An apple a day…or maybe 5…

I love this little animated piece…

It points up one of the worst problems in US farm policy: corn and soy, prime ingredients in junk food, are heavily subsidized by the USDA. However, the food we really need to eat more of to be healthy, fruits and veggies, are not subsidized and often there are roadblocks put in the way for farmers who want to grow them. We need to change farm policy — and the SNAP program — to emphasize fruits and veggies, and de-emphasize King Corn and Queen Soy. Especially the GMO versions of same.

Eating clean shouldn’t be more expensive than eating dirty.

Applying SCIENCE to the problem.

SCIENCE! What causes obesity…is it a simple matter of calories in, calories out, or is it what we eat rather than how much we eat?

Scientists are finally going to do some serious study on the matter. I am looking forward to what comes of this experiment. However, don’t hold your breath waiting for it…the study is estimated to finish in 5 years.

Read about it here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-makes-you-fat-too-many-calories-or-the-wrong-carbohydrates

A missive from the He Man Woman Haters Club

I Heart Haters Well, well, well, what have we here? DH Kiefer. Some random guy with no background in exercise physiology. (He is a PhD candidate in Physics, but that’s a different field altogether.) For some reason, he has a serious need to bash women who do cardio. And by bash, he does it with tons of venom and contempt. It almost was enough to trigger some bad memories of an abusive old boyfriend or two; and those of my mom’s boyfriend who smacked me around for years before he finally smacked my mom around and convinced her to show him the door. His essay, Why Women Shouldn’t Run, is a polemic dripping with hatred of women, of women’s curves, of women who eat food and like it, and women who are big.

Seriously, if he really had some novel insights into why women shouldn’t do cardio, he could have presented them without the venom. He would get taken a hell of a lot more seriously, especially by me. I wouldn’t be so frosted right now if not for the tone of the article. I noticed he did his homework, but I can’t help but think he’s misread a lot of studies or twisted them to suit his needs and enrich his consulting/personal trainer business. The scientific consensus has continuously validated the health benefits of cardio for both genders, but the scientific consensus has also found that it is exceedingly hard to LOSE WEIGHT through cardio, especially for women. I don’t exercise to lose weight, I exercise to be healthier. It is the curse of humanity that our bodies defend weight jealously, because evolution has selected people with thrifty metabolisms who can survive famines.

I advise that those who have undergone a lot of interpersonal verbal abuse stay away from the article because it might be a trigger. However, res ipsa loquitur. (It speaks for itself.) If he hates seeing curvy women in the gym so much, maybe he should move to West Hollywood, CA and patronize some of the fine fitness establishments there. Many tend to be men-only, not by policy of course, but by the fact that the clientele is self-selecting.

Deceptive food: why food-like substances can be a stealth hazard.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has done this before, but never this entertainingly. Filmmaker Casey Neistat did a wonderful little short for the New York Times about the actual calorie content of fast food and snack food. I think this might drive the point home why maybe we might want to get less fast food and make more of our food at home, where we have a bit more control about what goes into it. On the other hand, one of these places actually got their “halo effect” a little more polished. Not going to reveal it, but let me just say I think I should take advantage of FebruANY before it’s over.

Casey Neistat: Calorie Detective

Doc visit update

Medical cadeuceusSaw the Doc yesterday, and basically all the news was good. My cholesterol is quite low, although that’s pretty much always been the case for me even at my heaviest. My blood pressure is well under control, and I no longer have to take one of my two blood pressure meds.

One little bit of bad news: I hit a scale weight plateau again. Woohoo. I know that scale weight is largely immaterial, and that the most important thing is my health. But it does have a psychological effect. It pumps up the anxiety, and makes you feel that whatever you are doing is for naught.

I wish there was a more evidence-based version of The Biggest Loser. Instead of the dramatic weigh-ins and eliminations based on weight, the training would be done under supervision of an exercise physiologist and a physician. Progress would be judged on increases in cardiovascular fitness, lowering of risk factors like cholesterol and high blood pressure, and improvements in endurance and strength. There would be challenges like running 5Ks and 10Ks, obstacle courses, “tough mudder” kind of events, etc. In the end, the winner would be judged the most physically fit among the trainees, regardless of size or scale weight. And those who did not see improvement in these measurable criteria would be eliminated one by one. Call the show “Survival of the Fittest.” I’m giving you a gift, reality TV producers. DO EET.