Tag Archives: health

Why we’re fat: it started a long long time ago. And never let up.

You want fries with that?

A surprising new study on diet is out from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. It turns some dieting sacred cows out to pasture, the most sacred being that 3,500 calories = one pound, gained or lost. (This is pretty important as our children are already the fattest in the world. Something we should care about.)

The story in today’s NY Times is by Jane Brody, a health writer I’ve trusted for 30 years. The study confirms much of the usual dieting advice – most dieters regain the weight, permanent eating patterns have to change for weight to stay off and exercise combined with dieting yields the best most enduring results.

That said,  these two nuggets surprised me – one very scary and one very hopeful:

According to the researchers, it is easy to gain weight unwittingly from a very small imbalance in the number of calories consumed over calories used. Just 10 extra calories a day is all it takes to raise the body weight of the average person by 20 pounds in 30 years, the authors wrote.

A more realistic result, he said, is that cutting out 250 calories a day — the amount in a small bar or chocolate or half a cup of premium ice cream — would lead to a weight loss of about 25 pounds over three years, with half that loss occurring the first year.

Hmmmmm . . .

Let’s not pretend anything else. With them it’s always about teh sex

Conservative Christians recoil at anything that touches – no matter how peripherally – on the assumption that females will someday have sex, and that’s only okay when making more little Christians. (Certainly, it’s never okay if the gals dare to enjoy teh sex.)

That, not government overreach, is at the core of the kefuffle over the HPV virus vaccine. That is what it’s really about. That is what it’s always about.

Let us note that Bachmann, who started the silly argument, is an evangelical Dominionist Christian. Those folks aren’t big on women’s rights.

Ohhh, my aching back

My back hurts. It does that sometimes, and when it does the ache plays hell with any plan to sit and/or concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. So I get up and down and press my hands against my lower back (a firmly established medical principle by the way). Any attempt to focus and thus distract does not go well.

Quite a shame since I had so much bloggy brilliance  building up inside me. It was  all scheduled to burst forth this very day! But my back hurts.

Emerging meme

Suddenly, I seem to be encountering a somewhat archaic idea – have heard it referenced three times in the last few days. Let’s keep an eye on the phrase ‘social cost’, expressed as a legitimate consideration in evaluating freedoms (nothing new, but the philosophical underpinning has been somewhat out of favor in recent decades).

An example today from Andrew Sullivan: Sin taxes are not the same as prohibition; they just help to finance the social costs of the sin.

The subject was a possible ‘sugar tax’ on soda, something that’s been discussed for a number of years. Probably decades – now it seems to be making its way into the media.

What we do to ourelves

Here’s one to keep an eye on. As the US, for the first time, begins the process of paying official attention to what’s in our food and why are children are in the middle of an obesity epidemic, the lobbyists are doubling up their efforts. Witness: salt.

“[as we are] urging food companies to greatly reduce their use of salt. Last month, the Institute of Medicine went further, urging the government to force companies to do so.

But the industry is working overtly and behind the scenes to fend off these attacks, using a shifting set of tactics that have defeated similar efforts for 30 years, records and interviews show. Industry insiders call the strategy “delay and divert” and say companies have a powerful incentive to fight back: they crave salt as a low-cost way to create tastes and textures.”