portions (which were the original adult sizes) or cut something out. Do something like just eat the sandwich and forget the fries.
As others have said, getting fat is orthogonal to eating junk.
I don't know where you shop in the UK but in my neck of the woods fruit and veg, plus staples such flour, rice etc are far cheaper than buying ready meals, certainly not 4-6 times higher. For example on Tesco's on-line store 1KG of McCains oven chips are £1.75 yet 2.5KG of baking potatoes are £2
People may not have the education or the facilities to cook from scratch but that is a different issue.
"Human subjects were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisone after eating vegetable soup daily for two weeks "
Obviously this calming effect wears off after a further few days, leading to irrational beliefs and murderous desires:
"Obviously this calming effect wears off after a further few days, leading to irrational beliefs and murderous desires:"
How many days specifically?
It's been over 3150 days for me and I'm still waiting for my murdering cannibalistic spree to kick in..
I don't have forever you know!
Moultoneer: "for example on Tesco's on-line store 1KG of McCains oven chips are £1.75 yet 2.5KG of baking potatoes are £2"
You are comparing prepared branded and non-prepared non-branded goods. A better comparison would be Tesco's EveryDay Value chips 82p for 1.5kg.
By the time you have washed your bakers, peeled them and chipped them your £2 of potatoes is 1.5-2 kg of chips. And you have spent 30 mins of your time for free. Then you have to cost your oil (and you need a lot to fry that many chips). Starting to look like 4-6 times more expensive, isn't it?
4-6 times? How much do Tesco charge for oil? Your maths stinks, and you're comparing oven chips to either from-raw deep fried chips or oven-baked jacket potatoes. You can bake chipped potatoes in the oven using a lot less oil.
And if your time is so valuable and you are so crap at peeling potatoes (half an hour? does that include stopping for a rest?) then DON'T PEEL THEM.
"4-6 times? How much do Tesco charge for oil? Your maths stinks, and you're comparing oven chips to either from-raw deep fried chips or oven-baked jacket potatoes. You can bake chipped potatoes in the oven using a lot less oil." --- CADMonkey
I re-used Voland's Right Hand's ratio, because I was supporting his point that healthy food is often more expensive than unhealthy food. The ratio is, I agree, an exaggeration in this case, but the logic stands: even without cooking the baking potatoes are nearly twice the price of the chips, yet the chips are peeled, cut, and ready oiled. BTW the bakers will take twice the energy to cook, even in a micro/convection combi, than the chips.
Now I'm a great believer in the baked spud, chips with skins, and 'a lot less oil'. You're preaching to the choir, there, mate. But VRH's point stands: the healthy option is the more expensive option. Why are baking potatoes selling at £1/kg? Because of the target consumer: people like you and me might not think anything of parting with £2 (although, as a bit of a country bumpkin, the idea of paying so much for anything less than 5Kg would offend me enormously). But which of these two potato products would you choose though, if every penny counted? And if you choose the cheaper option --- it is Tesco who gets to dictate the quantity and (possibly lack of) quality of the oil that is used.
"A better comparison would be Tesco's EveryDay Value...."
Stick to food, please. Anything with Tesco's "Everday Value" label has been specially prepared and packed to render it inedible or otherwise unuseable, as part of the failed Tesco strategy to combat discounters.
I'm not going to get into this deep and lengthy argument but here's the problem:
A lot of people now are feeding their kids worse than they did several generations ago. As the WW2 era pass on, the cooking skills decline as does the ability to actually give a shit about your kids.
I work in a high unemployment, high poverty area and -every- -fucking- -day- I see parents giving children from about 6 months upwards, Greggs sausage rolls for breakfast.
You could argue it's cheap, I'd say that at 80p for a sausage roll, and only another 10p to buy an organic baby orientated food pouch, that you're wrong.
These parents just don't give a shit, and I see these gorgeous little kids being fed pure saturated fat on a daily basis.
So what chance have they got in life?
The parents don't give a shit, nor do social services, so we're fucking doomed.
I was with you until you mentioned "organic" - there is no evidence that "organic" (whatever it means this week!) has health benefits - it might (or might not) have some environmental benefit, and no-doubt gives the buyer a "feel-good" factor, but health benefits - spare me!
I'm not going on about the 'organic' bit, but highlighting that you could buy an 'organic' product for 10p more which is traditionally the more expensive option of all products available. You can buy a jar of baby grub for less than 80p that'd do for a days breakfast if you just went for traditional products like HiPP jars, etc.
I guess I am older than most on here and also as an ex-Boy Scout I have always been keen on cooking basic meals. Any suggestion that junk food or Gregs etc is cheap is a load of bollocks
In one period of my life when I was mega poor (well I was spending my money on rock climbing gear and travel beyond all else) I lived on chick pea soups and similar. I was fitter then than I am now and could lift my weight on two fingers.
So giving any quarter to some excuse that the poor misses the point that most people, I guess, do not know how to look after themselves.
I also volunteered for a few years (when I cared) for Shelter and again the expectations and knowledge of how to eat well was almost non existent.
This lovely lady used her skills to live on £10 a week
Her food / recipes are better than any take away.
Not so sure about the martial arts, being somewhat rotund and a student of Karate myself. All the exercise simply increased my weight as I gained muscle without losing fat.
And it wore out my joints. I am now barely able to walk due to osteo-arthritis which began in my forties, making weight control a whole lot harder.
That's not the fault of exercise, but your genetics.
I'm 44, I have lifted heavy for many years, did thai-boxing for many years, still run 3 times a week.
I don't have any joint problems, because luckily there is no arthritis in my family. I do take fish oil and glucosamine, but it's the genetics that are the thing.
Cancer and heart disease there's loads of, so it aint all roses.
Isn't it a lot more sensible to look at the reverse option? These are kids who have less self-control (they'd fail the famous "marshmallow test") - so they look for instant rather than delayed gratification. That same personality feature then leads to both excessive eating and to a failure to worry about longer term priorities such as careers etc. (so less school work).
Of course there COULD be elements of bullying etc. we don't have enough evidence to distinguish the two theories - but can we please avoid the automatic PC-based shouts of "victim"....
"because girls obviously need yet another reason to get paid less than men for doing the same work"
It's been debunked many many times over decades, but this myth persists. For the same work, men and women get paid about the same on average. Men work more hours on average so get paid more on average than women. Men are more likely to take "harder" degrees (science, engineering etc) which lead to higher paying jobs, are more likely to travel and work late etc. But women spend more, which is ultimately all that matters.
This will all change in the coming decades because men are almost 50% less likely to go to university. That's as big a problem as fat people face, but it's men so it gets ignored.
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