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Preparation For Upcoming Debate

By John Donvan — May 09, 2012

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I've been reading a good amount of background in preparation for our upcoming debate – on obesity and government responsibility – and I suspect this could be one of those debates where conventional wisdom gets shredded. Or at least, I am guessing that is what the side arguing AGAINST our motion is going to try to do.

Conventional wisdom on obesity says:

a) it's an epidemic; b) obese people have shorter lives; c) taxing soda will get people to drink less of it; d) that could result in less obesity.

obesity blog pic

If they succeed, it will be startling, but also exciting. I know, because I am reading into it, that there are strong arguments to support the conventional wisdom. And generally, the truth of each of these points has appeared, frankly, rather obvious. But I am also reading what seem like well-founded arguments against each of these points as well. You can find some of the arguments I'm referring to under AGAINST in the column on the right. Excellent FOR arguments are there too. I am sure questions will be raised about who is paying for this class of research.

But that will just become more grist for the argument. As I say, I suspect we're in for a good one, whichever side wins – and that anyone who listens closely, will have to think twice, and will enjoy having done so, even if it means having to change one's mind.


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John Donvan, Moderator
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

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