Gravatar "Does encouraging charitable giving, environmental responsibility, and fair labor standards compensate for the obesity encouraged by its products and marketing campaigns?"

Do I sense a class-action lawsuit in the making? <0.01 wink>

I used to agree (when I was obese) but now I do think companies have a social responsibility. Don't you think 320 calories *for just the cone* is absurd? That's as much as 4 slices of bread! Of course it is not a problem if people eat it every once in a while, and are aware of it, but I am sure most people are not aware of the amount of calories of most things they eat. They simply do not think about it.

If you ate two icecream cones a week, and you would change to paper cones, you would eat 33280 calories less a year. This amounts to a weight loss of 10 pounds, only for this. You do not need to exercise more, or change any other dietary habit. You do not even have to eat less ice cream, just not eat the cone. Drink one can of soda less a day, and you'll lose another 14 pounds a year.

Also, I thought the Dutch article was a bit ridiculous, with the doctors telling that the stress for people knowing that they are overweight was perhaps worse than being overweight itself. Oh poor overweight people. If you are stressed because you are overweight, you should lose weight (been there, done that). The link between obesity and health is real (ask the WHO), and it is also clear that people in societies with the best life expectancies and the healthiest old people, have low body weights.

Gravatar Hmm, well, the article says: "The three authors think that the stress that people get because of deviating from the weight norm, is also bad for one's health". I interpret that as stress due to peer pressure, the portraying of thin vs fat people in the media, etc... not as stress simply because of the fact that you are overweight.

Also, the article talks about "overgewicht", which translates to "being overweight", which is not the same as obesity (extreme overweight). That might be an important nuance. Maybe the doctors are arguing that putting on a little weight isn't so bad, as opposed to being extremely overweight, which of course brings a lot of immediate health risks.

As for the Ben & Jerry thing... 320 calories for just the cone might be a bit much, but as you say, the real problem is that people eat it more than they should, and are possibly not aware of the amount of calories they are consuming. I think that the government (Dutch, American or otherwise) should not tell people what to do, but rather inform them better about calories, nutritional value, possible health risks of being overweight (in a realistic fashion -- "twice as likely to get a heart attack" doesn't really tell me much if I don't know what the risk is for "healthy" people), etc.

Of course, it doesn't help that most healthy food isn't exactly tasty. Your mileage may vary, but when offered the choice between chocolate or 4 slices of bread, *for a snack* (not a meal!), I know what I'll pick. For many people, part of the joy in life comes from eating delicious food, at least once in a while. While it's important to be aware of health risks and such, taking away all the unhealthy food, or discouring people from eating it at all, is not going to be an acceptable solution. I haven't been in the Netherlands for a few years now, but I get the impression that the Dutch government is leaning toward this opinion.