FOOD INCENTIVISING PROGRAM

No health care system in the world can afford to care for a population where 80% of the people are overweight and 50% are obese.  Where people get diabetes in their 20s and heart attacks in their 30s.  What are needed are healthier people.  The only way that can be accomplished is through a food incentivising program.

No health care system in the world can afford to care for a population where 80% of the people are overweight and 50% are obese.  Where people get diabetes in their 20s and heart attacks in their 30s.

Since 1950 the amount of nutritional information available to the public has roughly doubled every seven years. During that same period (1950-2010), obesity rose by 500%. In that light, one might conclude that there is a direct correlation between knowledge of obesity and obesity itself! Apparently, the amount of information available hasn’t helped people understand or control anything.

The point is, people aren’t foolish. They know that a salad is better for them than a pizza; that grilled chicken is better than a smothered burrito; that tofu is better than a cheeseburger; that fresh fruits and vegetables are better than candy bars and French fries. People are swimming in information. We’ve become anesthetized by information overload. More information has not lead to enlightened behavior, less craving for food, or improved health.

The ability to self-regulate is beyond all but the few strongest-willed individuals. Our society has become totally focused on immediate gratification. To have an impact, policy must, of necessity, take hold from where people’s values and concerns are centered, not from where we hope they would have evolved to.  In a materially dominated nation, costs rule the decision-making process and govern the attention of those who consume and produce.

There is one, and only one, factor that will influence an individual’s choices and behaviors: money.  Of course we would like to think that people are conscious of their actions and recognize their decisions, but in fact, most people use food as their primary source of satisfaction.  Therefore, to change that behavior, it will be necessary to hit them where it hurts: THE POCKETBOOK.

Following is a food incentivising program I submitted to the President of Mexico, where it was placed on the agenda at the largest health conference in the country.  Of course, President Vincente Fox ran into the same roadblock that exists in America: lobbyists for the fast food and drink industry who “donate” millions to the campaigns of congressmen and congresswomen who have sold their souls and the health and welfare of their constituents and their children for money…

How It’s Configured

By comparing any food or beverage to present accepted standards, ratings for all ingested products can be compiled.  Following are the averages of the factors deemed essential in such analysis – calories, cholesterol, salt, sugar, fat (saturated and unsaturated), based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s food guidance system and supported by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Note that these suggested guidelines are for the maintenance of minimum, not optimum, health.

The National Academy of Sciences recommends the consumption of 2,200

calories* for the average American.  The following parameters apply:

1) Fat – 30% of total calories = 73 grams of fat per day

2) Saturated fat – 10% of total calories = 24 grams of saturated fat per day

3) Cholesterol ** – 300 mg. per day

4) Sugar – 48 grams of added sugar per day***

5) Salt – 2,400 mg. per day

*This figure can be modified for active individuals – pregnant women or children – without changing the percentages of any component.

**If a food does not have cholesterol or fat as a natural part of its make-up, that category is not counted.

***Only added sugars are considered, not those naturally occurring.

Examples Of High And Low Rated Foods From Each Category

Best Choice                                                               Worst choice

 

Spinach                                                                       Cream of mushroom soup

41.40   cal.                                                                  24.96   cal.

.468 grms of fat                                                           1.747   grms of fat

.076 grms saturated fat                                               .587 grms satutrant fat

126 mg of salt                                                 204.6   mg of salt

0 grms of sgr                                                               1.5 grms of sgr

0 mg of chol                                                                2.266   mg of chol

 

61% price reduc.                                                        142% price increase 

 

Cantaloupe                                                                  Jelly Donut

392.0   cal                                                                      289 cal

1.36 grms of fat                                                           15.9 grms of fat

0 grms sat fat                                                              4.050   grms sat fat

249.0   mg of salt                                                        249.0   mg of salt

0 grms of sgr                                                               21 grms of sgr

0 mg of chol                                                                5.0 mg of chol

 

51.5% price reduction                                   353% price increase

Egg Beaters                                                    School lunch scrambled eggs

25.0 cal                                                                       87.0 cal

0 grms of fat                                                                6.0 grms of fat

0 grms sat fat                                                              0 grms sat fat

100.0 mg of salt                                                          151.0   mg of salt

.2 grms of sgr                                                              1.2 grms of sgr

0 mg of chol                                                                277.0   mg of cho

 

38.5% price reduc.                                                 460% price inc.     

 There is an incremental cost to society…pay me now or pay me later.  The first time I heard this term coined in a socio-economic context was by the Rev. Jessie Jackson.  He was comparing the cost of educating underprivileged black children with the expense of trying, incarcerating and rehabilitating those same individuals.  His (correct) philosophy was to attack the problem from the remedial, not the controlling view – which is the policy of the establishment and has never worked (e.g. the prison system).

The cost of those behaviors, concerns and influences is reflected in our national health bill – now over one trillion dollars.

Yet many still choose to believe that what they eat, smoke or drink has no affect on their or other’s well-being and productivity, or society and environment . . . that the length and quality of their lives is controlled by the big roulette table in the sky.

Diseases of the stomach, intestines, colon and rectum are on the increase; their conventional treatment with drugs and surgery does not remove their underlying causes.  That people suffer greatly is evidenced by the fact that billions of dollars are spent yearly on over-the-counter medicines in the US alone, to suppress the pains and discomforts due to conventional eating and living habits.  We need to institute a policy that promotes health, not disease and its subsequent economic consequences.

America was established on the principles of maximum freedom to individuals.  Yet as the number of people has increased along with technology, we are forced to re-evaluate our logic and laws.  The founding fathers stated that no person or government shall take away the rights, health or freedoms of another.  In 1787 it was not possible for man, based on weaponry, pollutants, chemical interactions, etc., to harm the environment much beyond the bounds of his own farm or business.  That is no longer so.  The number of people, and their effect on each other and the surroundings, has been magnified as many times as the population itself (expanding from 3 to 280 million).

This is not about controlling human conduct or behavior, only about regulating the impact one has on other members of society and society itself.  Sin taxes have already set clear precedent, if for the wrong reason.  The problem with those schemes is that the money collected goes to pay for government in general rather than being allocated to programs which would insure the ending of the agenda for which it was established.  It must be directed by the charter of this bill that the taxes collected be used solely for such funding – so there can be the assurance that the program itself will cease when compliance reaches a predetermined level.

 Write me with your comments: jeffryweiss@gmail.com

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