When She Sits Around The House…


Not quite a Daily Perv Link (TM), but interesting nonetheless: firefighter gives mouth-to-mouth to a dog. Still no report on whether he used tongue.

Also in a DPL vibe is this story about a teacher almost being fired for encouraging his students to analyse the characteristics of online porn. Just remember why we had the Daily Perv Link (TM) in the first place: to explore the question of whether certain practices are really on the upswing, or whether it’s a case of reporting (or detection) bias. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Because everyone loves this shit, here’s a list of Star Wars toys that look like famous people. Best one: Christian Bale as Princess Leia.

And so it begins: a university student is compelled to resign from student government after promoting the meme that Barack Obama is actually a Muslim reactionary trying to infiltrate the White House. Eric Margolis has already written about this despicable trend from the American far Right: they can’t attack the man’s character, policies, beliefs or record, so they smear him with a ridiculous bit of extreme fiction. All it may take is a couple of in-bred retards to believe this, and it may swing the balance against Obama.

Obesity

One of my students sent me this article about a Dutch study that concluded that the financial costs to the public health system due to obesity are far less than those due to skinny people who live longer. In essence, the argument goes, fat people cost more between the ages of 20 and 56, but since they tend to die early, they don’t have the same impact on the system as do skinny people who live well into their 70s and 80s. The same comparison was made for smokers, who have the same limited impact as do fat folk.

I have not seen the original paper, but a few thoughts come to mind:

1. Presumably this study is for the Dutch case, so may not be applicable to Canadian or American models. In Canada, cigarettes and other unhealthy items, such as alcohol, are heavily taxed. This is done both to discourage their consumption (ironic, since Canada grows tobacco and manufactures booze) and to help offset the cost of these items’ deleterious effects. When these taxes are factored out of the picture, the cost of fatness and smoking would be severely exacerbated.

2. As the authors admit, this analysis only considers immediate and direct costs to the public health system. Early deaths of smokers and the portly set mean lost economic productivity, in terms of lost life-years, which translates to a lesser tax base and smaller public health budget.

3. Similar to point #2, no disability costs have been factored in, with respect to lost productivity. I think this is a big one. Smokers and members of the rotund brigade tend to have more sick days, work less during their healthy days, and are limited in the kinds of work they can do. This lost productivity negatively affects total economic health, which has a deleterious impact on public health funding.

4. Accommodation costs to employers, etc, with regard to creating smoking areas, wider seats for larger asses, and so forth, are borne by immediate party, but are eventually downloaded, in the form of tax deductions, to the public purse. These numbers will not have been accounted for in the Dutch analysis, but need to be considered if the end product of such analyses is public policy around discouragement of fatness and tokerage.

5. It’s a no-brainer that extremely old people cost the public health system more than any other group. That doesn’t mean that we want to discourage people from getting older! Quite the contrary, we want to encourage them to age healthfully! The way to save public health money is to discourage smoking and obesity, and to encourage extremely healthy practices in middle age. That way, the fatties and human chimneys don’t snuff it too early, and instead enter their golden years upright and with strong hearts.