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 No.4712

File: 1580187227552.jpg (32.51 KB, 632x422, 316:211, iStock-924918814.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

To what extent is hyperbolic discounting a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic?

 No.4713

File: 1580191935532.jpeg (7.76 KB, 178x283, 178:283, images (14).jpeg) ImgOps Google

>>4712
I dunno what this is about but, first reply so, right.

 No.4714

File: 1580218064393.png (20.89 KB, 503x541, 503:541, hyperbolic-discounting-def….png) ImgOps Google

>>4713
The most important consequence of hyperbolic discounting is that it creates temporary preferences for small rewards that occur sooner over larger, later ones. Individuals using hyperbolic discounting reveal a strong tendency to make choices that are inconsistent over time – they make choices today that their future self (or past self) would prefer not to have made, despite knowing the same information. There is some evidence that most humans tend to use hyperbolic discounting to some extent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbolic_discounting#Formal_model

 No.4715

>>4714
Essentially it means just that people prefer instant gratification over long term rewards?

I guess it makes sense.

 No.4716

>>4715
>Essentially it means just that people prefer instant gratification over long term rewards?
It's a bit more nuanced.  Suppose at time t2, you must pick between two mutually exclusive actions: EatGluttonously (with a reward of +10 received immediately at time t2) and Diet (with a reward of +30 to be received in the future at time t3).  At time t1, you might discount these rewards to +2 for EatGluttonously and +5 for Diet, and thus prefer the future course of taking action Diet at time t2.  But at time t2, you might discount the reward for Diet to +7, while the reward for EatGluttonously is immediate and thus undiscounted, so you prefer EatGluttonously.  This kind of inconsistency arises in hyperbolic discounting but not exponential discounting.

 No.4717

behavioral economics kind of assumes that humans are governed by perfectly rational and understandable forces, that can be mathematically modeled. That's a really significant limitation, that limts what we can reasonably predict with the theorems that come out of this field.

I think a big thing to watch out for is to not assume that we can think of a behavioral economics model as being an encompassing explanatory model for human behavior in and of itself. Hyperbolic discounting is a trend that exists under certain circumstances, there's no molecule or circuit for it, and there's no guarantee that as a trait, it exists in a stable format over time, or that it is itself not just a projection of more fundamental traits or environmental conditions.

To what extent is the obesity epidemic caused by hyperbolic discounting? Hard to say. It really really really depends on what your conception of a causal relationship is, how you operationalize hyperbolic disocunting and obesity, and what other variables you include in your analysis, and how reliable and valid your data is. Maybe a clearer starting point is needed? You know, maybe the question needs to be more specific to constrict the amount of possible routes we could carry a discussion in.

 No.4722

>>4714
Stealing from my future self has a word?

 No.4723

I'll say I don't think it contributes significantly.  More likely is that avoiding obesity isn't actually an attractive goal for most people, with only external influences suggesting that it be so.  This creates a conflict wherein they are forced to act like they care about something they don't really care about in order to meet social pressures.  As a result, everyone is constantly dieting and saying how much they'd prefer to be lighter, as is the acceptable thing to do, but putting in only meager efforts to maintain the facade, which works perfectly because everyone else is doing the same thing.

 No.4726

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>>4717
>It really really really depends on what your conception of a causal relationship is
Let's go with simple "but for" causality.  And I guess that requires a specification of what would be used instead of hyperbolic discounting.  Let's say exponential discounting , with a discount factor that is approximately a local maximum in our ancestral environment.

>>4723
>More likely is that avoiding obesity isn't actually an attractive goal for most people, with only external influences suggesting that it be so.
I would disagree with that.  Does the reward of the pleasure of eating junk food really exceed the cost of the risk of getting diabetes and premature death from cardiovascular disease?

I guess a related question is: does hyperbolic discounting play a role in addiction more generally?

 No.4729

>>4726
>Does the reward of the pleasure of eating junk food really exceed the cost of the risk of getting diabetes and premature death from cardiovascular disease?

Probably, yeah.  Taking risks for disproportionate benefit is a common behavior.  Even encouraged much of the time.  Whenever something is a risk rather than a known result you can write it off as probably not going to happen.  And in these cases in particular, things are very unlikley to happen.

Take diabetes as an example.  A bit less than 10% of Americans have diabetes, and some portion of that is due to genetics, or other risk factors largely out of your control.  What's more, a lot of people with diabetes just keep living good lives.  In 2015, 30million people were estimated to have diabetes, but only 80k were reported as dying from it.  Less than 1% of cases were fatal.  Even if the entire 10% could be mitigated with proper diet and exercise, I'd wager a majority of people wouldn't be concerned with such a small risk of a controllable disease.

Similarly, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, but if we took the risk of dying in 2017 at all it's again roughly 1% of the population that died, 2.8 million people.  About 600k died from heart disease, meaning less than a quarter of a percent died from it.  To look at it a positive way, you have a 99% chance of surviving regardless of your eating habits.

In both cases, the chances of dying are almost negligible, and the reduction of your chances by changing your eating habits are even less than that.

>does hyperbolic discounting play a role in addiction more generally?

I'd say it plays a role, notably in that hyperbolic discounting is the primary problem with an addiction, rather than what causes the addiction, or even that there's a risk associated with the activity itself.  Take gambling for example.  Going into it, you're spending very minute amounts of money with the expectation that you're not getting it back.  The "risk" is the chance that you might earn loads of cash.  Any amount of gambling could be "safe" if you understand your financial situation and know how much you can spend, such that even if you were physically addicted to the experience it might cause no harm to you or your family.

When the addiction becomes unsafe is when you don't have a firm grasp of your finances and start gambling more money than you have available.  This is almost certainly because of a disconnect between the rewards of your current actions and the consequences of your spending.

 No.4733

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>>4729
>In 2015, 30million people were estimated to have diabetes, but only 80k were reported as dying from it.  Less than 1% of cases were fatal.  Even if the entire 10% could be mitigated with proper diet and exercise, I'd wager a majority of people wouldn't be concerned with such a small risk of a controllable disease.
I think you're underestimating the loss of quality-of-life caused by diabetes.  According to the CDC, people aged 18-44 lost, on average, 11.1 QALYs due to diabetes.  And people aged 45-64 lost, on average, 6.5 QALYs.  (https://nccd.cdc.gov/Toolkit/DiabetesBurden/YLL/QALY)

 No.4736

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>>4714
OK.

>>4726
>does hyperbolic discounting play a role in addiction more generally?
Yes, I think so. On the other hand, if your hyperbolic discounting is a typical process, it must be explained how anyone ever overcomes addiction.

I think looking at food as a addiction, obesity as the result -- is problematic.  At least, I think it'd be better to think of how to makes changes where most people don't have to use their limited resources of self-control to consume fewer calories (if that's possible without something like a famine, anyway).

 No.4738

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>>4736
>At least, I think it'd be better to think of how to makes changes where most people don't have to use their limited resources of self-control to consume fewer calories (if that's possible without something like a famine, anyway).
The latest theory that I've heard is that PUFA is a culprit and saturated fats are actually good:
https://fireinabottle.net/the-croissant-diet-specification/
https://old.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/evstf5/the_ros_theory_of_obesity/

 No.4743

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>>4738
So saturated fats are better at making someone feel full than unsaturated fats, at least when they are being processed by the mitochondria in cells.  Perhaps.  I don't think I know enough to really understand all the cellular chemistry stuff, though.

 No.4744

>>4733
>I think you're underestimating the loss of quality-of-life caused by diabetes.

Quality-of-life Years is a neat concept when imagining stuff like this, but there's no concrete agreed upon method for even determining a QALY, much less a full consensus that it's a useful tool.  At the very least, every method used to determine QALYs involves subjective questionaires, and you can't really take the average of what people answered as accurate to any given individual.  There are no doubt people out there who could go down every single thing associated with diabetes and say "Yeah, that's perfect health."  And surely there are people who would prefer that to giving up their lifestyle for even a short period of time.

 No.4759

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>>4744
>There are no doubt people out there who could go down every single thing associated with diabetes and say "Yeah, that's perfect health."
And there are people who believe that the Earth is flat, that the moon landing was faked, et cetera.  Nephropathy is objectively a disease, by any objective definition of the word "disease".

>>4744
>And surely there are people who would prefer that to giving up their lifestyle for even a short period of time.
Such people would be a tiny minority.  And I'm not sure how much we should credit such 'preferences' anyway.  There are people who 'prefer' death to living and who accordingly commit suicide.  For some of those people, it is a legitimate preference (in particular, for people near the end of their life with progressively worsening disease), but for most, it is a result of a chemical imbalance in their brain.  Many people who preferred suicide received psychiatric treatment that reversed their preference and now they are glad that they didn't commit suicide.

 No.4761

>>4738
There's a leap here that makes me uncomfortable.

The data and theory do not demonstrate that unsaturated fatty acids *prevent* insulin resistance but rather that they fail to trigger it.

Furthermore, I think that intentionally producing ROS in order to induce insulin resistance is missing the forest for the trees. Considering the role that frequent insulin resistance would play in developing actual diabetes and that ROS are more implicated in vascular disease than anything else, especially in the presence of high blood sugar, I am skeptical of the health benefits of weight loss via this method.


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