|By Marketwired .||
|April 28, 2014 06:15 AM EDT||
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/28/14 -- There is no obesity epidemic in Canada, and even if there was, government intervention aimed at overweight Canadians is costly, poorly targeted and likely ineffective, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
"Despite claims from public health advocates, politicians and media members, it's a myth to say there's an obesity epidemic in Canada leading to widespread illness and death, and that only government intervention can save us from ourselves," said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute director of health policy studies and author of Obesity in Canada: Overstated Problems, Misguided Policy Solutions.
The study, which recognizes a difference between obesity and overweightness, spotlights three main topics: obesity rates in Canada, the connection between obesity/overweightness and poor health/early death, and government response. The study includes data and analysis from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
How fat are we?
From 2003 to 2012, notes the study, the rate of overweightness among the Canadian population has been stable. And while the rate of obesity climbed from 15.3 per cent to 18.4 per cent, it has also stabilized since 2009. In fact, the rate of obesity among adult males may be dropping, though it continues to increase among adult females. For young people aged 12 to 17, rates of overweightness and obesity have been stable since 2005.
"Claims of an obesity epidemic aren't supported by the available data, so policy-makers in Canada should perhaps exercise caution, rather than aggressive intervention, when considering policy proposals," Esmail said.
What are the public (and private) consequences of being fat?
While there is a clear relationship between premature death and obesity, the study finds that people at the low end of the obesity spectrum (according to the Body Mass Index or BMI, which uses a weight-to-height ratio) may be at no greater risk than so-called normal weight individuals. In fact, a number of studies show the overweight (different than obese) may have a significantly lower all-cause mortality rate compared to people in the normal weight category, while the underweight face a significant increased risk of mortality.
"Considering the health consequences across the weight spectrum, from underweight to obese, the impact of medical innovations and advances over time, and taking a broader view of the economic costs and impacts of obesity, the negative health consequences associated with obesity, and the subsequent strain on Canada's health care system, may be wildly overstated," Esmail said.
Can government trim our fat?
Most government attempts to tackle obesity and overweightness include a familiar menu of policy proposals aimed at private businesses and individuals, which include tax hikes on sugary and fatty foods, food bans, vending machine bans, and menu and food labelling initiatives.
However, these policies often ignore the many complex causes of obesity or overweightness, which include physiological, psychological and socioeconomic factors such as culture, family life and structure, genetics and income. They also impose costs on all Canadians, regardless of individual lifestyle choices, and crucially, disregard the cost to taxpayers, private business and the economy overall.
For example, many of these policies require new or larger government bureaucracies (an agency to determine which foods and beverages should be taxed or banned, for example), stunt small business growth and generate higher business costs, which are likely to be passed on to consumers.
"Government interventions impose costs indiscriminately, inappropriately vilifying particular foods, food manufacturers and distributors. If the interventions fail to shrink waistlines across Canada, we'll likely see advocates arguing that the policies weren't strong or intrusive enough. But in reality, governments have little ability to change the behaviours that lead to overweightness and obesity, and the case for government intervention is neither as strong nor as clear as advocates claim," Esmail said.
The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Jul. 31, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 992
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jul. 31, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,041
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Jul. 30, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,340
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 30, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,944
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 30, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,497
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Jul. 30, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,321
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 30, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,534
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Jul. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,320
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Jul. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,768
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 30, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,777
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Jul. 30, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,311
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 591
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,128
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,283
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
Jul. 30, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 661