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« Sensual Aircraft | Main | Population Panic »

November 30, 2006

Pulling Our Weight

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Worldwide, overweight people now outnumber underweight people. In South Africa, 56 percent of women are now either obese or overweight, compared to fewer than 10 percent who are underweight. Health experts predict that diabetes will soon become a major health problem in Africa, and economists are concerned that obesity will be a drag on the world's economy.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at November 30, 2006




Comments

Determining whether one is overweight by reference to body mass index is notoriously inaccurate. Adding body fat percentage to the calculation is more accurate but also more complicated.

If you're a man, there's an ultra-simple, low tech way to determine if your weight is a risk to your health (it doesn't work for women). Stand up straight and look down. If you cannot see your toes, you are at significant risk for all sorts of health problems. If you can see your toes, you're okay. It's that simple.

Posted by: Peter on November 30, 2006 6:39 PM



Early last spring I was forty pounds heavier than I am now. I'd been that weight quite a while. My eyes were showing "flashers" and "floaters" so I went to the eye doctor. He said, bluntly, "You must get to an internist IMMEDIATELY and treat either or both diabetes and high blood pressure. Otherwise, your retinas will disintegrate." Dumped my doctor of the time, who had been writing me prescriptions for five years with no checkup. Went to a female doctor, quite sharp, who gave me three new prescriptions. Took them. Blood pressure went to the ideal numbers immediately. Blood GLUCOSE went to the bottom. I was walking into walls. My little testing machine was shrieking.

Went on a low glycemic diet that day. (You have to get this info from Australia via the internet because the diabetes industry in this country doesn't want you to know. They say people are too dumb to work it out. Huh? It's just a matter of eating old-fashioned, dense, chewy, unmanufactured slow food.) These cynical people welcome FAT. They're making huge amounts of money off fat. The imitation sweets, the meds, the special clothes, shoes, workshops, etc.

Today I only take the blood pressure med, but check my blood glucose twice a day and have learned much that way. This is NOT just a matter of being fat. FAT is only a co-occurrence of a much deeper metabolic problem. But losing weight will buy time, at least temporarily making one's metabolism shape up.

Maybe economists are concerned that obesity will be a drag on the world's economy -- the Industrial Diabetes Food Cartel is concerned that we'll just eat sensibly and spurn their phony food. THAT would impact the economy!

Looking back, I've probably had the symptoms of diabetes off and on for ten years. In Portland OR I had one of the best internists in town -- and excellent insurance. In fact, when I complained, he'd say, "Well, you've got top-of-the-line insurance! Let's send you to the best specialist!" Each one had a different diagnosis. None did a blood glucose test. All were golf buddies of my internist.

When I've lost the next forty pounds, I can probably give up the blood pressure meds. Downside? We've just had some twenty below weather -- I nearly froze. I need long underwear!

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on November 30, 2006 7:52 PM



Isn't this good news? Underweight people are not generally healthy people and famine has been more of a danger to humans than obesity for all of human history to now.

Posted by: CyndiF on December 1, 2006 1:43 AM




I don't understand how we have so many fat kids. When i grew up in the seventies, we would each spend three to four bucks at the liquor store for candy and crap to eat in the next 2 hours. For a while, a donut truck came around in ice-cream-truck style, and we'd fill up on that garbage. There was not a fat one among us. We ran around a lot and played football in the street. I'm assuming kids still play? I can't imagine they could be out eating us?
steveN

Posted by: steve a on December 1, 2006 1:56 AM



I don't have any kids of my own, but whenever the neighborhood kids are outside they are either sitting around on the grass talking or riding their motorized scooters. Not much exercise there.

Posted by: al on December 1, 2006 9:17 AM



Kids get less exercise nowadays in middle childhood (6-10) because they can't go out into the neighbourhood without adult supervision. This establishes them in a more sedentary lifestyle then we had.

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah on December 1, 2006 9:50 AM



Um, does this make me look fat?

Posted by: yahmdallah on December 1, 2006 9:51 AM



I don't understand how we have so many fat kids. When i grew up in the seventies, we would each spend three to four bucks at the liquor store for candy and crap to eat in the next 2 hours. For a while, a donut truck came around in ice-cream-truck style, and we'd fill up on that garbage. There was not a fat one among us. We ran around a lot and played football in the street. I'm assuming kids still play? I can't imagine they could be out eating us?

Kids today aren't likely to be playing football in the street. Other than the relatively small percentage who are into organized sports, most spend their time indoors playing video games or web surfing. Casual outdoor play is getting quite uncommon.

Posted by: Peter on December 1, 2006 10:13 AM



Since the earth has a fixed amount of angular momentum, its surface becoming covered in fat people must result in its speed of rotation declining. This could be worse than Global Warming. Please may I have a research grant?

Posted by: dearieme on December 1, 2006 11:24 AM



Remember the global famine warning of the 60s? Here's a story for you...

There's a game people play called, "Cheat the Prophet." What you do is, you listen carefully to all the prognostications the prophet is making, making sure to keep an accurate record of what he has to say. Then, when he is dead and buried, you go and do exactly the opposite.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg on December 1, 2006 1:12 PM



omg fat ppl

Posted by: Peggy Nature on December 3, 2006 1:24 PM






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