From The News …

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Interesting items from my inbox …

And if you do develop diabetes, you’ll probably laugh about it

At least the Feds won’t declare this possible weight-loss drug illegal — because it already is:

Toking up may help marijuana users to stay slim and lower their risk of developing diabetes, according to the latest study, which suggests that cannabis compounds may help in controlling blood sugar.

Although marijuana has a well-deserved reputation for increasing appetite via what stoners call “the munchies,” the new research, which was published in the American Journal of Medicine, is not the first to find that the drug has a two-faced relationship to weight.

Three prior studies have shown that marijuana users are less likely to be obese, have a lower risk for diabetes and have lower body-mass-index measurements. And these trends occurred despite the fact that they seemed to take in more calories.

Hmmm, if marijuana users are skinnier despite taking in more calories, that would seem to violate the calories-in/calories-out theory.  Naw, that can’t be.  Obviously, there’s something about getting high that makes people want to go jogging.  All that talk about a “runner’s high” was just a cover story.

Why? “The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than nonusers,” says Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study. “Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level.”

Easy there, Professor Mittleman. If you go around suggesting that insulin levels and carbohydrate metabolism are involved, you’ll get clobbered by bloggers who insist insulin has nothing to do with obesity and is, in fact, a wunnerful appetite suppressant. (I guess all those obese people with high insulin levels are ignoring the wunnerful appetite suppressant and eating just for the heck of it.)

While marijuana may initially promote appetite and overeating, in the long run it has the opposite effect because it desensitizes cannabinoid receptors and may even protect against obesity.

So don’t skip the gym and break out the bong just yet: there’s still not enough data to tell whether marijuana, like alcohol, could have health benefits in moderation. Mittleman says the study relied on self-reported use of marijuana, which can be unreliable.

Gee, do you think? Food questionnaires are notoriously unreliable, and those people are trying to tell the truth. If we want to know who’s smoking pot and who isn’t, I’d suggest a survey question more like this:

Have you smoked marijuana in the past six months?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Oh, man, I can’t ‘t remember

Then mark down people who answer A or C as pot-smokers.

 

Media declares girl a hero for parroting her mother’s opinions

It’s the kind of story media reporters love — and makes me want to barf:

A 9-year-old girl from Kelowna, B.C. has become somewhat of an international star after speaking at a McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting in Chicago last week.

Hannah Robertson and her mother Kia were invited to the meeting as members of the watchdog group, Corporate Accountability International. They spoke on behalf of an online campaign created by the group called Mom’s Not Loving It and have also started their own healthy eating blog Today I Ate A Rainbow.

Got the picture so far? Hannah’s Mom is an anti-McDonald’s activist.

“Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and happy life?” Robertson asks CEO Don Thompson during the question and answer period. “It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.”

Cue the big cheers from the media and the social activists. Why, by gosh, it’s a pipsqueak version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Look at the little darling taking on the big, bad CEO.

Puuuuuke!

Seriously, does anyone who considers Hannah an “international star” for standing up and repeating her mother’s opinion believe she’s ever been “tricked” into eating at McDonald’s? And if so, where was Hannah’s mom at the time? Unless Hannah has her own money and her own car, I’m pretty sure she’s incapable of eating at McDonald’s without her mom’s approval. I’m also pretty sure her mom never approves.

If you’ve seen the bonus interviews on the Fat Head DVD, you’ll recall Jacob Sullum pointing out that people who get their undies in a twist over McDonald’s advertising to kids aren’t concerned about themselves or their kids — they don’t eat there anyway. They’re concerned about the people they consider too weak or too stupid to avoid the temptation of Happy Meals — in other words, people they consider inferior.  Here’s a perfect example:

Hannah and her mother acknowledge McDonald’s has stepped up efforts to offer healthy foods, such as fruit smoothies and apple slices in the Happy Meals, but suggest the company must avoid specifically marketing their fast food to kids. “Take toys out of the Happy Meals and not using cartoon characters and sports icons,” Hannah tells Global. “It’s kind of like tricking them into thinking that McDonald’s is good for them and it’s like this amazing thing,” she tells CBC.

I’m sorry you and your mom consider other kids your age to be such gullible idiots, Hannah. If only the kids who aren’t as smart as you had parents who could protect them from the Svengali-like powers of Ronald McDonald.  Oh wait, they do.  But of course, your mom thinks the parents are idiots too.  That’s why she believes they need her to protect them from temptation and thus from their own decisions.

The CNN and ABC star is now back in her Grade 4 classroom, but hoping to hear from Thomspon. “I gave him our business card and told him to email us about healthy eating ideas for McDonald’s,” she says.

Yes, I’m sure the CEO of McDonald’s is dying to hear how your mom’s idea for McTofu Nuggets will boost their bottom line.

More School Nonsense

Technically, butter’s been off government-approved school menus for a long time. But apparently schools in New York are now cracking down on illicit butter-buying:

Butter was exiled from school cafeterias as far back 2008 in an effort to make meals healthier. But some school kitchen managers say they are being ‘bullied’ on how to prepare meals and threatened with ‘disciplinary action’ should they go against the ban.

Well, I am shocked — SHOCKED! — that there could be bullying involved when people ignore government bureaucrats.

The spreadable delight has been banned from school cafeterias. It can’t be used for cooking or offered with bread.

And now it’s the subject of an aggressive crackdown that threatens the livelihood of school kitchen managers who’ve dared to order the illicit treat.

“Please explain why your managers are ordering BUTTER!!!” a Brooklyn regional school food manager fumed in an email last week to officials overseeing 25 schools.

Um … because it’s delicious and good for us?

Department officials say butter is one of several ingredients they’ve stripped out of meals in recent years to make them healthier. Also off the menu: whole milk and white bread.

Brilliant. Let’s ban water and broccoli next.

Greenpoint mom Brooke Parker was baffled by the anti-butter crusade. “I don’t understand why the mayor is attacking butter. What’s he got against butter? It’s not that bad for you,” she said. “How about making sure kids have gym classes before they ban butter?”

How about if they restore gym classes, then don’t ban butter?

Parker’s daughter Vivian, 6, a kindergartner at Public School 84 in Williamsburg, didn’t mind.

“They don’t have butter at my school,” she said. “They said it makes you fat. I don’t like butter anyway. They have cream cheese for our bagels instead.”

Head. Bang. On. Desk.

With such rampant anti-fat hysteria in the public school establishment, I’m surprised they just didn’t just ban meat from the menu.

Oh, wait … one school did:

There’s no “mystery meat” at one Queens public elementary school.

Public School 244 in Flushing is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, according to city education officials.

Chefs at the Active Learning Elementary School have swapped chicken, turkey and ham for black beans, tofu and falafel, and kids are digging in with delight.

“This is so good!” squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti, devouring her black bean and cheddar cheese quesadilla Tuesday at lunch. “I’m enjoying that it didn’t have a lot of salt in it.”

My bull@#$% meter is not only ringing, it’s gone all the way up to 11.  The kids are eating low-fat, low-salt, vegetarian meals and they’re squealing and digging in with delight? Well then, we don’t need to ban meat or fat or salt, do we?  Clearly the kids love the low-fat, low-salt, vegetarian stuff, so that’s what they’ll choose anyway.  Somebody call Hannah’s mom and tell her she can stop worrying about Ronald McDonald tricking kids into eating cheeseburgers.  They’d rather eat tofu and black beans.

I’m thinking what we’re looking at here is a rah-rah article by reporters who believe the all-vegetarian menu is a good idea.   Don’t worry about the school forcing its dietary preferences on your children, folks!  See – they love it!

The students are pioneers in a citywide effort to make healthy food a staple of every child’s day.

My b.s. meter was correct.  It’s a rah-rah piece, all right.  School officials decide the kids won’t eat meat anymore, and instead of calling the kids what they are – a captive market being subjected to someone else’s dietary preferences – the reporters call them pioneers.  I’d puke again if the media adoration of Hannah parroting her mom’s leftist opinions hadn’t already emptied my stomach.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who often crows about maintaining a fit lifestyle, said the launch of the vegetarian food-fest should be duplicated in schools across the city and country.

Yes, by gosh, Chancellor, if only you could impose your dietary preferences on every kid in the country.  Well, perhaps in some future decade, when that annoying concept of individual liberty is finally gone, you’ll get your chance.

So … we have schools banning butter, whole milk, and now meat – all in the name of making kids healthier.  Anybody want to guess what the reaction would be if some school administrators who believe a low-carb/high-fat diet is best for kids tried to force their preferences onto the school menus?  Anybody want to guess what would happen if they ordered the vegetarian kids to put meat on their plates?

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89 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. carole

    I work with elementary students in a public school in Utah. Some time ago I commented on a post and mentioned the existence of whole-wheat Poptarts in the school’s breakfast menu rotation.
    A few weeks ago I was reading A.A. Milne’s “The King’s Breakfast” to the students. In this poem, the king just wants some butter for his bread, but everyone from his wife down to the actual cow keeps pressing him to try a little marmalade instead. So I had little melba toast squares and I’d brought some marmalade (those little rectangular pouches from a restaurant; I don’t keep jams in my house), and I popped in to the cafeteria for some butter. I assumed it would be real butter since when I was a kid (true, the earth’s crust was still cooling at that time) they only served the real thing. I remember because it was a treat, we always had margarine at home. So I brought the pats back to the classroom, but it didn’t look right, nor smell right. I investigated and found it was, indeed, margarine.
    Heck. Here I was reading about BUTTER and serving MARGARINE. Next year I’ll bring my own butter. As for the mention of the cream cheese in the school cafeteria in this post, our cafeteria regularly serves bagel products with fat free cream cheese.
    And by the way, we voted and the majority preferred the toast with both margarine and marmalade. Only one student preferred “butter”.

    Yeesh. I guess either the kids have swallowed the idea that butter is bad for them, or their tastebuds have been seriously messed up.

    Reply
  2. carole

    I work with elementary students in a public school in Utah. Some time ago I commented on a post and mentioned the existence of whole-wheat Poptarts in the school’s breakfast menu rotation.
    A few weeks ago I was reading A.A. Milne’s “The King’s Breakfast” to the students. In this poem, the king just wants some butter for his bread, but everyone from his wife down to the actual cow keeps pressing him to try a little marmalade instead. So I had little melba toast squares and I’d brought some marmalade (those little rectangular pouches from a restaurant; I don’t keep jams in my house), and I popped in to the cafeteria for some butter. I assumed it would be real butter since when I was a kid (true, the earth’s crust was still cooling at that time) they only served the real thing. I remember because it was a treat, we always had margarine at home. So I brought the pats back to the classroom, but it didn’t look right, nor smell right. I investigated and found it was, indeed, margarine.
    Heck. Here I was reading about BUTTER and serving MARGARINE. Next year I’ll bring my own butter. As for the mention of the cream cheese in the school cafeteria in this post, our cafeteria regularly serves bagel products with fat free cream cheese.
    And by the way, we voted and the majority preferred the toast with both margarine and marmalade. Only one student preferred “butter”.

    Yeesh. I guess either the kids have swallowed the idea that butter is bad for them, or their tastebuds have been seriously messed up.

    Reply
  3. Bret

    I feel bad for the school employees (though not as bad for them as for the kids). My guess is the overwhelming majority of them want nothing to do with this diet campaign but are being forced to do this stuff through their boards of education that answer to the public and through federal channels that threaten to withhold funding otherwise.

    At the Big Gov’t bureaucrat level, I am pretty sure part of the design of this diet obsession is to prevent free market competition vis-à-vis private schools from proliferating by convincing people that public schools are meccas of well rounded professional competence.

    I believe you nailed it.

    Reply
  4. Bret

    I feel bad for the school employees (though not as bad for them as for the kids). My guess is the overwhelming majority of them want nothing to do with this diet campaign but are being forced to do this stuff through their boards of education that answer to the public and through federal channels that threaten to withhold funding otherwise.

    At the Big Gov’t bureaucrat level, I am pretty sure part of the design of this diet obsession is to prevent free market competition vis-à-vis private schools from proliferating by convincing people that public schools are meccas of well rounded professional competence.

    I believe you nailed it.

    Reply
  5. Rocky Angelucci

    My daughter would run screaming from a ban on butter. She likes to snack on chunks of butter, impaled on a fork.

    I’m a big fan of butter but I don’t walk around with chunks of it on a fork…

    We should all run screaming from that ban.

    Reply
  6. Ineskiste

    A funny story from my mother in law: she found out her preferred breakfast sausage is done with real pork casing. Disgusted, she is now buying sausage with artifical casings. I also explained to her that we no longer drink juice due to the sugar content. She declared one glass a day is not that much sugar until I showed her the label. And of course the answer I got in return was: “This was fructose, the healthy kind of sugar… and definitely not harmful.”

    I will never really understand why some people prefer artifical or highly processed over naturally occuring food items. And why people ignore their taste buds and instead believe they can elongate their lives by eating “designed” food, because the natural food chain is somewhat faulty and unhealthy. Like evolution would have ever allowed that…

    No one should ever be forced to eat meatless or meat. What you eat is a personal choice. That you need to eat is not, though. My secret is that I like eating, and when I do I want it to taste as good as possible. Even before I heard about LCHF I preferred the taste of butter over margarine. I was already refusing to eat low fat stuff just because it never tastes right. And I had always used real whipped cream instead of frosting (the healthy kind of frosting with tons of sugar and no dairy). 😉

    I guess a lot of people are still sold on the idea that if a food tastes great, it has to be bad for you.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      IIRC, it was you who perfectly summarized the Ornish diet as, “If it tastes good — spit it out.” About the size of it.

      I was quoting someone else. Can’t remember who.

      Reply
      1. Rae

        I think you were quoting Jack Lalanne! Who I secretly adore – in his later years he got on the low fat bandwagon, but I just love watching clips of his old show on youtube:

        Jack knew what was up.

        Indeed.

        Reply
  7. Rocky Angelucci

    My daughter would run screaming from a ban on butter. She likes to snack on chunks of butter, impaled on a fork.

    I’m a big fan of butter but I don’t walk around with chunks of it on a fork…

    We should all run screaming from that ban.

    Reply
  8. Ineskiste

    A funny story from my mother in law: she found out her preferred breakfast sausage is done with real pork casing. Disgusted, she is now buying sausage with artifical casings. I also explained to her that we no longer drink juice due to the sugar content. She declared one glass a day is not that much sugar until I showed her the label. And of course the answer I got in return was: “This was fructose, the healthy kind of sugar… and definitely not harmful.”

    I will never really understand why some people prefer artifical or highly processed over naturally occuring food items. And why people ignore their taste buds and instead believe they can elongate their lives by eating “designed” food, because the natural food chain is somewhat faulty and unhealthy. Like evolution would have ever allowed that…

    No one should ever be forced to eat meatless or meat. What you eat is a personal choice. That you need to eat is not, though. My secret is that I like eating, and when I do I want it to taste as good as possible. Even before I heard about LCHF I preferred the taste of butter over margarine. I was already refusing to eat low fat stuff just because it never tastes right. And I had always used real whipped cream instead of frosting (the healthy kind of frosting with tons of sugar and no dairy). 😉

    I guess a lot of people are still sold on the idea that if a food tastes great, it has to be bad for you.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      IIRC, it was you who perfectly summarized the Ornish diet as, “If it tastes good — spit it out.” About the size of it.

      I was quoting someone else. Can’t remember who.

      Reply
  9. labrat

    As far as I remember, when I first saw the story about the vegetarian school, the majority of the students were already vegetarian (Indian I believe). I recall that school was in Flushing, so it must be the same one.

    Reply
  10. labrat

    As far as I remember, when I first saw the story about the vegetarian school, the majority of the students were already vegetarian (Indian I believe). I recall that school was in Flushing, so it must be the same one.

    Reply

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