INCENTIVES FOR A HEALTHY POPULATION
Published at: http://www.archania.org
August 15, 2017
The nourishment we give to our children is important for how their bodies develop, while the
entertainment we expose our children to is important for how their minds develop. Healthy
nourishment is important for children to develop healthy bodies, while educational entertain-
ment is helpful for children to develop clever minds. There is however unhealthy food in most
supermarkets, and there is lots of noneducational entertainment on the Internet. Just like un-
healthy food often tastes better, noneducational entertainment is also often more fun. This is
because it requires more effort to make food both tasty and healthy, rather than to just make it
tasty. In a similar fashion, it requires more effort to make entertainment both fun and educational,
rather than to just make it fun. If children can choose themselves, they are likely to choose food
that tastes good and entertainment that is fun, without taking into consideration how healthy
or educational it is. And as long as there is lots of tasty unhealthy food and fun noneducational
entertainment available, children are more likely to choose that.
Nourishment Entertainment
Tasty, but unhealthyLess tasty, but healthy Fun, but not educational Less fun, but educational
=
=
Informed Minds
Healthy Bodies Unhealthy Bodies Ignorant Minds
Figure 1: How we might expect unhealthy bodies and ignorant minds from an overabundance
of unhealthy food and noneducational entertainment.
Lifestyle diseases caused by consumption of unhealthy food is a problem in many countries
today. As people usually prefer to buy cheap groceries rather than more expensive groceries,
unhealthy food should be taxed heavily while more healthy food should be subsidized. This
policy will make people prefer to buy the healthy food rather than the unhealthy food, and
improve the diet in our society while decreasing the number of lifestyle diseases. As lifestyle
diseases also are expensive to our society, this policy will also make our society save substantial
amounts of money. Any product that is hazardous to health should be taxed at least so much that
it covers the expenses of the diseases caused by the product. The glycemic index is a measure
of how fast different types of food increase blood sugar level (Figure 2). Foods that have a high
glycemic index increase blood sugar level rapidly, while foods that have a low glycemic index
increase blood sugar level slowly. A high intake foods that rapidly increase blood sugar has been
linked to obesity, coronary heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetes type
2. The number of these lifestyle diseases can be reduced by having taxes on foods with a high
glycemic index, while subsidizing foods with a low glycemic index.
Grains Vegetables Fruits Dairy Beverages
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
Rice Bran
Wheat tortilla
Fettucini
Spaghetti
Bulgur
Brown rice
Quinoa, Corn tortilla
Maize
Oatmeal
Muesli
White Rice
Cous Cous
Pita bread, pancakes
Whole Wheat Bread
Potatoes
Taco Shells
White bread
Bagel, White
Asparagus, Brocolli, Celery, Cucumber
Lettuce, Peppers, Spinach, Tomatoes
Peanuts
Chickpeas
Cooked carrots
Kidney beans
Lentils
Pinto beans
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Apple
Peach
Orange
Grape
Banana
Mango
Raisins
Pineapple
Watermelon
Milk
Fruit yogurt
Ice cream
Apple juice
Orange juice
Coca Cola
Fanta
Glycemic index
Figure 2: Glycemic index for common foods. Foods with a high glycemic index should be taxed,
while foods with a low glycemic index should be subsidized.
Consumable fat is usually divided into saturated, unsaturated and trans fat. Trans fats are rare
in nature, but became common for human consumption after the 1950’s, when we started to
produce margarine by hydrogenating unsaturated fat. Trans fat has been found to be hazardous
to human health in numerous of ways[1] , but has been primarily linked to coronary heart disease.
Since we have strong indications that trans fats are hazardous to human health, trans fats should
be taxed heavily. Saturated fats are found mostly in meat, while unsaturated fats are found
mostly in vegetables. Saturated fats have traditionally been regarded as hazardtous to human
health, while unsaturated fats have been regarded as beneficial to human health. Today this is a
highly controversial topic. Vegetables are however beneficial to human health for other reasons,
as they contain a high concentration of fibres, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants[2]. We can
also get about 10 times more calories per acre from plants than from farm animals[3], as a lot of
energy is lost in the metabolism of farm animals. This means that we can feed about 10 times
more vegetarians than carnivores from the same amount of land. These are good reasons to
subsidize vegetables.
Ending the war on recreational drugs
According to the microeconomic model of supply and demand[4], the price of a product goes up
if the product becomes less available while the demand for the product stays the same. So the
irony of drug prohibition is that the more money we spend on enforcing laws to decrease the
availability of drugs, the more money criminals can earn on selling drugs as long as the demand
for drugs stays the same[5] . The American war on drugs has cost trillions of US dollars since it
was implemented, while the amount of drug abuse has increased[6]. The war on drugs has also
contributed to a 500% increase in the number of people incarcerated[7]. A report from 2011 by
The Global Commission on Drug Policy[8] regarded the war on drugs as a complete failure, and
recommended to end criminalization of drug usage.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
low
moderate
high
B
l
a
c
k
m
a
r
k
e
t
D
r
u
g
a
b
u
s
e
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
low
moderate
high
Amount of taxes and regulations
No taxes and
regulations
Completely
Illegal
Optimal Level
Figure 3: Showing the predicted optimal level of taxes and regulations, as drug abuse is believed
to increase with less taxes and regulations, while the black market is believed to increase with
more taxes and regulations.
In a society where recreational drugs are legal there should be an optimal level of taxes and
regulations on the drugs (Figure 3). Black market activity can be just as detrimental to our society
as drug abuse, and if there are too much taxes and regulations there will be an incentive to sell
drugs on the black market. It is however somewhat risky to sell drugs on the black market,
so if there are not too much taxes and regulations the sale of drugs can be kept mainly within
the legal system. If drugs are legal we can also require that they are manufactured according
to the same standards as today’s pharmaceutical drugs, and we can require that they are sold
with labels informing consumers about what they contain and about potential dangers. Drugs
in the black market often contain harmful impurities, and they do not have any labels informing
consumers about what they contain and about potential dangers. Recreational drugs can be taxed
and regulated according to how harmful they are from scientific point of view (Figure 4).
low (0.1%) moderate (1%) high (10%)
very low
low
moderate/low
moderate
moderate/high
high
very high
LSD/Psilocybin
Salvinorin A Mescaline
Ketamine
Ibogaine
DMT
THC
Nicotine
Ecstasy
Amphetamine
Caffeine
Alcohol
Benzodiazepines
Barbiturates
Morphine
Heroin
Overdose potential (active dose
lethal dose )
Addiction potential
Figure 4: Diagram showing overdose potential (active dose
lethal dose ) and addiction potential for different
drugs.
In a report from 2006 by the UK Science and Technology Select Committee[9], the legal drugs
alcohol and tobacco were found to be more harmful than many illegal drugs; such as marijuana,
LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms. The drugs were categorized according to physical harm,
dependence and social harms. Another even more detailed report from 2010 by the Indepen-
dent Scientific Committee on Drugs[10] draw similar conclusions. An article from 2006 about the
toxicity of recreational drugs[11] found the overdose potential of ethanol to be approximately a
hundred times higher than the illegal drugs marijuana, LSD and magic mushrooms.
Drug addiction and κ-opioid agonists like Ibogaine
Some drugs even have anti-addictive properties. Tabernanthe iboga is a plant traditionally used
by people belonging to the Bwiti faith in mid-west Africa[12]. Addiction is believed to be con-
trolled by a system of neurological pathways in the brain, called the reward-system[13]. Ibogaine,
which is the active alkaloid of the Tabernanthe iboga plant, has been shown to stimulate the κ-
opioid receptor[14]. Stimulation of the κ-opioid receptor has been shown to restore normal func-
tioning of the reward-system in an addicted brain, and thereby curing addiction[15]. Ibogaine
does this so well that a single megadose often is enough to completely eliminate the withdrawal
effects from a heroin addiction.
Control
Desire
Control
Desire
κ-opioid agonists (Ibogaine)
Curing addiction
µ-opioid agonists (Heroin)
Becoming addicted
Addicted brain Normal brain
Figure 5: How κ-opioid agonists like Ibogaine are believed to restore normal functioning of
the reward-system in an addicted brain, by decreasing the desire for drugs and increasing self-
control mechanisms.
Drug addicts might however start using drugs again after they have been treated with Ibogaine,
unless they get help to reintegrate into society. They have often been unemployed for many
years, and often have a social network consisting only of other drug addicts. To completely cure
them, they need to get work and establish a new social network consisting of healthy individuals.
So drug addicts should go into a 1 year reintegration program, after they have been treated with
Ibogaine (Figure 6).
Drug addict Not addicted Healed
Ibogaine treatment Reintegration program
Figure 6: The process of curing drug addiction also requires reintegration into society.
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