Robyn Toomath

Health trougher wants to save fat bastards by taxing us all

Robyn Toomath is a health trougher and a socialist. She hasn’t yet met a tax that she doesn’t like.

She appeared on Sunday last night re-iterating what she has written on her blog.

If you stop and ask people on the street, nine out of ten (including the overweight ones) will say that you get fat from over-eating and its no-one’s fault but your own. This is not just due to imperfect understanding of geno-environmental interactions, but because the notions of autonomy and self-control are deeply held (1). So when nihilistic biologists such as myself suggest there is no such thing as free will, it’s not just the libertarians but liberal intellectuals who are offended.

I need to remind myself of this tension between free will and socially determined arguments when I feel frustrated at the persistent framing of obesity as an issue of personal responsibility. But no matter how appealing the idea that we can change our body size if we choose to, the reality is that we can’t. At least, not most of us, and not permanently. Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (and obesity expert), said in a recent speech that over his life time he has lost about 100kg in weight, and put about 95kg back on (2). If motivation and education were the keys to staying slim Sir Peter should be as thin as a rake (he’s not).

It’s all very well maintaining a fantasy if it makes us feel better but the personal responsibility myth causes great harm.

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Robyn Toomath throws in the towel and the toys out of the cot

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Will this set a chain reaction in motion?

Today we find out long time obesity activist Robyn Toomath from the Fight Obesity Epidemic has thrown in the towel, but not before first chucking her toys out of the cot.

Her comments are priceless.

“Clearly I’ve made no progress. There’s not a single thing that comes to mind other than the district health boards are going to provide a healthy food environment for their staff,” she said.

If there was only a “we” in that statement other obesity troughers could well be asked to seriously look at their positions as well and their achievements.   Read more »

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Health troughers shop story to Sunday Star-Times

Plain packaging coming for McDonalds?

Plain packaging coming for McDonalds?

The health troughers are at it again…banging on about obesity and making up numbers to support even more coin pouring into their bloated wallets.

Apparently we are all being crushed by fatties.

Health experts say a lack of government vision and investment means the obesity epidemic is continuing to balloon out of control with no end in sight.

Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist David Galler said much of his time was now spent dealing with preventable issues which stemmed from obesity. His job did not start out this way.

“There are lots of people walking around this nation and their size isn’t compatible with life. Some people are so big now that we can’t actually diagnose what’s wrong with them. We can only do so much, I can’t turn the world backwards and make a person who is 270kg, 100kg.”

According to the most recent New Zealand Health Survey, 1.2 million New Zealanders are now obese, more than was recorded in the 2012 report. This translates to three in 10 adults and one in nine children.

These rates are significantly higher in poorer areas. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are classed as overweight. Galler blamed a lack of leadership and vision at a government level and said obesity was now a bigger health concern than smoking.

“We can keep on putting these things off but we need regulation from the government’s end. It’s an immensely expensive problem for us when we think about obesity being one of the major triggers of type 2 diabetes.”

Galler’s view is backed up by Auckland University professor Boyd Swinburn, who says there is no doubt New Zealand is getting increasingly fatter at an alarming rate.

“We spend $700m a year on obesity through diabetes and heart disease. It’s been going up since the 1980s. To be honest, not much has happened in the last few decades in the way of policy and in the last five or six years there has been very little done.”

Galler said the country was being sold short because of a lack of vision from politicians. “New Zealand kids are fatter than any European kids, we are way behind the United States and Australia.

“For politicians there is no promise of immediate gain. Health spending is going through the roof and there are all sorts of reasons for that … the management of chronic disease is a major factor. It’s our fear of preventing the preventable. We need a much more sophisticated system to prevent disease and keep people well.”

The Morgan Foundation states a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks could save 67 lives per year. The money raised could be used to promote healthy eating and awareness campaigns. The foundation said the government had rejected this plan even though costs to the health system from obesity were pushing $700m.

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Time to start trimming the lobby groups income

I see this morning that the health fundies are making their big anti-sugar push again with the help of media. Veteran trougher Boyd Swinburn is front and centre and so is Robyn Toomath.

Coincidentally James Delingpole takes aim at such lobby groups in his Telegraph column.

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”. Thomas Jefferson, 1779.

One of the curses of modern life is the plethora of “charitable” lobbying groups demanding that the government take more regulatory action in areas where most of us believe the state has no business interfering.

Almost every day you read in the papers that some apparently grassroots movement, supposedly speaking for all of us, thinks more should be done to stop us drinking, smoking, eating sugar or salt, make us less sexist, force us to spend more on foreign aid or environmental issues. But if that wasn’t annoying enough, here’s the worst thing of all: we’re paying for these unrepresentative, mostly left-leaning lobby groups with our taxes.  Read more »

Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons think Red Bull is for kids

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Seriously you can’t make this stuff up.

North Korea’s latest PR guy Gareth Morgan and his raving zombie mate Geoff Simmons are a couple of numb-nuts that think it’s a good idea to give kids a can of Red Bull or V, or at least include them into their book-pimping exercise to get attention.

They’re the backers of another purist Anna Bordignon (oh that’s right she’s pimping a new cookbook as well). Ms Bordignon is fronting the Munch Awards that seeks to slag off various companies.

Let’s have a look at who else is involved in attacking businesses that employ kiwis in New Zealand, pay taxes, offer training and career opportunities, support local communities etc.    Read more »

Is ‘The Vote’ encouraging fruit loops?

Following the post this morning about the fat kid and his dumb mum this came in via the tip line.

Looks like Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner’s The Vote has all the activists desperately trying to rig the public vote on tonight’s show.

WO spies tell me there were some right nutters at the screening on Monday night and the panel team of Robyn Toomath and Geoff Simmons were aghast at the audience poll result. No wonder then that these activists have rallied up their allies in an effort to spike the vote.  Read more »