Archive for the ‘ health ’ Category

If your kid is fat, it’s not McDonald’s fault. It’s YOURS


Good idea? Yes?

Actually, no. McDonald’s and other fast food joints have been around since the 1950s, fat and salt quite a bit longer. And guess what? Back then kids by and large weren’t obese. Not in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even arguably the 80s. If your kid is fat, it’s not McDonald’s fault, nor Pizza Hut’s, nor KFC’s. It’s YOUR fault.

If you choose to work more so you can afford that new computer, mobile phone, Gucci bag, flatscreen TV, and holiday to Paris all the meanwhile having no time to feed your kid properly, then that’s your choice. Fine. However that does not give you or Big Government the right to bugger up my trip down to McDonald’s to grab a burger.

As for ruining a day out with the kids giving them a treat at McDonald’s like that warning label would, I am so sick of this creeping nannystatism that we see on pretty much a daily basis. And that’s what that label is – nannystatism.

Everybody knows that McDonald’s does not constitute a proper meal, nor does it substitute a home-cooked meal. I’m sorry, but if you need a warning label on a Big Mac to tell you, “hey, go easy”, then obviously you are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool and should either a) not breed or b) even better, kill yourself as you are clearly making no positive contribution to the human race – a negative one in fact.

It’s 2012. Everybody knows things like cigarettes can harm your health, and junk food too. But enough with all these pretentious warning labels, and their subsequent taxes. First it was on cigarettes, and now buzz killingtons are floating the idea like in the picture here replete with a “fat tax” to go along with it. Governments around the world have realised that enough people are stuck on stupid, and in some cases are now even taxing the air (carbon tax) to the sound of applause.

It’s ridiculous. The government should NOT be there to hold your hand and give you hand outs. Take responsibility for your own life, and quit pushing for all this nannystatism that is encroaching on mine!

UPDATE

Via Phil Jourdan in comments: “[R]esponsibility is the new 4 letter word.”

Indeed. Found this on Facebook, same place I found that original pic.

The death of a 407-pound woman after being denied boarding on three flights was “preventable,” according to an attorney for the woman’s husband, who plans to pursue legal action against three airlines.

My comment on Facebook then, and the same comment now.

407 pounds and that’s with only one leg. And they needed a sky crane. We all know what killed Vilma. Similar to what I was getting at in a post earlier, enough of this crap that stuff like this is someone else’s fault. It was her fault.

In fact, these airlines are private businesses and they have every right to refuse on board anyone they damn well please. A sky crane. Good grief. That all three airlines did what they could is testament to how much people do try to help others, even when those others can’t help themselves. A perfectly decent line must be drawn far before someone like Vilma is anywhere near crossing it. Heck, if I’ve had a few drinks, I can’t get on board. What next? Greenpeace sues because Qantas couldn’t accommodate a blue whale???

Obamacare explained… in a sentence


Brilliant!

That lady is Dr. Barbara Bellar, candidate for Illinois State Senate, District 18.

Tough call; she’s up against Chicago politics.

Meanwhile, Romney and Obama, who’ve both taken a day off from politicking today for obvious reasons, are pretty much even stevens.

Easy on the pot, perhaps lads?


I usually don’t have much time for these kinds of scientific studies which always suggest “maybe” this, or “linked to” that, and they come out so often, if you took all of them at face value, you’d be terrified to breathe or step outside the house. But anyway…

Recreational marijuana use was linked to an increased risk of subtypes of testicular cancer that tend to carry a worse prognosis, U.S. researchers say.

So that common notion that it shrinks the veges might actually have something to it.

“We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testis that may lead to carcinogenesis, although we speculate that it may be acting through the endocannabinoid system — the cellular network that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana — since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm,” [Victoria Cortessis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles] said in a statement.

My take on the SCOTUS Obamacare ruling


(originally posted on facebook)

OK. So the SCOTUS has deemed Obamacare constitutional and thus able to go ahead. Now those people who know me, know that I’m far from being a liberal (but JFTR, I’m not conservative, I’m libertarian/classical liberal). Interestingly, it was Justice Roberts, the chief justice and a conservative, who cast the deciding vote. He framed Obamacare as a tax, and thus as a tax, the congress has every right to do what it wants. Don’t like it? Vote them out, or you shouldn’t have voted them in. Tough bikkies. Not the court’s problem.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand progressive ideology, so don’t see the following as some kind of *coming together* watershed moment. I still have utmost disdain for the OWS crowd, PETAphiles, and idiots who think that man-made CO2 emissions somehow cause global warming.

However, Obama is a democratically elected president, and the SCOTUS has deemed Obamacare constitutional. For better or for worse, people should deal with that and get working. It’s not as if now there’s suddenly universal “free” healthcare in America anyway. Basically, my understanding is that Obamacare now forces your lazy ass to buy some frickin’ health insurance if you don’t have it already, and no more of this pre-existing condition crap (although that was rorted by healthcare providers and clients alike).

And the sky won’t fall in with Medicare and Medicaid. I know this because we have a top-notch healthcare system in Australia comprising of BOTH public and private healthcare. We’ve had it for ages, and basically it works fine.

Now, as you all know, I’m certainly of the Right, and I just hope others on the Right deal with it and won’t carry on like whiny little shouty moonbat bitches like so many on the Left do about, say, another SCOTUS decision like *that one* in 2000.

Anyway, my interest in all this is rather limited beacuse, seriously, as an Australian living in Korea, I don’t really give that much of a fuck about American healthcare.

On a more practical level, however, I would like to talk briefly about healthcare in Korea. I hope people realise that their national health insurance does NOT cover everything. A couple of times during my vacat-… er, stay in Korea, a foreigner has been involved in a serious accident. He/They only had national health insurance, and the doctors WOULD NOT operate until tens of thousands of dollars could be paid. So, we did our best and passed round the tin. Too little. Too late. Those people died.

Moral of the story? I could not recommend high enough also obtaining private health insurance whilst you stay in Korea. Even the best is not overly expensive. Also, if you drive a motor vehicle, get some top notch – not just that basic crap – for you car. For instance, I have insurance that covers my car, me, any passengers, their car, their passengers, any other people, as well as property. I even pay 50 bucks more so that if some asshole sues me even if it’s not my fault (gee, they wouldn’t do that to a foreigner would they?), I’m covered.

Stay safe, people.

UPDATE

JM sent over a few links and posted a comment which my half-drunk (so far) Friday night arse has boiled down to this (and I’ll post the links after the comment).

(originally posted in comments on another bloke’s facebook thread to a lefty audience)

A mate sent over a few links. The ACA is now essentially a tax (as I said above). This means anyone not wanting to sign up to Obamacare will simply pay a tax, $95 the first year up to $695 (indexed) from 2015 or so. What Roberts’ decision also does is set a precedent for future limiting of the congress’ powers. In addition, Obamacare won’t need 60 votes to be overturned, now 51. That is significant (filibuster). Essentially, the young and spritely Justice Roberts did not rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare, but instead made it a tax that comes under the commerce clause which thus severely limits how much it can be played around with. An important distinction there is that congress can regulate but not compel commerce i.e. there goes being forced to pay for insurance. Another part of the ruling means states not wanting a bar more of medicaid that they haven’t already signed up for cannot be forced to do so. The other sticking point is that tax laws – of which Obamacare is now a part of – *must* originate from congress. Obamacare originated from the executive branch, and was passed only by the senate using arcane procedures. Should be interesting.

http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2012/06/28/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-in-the-court-decision/?singlepage=true

http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/2012/06/the-decision-to-uphold-the-mandate-as-a-gestalt-shift-in-constitutional-law.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/scocca/2012/06/roberts_health_care_opinion_commerce_clause_the_real_reason_the_chief_justice_upheld_obamacare_.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/06/28/five-possible-silver-linings-in-the-obamacare-decisio/

http://reason.com/blog/2012/06/28/issa-to-obama-what-happened-to-obamacare

Two further points, however.

The “raise taxes” argument is pretty strong out there in the Americanosphere, so criticising Obamacare as a tax rise probably won’t work – although the people pushing the most for the biggest tax increases probably aren’t the people who pay much tax. ;-) The average American may have a different opinion.

The overwhelming opinion I get from the Americans I know is that for too many, the American healthcare system is fucked. I’ve never had to pay hundreds of dollars for relatively minor treatment. Yes, the best healthcare does exist in America, but who the fuck can access it? Personally, I like the Australian and Korean model… buuuut, I’ve never been to, yet alone lived in America, so I’m open to argument.

Make that three…

Like the boat people crisis in Australia, perhaps it would be wise not to run this issue to ground on ideological/political lines.

And yet another big fat tax


Because it’s not like people in Australia already have to deal with a whole host of ridiculous taxes set way too high by governments that couldn’t buy an ice cream without somehow burning through 100 bucks.

Fast food giants are facing substantial local government rate increases in a bid to tackle the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Dieticians are backing the call by a Melbourne council – to slug McDonalds and KFC outlets up to 400 percent more on their rates.

Pardon my French, but just fuck off already. That goes for those dickheads in the UK and Denmark, too.

Hands up. Hands up anyone who doesn’t know that waffing too many cheeseburgers will make you fat?

Apparently, the government thinks you don’t.

It’s claimed extra money from the rate increases will be poured into health promotion programs.

I don’t give a crap if they mean well or not. What they’ve got to realise is that people are sick of the government telling them what’s best for them.

Seriously, does anyone go to McDonald’s and think it’s the same as eating a salad and jogging 10kms?

Do these government busy bodies realise we already have more than enough people telling us what to do? They’re our wives, our husbands, our parents, our friends, our co-workers, our bosses, that stupid ad on the TV, or even our kids telling us how uncool we are.

The last thing we need when we give ourselves a little treat after looking at a paycheck that’s had the guts ripped out of it, is some faceless douchebag from the government telling us they care whilst helping themselves to even more.

Councils? Just get back to mowing the parks and picking up the 15 useless garbage bins you foisted on us.

PS I wonder if this has anything to do with the ICLEI…

Why on Earth would anyone want to eat dead baby flesh capsules???


It’s hard to be shocked anymore these days, but occaisionally still, a certain story will come along.

SOUTH Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered human flesh and is strengthening customs inspections, officials said today.

The capsules were made in northeastern China from dead babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, a statement from the Korea Customs Service said.

This isn’t how politics should work


If true, more grubby revelations into how the trade union/ALP machine operates…

So much for being chosen and elected on merit. HSU secretary Kathy Jackson is claiming HSU East boss and former ALP national secretary Michael Williamson offered her a seat in parliamnet if she’d shut up.

As leader of the ALP, would PM Julia Gillard have known about this? If so, what was her stance on that? And if not, as leader, why not? Has she lost control of her party?

Surely that is another blow for Gillard’s – and let’s face it even if she won’t – shakey leadership hold.

Meanwhile, Bill Shorten’s desperate, frantic attempts to shut HSU East up by way of placing the solvent organisation into administration has been held up in the federal court because the judge isn’t sure whether a state union can fall under his jurisdiction.

[Shorten] wants the court to approve a scheme for the appointment of an administrator “until democratic control of the branch can be restored”.

By “democratic control”, you can be sure than means until Kathy Jackson is kicked out and things can return to “normal” (but maybe “normal” will be a little different next time e.g. they’ll use cash from now on to pay for hookers).

UPDATE

Because it can get a bit confusing for us interested onlookers, a who’s who of the HSU.

H/T Cranky Old Crow

Brain food


Omega3? Ginseng? Multivitamins?

Yes, all that.

And also beer.

Cheers.

Remember how global warming was supposed to be killing bees?


Those who don’t know about the “global warming is killing bees” story should be envied, and the rest of us should be somewhat relieved.

Kyle Becker aka RogueOperator:

The parable here is too rich to resist. The set-up is that we have corporations selling high fructose corn syrup, basically a government-subsidized product, to honey producers. The latter, not knowing that a deadly toxin lurks in the saccharine mix, are literally feeding their bees poison. After prolonged exposure, the bees become infested with parasites, and die.

Central planning, scientific ignorance, and unthinking drones infested by parasites. Is this not the ultimate microcosm of what is going on in the United States?

PS Will Big Sugar use this in their on-going court case against Big Corn?

Nobamacare


It looks like Obamacare is going to be shot down by the US Supreme Court for being unconstitutional insofar that the federal government cannot force people to buy something they don’t want; in this case, private health insurance.

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices said Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely.

Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law’s controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it.

It was going to cost billions, and with bureaucrats crunching the numbers, you wouldn’t have wanted to be old and sick at the same time. In fact, it was pretty draconian, trampled all over individual, constitutional, and states’ rights, and actually wouldn’t have covered everybody anyway.

The US health system, despite being the best in the world, may not be perfect. However, good riddance to a bad set of laws.

Oh, FFS. ANY red meat is bad now?!


The perils of having among one’s peers a significant number of Arts graduates? The following crap was posted all over my facebook news feed today:

A new Harvard study suggests that eating any amount—and any kind of red meat, significantly increases the risk of premature death.

You're going down, cow!

Well. Shut the door. It’s a HARVARD study. See you in the next life, McDonald’s. It was fun while it lasted, Sizzler’s. At least I got to try some kangaroo once.

Ninemsn diligently picked up on it, too (and if you check google around the time of posting, so did others).

Eating a portion of processed red meat daily can boost a person’s risk of dying young by up to 20 per cent, says a long-running US study of more than 120,000 people.

Woah! Not just Harvard but a whopping 120,000 people tested by Harvard.

I might as well go fire bomb the butcher’s shop right now. He’s not just killing Daisy, he’s killing ME!

But as I commented on FB, “Well, that’s your choice … but before flying in the face of millions of years of evolution as an omnivore species – a trait that played no small part in giving us dominion over the planet – it might be wise to first check any counter arguments to such an alarming claim.”

Wait. What? CHECK it? This is Harvard. It was in the media. Surely a ninemsn journo would try and bring us a balanced report, right? If there was any checking to be done, it would have been done already.

No, just more of the same… in the same article.

A separate study, also led by Hu but published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that men who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily faced a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease than men who did not.

Just put a warning label on everything I say! That way we’ll be safe, saved from ourselves, and will live forever.

Wait. Where was I? Ah, yes. CHECKING.*

How did the researchers test the dangers of meat? Through a survey and questionnaire. This wasn’t some deep and complex lab work.

As for the ability to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between red meat and mortality? Those claims are impossible. Always remember Research 101: Correlation does not equal causation.

WHAAAAA????

A frickin’ survey? A frickin’ questionaire?

That’s it?!?!

And on top of that, the test group were ALL doctors and nurses.

I agree with the assertion made in that last link. I love them, but they don’t always work the most convenient hours (exercise, sleep, access to quality food or crappy hospital food?) and thus might not have the healthiest bodies. And besides, doctors and nurses are hardly representative of the entire population.

And as for the drinks? Sigh, everybody knows downing too much Coke isn’t good, but again, was that survey done using extensive lab testing, scientific rigour?

No.

Just another stupid survey.

_________________________________________________________________

*And note livestrong.com, the folks who checked the Harvard survey, are partners with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. If red meat’s good enough to help Lance win seven Tours de France, then it’s good enough for anyone.

Or what? My next steak is gonna…? You know…

UPDATE

Someone called Molly on FB, a FB acquaintance of my FB acquaintance, says it well.

I don’t claim to know the answer, but James B. is onto something with that last comment. If you look at the design of the study, it was observationally based and not an experiment. The participants were asked to report how often, on average, they consumed certain meat products over the course *of the previous year*. I can barely remember what I ate yesterday. Some questions were asked of participants every four years. They also changed/refined the categories of process/unprocessed meats over the course of the study and included ground beef as “unprocessed.” Anyone who’s read about the preponderance of Pink Slime in the last couple of weeks will wonder about that designation.

The self-reports revealed that the people who ate read meat were also a group who exercised less, smoked more, and drank more. Should we conclude that red meat makes you a lazy, smoking, alcoholic? Probably not. The conclusion is that it’s not clear whether the increased mortality rates were due to red meat or an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

And she was kind enough to link to another site, Mark’s Daily Apple, that takes a look at the Harvard study.

But if you’ve been hanging around the nutrition world for very long, you’ve probably realized by now that health according to the media and health according to reality are two very different things—and even scientific studies can be misrepresented by the researchers who conduct them. Is our latest “killer meat” scare a convincing reason to ditch red meat? Is it time to put a trigger lock on your lethal grass-fed beef when the young’uns are around? Or is there more to this story than meats the eye? (Sorry, I had to.)

Observations vs. Experiments

Before we even dig into what this study found, let’s address an important caveat that the media—and even the researchers, unless they were terribly misquoted—seem to be confused about. What we’ve got here is a garden-variety observational study, not an actual experiment where people change something specific they’re doing and thus make it possible to determine cause and effect.

That link goes into quite some detail.

UPDATE II

Kinda related (not really) but inquiring minds still deserve to know: facebook at its best.

Via JM

Pink slime “beef” is gross but you probably won’t die (or knew you were eating it)


That said, wouldn’t almost everyone be happier if we just fed it to the dogs and chooks?

Mmm. Gimme some o’ that pink slime goodness. Pink slime “beef” is what you get when you process what could never before be processed. Think about that. Only in the last 20 years have we been able to eat a part/s of the cow that for the last million years wasn’t or couldn’t be eaten.

Science WIN or Give Me The Bucket; I’ll leave that up to you.

They add the stuff to beef mince, hamburger patties… you get it.

Pink slime has gained a bit of media attention over in the States lately – and it gained mine because the new FTA with South Korea (my home away from home) allows US ground beef to be sold here – because the USDA is increasing the amount of pink slime it will purchase to put in kids’ school cafeteria lunches.

In fact, 70% of all US mince has been estimated to contain pink slime, and processors can get away with flogging product that contains up to 15% of the goop.

Nasty words like “ammonia” and “look” have been used when describing the preparation process, and reports have surfaced that it isn’t as safe as our “regular” beef.

Details here and here.

Knock yourself out.

But the point I’m making in this post isn’t about kids’ lunches or whatever, but rather that almost every American and a number of Koreans have probably eaten beef containing this slurry.

Probably a number of times.

For years.

And whilst we may be reading gross reports about the stuff in food, we aren’t reading any pink slime epidemic stories.

Still, at a saving of three lousy cents a pound, or 6c per kilo, for fucks sake, just get it out of our food chain and give it to Fido.

PS No, it’s not in Australia, Europe, nor McDonald’s, Burger King (Hungry Jack’s) or Taco Bell.

New gene therapy could prevent cancer, obesity


Sure, it’s one of those “just around the corner” medical breakthroughs we keep hearing about, but this latest research into gene therapy sounds really promising. Not only does it prevent cancer, but it also keeps the extra kilos at bay.

Giving the mice more than the naturally recommended dose of PTEN kept them cancer-free, which suggests that having multiple genomic copies of the tumor suppressor allowed it to fend off any harmful mutations or attempted deactivation. That’s potentially good news for expanding PTEN’s role in cancer prevention, but the potentially great news is the side effects of the extra gene.

The mice with the extra PTEN had a metabolic imbalance, although it’s the type of imbalance that people in the midst of an obesity epidemic would be all too happy to have. The experimental mice ate more and yet remained thinner than the control group. The researchers also report that the mice were less likely to be insulin-resistant and their livers had less fat in them than those of other mice. Basically, the mice were leaner and healthier, even though they were eating more.

Begin feeding me burgers and cigarettes at once!

However, bingbing believes there’s an even more important area of gene therapy that scientists should be making a priority.

(from an earlier post)

Researchers have determined that genetics could matter when it comes to some adults’ political leanings.

According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, “ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4.”

Of particular note is that liberal adults suffer from a variant of the DRD4 gene. That is, the DRD4 gene in Leftists is not normal.

Get working, boffins. Humanity’s future is depending on it!

 

Plain packaging: it’s not really about your health


Talking about the offensive new packaging to be introduced to Aussie smokes. Like every stupid, nanny-state, molly-coddling, patronising government decision ever made, other governments can’t wait to do the same… this time in the UK.

And spiked.com’s deputy editor Rob Lyons calls out “plain packaging” for what it really is, an affront to our intelligence and freedom of speech by a bunch of boring control freaks with nothing better to do than tell supposedly “free” citizens how to live their lives.

 

 

Hey, I love the stuff too, but 31 years of nothing BUT pizza? Woah!


She should at least try adding some pepperoni.

A British woman who has eaten only cheese and tomato pizza for 31 years has been warned she could die unless she quits her bizarre dining habit.

Claire Simmons, of Notting Hill, West London, gags if she puts anything but a plain pizza slice in her mouth. She also shakes the moment she is presented with any other type of food.

Her doctors have said this is all nasty, increasing her risk of stroke and heart attack.

But really, is a decent pizza that bad? I was, to say the least, a fussy eater as a young kid and ate more than my fair share of pizza. Yet, I was the second fastest runner at my school, won the long jump, was good at high jump on a good day, played a decent game of tennis, was second tallest in my grade, and was usually in the top three of my class academically.

Besides, many people would have read last year that the US congress classified pizza as a vegetable. Now that isn’t exactly the case – they determined that an eighth of a cup of tomato paste could continue to qualify as half a cup (or one serving) of vegetables (and the numbers actually do stack up), thus blocking Obama’s move to require four times the previous serving of tomato paste to qualify – but when you’re essentially talking bread, tomato and cheese, something that’s kept the Italians happy and healthy (with relatively low levels of fascism) for centuries, really, how wrong can you go?

You’ve got your carbs, your protein, your dairy…

Still, I guess it’s a bit like that Jared guy and his Subway diet. OK, so the ingredients are meant to be all healthy and fresh (ahem, check #7 here) and the bloke lost a ton of weight (100% due to Subway and nothing else I’m sure) but something inside, something instinctive tells you it just ain’t right, that a mono-diet isn’t the way to go.

That said, I’d argue there are a lot of people doing a lot worse things to their bodies than eating margharita pizzas.

H/T

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