The Instigator
Kusfraba
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
blond_guy
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Resolved, that trans fat be made illegal in all consumer foods.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,457 times Debate No: 2878
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (11)

 

Kusfraba

Pro

America holds the worldwide record for most obese population. The general public consumes copious amounts of fast food daily, fast food with little or no nutritional value that is laden with cancer-causing carcinogens. Here's a fun fact: the number one cause of death in this country is heart disease. Heart disease that is caused when these large, bulky Americans chow down on that delicious McDonald's burger filled with cholesterol. The junk food served at these fast food giants will never be heart healthy, but we should do whatever possible to help the hearts of average Americans by replacing the oils used for healthier ones. The questions I'm asking are: Should we help save lives? Should we halt the usage of trans fats in our society? I think the answer to those questions are "yea, big time."
blond_guy

Con

Kusfraba, I agree with your opening argument, however your topic sentence is a bit too harsh. Making such things as trans fat illegal would bring down the economy. Consumer foods containing trans fat is a billion dollar industry. Also, nature makes it very easy for us to obtain trans fat and making it ILLEGAL would only influence criminals to attain it illegally and selling it at higher prices. There are better ways to go about decreasing this obesity problem in the United States. Banning unsaturated fat would cause too much commotion among the people and it will not prevent the country from consuming foods that contain unsaturated fat.
Debate Round No. 1
Kusfraba

Pro

Yes, while "consumer foods containing trans fat is a billion dollar industry," there are many alternatives that would even IMPROVE the economy. With more health officials warning the public about the negative effects of trans fats on the body (Coronary heart disease, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver dysfunction, and even infertility -- New England Journal of Medicine), many people would choose, like myself, not to put themselves in harm's way and remove junk food from their diets completely or severely. One alternative, put in place by the J.M. Smucker Company, yielded zero grams of trans fat per 1 tablespoon serving.
"Nature makes it very easy for us to obtain trans fat and making it ILLEGAL would only influence criminals to attain it illegally and selling it at higher prices." While this is true of hallucinogens and other drugs, there are no "trans fat blunts" passed around a circle of unruly teenagers, nor do people inject, inhale, burn, or in any way absorb it to receive a bout of pleasure or strange hallucinations. There would be ZERO benefit in illegally obtaining these trans fats, as alternatives are right around the corner.
"Banning unsaturated fat would cause too much commotion among the people..." First of all, I would like to clarify something: TRANS fats are a TYPE of unsaturated fat. I am not proposing to ban ALL unsaturated fats, just the ones containing trans-isomer fatty acids (partially hydrogenated, hydrogenated - the bad stuff!). Now, as for the "commotion" it would cause, I highly doubt there would be any negative commotion. This is because the people who eat at fast food restaurants are hardly even aware that what they're eating (two ladies have sued McDonald's because "it made them fat."), and those who DO know what's in the food will be that much happier, knowing that the food is that much healthier because of the proposed ban.
"Banning unsaturated fat... will not prevent the country from consuming foods that contain unsaturated fat." OK, again I clarify that I am not proposing to ban unsaturated fat, but trans fat. I disagree wholeheartedly with this ludicrous statement. Banning trans fat in the United States, I believe, WILL "prevent the country from consuming foods that contain unsaturated fat," because there will be no trans fat for them to "consume."
blond_guy

Con

"Yes, while "consumer foods containing trans fat is a billion dollar industry," there are many alternatives that would even IMPROVE the economy."

There is no way possible that it will improve the economy because taking trans fat out of the picture will make it more expensive for certain companies to produce their goods and make them "taste good". Why do you think they place trans fat in their food in the first place? You think they take pleasure in clogging the nation's arteries?
Which leads me onto my next point.

"There would be ZERO benefit in illegally obtaining these trans fats"

There are scandals every month on certain food producing companies, have you heard of the one with cow meat last week? Well, these companies could obtain these fats and put it in their food without telling the people. It is a billion dollar industry for a reason. People will buy the product more if it contains trans fat regardless of whether they know it or not. I'd rather have these foods be legal and never consume them (it's not like I have a choice, my mom would never buy anything outside of trader joe's :P), than to be eating foods that contain trans fat without knowing it!

Making it illegal is a bit too harsh. No doubt it is a problem in America but you can't just ban it!
Debate Round No. 2
Kusfraba

Pro

As you are reading this, please keep in mind that I am also quoting from the messages below. Thank you.

First, I will respond to blond_guy's arguments, then move on to the member's comments.

"Well, these companies could obtain these fats and put it in their food without telling the people."
Yes, but that would be illegal. Many companies would choose the legal method as opposed to taking the risk of getting caught with this illegal substance. Believe it or not, but not all large businesses are corrupt, and not all large businesses would smuggle trans fats into their food to save a little cash.

"It is a billion dollar industry for a reason."
Are you suggesting that food production industries are built on crime?

"People will buy the product more if it contains trans fat regardless of whether they know it or not."
I think you make this assumption based on the idea that "trans fats make food taste better." This is not true. There have been surveys taken that show that the vast majority of consumers can NOT taste the difference between substitute and original trans fat. People tend to buy food that tastes better, and if the brand that they always buy happens to switch to trans fat substitutes, then it could end up saving lives.

"I'd rather have these foods be legal and never consume them (it's not like I have a choice, my mom would never buy anything outside of trader joe's :P)"
Your mum thankfully cares for your health, but unfortunately some mothers cannot afford the healthier food supplied by Trader Joe's. Many just reach for the cheapest item on the shelf, without worrying the harm it can cause to them or their children over the next few years of their lives.

"No doubt it is a problem in America..."
The first step is acceptance...

--------------------------------------------

And now for the Member's Comments!

C-Mach: " We get smoking banned (What an international embarrassment!), as well as Styrofoam fast-food packaging."
Have you ever considered the reasoning behind this? Smoking is a huge health issue all over the world. You should be thankful that smoking was banned, although if you're not (and you're not), I'm sure your lungs will. Unless you like them blackened?
As for the styrofoam, I congratulate whoever banned it. Styrofoam is the bane of the environment. Impossible to break down, it lies in landfills for hundreds of years, further degrading the environment.
My point is that people won't stop by themselves. They NEED someone to ban the things that are killing them. Trans fat is an example.

Figoitalia: "since when it is it the government's job to tell us how to eat? are we that stupid as a population that the national government needs to tell us basically, "no desert or trans fats for you!". do you seriously not see a problem with giving government that much power?"
"are we that stupid as a population that the national government needs to tell us basically, 'no des[s]ert or trans fats for you!'" The answer to that is sadly yes. Many Americans are arrogant and ignorant beyond measure. Want proof? Look at what we are doing to our own bodies. Whenever I see a fat kid, I see ignorant parents. Whenever I see skinny people eating in McDonald's everyday, I see arrogant people who believe that they are above heart disease because they are not overweight. Why do you think the government banned drugs? BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL BUY WHAT THEY WANT, NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT DEGRADES THEIR BODY. I can't stress this point enough.
"do you seriously not see a problem with giving government that much power?" The power to save? No, I have no problem with the government saving lives.

C-Mach: "Actually, having a fatter population should be seen as a great achievement. Do you know why. Because we have made food in such abundance and at such low prices, along with a population that is wealthier, that we can actually sustain a nation that has 300 million people."
This is an absurd argument. A fatter population is nothing to be proud of. This is not an environmental debate, so I will not get into the sustainability of our way of life. Obesity is a prime factor in thousands of deaths nationwide. Is that something a country should be proud of? Should a nation be proud that it's people are slowly killing themselves by eating garbage? Should a nation be proud that it's people have no idea about what they are putting into their mouths and digesting? Should a nation be proud of it's ignorance?

Figoitalia: "haha maybe kusfraba can do a debate on that: which is more embarrasing for a country? alot of fat people, or the government having to tell us what to eat?"
You don't get it, do you? How embarrassing would it be to have the lowest death rate due to heart disease? How embarrassing would it be to have a healthy population? I have seen little change within individual citizens, and I think that what is needed is a harsher crackdown on potentially LETHAL substances found in FOOD.

blond_guy: "The government isn't my mom, my dad, my babysitter or anything of the sort. Just imagine the embarrassment of a country so fat and sick that it is necessary to ban trans fats!"
Just imagine the embarrassment of being considered the "fattest nation." This country is going to get a heck of a lot fatter and sicker if nothing is done to prevent people eating trans fats.

--------------------------------------------

Trans fats can ruin a human body in a similar fashion to drugs. America is addicted to trans fats, and it's people are suffering from it. Trans fats may be cheaper to buy, but at what cost to it's citizens? Is it worth it to be able to buy something you "never will" at the cost of hundreds becoming ill with heart disease? Is it worth your right to shun those french fries if it causes others to become obese for it? You may be thinking that these people have a choice too, but with a minimum wage paycheck in their pockets, those cheaper foods are going to look real tempting.

So please, consider the pro side. Consider the People.

Thank you.
blond_guy

Con

"Many companies would choose the legal method as opposed to taking the risk of getting caught with this illegal substance."

Many is not all. I think that as a democracy we should leave it up to the people to decide whether they want to consume foods that contain trans fat. At least we have the F.D.A. that forces companies to state whether there is trans fat in their products. We see scandals on the news about all types of food containing Ecoli and such, not only that, but you need to understand those are the ones that got caught! Some never get caught. And I, like many Americans who like to keep a healthy diet, wouldn't want the risk of consuming trans fat without knowing it.

Also, by 2008, it won't be legal for restaurants to have trans fat in their food. That I understand because restaurants (fast food is included) don't have a way to tell you the nutritious components in the food you're eating. But say you go to the supermarket and get some food that says "5% trans fat", it's pretty visible and you should have the right to have it if you want it.

"Are you suggesting that food production industries are built on crime?"

No, because it is currently legal. What I was suggesting is that these industries make a lot of money with trans fats and it would be wrong to rape them of all that money, even though you probably don't have much respect for these industries and don't care, and most of all, raping the people of their right to eat what they want. That idea is ludicrous!

"unfortunately some mothers cannot afford the healthier food supplied by Trader Joe's. Many just reach for the cheapest item on the shelf, without worrying the harm it can cause to them or their children over the next few years of their lives."

But that's exactly my point! It's cheaper because it contains trans fats. And like I said, it's a billion dollar industry, so if that industry falls, then the price of food with these trans fat substitutes would go up.

It's not really customary to respond to other people's comments on your argument. It's no big deal, but I'd suggest you just leave your responses to those people in comments.
However, I'll reply to what you said about my comment and your ending statement.

<>

Agreed. And I believe we are the fattest nation. So I did some research on trans fat bans because your brother brought it to my attention that Australia did such. I found that that is true along with Canada and Denmark. Now you see, the difference is that America has a conforming issue. Whether it's Health Care, or the metric system, or whatever. If the people know the dangers of trans fat, and believe me after so many books and movies on it they must, but if they still want to consume trans fat then let them!

<>

<>

As a matter of fact, I intended to debate you on drug legalization because that's hurting our disagreement ratio lol. So after this debate I'll send you a challenge.

<>

Well, it's not like I eat french fries and then a random person in America clogs their arteries. They are the ones imploring for the right to eat their french fries.

<>

And by banning trans fats, you will be eliminating those cheap foods you will be starving those people! It's expensive on the people who buy these foods, you're not helping them by banning trans fats.

I believe some of my arguments still stand. However, this was a great debate (I never said that before), and have fun with the one on drug legalization that I will be sending you soon.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kusfraba 9 years ago
Kusfraba
I would like to make one thing very clear to everyone who has (or hasn't) read all of the arguments before they vote. blond_guy keeps using the argument of "people like trans fats" and "everyone knows that they are harmful" (not direct quotes). I have mentioned repeatedly that people are either not well-informed or just don't care. These have nothing to do with actually enjoying trans fats.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
" "I have every right to have an unhealthy diet."
Please read my arguments."

Your arguments do not cancel rights.
Posted by Kusfraba 9 years ago
Kusfraba
blond_guy, I wish this debate was longer. There are many misconceptions and easily torn down arguments in your last round. However, it was fun while it lasted and I thank you for that. I see there is a challenge waiting for me, so I will talk to you soon.

Well, it seems as if the member comments area is becoming more of a debate zone than the actual topic!

figoitalia: "This is because trans fat is naturally present in many animal foods in trace quantities"
Incorrect. Unsaturated fats are the ones you mean. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have undergone the process of hydrogenation.

seldumonde: "I have every right to have an unhealthy diet."
Please read my arguments.

kingd12, thank you.
Posted by seldumonde 9 years ago
seldumonde
You got it, Ragnar. Fascism has become completely acceptable. Some are perfectly OK with the government telling them exactly what to do. I find this strange because in each of our own lives, we generally rebel when someone tries to control our every move that way. That's why children disobey too strict parents. And why we dislike relationships where one side is obsessed with controlling the other.

Thus I think the truth is that people hate this kind of control on THEM, but are more than happy to see it inflicted on others who they look down upon as too stupid to make their own choices. Desiring this type of government control is a direct result of profound elitism and condescension towards "normal" people who will just sit there and kill themselves shoving down cupcakes and fast food until the government forces them to stop.

We must be against fascism of ANY KIND if we are to be free. That includes when it sounds good and harmless. I have every right to have an unhealthy diet.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Banning trans fat would not be fascism. That is the equivalent of saying that banning pot is a deployment of fascism"

And? Fascists would do either one :D...

The government does not have the right to decide what people do to themselves.
Posted by kingd12 9 years ago
kingd12
Banning trans fat would not be fascism. That is the equivalent of saying that banning pot is a deployment of fascism. Here is reality. The F.D.A is just as corrupt as any other government organization. Yes they have demanded that trans fats be mentioned on products but they don't. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is purely a trans fat and it is in almost everything in present times, including products that have "No trans fat" printed nice and big on the package. Why do they get away with this? Because trans fats are not used for taste as mentioned above because there ARE plenty of substitutes. They are used for preservation. It is cheaper for the food industry to kill you with trans fats then to make you sick by selling rotting food. It won't be devastating to the economy. The economy was great 10 years ago when there was FAR less usage of trans fats. What will help the economy is people ALIVE, spending, investing, and did again being ALIVE. It should be illegal because it is poison. It won't be because the F.D.A are to in love with Frito Lay etc... Good debate someone should start it again.
Posted by figoitalia 9 years ago
figoitalia
Fascism- an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole. Fascists seek to forge a type of national unity,

sugar coat it all you want kusfraba, by saying you are "giving the government the power to save", or " yes people need to be told what to eat because they dont know" or "How embarrassing would it be to have the lowest death rate due to heart disease?" the fact is that banning trans fats would be fascist, eliminating our right to choose what to eat, for a better national stat.

and btw, the National Acedemy of Science have not recommended the elimination of trans fat from the diet. This is because trans fat is naturally present in many animal foods in trace quantities, and therefore its removal from ordinary diets might introduce undesirable side effects and nutritional imbalances.

and one more thing, if someone want to eat unhealthy they are going to do so wether these fats are banned or not. if americas are as ignorant as you say we are, then we would probably substitue other unhealty food.
Posted by Kusfraba 9 years ago
Kusfraba
Thank you for your input. I will address these issues in my next argument.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Actually, having a fatter population should be seen as a great achievement. Do you know why. Because we have made food in such abundance and at such low prices, along with a population that is wealthier, that we can actually sustain a nation that has 300 million people.
Posted by figoitalia 9 years ago
figoitalia
haha maybe kusfraba can do a debate on that: which is more embarrasing for a country? alot of fat people, or the government having to tell us what to eat?
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