retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB had a story yesterday about how a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that an 18 percent tax on pizza and sodas could result in a a shift in eating habits that would reduce the average American’s weight by five pounds per year, which would go a long way toward having an impact on the nation’s obesity rates, which cost the nation $147 million a year in health-related expenses.

In my commentary, I suggested that these people are seriously nuts. A tax on pizza? Oy!

MNB user Stacy McCoy agreed:

You can have my pizza when you pry it from my cold, dead hands… do not touch my pizza!!!!

I do not possibly see how this will come to pass, however, if it does, I will not stop eating pizza; I will start buying all of the ingredients separately and making it myself…

A bonus for my local grocery store, and probably cheaper for me!

MNB user Brian Anderson wrote:

How did they decide that an 18% tax was just the right amount to reduce obesity?!?  If: 18% x (Pizza + Soda) = 5 lbs., then can we solve for X in: 10% x (Pizza + Soda) = X lbs.  or any other %’age?!?  Hmmm…

Another MNB user wrote:

Here is a new idea for the Academics, the Bureaucrats, and the Politicians: every time they come out and talk about wanting to take money from those of us with "real" jobs and capabilities to make our own decisions they should pay a tax on every word used…oh lets say $1.00 per word.  By my calculations from your sampling of the report they would owe us $49.

Think of it, they would think harder about their ideas, they would use less paper/air because they wouldn't pontificate so much, and there would be less gas in air resulting in less global warming.

It may be unfair to suggest that these folks don’t have real jobs. But I get your meaning.

Another MNB user offered:

I attended a seminar at Expo West last year where they were promoting this insanity – taxing sugary drinks and foods that were “less nutritious”.  The premise was, we’re all paying for the results when people get ill from eating fast foods and junk food….it’s true, we are paying – but taxing the foods is not the solution!  Education is the only way……

MNB user Tom DeMarco wrote:

I think our government is looking for any reason to “TAX” anyone and everything that they can to generate revenue for their shortcomings and mess ups.  When is our government going to realize that the people of this country are tired of being taxed?

To be fair, this was an academic study. No politicians involved.

Another MNB user wrote:

Pizza, of all the fast foods, is amongst the more nutritious of all the usual offerings. If you tax anything, tax  burgers over 1000 calories...  A Fat tax.  Got Fat? Gonna cost you.  Yeah, I know, you don' t applaud any food taxation, but somehow money talks to everyone, whereas doctors, scientists, nutritionists, just don't reach and have an impact the way money and your wallet does.

Maybe we just ought to tax all pants over a certain size.

That’s what MNB user David Hannaman was getting at:

Maybe THEY should tax the length of our belts.  If your belt size is larger than a 36” THEY could tax you 18% on your weekly food cost.  I say this year we re-elect no one.

MNB user Mark A. Boyer wrote:

Taxing pizza, candy, sodas or any other food to “reduce obesity” is nothing more than a disingenuous way to generate tax revenue. Will video games and TV be next?

Obesity is primarily a result of lifestyle choices, including too little exercise and poor diets.

Years ago a physician told me, “There are no bad foods, only bad diets.”

We also had a story yesterday about how a NYC restaurant is making appetizers with an unusual ingredient - cheese made from the chef’s wife’s breast milk. Some people are grossed out by this and others are intrigued.

My comment: If I have my druthers, if I’m going to be tasting breast milk, I’d prefer that there be an actual nipple involved...

It was a little joke. One that not everyone found funny.

MNB user Ryan Cunningham wrote:

IMO…That’s disgusting…
…and you owe your readers an apology for your comment. That’s crossing a SERIOUS line. I’m not one for being P.C., but I think your comment was even more disgusting than the story.

One MNB user wrote:

Oh Kevin, …. Eeew…. Eeew.  Eeew.  Eeew.

MNB user Mark Parker wrote:

I think that you comment about wanting a nipple attached to you trying some breast milk was a little crude.

Another MNB user wrote:

Wow.  I cannot believe you said that if you were going to be tasting breast milk, you would prefer that there be an actual nipple involved.  That comment was entirely unexpected and took me completely off guard.  I would have rather you kept that one to yourself.
I predict you are going to get  A LOT of comments on this one...

MNB user Dena Soulakis wrote:

I suspect that you are going to get a lot of flak for that comment….:)

MNB user Chris Daugert wrote:

Hang on to your hat Kevin.  I would bet a severe storm is now brewing.

Another MNB user wrote:

OK, you just upped the “ick” factor of this story by your remarks – I just choked on my morning coffee!!  Didn’t need that last vision...

Another MNB user chimed in:

I predict you are going to get railed for the breast milk comment, either by readers, or Mrs. Content Guy and daughter….or all 3.  Should be interesting next few days!

Another MNB user wrote:

Tasting another woman’s breast milk via the natural nipple???

Let us know what Mrs. Content Guy has to say about that…..

For the record, my 15-year-old daughter was totally grossed out by the story and thought my comment was inappropriate - especially for her father. (Then again, this site isn’t written for 15-year-old girls. Though there probably are people who would suggest that the humor often is that of a 15-year-old boy. I’m okay with that.)

Mrs. Content Guy, on the other hand, thought the comment was funny and had no problem with it. “Then again,” she said, “I’ve known you a long time. I’m used to you.”

MNB user Michael Freese wrote:

Man.....are you going to get grief.....but, a man after my own heart.

MNB user Jason Tuffli wrote:

I love your response, but I bet that’s going to generate some email!!!

MNB user Randy Aszman wrote:

I cannot freakin’ believe you said that. I laughed my (expletive deleted) off. And I agree. But I cannot believe you freakin’ said that.
Wow. Cutting edge of journalism there.

Just a little joke.

Another MNB user observed:

He might consider giving his wife shots of the Artificial growth Hormone rBST to increase her milk production.

And, from yet another MNB user:

It seems absurd that people who happily drink milk from a cow are disgusted by the idea of drinking milk from their own species.

MNB user John Hurguy wrote:

One of your best, if not the best, one-liners!  Can’t wait to read a recap of the comments you receive…

And another MNB user wrote:

I can only imagine how many responses you're going to get from the "I’d prefer that there be an actual nipple involved..." comment.   Reminds me of the outraged letters following SI Swimsuit issue, (which were more entertaining than the actual swimsuit issue), but which seem to have gotten less strident in the past few years (maybe because you see more skin on network TV these days). But like SI, I hope you do publish a few.

At least a few.

You got it.

MNB user John Quinn wrote:

Kevin, I fell out of my seat laughing at your response! Loved it!

Another MNB user wrote:

I’m with you on the preference that there be a nipple involved.  You know the ol’ saying…Without nipples, breasts would be pointless!

Can’t wait to read other feedback on your comments!

Not to mention the feedback on your comment...

MNB user Suzanne M. Shriner wrote:

Kevin, that made me laugh out loud. Thanks very much – I sure needed that!

MNB user Lisa Bosshard wrote:

OK - Laugh out Loud Funny!!!   Now, there are probably things you should think and not say, but WOW - thanks for the chuckle!  As a famous comedian said, "I don't care who you are, that's funny"....!

MNB user Mike Jadrich wrote:

To coin the phrase from Larry the Cable Guy, “Now that there’s funny, I don’t care what you say”.  I can’t wait to read the comments about your analysis.  You are writing what I am thinking and have a lot bigger (noun deleted) than me.  Keep up the good work!  Don’t lose that sense of humor!

MNB user Peter A Marotta wrote:

Your comment on the special “Mommy” cheese make me spit out my coffee this morning.. you are quite the lad.

MNB user Gary Harris wrote:

Thank God I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee or I’d still be squeegeeing off my monitor.

And another MNB user offered a comment that will only be understandable to people under a certain age:

Dude, you didn’t just say that!?!?! ROF, LMAO!!!

And finally, another MNB user wrote:

Really Kevin?  You just couldn’t control yourself, could you?  Your credibility gets nicked a bit with comments like that.  And must every edition of MorningNewsBeat have a reference to your book?   I know, I know, shameless pandering – I get it.   But  man it makes me cranky.  We both need to knock it off.

Actually, today was the day I was going to not mention the book. But since you brought it up...

MNB user Chris Schultz wrote:

While driving to work today I was listening to the Tony Kornheiser radio podcast.  When I heard Mr. Tony plug Kevin Coupe (and “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies”), I nearly ran off the road.  Stars (loosely defined) from my professional world and my personal world were colliding in my car.

Then it dawned on me that you and Mr. Tony are very similar.  You both get paid to give your opinions, live or hail from New England, are apparently left of center, sport something akin to a beard, and are slightly orange.  Hmmmmm....

If you are out on your bike tonight, Mr. Coupe, do wear white!

Great email that will only be completely understood by Mr. Tony aficionados. Which means that Michael Sansolo and I get it.

(Y’know, if Mr. Tony had made the nipple joke, he probably would have been suspended...)
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