News from my inbox …
Meat Eaters Are Bad People
We all know meat-eating is frowned upon by Hindus in India, but apparently some Indian textbook publishers have opted for brainwashing over mere persuasion when it comes to kids:
Meat-eaters “easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes”, according to a controversial school textbook available in India. New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India’s leading publishers.
Well, I know the cure for this criminal tendency: eat more meat. Then in addition to forgetting promises, you’ll forget to cheat, lie and commit sex crimes.
“The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables,” reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?
Yeah, and look what happened when Adam and Eve ate some of that fruit: they realized they were naked and felt ashamed. That’s why I never ate apples after a long night of drinking.
The textbook may sound ridiculous to us, but keep in mind textbooks in America tell students that meat and animal fats cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes. At least people in India aren’t taking their textbook seriously.
Silliness In La-La Land
I’ve never regretted leaving the Los Angeles area, but news stories like this certainly confirm my decision:
Los Angeles is hoping to persuade people to become vegetarian – at least one day per week. Under a resolution unanimously approved by the city council this week, all future Mondays in the City of Angels have been declared “Meatless Mondays.”
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced the motion with Councilman Ed Reyes, noted the environmental impacts of meat production, and she emphasized that a high-meat diet has been linked to health problems such as colon, prostate, kidney and breast cancers, as well as heart disease.
“Eating less meat can prevent and even reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” Perry said.
Well, that’s strange … we already eat less meat than previous generations of Americans, especially red meat. I guess that explains the astounding reversal of obesity and common illnesses we’ve witnessed since the 1970s.
Reyes said it is easy for individuals to feel helpless in the face of issues as big as global warming or the obesity epidemic, “but the small changes we make every day can have a tremendous impact. That’s why this ‘Meatless Monday’ resolution is important. Together we can better our health, the animals and the environment, one plate at a time.”
Not only that, Meatless Mondays in Los Angeles will no doubt produce a decline in lies, cheating, forgotten promises and sex crimes — but the politicians will find other pursuits.
Sanity Emerges in Denmark
Remember when the Danish government instituted a “fat tax”? Well, they’ve changed their minds:
Denmark has said it will scrap a fat tax it introduced a little over a year ago in a world first, saying the measure was costly and failed to change Danes’ eating habits.
“The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax, the so-called sugar tax, has been criticised for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies’ administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk,” the Danish tax ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
“At the same time it is believed that the fat tax has, to a lesser extent, contributed to Danes travelling across the border to make purchases,” it added.
“Against this background, the government and the (far-left) Red Green Party have agreed to abolish the fat tax and cancel the planned sugar tax,” the ministry said.
This is of course good news, but here’s what I don’t understand: the tax was burdensome, drove business to other countries, created an administrative nightmare, and failed to solve the problem it targeted … so why the heck is a government canceling it? The Danes should take a page from our government’s playbook and declare that the lousy results only prove the program wasn’t big enough.
Billions and Billions, Minus A Few
When Fat Head was released, I heard from die-hard fans of Super Size Me who accused me of being funded by McDonald’s (if only that were true) and insisted that Super Size Me had hurt McDonald’s sales. I replied that the people who loved Super Size Me are the same people who already hated McDonald’s and didn’t eat there anyway. I also replied that I’d spoken to a guy who owns six McDonald’s restaurants, and he told me sales went up after Super Size Me, not down.
McDonald’s posted its first monthly drop in global sales in the month of October, the first time it’s done so in (wait for it) nine years.
Now, with all the news about the obesity crisis in America (a whopping one-third of the country is now considered obese), it might seem logical to conclude that a suddenly health-conscious citizenry in the U.S. is eschewing fast food for more wholesome fare. Alas, no one appears to think that’s the case.
To wit, although monthly sales were down 2.4 percent at McDonald’s in the U.S. and Europe, sales at Wendy’s rose 2.7 percent in the third quarter. You might say, then, that plenty of people just swapped out their Quarter Pounders for a Dave’s Hot ’N Juicy.
Or they’re eating Whoppers. Reuters also reports Burger King sales rose 1.4 percent during the last quarter. Unfortunately, fast food clearly isn’t going anywhere soon.
So here’s what I think happened: The rabid Super Size Me fans were right. Morgan Spurlock did harm McDonald’s … it just took eight years for people who liked his film to get the point.
Hair Loss And Heart Attacks
In my Big Fat Fiasco speech, I demonstrated the weakness of associations found in observational studies by explaining that we could find a statistical link between baldness and heart disease – because men are more likely to lose hair and suffer heart attacks as they age.
Now some Danish researchers are citing baldness as a heart-disease risk factor:
A bald patch on the top of your head or a small vertical crease in your earlobe may seem like relatively harmless signs of aging, but a new study says signs like these may signal an increased risk of heart disease.
Danish researchers found that people were 39 percent more likely to have heart disease, and 57 percent more likely to have a heart attack, if they had at least three of these four signs: baldness on top of the head, receded hairline, a crease in the earlobe, and fatty deposits on the eyelids known as xanthelasmata. The researchers accounted for people’s ages in their results.
Thank goodness my earlobes aren’t creased.
Therefore, the study shows “looking old for your age, by [having] these aging signs, marks poor cardiovascular health,” said study researcher Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, a professor and chief physician in the department of clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital.
While the exact reason for the links between these signs and heart disease risk remains unclear, the study “validates the common clinical practice that the clinician examines the patient, and often looks at whether a person looks older or younger for her age,” Tybjaerg-Hansen said.
I’m frequently told I look young for my age, so I may yet survive the hair loss.
Tybjaerg-Hansen said the four signs identified in the new study should give clinicians greater incentive to treat patients who have them. “The suggestion is that lifestyle changes and lipid-lowering therapies should be intensified, because their risk is higher,” she said.
Well, if baldness is a risk factor for heart disease and medical treatment is the answer, I already came up with the next pharmaceutical blockbuster:
Want Better Grades? Take Drugs!
As if we weren’t already medicating too many kids labeled as ADHD, a doctor is apparently prescribing drugs to boost academic performance:
When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.
The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.
“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”
Yup, that’ll modify the kid, all right. You can read about the long-term effects of those modifications in the book Anatomy of an Epidemic. Let’s give it 20 years and see how many of the good doctor’s patients end up diagnosed as bipolar in their 20s.
Dr. Anderson’s instinct, he said, is that of a “social justice thinker” who is “evening the scales a little bit.”
Oh, no … not another “social justice thinker.”
He said that the children he sees with academic problems are essentially “mismatched with their environment” — square pegs chafing the round holes of public education. Because their families can rarely afford behavior-based therapies like tutoring and family counseling, he said, medication becomes the most reliable and pragmatic way to redirect the student toward success.
Hey, doctor, have you tried prescribing replacing cereal and toast with bacon and eggs in the morning? Dr. Ann Childers told me that’s worked wonders for her little patients.
“People who are getting A’s and B’s, I won’t give it to them,” he said.
So the doctor believes these drugs improve school performance, but he wouldn’t use them to turn B students into A students … uh … because he doesn’t want the B students getting too far ahead of the D students? He’d rather see everyone become more equal than see good students become great students?
A socialist armed with a prescription pad. Now that’s scary.
Shaving With Bacon
If I’m feeling courageous and indulgent someday, I may try the bacon-flavored sundae a restaurant here in Nashville started selling. But I’m pretty sure I’ll never try this:
Just when you think every bit of bacon innovation has been cooked up, another seemingly unbelievable creation is unveiled for the world to enjoy.
But today’s new bacon offering is not to be eaten. Rather, it’s to be used as part of the distinguished gentleman’s grooming routine: bacon shaving cream.
For $14.99, you can purchase a limited-edition can of what creator J&D’s Foods suggests “is best used after a hot shower or before an important date with someone you may want to spend the rest of your life with.”
I can see how bacon shaving cream could benefit those still flailing in the dating pool. When I first met Chareva, she struck me as a bit of a hippie-dippie chick … just home from the Peace Corps, a yin-yang nose stud, colorful clothes she brought home from her time in Africa, etc. I have nothing against hippie-dippie chicks, but a lot of them are vegetarians or vegans. So you can imagine my relief when she tore into an Italian sausage on our first date.
That was 15 years ago. Now I’d just shave with bacon and see if she licked my face when I kissed her goodnight.
“You’re going to feel good, you’re going to smell good and you’re probably going to taste good,” J&D’s Dave Lefkow tells KIRO. “This is something that every bacon-loving American male needs.”
I love bacon, but I’ll pass. Chareva doesn’t lick my face, but my Rottweilers do, and I’m afraid a bacon scent would inspire one of them to take a bite. Besides, I’ve never had to bear the burden of being irresistible to women, and I don’t want to start now. I might be able to learn the self-defense moves demonstrated in these old Hai Karate ads, but I don’t think they’d work against tough paleo gals who smell bacon.