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Old 02-11-2018, 08:40 PM   #1
Clodfobble
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You Can't Fix All The Problems

This Washington Post article is just one example I happened to read in the last 5 minutes, but really it's a larger bee in my bonnet.

The premise of the article is: gosh, it's a real headscratcher why poor people buy junk food and rich people eat fruits and veggies--given that, as the data shows, income and access ("food deserts") don't account for all, or even the majority of, the difference. They start to dip their toe into the murky waters of culture and social conditioning, but still, their conclusions are stupid:

Quote:
“If you grew up in a community where you never saw an apple, but saw lots of fast food,” she added, “it could take a lifetime to shift those preferences.”
Nope, nope, nope. ITMTS: It's the Marshmallow Test, Stupid. If you are a person with the ability to delay gratification, you will see the long-term benefit of healthy food and choose it. You will also be more successful along every single metric in your life, including career/income. If you are a person who can't delay your own gratification, you will eat the potato chips and Hot Pockets and ice cream for dinner. Also, you will stall in the workforce and be trapped in crappy jobs.

The answer is not to teach them how to cook healthy meals, or to put a Whole Foods on every corner, or to give them free vegetables. It's far more fundamental than that.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
If you grew up in a community where you never saw an apple, but saw lots of fast food,” she added, “it could take a lifetime to shift those preferences.
"Fast food" has offered salads and other healthy choices since 2005; in fact the current McD's menu includes apple slices. But if you grew up in a community where fast food places were considered knee-jerk unhealthy, it could take a lifetime to shift those biases.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
Clodfobble
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Yabbut on the other hand:

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According to the company, 88% of McDonald's customers were aware of the apple option, but apples were only chosen in 11% of Happy Meal orders.
As long as there's choice (and I'm not saying there shouldn't be,) some people are going to make the bad choice. Mostly people who can't look at the fries and say, "Hmm... dying from diabetes sounds terrible, I have to abstain," and definitely the folks who can't even look at the fries and say, "Hmm... I know from experience I will feel nauseous and bloated in about an hour, so I really shouldn't eat this."

You either have to take away the choice, or write those people off. Either position is arguable, but it's foolish to think we can have it both ways.

Edit to add: I know you weren't disagreeing with me, per se. Like I said, this is just a particular bee in my bonnet.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:03 PM   #4
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Honest to God, now, who goes to McD's and gets apple slices?

Why are you at McD's?!?!?!
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:11 PM   #5
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I agree with you 100%. (My bee is how the idea of "food deserts" came into fashion at all. The shops in the ghetto are simply what the people demand.)

In the ghetto, it makes sense to take the marshmallow. Where the rules of your life are promises are broken, and property is stolen, it's only the things in hand that you can actually trust. The test is designed to measure real-world success, the kids are running the ghetto program. Failure is programmed right in. It's the worst thing ever.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:01 PM   #6
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You can't always fix what you want.
You can't always fix what you want.
But if you try sometimes.
You fix what you need.
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