Commentary: This Was Not the Davis Way

Former Davis Mayor Ann Evans flanked by Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis had the courage of conviction
Former Davis Mayor Ann Evans, flanked by Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis, had the courage of conviction

On Monday at the press conference, the comment that rang most true was made by former Davis Mayor Ann Evans, who stated, “In my day, my council, this would have been on the ballot.” That was a comment that rang true, not only to myself but to a number of people who have lived in this community far longer than me.

If that statement is true, why is this council different from one 30 years ago when Ann Evans was mayor? Some have suggested that this is no longer a big “D” Democratic town, but if you look at the vote on this issue, the two Democrats on council – Lucas Frerichs and Mayor Dan Wolk – were among the no votes on council.

Some argued yesterday that this vote was a show of strength as the council stood up to the pressure by a small group of activists. The problem with that argument is, for the most part, those people were not in the council chambers. The council chambers were full, but not with activists. The room was full with a group of small business owners who were arguing that this tax wouldn’t do any good and would hurt their bottom line.

Of course, one of them explained that their diabetes in India did not come from soda, but from heredity. The problem is that they appeared to misunderstand the difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.

The people who came and spoke at the chambers were not an organized group of activists, and the chambers were not packed with them. It was just a bunch of normal people, including myself, who felt strongly on this issue.

The council, in my view, didn’t stand up to a bunch of activists, they caved to a combination of professional lobbyists from the beverage industry and the grocers’ association, and some local small business owners – and council was willing to figure out a way to exempt them.

As I noted yesterday in my article, as a graduate student in political science at UC Davis, I often was a teaching assistant for a professor in American Government who would argue that, when the going got tough and a President wanted to kill an idea, they would assign it to a task force.

The council did not kill the initiative last night, rather they punted on it. They kicked it to a task force where the mayor won’t have to deal with the volatile issue during his Assembly Election bid.

While Rochelle Swanson was probably most sincere in her vote, her rationale was troubling. “I was very inspired by the Raise the Wage conversations earlier.” She cited the conversation that will emerge and go forward and argued, “Frankly, that is more the Davis way, we don’t have someone at public comment two weeks ago and suddenly we have it on the ballot.”

She continued, “Twenty-three years for Nishi, 36 years for the water project. We did half of what we wanted for parks tax because we wanted it to be a success.”

Comparing a soda tax and the public health crisis – not a misplaced use of “crisis” when one in four kids in our community is obese and that represents a far better number than surrounding communities – to land use decisions on Nishi or fiscal decisions on the water project is ludicrous.

Had Rochelle Swanson been at the rally on Monday, perhaps she would have heard what former Mayor Ann Evans had to say. Ann Evans on Monday said that Davis was the first to disinvest in South Africa, to provide regulations for solar and so on, and “now is the time for disinvesting in the kinds of sugary beverages that children are drinking by educating them about the importance of not drinking and giving them equal access to education and lifelong learning.”

“We have a chance to add, to our revenue stream in Davis, a soda tax. But the council has to have the vision as well as the courage to allow us to decide and this would not be the first time Davis took a step that was unlike steps other cities are willing to take,” she said. “We have been a leader throughout my entire time in this city.”

Former Mayor Maynard Skinner was in the audience on Tuesday as well. He could have told the tale of how the city became first in the nation to pass a smoking ordinance.

But to me the most telling story that Ann Evans related was, when they located the Davis Farmer’s Market at Central Park, “the city council was flooded with businesses that didn’t want it to go there because it was unfair competition and would take customers away from them in the morning.” She said they were wrong about that, and that it is the right thing to have a farmer’s market in town.

The council didn’t kick the Farmer’s Market decision to a study group. They didn’t delay the decision for 23 years. They acted and the community was better for it. Those who feared that the Farmer’s Market would undermine their business were wrong.

Back in December, Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis made much the same case.

“Each generation has its public health challenges,” Robb Davis stated.  “My generation, it was cigarettes and a tax on cigarettes was going to destroy small businesses,” he said, pointing to the audience.  “And it hasn’t and we’re healthier.”

With all due respect to Rochelle Swanson – and I have a lot of respect for her as a leader in this community – the Davis Way is not to delay and push things to a task force. The Davis Way is to be bold innovators. To act on injustice. To act to protect the weak and the vulnerable.

In the 1980s, not only was Davis among the first to divest from South Africa, Davis became a sanctuary city to take in refugees from El Salvador and the brutal human rights crisis of the day. They didn’t push that decision to a task force or wait to study its impacts – they saw a crisis and they met it head on.

That is the Davis Way and the Davis I am proud to call my home. What I saw on Tuesday night did not fill me with pride, it left me wondering why people I otherwise respect would turn their backs on the public health crisis of today.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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120 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    The council chambers was full but not with activists. It was full with a group of small business owners who were arguing that this tax wouldn’t do any good and would hurt their bottom line.

    I watched the comments and there were many of the same old local activists that spoke in favor of the tax.  The business owners didn’t want to be there, they had to show up to protect their businesses from the coordinated onslaught to levy taxes on them that just started materializing only two months ago in a rush to get it on the June ballot.  As some on the council stated this all came out of left field.

     “In my day, my council, this would have been on the ballot.”

    How many times has a Davis council ever put a proposal to tax a targeted product like soda on a ballot?

    1. Tia Will

      BP

      there were many of the same old local activists that spoke in favor of the tax”

      I agree that this is true. However, it is also true that a similar number of next generation activists were present advocating for the same proposal at the previous day’s event. You and Alan however chose to dismiss their participation with out any substantiation that they did not indeed firmly and independently hold these views. As a matter of fact, Alan went so far as to state that substantiation was not necessary because he knew the truth because God had told him so.  In all fairness to Alan, I believe that the last part was tongue in cheek, however one could not have told that from the certainty expressed in his previous posts.

  2. Mark West

    “In the 1980s not only was Davis among the first to divest from South Africa, Davis became a sanctuary city to take in refugees from El Salvador and the brutal human rights crisis of the day. They didn’t push that decision to a task force or wait to study its impacts – they saw a crisis and they met it head on.”

    Those are both good examples of the ‘Davis Way,’ but what did they accomplish with those moves? They were both symbolic efforts that made people feel good but did absolutely nothing to impact the underlying crises (reminds me of the toad tunnel). That is the exact same situation with the soda tax, a completely symbolic move that does nothing to address the underlying crisis, but in this case, does harm local businesses.

    I would prefer that our City Council use their time (Staff time and tax money) working on problems that they have the power to solve, rather than wasting it on yet another symbolic – feel good – effort. Maybe we can call it ‘the new Davis way.’

    1. Tia Will


      Mark and Frankly,

      Those are both good examples of the ‘Davis Way,’ but what did they accomplish with those moves? They were both symbolic efforts that made people feel good but did absolutely nothing to impact the underlying crises.

      This is a sincere question since I do not know the answer.  Have you researched the actual impacts of two other measures often categorized as “ineffective” and “feel good”. Namely the impact of the anti -tobacco measures of which Davis was an early adopter and the healthy beverage default. I am unaware of any numbers that directly support a claim of local effectiveness. I would also note that you have not presented any evidence to support your claim. So as of this posting, neither of us has presented any evidence to support either efficacy or lack thereof. So also as of this posting, this represents both of us merely putting forward our own interpretation of events. It would seem to me that with this lack of information, it is most likely true that which of us people agree with is more a matter of their world view than it is of any evidence we have presented. So in somewhat pithier terms, this remains a matter of “he said/ she said”. Perhaps Don or Matt or David would like to weigh in with more substantial information.

      1. Mark West

        Tia:

        I did not advocate for either of the local initiatives that you mentioned, so I have no responsibility to provide evidence of their efficacy.  That is the responsibility of those who are advocating for the change, i.e. you. You are the one looking to justify your distractions and you are the one responsible for providing the evidence.

        Until the proponents provide proof of efficacy (even in retrospect) the correct assumption is that the measures were not effective.

        1. Tia Will

          Mark

          I did not advocate for either of the local initiatives that you mentioned, so I have no responsibility to provide evidence of their efficacy.  That is the responsibility of those who are advocating for the change, i.e. you.”

          I agree that you have no responsibility to provide evidence of their efficacy. I believe that you do have an obligation to present evidence for your repeated claim that they would be ineffective. I also believe that since you oppose this, you also have an obligation to suggest what other measures ( other than those which are already being advocated) might be more effective. For example, I greatly appreciated BPs posting of the suggestion for labelling. This is an idea which unfortunately has been previously  suggested and successfully pushed back on by the soda industry just as similar labelling measures were previously defeated by cigarette manufacturers.

          We have a fundamental point of disagreement here. I strongly disagree that the opponents of a proposed measure have no further factual obligation. I would like to share with you my basis for this opinion so that you will at least understand my point of view although you may not agree with it.

          For the past 10 years I was a member of our administrative team during the direction  of the most effective Chief of our rapidly growing department ( an increase from approximately 25 to our current physician and primary care provider staff of well over 70 along with all the needed support staff). Her success was based in large part on her management style.

          If a proposal for a new policy, new process, or new project was put forth and there was not near universal agreement, she would direct those advocating the change and those opposing the change to come back with their best evidence both pro and con within a time frame that she specified. Usually she preferred although did not mandate that both sides present their reasoning and evidence in electronic form prior to the date selected for team approval. This allowed for the material to be addressed by the team members in advance, questions addressed and points of potential agreement and possible compromise identified before the formal discussion actually occurred. It made for much more efficient processing and adoption or rejection of proposals based on the evidence presented by both sides.

          Because I see this process which I see as a  full vetting of all points of view when considering proposals, rather than one side simply sitting back and lobbing objections, I would like to see a more inclusive, less dismissive approach be adopted at the city level.

          I would appreciate your feedback on the reasons that I have reached this conclusion.

        2. Mark West

          Tia:

          If a drug company wants to market a new drug they have to prove efficacy.  It is not the responsibility of their competitors (or the government for that matter) to prove a lack there of.  You are claiming that what you propose is effective. Unless you have proof of such, the default position is that you are wrong. If you do not have proof of efficacy, there is none. No one else needs to prove the negative.

          You have the opportunity to look at the results in Berkeley since they already have the soda tax that you are advocating for.  If there was any evidence that the new tax had reduced consumption of soda by residents (not just reduced sales due to the shifting of purchase location) I feel certain that the proponents of the new tax would have presented that evidence. Similarly, in the decades that the anti-smoking campaigns have been active if there was a shred of evidence that a local tax in a city the size of Davis impacted cigarette consumption by residents of that city, you would have presented it.  In the absence of such proof, your claims are nothing more than hot air, perhaps well intentioned, but hot air none the less.

          You are the one making the claim, it is, therefore, your responsibility to prove it.

        3. hpierce

          Time, place, and method…

          All the local ordinances on tobacco only affected place (and perhaps, time)… I sincerely doubt whether the Davis actions caused ANY smoker to quit. They would time their smoking to be 20 feet away from certain locations…

          I say this knowing both of my parents smoked, but were not allowed to do so within breathing distance of us or our children… only affected time and place…

  3. Barack Palin

    That is the exact same situation with the soda tax, a completely symbolic move that does nothing to address the underlying crisis, but in this case, does harm local businesses.

    Not to mention that the tax would’ve taken $1 million out of local consumer’s pockets and given it to who the Hell knows.

    I would prefer that our City Council use their time (Staff time and tax money) working on problems that they have the power to solve, rather than wasting it on yet another symbolic – feel good – effort. Maybe we can call it ‘the new Davis way.’

    I like the “New Davis Way”.

    1. Tia Will

      BP

      Not to mention that the tax would’ve taken $1 million out of local consumer’s pocket”

      I would disagree that something that would take $1 million our of the local consumer’s pocket could be construed as “completely symbolic”. As a taxpayer, I would much rather see my tax money going to health programs as suggested in Robb’s proposal than I would see the same amount of money going to those who choose to profit from the adverse consequences to others. I believe that I have been consistent in this position whether it was the tobacco industry, the purveyors of “food products” as opposed to actual foods as in the mission statement of the Mars Company, or those who profit from the sales of unhealthy beverages.

  4. hpierce

    A bit of history, for those who weren’t here, or have forgotten… on Ann Evans’ “watch” (she was mayor), the highest vote-getter in the previous council election (and, who, as I recall, actually the mayor pro-tem) was DENIED the chance to be Mayor, as part of an obvious machination to seat Corbett as mayor, instead.  So much for concerns for voters… it was indeed this incident that directly led to the mayoral selection process being codified, rather than being a long-standing tradition.

      1. hpierce

        Yeah, compared to a lot of folk I know in town, I’m sorta’ a newbie here too… only 40 years… and, yes I was in the Council Chambers and saw/heard, in person, the incident cited…

        [Sidebar: I always get a kick out of the folk who start out their public comment with, “I’m a long-time City resident… I’ve been here 8 years”…]

    1. Tia Will

      hpierce

      I have never believed that I would agree with every position of any council member. I have never felt that one action, no matter how much I disagreed with it, should preclude me from considering their positions on other issues based on the merits of those positions rather than my dislike of one vote.

      On a lighter note, I have been here almost 30 years. I do not know that this makes me anything other than a concerned citizen.

  5. Frankly

    Comparing a soda tax and the public health crisis – not a misplaced use of “crisis” when one in four kids in our community is obese and that represents a far better number than surrounding communities – to land use decisions on Nishi or fiscal decisions on the water project is ludicrous.

    The only thing “obese” in our community is this statement.  It is a big fat lie.   There is no way that 25% of kids in our community are obese unless you are talking about infants before they can walk.

    This is being lied about just like the kids that needed fluoride.

    1. hpierce

      Nuance, Frankly… some children need fluoride supplements… either topically (usually), or otherwise.

      That we need to fluoridate the entire municipal water supply, including the water used to wash our dishes, flush our toilets, take showers/baths, irrigate our parks/greenbelts/vegetable gardens, etc., is indeed an “untruth”, if not (as Twain would put it) ‘a damned lie’.  For those who need fluoride supplements (other than diet), there are more effective, less costly methods for delivery… but those would best be done at a level far beyond a single city… people do move around…

      1. Frankly

        I offered to donate $10k to help get the fluoride to those needy kids that the activists claimed existed.  After a significant effort to do so it became clear that those kids did NOT exist as was suspected by some more intelligent than me.

        Prior to this I watched the Yolo Land Trust use a USDA operative to lie about the potential impact to their future grant eligibility if the City would have reversed course on Mace 391 to develop half of it as a City-owned innovation park.

        What I am figuring out is that there is a pattern of social justice activists and their related non-profit friends to manufacture crises (lie about the numbers) to generate support for new taxes than then flow to their non-profit operation.   There is collusion and cronyism in the relationships between elected officials, the activists and the non-profits.

        There is no way in hell that 25% of Davis kids are obese.  Just like there is no way that any significant number of Davis kids do not have easy access to fluoride… and now because of ACA… to free and cheap dental care.

        It is all starting to come real clear to me.  There are these people that have their identity and livelihood connected to these social justice causes, and if we really solve the problems that are their causes, they lose their identity and their livelihood.   So they are desperately working to gin up problems that don’t really exist so that they can stay relevant.

        When the Great Recession hit I suddenly had a percentage of my loan portfolio go to problem status.  I had to hire a specialist in loan liquidations and bankruptcies.  I told her that her job was to work herself out of a job…  that we would migrate her to other work as she did this.

        This about this as it relates to a public health non-profit.  What if more people start to lead a healthier life?  What if the government implements an expensive program to provide healthcare benefits to those than previously could not afford it or did not have access?  What are those non-profit employees and activists going to do?

        What they are doing is to keep making crap up.

        What they should do is be working on a change to their career.

        1. wdf1

          Frankly:  I offered to donate $10k to help get the fluoride to those needy kids that the activists claimed existed.  After a significant effort to do so it became clear that those kids did NOT exist as was suspected by some more intelligent than me.

          Please explain how you determined that those kids did NOT exist.

        2. Tia Will

          Frankly

          “I offered to donate $10k to help get the fluoride to those needy kids that the activists claimed existed.  After a significant effort to do so it became clear that those kids did NOT exist.”

          I have stated before, and you have chosen to ignore my alternative explanation. I believe that you chose to ask the wrong people. Both the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics for Kaiser North Valley, not just Davis, and I were in agreement in promoting the fluoride proposal. We both have documentation of need as was presented to both the Davis City Council and the Advisory Commission on this issue. I know that you know how to reach me, and I suspect that it would not have taken too much effort to contact Dr. Otani.  But it seems that you chose not to do so. I will not speculate on why that may have been except to state that you were aware, because I said so, that I would be willing to work with the opponents on their concerns on many occasions, one of which I know that you were present for since you came up to me and expressed appreciation for my presentation even though you did not agree with the substance.

          In addition to talking with Alan Pryor, I would offer to wdf1  that he might also discuss this with me since I was also very engaged with this issue and would like any one interested to obtain the full range of views on this issue in order to make up their own minds.

        3. Alan Miller

          There is collusion and cronyism in the relationships between elected officials, the activists and the non-profits.

          Bingo, Frank Lee.  I learned that when I worked for seven years for a non-profit in Sacramento.

          Of course, there is also collusion and cronyism between elected officials, activists and unions; and between elected officials, lawyers and corporations . . . I could got on . . .

        4. Tia Will

          Frankly

          “I offered to donate $10k to help get the fluoride to those needy kids that the activists claimed existed.”

          I would like to present an alternative theory on why your very generous offer of a donation of $10 K was not accepted other than the children in need not existing.

          I had pointed out to you in a direct communication why this generous offer was unlikely to significantly affect the intended population. My point at the time was that $10 K would purchase one exam table or its equivalent in medical expenditures. What is needed is more than a $ 10 K donation, although that would be accepted by many children’s health organizations gratefully. What is needed is a broad public health approach that will affect all residents who choose to drink the water.

          This was stressed as only a children’s measure although it also has protective effects on bone structure of the elderly, on the teeth of people of all ages, and is applicable to children whose parents may not be poor, but may not realize the importance of prescribed fluoride supplements. It was Dr. Otani’s experience over many years that parents tend to either not fill the prescriptions, or do not appreciate that prescribed use is ongoing and so never refill the prescription after the first quantity is finished. I am sure that some of you will point out that this is the parents responsibility, and I agree, but it is the child that suffers the adverse consequences of their parents lack of responsible action. Would any of you not pull your neighbor’s child out of the way of an oncoming car if it could be done safely, even if you felt that neighbor was negligent for allowing the child to enter the street ?

      1. Frankly

        Yolo County, not Davis.

        We all know what is going on here.  Latinos and Blacks have a much higher occurrence of obesity than do Caucasians.  Also obesity is much higher in the low-income population.  Davis has a very low population of Latinos and blacks and has a very low population of low-income people (taking the students out of that count as we should).

        So, I will repeat.

        It is a lie to say that Davis has 25% obese children.

        1. Don Shor

          has a very low population of Latinos and blacks and has a very low population of low-income people

          Davis has an increasing population of low-income Hispanics.
          If you repeatedly say something is a lie, then prove it. Otherwise you’re just speculating. Data, please, not ideology.

          1. David Greenwald

            Not only that but among young people, the percentage of Hispanics is nearly 20 percent now in the school district.

        2. Frankly

          Davis has an increasing population of low-income Hispanics.
          If you repeatedly say something is a lie, then prove it. Otherwise you’re just speculating. Data, please, not ideology.

          Per the US Census

          – Yolo County is 31.5% Hispanic/Latino and Davis is 12.5%.

          – Yolo County is 3% black and Davis is 2.3%

          – Yolo County is 19.1% below poverty and Davis is 26.3%… but again we need to remove the starving college students from this… where MOST of them are below the poverty level.  If we remove the college students from the population Davis becomes on of the most affluent cities in the region and in the state.

          – Yolo County has 21.7% of its population under the age of 18, and Davis is is 16.4%.

          – In Davis 21,757 of the population (33.2%) is aged 18 to 24.

          So, yes it is a lie that Davis has 25% of its kids obese.   A BIG FAT LIE!

        3. hpierce

          David, is there a cite for your posit as to %-age of hispanic/latino students?  As I understand it, it is ‘self-identification’, so if someone is 1/8th hispanic/latino, they can identify as so…

          1. David Greenwald

            I wrote an article on it with the data at some point I want to say in the fall. The data came from the district.

        4. wdf1

          Frankly:  So, yes it is a lie that Davis has 25% of its kids obese.   A BIG FAT LIE!

          As best I can determine, the 25% probably comes from this dataset which includes body composition numbers for 9th graders in 2014-15.  If you add the percent of 9th graders under body composition for “needs improvement” (NI) and “needs improvement, health risk,” you come up with a percent that is about 25% (14.2% + 10.5%).  The “needs improvement” category is for a BMI that is “overweight.”  The “needs improvement, health risk” is for a BMI that defines “obese.”  See this.  From this, one could more convincingly say that 10.5% of DJUSD 9th graders are obese; 14.2% of DJUSD 9th graders are “overweight.”  7th grade numbers come close to these.

        5. Frankly

          “Needs Improvement” does not mean obese from anything I can see on this report.  And 10.5% and 14.2% is not 25% unless there is some new Common Core math being applied.

          How does this compare to other communities?   If Davis’s percent of 7th and 9th graders that need body composition improvement is similar to or less than other communities, then how can we justify this claim that Davis has a crisis in obesity?

        6. wdf1

          Frankly:  “Needs Improvement” does not mean obese from anything I can see on this report.

          Go here to see where the BMI numbers fall for each category.

          “Needs improvement” falls in the range of overweight.  “Needs improvement, health risk” falls in the range of obese.

          Frankly:  And 10.5% and 14.2% is not 25%…

          10.5% + 14.2% = 24.7%, which is an excuse for someone to say, around 25%.

          Based on this dataset, one could say that about 25% of 9th graders are overweight as defined by BMI.  But that’s not the same as obese.

        7. Frankly

          10.5% + 14.2% = 24.7%

          Well there is some Commom-Core math!

          Maybe it should be 24.7% / 2 = 12.35% of 7th and 9th graders on average are overweight?

          Again, how does this compare to everywhere else?

        8. wdf1

          wdf1: 10.5% + 14.2% = 24.7%

          Frankly: Well there is some Commom-Core math!

          Meaning what?  That kind of math existed before Common Core.  It’s standard.  Don’t see what point you’re trying to make.
          Maybe it should be 24.7% / 2 = 12.35% of 7th and 9th graders on average are overweight?
          Don’t know what you’re trying to say.  24.7% of 9th graders are overweight or obese, according to that dataset.  For 7th graders, it is also 24.7% that are overweight/obese (13.8% + 10.9% = 24.7%).
          Frankly:  Again, how does this compare to everywhere else?
          From the original link you can find out yourself.  I’m not inclined to spend more time on this issue for the moment.  I remember checking back in December when David Greenwald ran another article on obesity at the time, and I think Davis looked a little better.
          Personally, if 25% of students (okay, 24.7%) are overweight or obese, then I’m interested in discussing local solutions.  I don’t find anything noble in looking at other communities and patting ourselves on the back because our numbers look better.

        9. Frankly

          Arg!

          The report shows:

          – the percent of 7th graders that Need Improvement for their Body Composition is 13.8%

          – the percent of 9th graders that Need Improvement for their Body Composition is 14.2%

          So if there are 1000 7th graders, 138 of them Need Improvement

          And if there are 1000 9th graders, 142 of them Need Improvement

          That is 280 kids out of 2000 that Need Improvement.

          280 / 2000 = 14%

          And “Needs Improvement” is not obese.  Obese would be a subset of the 14%

          So we are talking about less than 14% obese.

          Again, there is lots of lying going on here.

        10. Frankly

          Ok.  I see now…. there is

          Needs Improvement AND Needs Improvement / Health Risk.

          How many of those are truly Obese?   Obese is “grossly over-weight”  A BMI of 30 or more.

          The link shows that Body Composition is a measure of:

          Skinfold Measurements
          Body Mass Index
          Bioelectric Impedance Analyzer

          Here is the more detailed measures they use: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/documents/pft13hfzcharts.pdf

          I can see that for 7th graders “Health Risk” is any child with a BMI over 18.3 and for 9th graders it is 20.

          So even the Health Risk group cannot be considered obese.  And it is unclear if the Needs Improvement group also includes kids that are too thin.

          And this grid really does not make any sense.  A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered underweight.  18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy.  A BMI over 25 is considered unhealthy.  Only 30 or more is obese.

          http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/

          So even though I missed that second column, there is still a lot of lying going on.

           

        11. wdf1

          Frankly:  How many of those are truly Obese?   Obese is “grossly over-weight”  A BMI of 30 or more.

          Obesity, in those datasets, BMI of 30 or more for adults.

      2. hpierce

        Thank you Don… just did a quick scan, and it appears that Yolo County has significantly less of a problem than the state-wide average… perhaps a state-wide focus/effort is what is needed…

        1. wdf1

          pierce:  …it appears that Yolo County has significantly less of a problem than the state-wide average…

          Please explain how you conclude that.  Are you looking at the adult population? or are you looking at the adolescent population?  For the adult population, the numbers for Yolo County look pretty good compared to the statewide numbers.  For the adolescent population, Yolo County numbers don’t look good.  It’s above state average for the percent ascribed to 2009 & 2011-12.

        2. hpierce

          wdf… I prefaced my comment by saying I “scanned it”… did not drill down… given the mobility of Californians, I still reiterate that the focus/solutions need to be at a state-wide, if not national, level.

          Yolo County is not “Davis”… We have West Sac, Woodland, Winters that are significant population centers… so I’ll amend my position… it is best addressed at no less than the County level…

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      I cannot speak to the number of obese children, but you have conveniently neglected to ever mention my previous documentation here on the Vanguard of the number of obese pregnant patients that are seen in the Davis Kasier Medical Offices. You also seem to be oblivious to the combined significance of the categories of over weight and obese. This is critical since the overweight child has a much higher risk of going on to become an obese adult with all the increased health risks that this carries.

  6. ryankelly

    Years ago, the school district pulled soda machines out of Davis schools and replaced them by entering into a contract with a large soda company.  At that time, one of the Junior Highs did not have soda machines, but the PTA and  administrators had worked to install machines that had flavored teas and juices and also sold milk.  These were removed by the District and replaced with drinks made by Pepsi that had an enormous amount of sugar.  The only difference from a soda that I could see was they weren’t carbonated.  I called and complained to the District that they had made these changes without even looking at what was there already, entered into a contract that we could not change without any input from the school sites.  We finally got them to put back a machine that had milk, but they then filled it mostly with strawberry and chocolate milk.   I don’t think a penny tax is going to do much of anything when you have this sort of thought process going on.

     

    1. Tia Will

      ryankelly

       I don’t think a penny tax is going to do much of anything when you have this sort of thought process going on.”

      Or maybe one could see it, as I do , as a small step towards increasing awareness and potential for correction of this form of what we agree is a poor thought process. By the way, I also argued for your recommendation and for the omission of any kind of sweetened or whole milk beverage as I do not perceive based on my granted limited understanding of childhood nutrition that whole mild products  also are suboptimal choices for the over two age population.

      1. hpierce

        Wow… as a physician, I’d think you’d particularly oppose whole milk for the UNDER two population… as I understand it, the under-two crowd should be using mom’s milk… our kids did… yes, I know some women don’t lactate well… but that’s not a huge %-age… and mom’s milk is, well, “sweet”… we got a child to get the idea of nursing by initially putting Karo syrup on the nipple, to encourage the nursing and to get the breast to respond… basic “medicine”…

  7. Frankly

    That is the Davis Way and the Davis I am proud to call my home. What I saw on Tuesday night did not fill me with pride, it left me wondering why people I otherwise respect would turn their backs on the public health crisis of today.

    In other words you are disappointed that this foolish waste of time was not perpetuated to make you feel good.   This is interesting to me because people that over-consume generally are doing so to feel good.  Might both of these be an indication of some psychological addiction?

    Soda sales have fallen the last 11 years due to changes in consumer habits going more healthy.  Education is working.

    But as has been said, a social progressive can never admit to organic social progress because he would lose his hold on social criticism which is his stock and trade.

    By the way, Oprah claims she gains weight primarily because she cannot stop eating bread.  Should we tax bread too?  I am guessing that there are not those big bad bread manufacturers to go to war with, and so this isn’t something you and other social justice crusaders would feel good about like you would battling the soda manufacturers.

    This city needs to pull itself back to pragmatism and realism.  This 3-2 vote is a sign that we are doing that.

    1. Tia Will

      Alan

       

      Since you expressed appreciation for my use of humor in my public comment on my “Coke addiction”, this one is for you.

      In response to today’s comment to his own column in which he states :

      Sugar, Cream, Butter and Bourbon – the four building blocks of healthy bodies, all in one simple sauce”

      I have responded :

      Snark, Conflation, Buffoonery and Baseless accusation – the four building blocks of confused minds – all in one simple column.

       

       

      1. Alan Miller

        I liked the one on “Coke addiction” . . .

        . . . exactly what part of exposing the hypocrisy don’t you understand?  It is simply because the 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar aren’t mainlined like heroin in a metaphoric syringe of liquid?

        1. Tia Will

          Alan

           

          exactly what part of exposing the hypocrisy don’t you understand?”

          I guess it is not a matter of not understanding, but rather a fundamental disagreement that there is hypocrisy being expressed here. I know that you see it that way, but I do not.

        2. Alan Miller

          I guess it is not a matter of not understanding, but rather a fundamental disagreement that there is hypocrisy being expressed here. I know that you see it that way, but I do not.

          Tia, I am completely baffled.  Can you explain your thinking?  This is how I see it:  A person of a known name holds a rally and declares that sugar is a great health threat on page 1, then advocates the use of sugar in the food section.  How in any logic system whatsoever would that not be seen as hypocrisy?

    2. darelldd

      Don’t you just love the way he simplifies everything down to the bone, so that the rest of us don’t have to bother thinking through the details, or thinking a tiny bit outside of the “simple box?”

      (thanks for your great comment, Tia! I wrote this before your above post, but was too slow on the button).

      1. Tia Will

        Darelidd

        Smile.  That’s ok. You have beaten me to the button many times and many more of your posts have elicited in me  the reaction “I wish I had said that “.

  8. Barack Palin

    If you wanted to do something that would have a positive effect on children get rid of the sugary drinks in school vending machines and work on improving school supplied meals instead of some of the crap they’re fed now.  I’m sure that can all be done at little or no cost.  The soda tax pushers went about this all wrong by trying to tax all of Davis.

  9. Mark West

    “The economy, stupid”  James Carville

    This simple phrase was used to focus campaign workers on the most important issues of the campaign.  It has since morphed into various forms to fit the commentators predilection, frequently with and added ‘It’s’ on the front.  ‘It’s the fiscal crisis, stupid’ would be the Davis version of the quote.

    Everything we want to do as a City is dependent on our honestly addressing the current fiscal crisis. Unfortunately, honestly addressing the fiscal crisis is difficult, time-consuming, and frankly, not a whole lot of fun. No wonder our civic leaders would rather spend their time doing things that make them feel good, be that campaigning for higher office, reliving their past work experiences, or telling others how to live their lives. David laments what he sees as the loss of the ‘Davis Way,’ but what is the ‘Davis Way’ other than a distraction from the important job in front of us.

    It’s the fiscal crisis, stupid.

    Yes, we are all able to walk and chew gum at the same time (well, most of us anyway). We can do more than one thing at a time, but that doesn’t mean that we should. Everything that we do that takes our focus away from the main problem just pushes that problem down the road a little further. By distracting ourselves with arguments over the incidence of obesity in our youth, or the number of Hispanics in town, or how much sugar someone should eat, we are also saying that our fiscal problems are no longer our priority. The ‘Davis Way’ is to allow the distractions to become the priority.

    It’s the fiscal crisis, stupid.

    We need serious cost reductions, including a cap on total compensation, as painful as that is.  We need new taxes that pay down our already accrued, yet unfunded obligations (but not for new programs).  Most important, we need an aggressive effort to generating more economic vitality in town through business growth and job creation.  It is the combination of all of these things that are needed to address the fiscal crisis. The piecemeal approach favored by those looking to be distracted, just will not work.

    We should all teach our children how to eat well, choose nutritious foods, and live a healthy lifestyle.  That is not the job of the City Council, however.  The job of the City Council is to focus on the highest priority item on the agenda – The fiscal crisis, stupid.

     

    1. Robb Davis

      And so in one night I walked (by talking about the need for a comprehensive analysis of cost containment, putting in one document things I have requested publicly and in one-on-one meetings with staff since my first day in office), and chewed gum (by asking us to consider joining an international movement to change the behavior of the beverage industry).

      So, I guess I nailed it.

      1. Miwok

        Sugar free gum? 🙂

        Why people are “exempted” I cannot fathom. Are small business owners also exempt from diabetes? They don’t have kids? Their kids are not fat?

        Why not tax all sugar in any form?

        And when Davis represents this as a “revenue stream”, they must be more clear. Is it Sugar and diabetes, or another sneaky way to tax, much like any hidden tax like gasoline and cigarettes? The message gets blurred, and the money does not go to the General Fund, right? Right? Oh, they do not have it in writing yet?

        1. Tia Will

          Miwok

          Why not tax all sugar in any form?”

          This question has been addressed in many previous posts and on nearly every thread on this topic. My answer is in part as stated in my response to Alan regarding Dunning’s column.

  10. Tia Will

    I have a number of  impressions of Rochelle Swanson’s statement that forwarding the proposal for a sugary beverage tax  to the voters is “Not the Davis Way.

    1. It is first her clear belief that she holds the ultimate authority on what constitutes “The Davis Way”. I would suggest that a number of community leaders, including two sitting council members clearly did not agree with her definition of “The Davis Way”.

    2. She gave as examples the many year process for the Nishi project and the water project implying that these represented”The Davis Way”. What she did not provide as an example was the several month process that the council deemed adequate to place the issue of the MRAP up for a vote of the council.  It would seem to me that when the council deems an issue as of critical importance, they find it within “The Davis Way” to act quite quickly on the issue. I deem this proposal of critical importance. It is clear from her comments that Rochelle Swanson does not.

    3. Council Member Swanson does not seem to trust the ability of the same electorate that voted her on to the CC twice to make a reasoned assessment of this issue within the four months available for a thorough public conversation of the issue and the determination of its merits. I disagree. I think that 4 months is plenty of time for Davis citizens to consider this issue so as to vote on their ( although perhaps not her) interpretation of the facts.

    I know that the impressions of many of the Vanguard posters will differ from mine and I look forward to hearing your perspectives.

     

     

     

    1. Frankly

      1. Is she not allowed an opinion and vote?  Is the Davis way to disrespect those that disagree with the activist demands?

      2. The MRAP was here and the question was up to the CC whether it should stay or go.  There is no urgency to make a decision on the soda tax.

      3. You seems to always advocate for taking more time and gather more information so we make a well-informed decisions.  Oh wait, that is only for those decisions that you want to be no-go.  I see.

      There is more complexity to this than the electorate would understand.  It makes sense to form a task force to first understand what the problem is we want to solve, and then come up with the best solution.

      The CC is not for the benefit of activists to do their political grandstanding.  If we have a real problem then we need to design the best solution.   I would say we don’t even know what the real problem is at this point.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        I  believe that I have seen you use the expression “there is no need to reinvent the wheel” on a number of occasions. I know for a fact that you have read Robb’s explanations for why he feels that we do know the scope of the issue and in which he has been clear that he sees this as part of a broader national and world wide problem, not solely as a local issue, since you have responded to some of them or at least expressed a differing viewpoint on the same thread. So I feel that Robb was correct in putting this forward on the model already designed and passed in Berkeley.  And as Elaine briefly alluded to in her opposing public comment, we should be leaving this in the hands of the health professionals. I am unaware of anyone in the city whose expertise is greater than Robb’s in the area of public health. So why are more people not willing to accept his expertise ?

        1. Frankly

          Hey I know business and economic develop.  If I run for CC and win would you just trust me to promote more high-rise buildings downtown and more peripheral business parks because I think it is the right thing to do for humanity?

          Come on Tia… would you be willing to just trust my expertise?

    2. Barack Palin

      I have a number of  impressions of Rochelle Swanson’s statement that forwarding the proposal for a sugary beverage tax  to the voters is “Not the Davis Way.

      Tia Will, I seem to remember you saying several times that’s why we elect our council members, to make the votes, that’s what we elected them for and that if we don’t like the way they voted we can vote them out of office in the next election.  Now that 3 have voted against something that you happen to hold so dearly you now want to complain that they should’ve let the people vote?  You can’t have it both ways.

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        I am not trying to “have it both ways”. I have already stated that I acknowledge that mine is minority opinion. I also never said that I as an individual as separate from we as a community had supported all of the current council. I personally greatly respect Rochelle Swanson because she is willing to do what I have never had the guts to do, namely run for public office. I also believe that she is an effective and thoughtful advocate for issues that she cares about, namely businesses, infrastructure, and economic development. Because she is so effective, it is my sincere regret that she does not choose to represent the issues that I care about, namely the health and wellness of our citizens. Because she never came out as a strong advocate for these issues which I place at the head of my list of priorities, I have never voted for her.

        I can also tell you that I will vote this next election for which ever candidates that I believe will be effective in advocating for those issues that are essential to me whether they are a current sitting council members or whether they are a new candidate. At the present time that would mean that I would be supporting Brett Lee but not Lucas Frerichs. However, in fairness to Lucas, I have sent him a detailed suggestion of how I believe that he could be instrumental in acting on his words of potential support of a soda tax and reversing my negative impression of his recent vote on this issue. I will be awaiting his response and his actions regarding my proposal to decide on my vote since I have also clearly stated that I assess all actions, not just one vote, prior to making my decision and casting my vote.

        1. Barack Palin

          That’s not the point.  The point is we elected them to make decisions for us as a community so when they do and one doesn’t like their decision one can’t complain that they should’ve let the people vote.

  11. Tia Will

    Frankly and Alan

    Of course, there is also collusion and cronyism between elected officials, activists and unions; and between elected officials, lawyers and corporations . . . I could got on . . .”

    Yes, I am sure that you could go on…..

    And I am equally sure that your list would not include collusion and cronyism between big business of many types including the soda industry and politicians, or between the weapons manufacturers and private citizens groups such as the NRA and politicians, or between weapons manufacturers and the military and local police forces and politicians, or between the producers of “food products” as opposed to real foods and universities and politicians…. I could go on ….

    But I suspect that I have adequately addressed my point which is that neither side of the ideologic spectrum has any lock on collusion and cronyism, although I do not expect that either of you will agree or even acknowledge the point.

     

    1. Alan Miller

      And I am equally sure that your list would not include collusion and cronyism between big business of many types including the soda industry and politicians, or between the weapons manufacturers and private citizens groups such as the NRA and politicians, or between weapons manufacturers and the military and local police forces and politicians, or between the producers of “food products” as opposed to real foods and universities and politicians…. I could go on ….

      You would be wrong . . . my list would include all of the above.

      But I suspect that I have adequately addressed my point which is that neither side of the ideologic spectrum has any lock on collusion and cronyism,

      Agreed.

      although I do not expect that either of you will agree or even acknowledge the point.

      I just said I agreed!  Why do you keep saying I don’t?

    2. Frankly

      And I am equally sure that your list would not include collusion and cronyism between big business of many types including the soda industry and politicians, or between the weapons manufacturers and private citizens groups such as the NRA and politicians, or between weapons manufacturers and the military and local police forces and politicians, or between the producers of “food products” as opposed to real foods and universities and politicians…. I could go on ….

      You would be wrong . . . my list would include all of the above.

      But I suspect that I have adequately addressed my point which is that neither side of the ideologic spectrum has any lock on collusion and cronyism,

      Agreed.

      although I do not expect that either of you will agree or even acknowledge the point.

      I just said I agreed!  Why do you keep saying I don’t?

  12. Tia Will

    Alan

    You would be wrong . . . my list would include all of the above.”

    I stand corrected and apologize.

    I just said I agreed!  Why do you keep saying I don’t?”

    I suspect it is a combination of us crossing posts and my currently somewhat impaired condition. I request your tolerance and understanding over the next few days while I address my current limitations.

     

  13. Tia Will

    Alan

    Tia, I am completely baffled.  Can you explain your thinking?  This is how I see it:  A person of a known name holds a rally and declares that sugar is a great health threat on page 1, then advocates the use of sugar in the food section.  How in any logic system whatsoever would that not be seen as hypocrisy?”

    I do not want you to be baffled, so I will attempt to express my point of view while fully understanding that you may not agree since you have already said on a previous post that you do not “buy it”.

    I believe that there is a fundamental difference in sugar contained in sodas and sugar contained in other food preparations. My reasons for this are as follows :

    1. There is a physiologic difference in the rate of absorption of sugar delivered via a liquid delivery system and the absorption of sugar contained in a solid delivery system. This difference in rate of delivery has profound adverse effects on both the liver and the pancreas ( I apologize for having stressed only the importance of the pancreas in previous posts when clearly both organs are affected adversely,)

    2. Even if the rate differential did not exist, sugary beverages would still have a much greater impact than would solid foods since we are able to consume much larger quantities of liquids than we are solids during a day.

    3. Sodas are the only major delivery system of sugar that do not contain any other beneficial ingredients. Dates contain the following nutritional breakdown as presented in the following link

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/dares-and-your-health-the-ideal-food/

    Now, I confess that anyone reading this will find that it is not a peer reviewed article. I chose it because it was close as I could find to a balanced approach which was the best I could do on a quick Google search which is all I have access to at present. Please pay special attention to the list of nutrients contained in a date.

    4. All the other processed food products other than sodas have some kind of redeeming nutritional value no matter how small. Even many candy bars and power bars contain nuts and/or peanut butter. This I feel is another essential difference between sodas and other high sugar products that demonstrates to me that these are not the same ( a distinct reminder of when you sang in front of the CC that Sesame Street favorite “One of these things just doesn’t belong”). For me of all the various high sugar foods, none of which are optimal, one of these, namely sodas, just do not belong since they have no redeeming nutritional value.

    1. Mark West

      A 20 oz container of soda has roughly 65g of sugar.

      The recipe for date cake with topping calls for 300g of added sugar for the cake and 400g of added sugar for the topping. The nutrient composition of a 24g fresh date includes roughly 16g of sugar, so for a recipe that calls for a pound of fresh dates that will contain roughly 300 g of sugar just from the dates.  So the cake will have 600 grams of sugar, with 400 more from the topping making for a grand total of 1000 grams of sugar.  That is the equivalent of fifteen 20 oz sodas.

       

      1. Mark West

        If you eat your sugar in the natural form, such as by eating a date or other fruit, the dietary fiber in the fruit does indeed decrease the impact of the sugar on the body, compared to the same amount of sugar from a beverage.  If you take that date and process it through a blender, thus destroying the fiber, then there is no significant difference between the metabolism of the sugar from the date than from the beverage. Consuming your high fructose corn syrup as part of your soda is exactly the same as consuming the same amount of corn syrup mixed into white bread or other refined or processed foods. It is a fallacy to blame only soda as the problem is added fructose in all forms of processed foods, not just beverages.

        1. Tia Will

          Frankly

          It’s the fiscal crisis, stupid.”

          I understand your point of view. I just believe that is far too narrow and short sided.

          I believe that not only can we both walk and chew gum at the same time, but that we should do so whenever feasible.

          I also believe that the health and wellness of our community is a function of individual parents, and I believe that it is to greater and lesser degree the responsibility of every adult member of our community. I know that not every community member will have the time or inclination to volunteer to be part of a multifactorial approach to health and wellness. But I honestly cannot fathom why everyone would not be willing to consider an approach that does not force anyone to do anything and which would be the subject of a democratic vote not a unilateral action on the part of the CC.

          I also believe that you are either deliberately or unintentionally discounting the economic costs both individually and as a community of the multiple diseases whose increased risk is directly in many, and indirectly in many more, associated with obesity and normo weight obesity which was my cause of pre-diabetes. I believe that this is a much more profound and costly issue for our community both in terms of health consequences and in economic costs than many are willing to consider.

           

        2. Mark West

          “I also believe that you are either deliberately or unintentionally discounting the economic costs both individually and as a community of the multiple diseases whose increased risk is directly in many, and indirectly in many more, associated with obesity and normo weight obesity which was my cause of pre-diabetes. I believe that this is a much more profound and costly issue for our community both in terms of health consequences and in economic costs than many are willing to consider.”

          Nope! I understand those costs very well, perhaps even better than you.  They just don’t have anything to do with the City’s General Fund. Indirect impacts perhaps through the cost of health insurance, but certainly no direct impacts. Addressing those health concerns is not the purvue of the City Council, no matter how much you want it to be.

  14. hpierce

    Just remember, historically, the Sugar Tax was imposed by GB on the colonies, and nearly 10 years later, the colonies rebelled (yeah, there were other factors, and in our case, there would actually have been a vote)… next, some would have us pay a tax on iced tea…  perhaps the colonists didn’t realize that GB was just trying to save them from diabetes/obesity!

    Am thinking, tempest in a sugar bowl…

     

    1. Matt Williams

      Both of those 18th Century taxation efforts were purely and simply revenue driven.  No one in the 18th Century had the slightest inkling about the impact of sugar on human health.

       

      1. hpierce

        Was doing the irony thing… or was I?  The original proposal in Davis was only revenue… it morphed quickly… perhaps if King George III had a spin doctor…

        The tax was proposed as a ‘general tax’… no inherent “ear marks”…

        Talk about ‘bait and switch’…

      2. hpierce

        And, actually, Matt, they were to reimburse “the Crown” for the costs of defending the colonies in the ‘French/Indian War’… which one might reasonably opine was a matter of ‘public health’…

  15. Tia Will

    Miwok

    Well they seem to be ignoring you, TiaWill. Thank you. I have seen this on other posts.”

    I want to thank you for acknowledging. This is much more than I have come to expect from a number of posters who I believe have read the posts expressing differing points of view and choose to not respond, or to respond with nothing more than a snide retort.

    As I stated in the radio program in which Jeff Boone and I were interviewed as frequent posters on the Vanguard, I have two purposes for my frequent participation in the Vanguard conversation.

    1. I frequently learn things about the history and functioning of our city that I would not otherwise have known.

    2. I believe that the Vanguard offers a unique opportunity to share and discuss our views, goals and visions with others in an interactive form. I believe that this is most effective when the conversation is conducted as much as is possible ( with my freely given admission that I occasionally get triggered and deviate from my preferred mode into snark ) in a respectful fashion with the exchange of ideas, not barbs and insults.

    And a third point which I did not have the opportunity to address during the interview. My purpose when I post is not to try to change the opinion of those who have already expressed a completely incompatible world view. My purpose is to present for those who may not share my life experiences and most of whom do not share my area of professional expertise, my opinion and the reasoning that has led me to that opinion. I do this so that they can see a perspective that they may not have previously encountered, not to mislead or convince them, but merely to share my perspective for their consideration.

  16. Tia Will

    Mark

    If a drug company wants to market a new drug they have to prove efficacy.  It is not the responsibility of their competitors (or the government for that matter) to prove a lack there of.  You are claiming that what you propose is effective. Unless you have proof of such, the default position is that you are wrong. If you do not have proof of efficacy, there is none. No one else needs to prove the negative.”

    First I want to thank you for the requested response to my thinking. As predicted, we do not agree and I would like to share where our thinking is in agreement and where it differs. I agree that opponents of a proposal have no obligation to present supportive evidence but maintain my belief that they do have an obligation to state truthfully whether they believe that there is a significant issue and their reasoning. If they truly do not believe that there is a significant issue, then I would like for them to make their case as Frankly is currently doing. This allows me to at least consider his position even if I do not agree with it. It is possible that I may partially agree and this may allow us to find a mutually agreeable path forward which we will never find by just casting aspersions at each other. In the case where there is agreement that there is a significant issue then I also find value in what my opponents see as the real risk and their suggestions for alternative approaches. This is especially significant in cases such as drugs as you have mentioned. where if an opponent to approval of a drug has identified a risk of the drug that the producing company does not believe or will not admit exists, then yes, I believe it is the duty of the opponent whether a competing firm, an individual doctor who has noticed a side effect which he believes may be associated with the drug, or a government official….all have an obligation to all potentially affected patients to make their best case about the risks of the proposed drug presenting their best information in an objective manner including alternative drugs that may be as or more safe and/or effective than the proposed new medication.

    I would also present one alternative thought to your assertion that unless you have proof, the default is that you are wrong. The default may well be that you simply do not have enough evidence to prove your assertion, not that you are wrong.

    If we always acted on your assertion, we would not have vaccinations, we would not have antibiotics, we would not even appreciate that the bacteria that we see under the microscope are the causes of many of our diseases. Each of these medical innovations did not have definitive “proof” at the time it became generally accepted by the medical community based on a preponderance of the evidence. And I would add, that perhaps many treatments that are not effective would still be used if the opponents had not stepped up and made public the reasoning behind their objections. Many other drugs that would be dangerous would still be on the market causing harm to many patients if the opponents had not been willing to verify and present in a cogent manner their objections.

     

    1. Mark West

      Tia:

       

      I have stated my position.  Your restating it falsely does not change what I said.  You made a claim that you cannot back up with any evidence, so your claim by default is false.

      If it helps, think of it this way. You have presented a theory but have no supporting evidence. Your theory may be plausible, but until you have experimental data to support it, you don’t have anything but an unproven theory.  Your belief is not enough.

      I don’t have any obligation to prove that your theory is false because it is false until proven true (or at the very least, have some data that supports it). There is nothing to talk about, compare, confuse or any reason to look for common ground. Your theory is not supported by the data.  It doesn’t matter how many words spew out of your keyboard, your claims are false. Period.

      More to the point, this is all entirely a distraction.

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        There is actually quite a bit of controversy over the age at which children are better served by whole milk. My best understanding  ( which may be outdated as I do not follow this discussion closely) is that there is virtual agreement that breast milk  is superior up to two years. If breast milk is not available for whatever reason as it frequently is not beyond six months to a year, and there are many good reasons of which you have noted some, why breast milk is not available.

        Then the controversy begins. Some would encourage the use of whole milk up to age two with a transition to 2% at that time. Some pediatricians and child nutritionists  do not encourage the use of milk at all after age two. I am sure that one could find the information on both sides of the issue by a simple Google search which is all that I have available to me at the moment, so please forgive me since I am not inclined to pursue this at this time. I might be interested once I have regained my access to peer reviewed articles and/or Up to Date if your are interested.

        I am much more interested in the effects on pregnant women and fetuses  as well as postmenopausal women given my area of specialization. The effects on these population are particularly devastating for reasons that I have outlined previously but will briefly summarize.

        We have a documented issue with overweight and obese women during pregnancy right here in Davis as I previously posted.  Many, many of the overweight women will cross over into the obese category during pregnancy and do not return to their previous status as only overweight post pregnancy. Each succeeding pregnancy tends to “stair step” up the maternal weight as most women do not lose down to their pre preceding pregnancy weight. During the pregnancy there is increased risk to both the fetus ( premature delivery, macrosomia in those who do make it to term, and increased adult risk of developing diabetes for all) and to the mother ( increased risk of gestational diabetes, toxemia or pre eclampsia with its increased risk of liver damage, stroke, seizures, gestational hypertension, need for emergency Cesarean section to name a few.

        For the post menopausal woman it is also very serious. Women who are overweight at the age of 50 often become obese within the first few years after the menopause. Obese woman have all of the same risks of men who are over the age of 50, but in addition have increased risks of both breast and uterine cancer both of which are strongly weight associated.

         

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        1. Is she not allowed an opinion and vote?  Is the Davis way to disrespect those that disagree with the activist demands?”  

        Of course she is, and of course not regarding the Davis Way.  And I also do not agree that it is the “Davis Way” to consistently minimize the concerns of health care providers and the public health community.  Rochelle’s motto for her second campaign was “Finding Common Ground” and yet her actions on the council have not sought “common ground” on health issues, but rather have been consistently to punt or vote down public health issues. As I stated, I think that she is a great advocate for her favorite issues, and I greatly respect her effectiveness in forwarding her agenda, but her actions have certainly not reflected seeking common ground with those who have different priorities.

        3. You seems to always advocate for taking more time and gather more information so we make a well-informed decisions.  Oh wait, that is only for those decisions that you want to be no-go.  I see.”

        I think that your use of the word “always” is far too broad. I advocate for more time when I believe that more times is needed. I believe that four months is enough time for a thorough vetting given that this was not a decision deciding the issue, but only on a measure to put it on the ballot.

        The MRAP was here and the question was up to the CC whether it should stay or go.  There is no urgency to make a decision on the soda tax.”

        I was not aware that there was a deadline for their decision to keep or return the MRAP. If I am incorrect on this, then there would have been urgency to make a decision. Otherwise, I do not see this as any more urgent than is the soda tax.

         

      3. Tia Will

        Mark

        Once again we have some points of agreement and some points of disagreement.

        I certainly agree that you have stated your position. I disagree that I have misrepresented it stating clearly that neither of us had “presented proof”. I realize that you do not feel any obligation to do so, but in maintaining this position, you did not choose to offer any comment on my examples from medicine countering this assertion.

        I also do not agree that “this is all entirely a distraction”. I see a complete discussion of  all relevant points as critical to discussion. I suspect that you do not consider this a “relevant point” but that does not mean that either of us are correct, merely that we differ in our assessment.

         

         

         

  17. Tia Will

    BP

    Yes Tia Will, everything you said is most likely correct but a soda tax wouldn’t have done squat.”

    I understand that this is your firmly held belief. However, as David pointed out, the soda related industries do not seem to agree with you or they would see no need to spend their dollars fighting a measure that would “do squat”.

    Also not agreeing with your assessment are every doctor that I have spoken to about this including pediatricians and internists, our staff nutritionist and all of our public health experts as are all of the members of the various public health groups with which I work closely, some of which are government employees, but many of whom are not being members of the community from a number of different disciplines. This has not been brought up previously not because it has not been vetted, and not because our health professionals do not agree, and not even because it has not been presented to members of the Board of Sups, but precisely because individuals wiser than myself predicted that this would go down on political grounds which is exactly what happened.

    Elaine Roberts Musser made a public comment of which one portion really caught my attention. I will have to paraphrase but I think this will be an accurate representation. In essence she said that she believed that this matter should be left to health professionals. I found this quite ironic given that every health professional who spoke to this issue favored placing the soda tax on the ballot. If she really meant what she said, then it would be apparent that, based on the counsel of our health community, we would be placing the proposal on the ballot. We are not choosing to listen to the opinions of our health professionals but have decided this issue solely on political and ideologic grounds which seems to me to be the antithesis of Elaine’s statement.

     

  18. Tia Will

    BP

    That’s not the point.  The point is we elected them to make decisions for us as a community so when they do and one doesn’t like their decision one can’t complain that they should’ve let the people vote.”

    I understand that this is not your point. It is mine. And my point is not in agreement with yours. Yes, we elected them to make decisions. But I do not feel the need to agree with all of their decisions. I think that one can certainly complain, or express disagreement with those decisions.

    As a matter of fact, I believe that you have on occasions expressed dissatisfaction with the positions and votes of some of our CC members. Please correct me if I am wrong and you have never expressed dissatisfaction with any council member. I also believe that at least part of the votes that do go to the people do so precisely because the people have not been content with the decisions of the elected officials of their time.

     

  19. Tia Will

    hpierce

    I am taking your query about David’s acceptance of the Anti Soda Tax proposal ads seriously. As such I can independently confirm the truth of his one word response “Yes”.

    This was a semi heated debate between us. I was initially very opposed to his acceptance of the ads and even strongly advocated for him to pull them. There were two factors that led me to stand down. One was his explanation about first amendment rights with which I ultimately agreed. The second I am only slightly embarrassed to admit was that I acknowledge his right to make all final decisions regarding Vanguard policies. All that I can do in the end is to express my opinion. I guess this could be seen as yet another Davis institution not bowing to the “demands of a small minority of activists”. David, like Robb, Rochelle and Brett have stood by their own principles even under pressure. A trait that I greatly admire.

    1. hpierce

      So, you “greatly admire” accepting money on ‘your’ enterprise (pun intended) to express an opinion strongly divergent from your own?  If it was truly a ‘first amendment’ issue, would you not post the ad for free? As a public service?  And why was it pulled?  Lack of additional financial contributions?  Second thoughts?  If the latter, was the contribution refunded?  Not your issue, Tia… but would be interesting to hear more from David…

      What was the “financial consideration”, David… be transparent… please… goes to your credibility…

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        I know you specified you were interested in David’s position, but I think that you may not have understood part of my reasoning. I did not “greatly admire” accepting money for the ads. As a matter if fact the expression I used was “stood down”. I held my nose just as I have held my nose and defended the right of the Westboro Baptist church due to their first amendment rights regardless their vile message.

        As for the issue of public service announcement vs paid advertising, David will have to explain his thinking as you rightly pointed out, he sole the financial decision maker.

  20. Frankly

    Can I have a moment of silence for David Bowie, Glenn Frey and now Maurice White all passing away? I think we are safe to say that much of the good parts of the 80s just left us.

    American Idol contestants, you have some big shoes to fill!

    I understand that none of those three drank much soda.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly,

      With your moment, agreed and given.

      With your tying this to the soda issue, obvious disagreement, and somewhat disappointed at what I see as diminishing the value of an otherwise completely appropriate memorial with appreciation for the reminder.

  21. Tia Will

    Frankly

    Come on Tia… would you be willing to just trust my expertise?”

    It was not my suggestion. It was that of Elaine Roberts Musser. And as to this particular question, I would trust your expertise if you put forth your arguments as thoroughly as Robb has done. But just as I would trust your expertise does not mean that I would agree with your position ideologically. And that is exactly what I am postulating here. I do not believe that people are rejecting Robb’s expertise, or for that matter mine in the specific issues related to female health issues. I believe that they are accepting our knowledge but rejecting our position on ideologic and or political concerns.

    An ancillary question that I would ask of you. If your personal physician expressed to you based on your tests that you needed to make specific changes in your life or accept very devastating health consequences, would you trust his/her advice ?  If they further expressed the opinion that what would work best in lowering your risks would be a multifactorial approach using steps some seemingly so small as to seem to you almost inconsequential and others that might have a very large and immediately discernible effect, would you not trust his/her medical knowledge and advice ?  Maybe you would not, but then I would assert that you would not be acting logically and you have assured us on a number of occasions that you are objective and logical to a fault. If you would accept your personal physician’s advice, then why do you not trust the expertise  of the health care professionals who have no vested interest in the issue other than the health and well being of their patients and their community ?

    What I would recommend is that if you trust your personal physician’s expertise is that you asked them, in a non biased way of course, what they think about a soda tax as a small part of a multifaceted way of approaching the problem of obesity. I suspect that if they are unaware of your adamant opposition, they will respond in favor. If they know or suspect your strongly held beliefs, they will probably be reticent to discuss the issue. If you have already done this, or if you choose to do so, I would appreciate hearing back one way or the other.

    As I truthfully stated, I have not met a single member of the health care community who is opposed to this tax, and I have discussed it with many. I can see your point about not trusting in just one individual’s expertise. But you seem to not be trusting all of the medical officials both those who have spoken publicly on the issue and those who will not speak publicly since they do not feel it is appropriate to their position in the community to enter what has become a political brawl, but who feel perfectly comfortable expressing their support to me privately, I believe that in not trusting the expertise of nearly the entire health community you have entered the realm of the irrational.

     

    1. hpierce

      Gee, if I was over-weight, or obese (from Don’s post, I’m pretty much in the 2%), I’d hope my primary care physician would be telling me that I and mine should stop drinking ‘sugary drinks’ rather than encouraging me to vote to tax such drinks… but then again, not a doctor, so probably am ‘ignorant’ on that matter… at $0.01 cent/ounce, this household might pay up to $2.00/year.

      I object more to the rhetoric/”logic” than the tax itself… if folk seek ‘sugar’, they will find it (and for one of the definitions of ‘sugar’, I hope they do!) … think I heard someone call that sort of thing “drug-seeking behavior”… just don’t get the city expending financial (staff) resources to pursue this…

      If it was at least a County-wide measure, would listen more, and could probably support it on a state-wide or national level.  ‘Nuff said..

    2. Mark West

      Dr. Will: “I believe that in not trusting the expertise of nearly the entire health community you have entered the realm of the irrational.”

      The irrational position here is thinking that you know the opinion of the “entire health community” as you put it.

      That said, I trained with the ‘physicians to be’ at one of the premier Medical Schools in the country and my take home message from that experience was that you don’t have to be particularly smart to be a physician. Common sense was particularly lacking.

      I know some very smart physicians whose opinions I value and a much larger number who do not fit that description. More importantly, though, I do not go to my physician for economic advice so I really do not see why anyone should be concerned about what the ‘health community’ has to say about this tax.

       

  22. Tia Will

    Earlier on this thread, a poster put forth an opinion that I interpreted as a criticism of the amount that I write. This is an accusation that I have heard before. I agree that I am very wordy, perhaps too much so. I would like to explain my writing style.

    Partially this is training based. I am in a professional discipline in which thorough explanation of our thought processes can prove essential, even to the point of the difference between  life or death of a patient. I can be criticized as too verbose, but have also been told by my colleagues that they always knew exactly what I was thinking. And for those times on the Vanguard that I have not been clear, and some poster has called me on it, I am always willing to try again.

    The second factor is a commitment I made when I began submitting articles. I committed to answering every sincere question that was put to me as well as to respond to everyone who voiced an opposing position, either to acknowledge their position and agree if their point was persuasive, or to provide them with the reason for my belief  if I thought that they were incorrect.

    I know that this is not my article. I have been prevented by my current physical constraints from writing my own article on this issue which I had planned, but not been successful in doing. Since this is an issue in which I do have expertise and which is so close to my heart, I felt the same obligation to present my position just as though it were my article, not with the goal of changing minds from firmly held beliefs but with the goal of presenting a perspective that others may have had no opportunity to consider.

    I completely understand that there are many who may feel that I write too much, or who do not value my input, or who are simply not interested in hearing my point of view. Those individuals are well served by the Vanguard since they can fully honor their own preferences by simply skipping my posts. This effectively allows them to tune me out without stepping on my first amendment rights of freedom of speech. I recommend that this approach be used frequently and extensively. However, be aware that if you address me, I will respond, just as I have committed to doing. I also may respond to a comment addressed to another poster if I feel that I have relevant information or insight. It is what I hope that you all will do.

     

  23. SlowSoDaMa

    Neither my obesity nor my Type II diabetes came from soda; I have always detested soda.  Is the city council going to tax pasta, potatoes, desserts, chairs, arthritis?

     

    1. hpierce

      They should… all obviously contributing to the underlying ‘problem’… we should also tax lack of exercise… we should tax not including enough “veggies” in the diet… bad genes… enough of that…

      At the risk of being maudlin, I hope and pray that your obesity and diabetes, can either be brought under control, or reversed (maybe, cured)… lost a couple of friends to diabetes, including Izzy L-T, and have other friends who are “at-risk”… may God bless you and keep you in his/her palm. Best wishes for improving health…

  24. DavisBurns

    Maybe its the electronic devices people use at night that are the real culprit.  It is confounding but verifiable that weight gain happens in spite of controlled calories with increased exposure to artificial light at night.
    Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Aug 1;180(3):245-50. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu117. Epub 2014 May 29.
    The relationship between obesity and exposure to light at night: cross-sectional analyses of over 100,000 women in the Breakthrough Generations Study.
    McFadden EJones MESchoemaker MJAshworth ASwerdlow AJ.

    Abstract

    There has been a worldwide epidemic of obesity in recent decades. In animal studies, there is convincing evidence that light exposure causes weight gain, even when calorie intake and physical activity are held constant. Disruption of sleep and circadian rhythms by exposure to light at night (LAN) might be one mechanism contributing to the rise in obesity, but it has not been well-investigated in humans. Using multinomial logistic regression, we examined the association between exposure to LAN and obesity in questionnaire data from over 100,000 women in the Breakthrough Generations Study, a cohort study of women aged 16 years or older who were living in the United Kingdom and recruited during 2003-2012. The odds of obesity, measured using body mass index, waist:hip ratio, waist:height ratio, and waist circumference, increased with increasing levels of LAN exposure (P < 0.001), even after adjustment for potential confounders such as sleep duration, alcohol intake, physical activity, and current smoking. We found a significant association between LAN exposure and obesity which was not explained by potential confounders we could measure. While the possibility of residual confounding cannot be excluded, the pattern is intriguing, accords with the results of animal experiments, and warrants further investigation.
    © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

    KEYWORDS:
     

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