Interesting items from my inbox …
Good news about statins
I’ve written a few posts with variations of the title Bad News For Statins. But I can finally report some good news, thanks to an article from Reuters:
Roughly one third of U.S. adults should be on cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to current guidelines, but almost half of these people aren’t taking the medications, a recent study finds.
Yee-hah! Despite the medical industry’s efforts to declare almost everyone with a pulse abnormal and in need of treatment, half of those with “high” cholesterol aren’t swallowing statins.
More than 78 million people aged 21 and older have high enough levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the bad kind of cholesterol that builds up in blood vessels and can lead to blood clots and heart attacks – to be eligible for LDL-lowering drugs known as statins, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
But overall, only about 56 percent of people who might benefit from the drugs took them. Women eligible for treatment did better than men – about 59 percent of them were taking the drugs compared with 53 percent of their male peers.
I’m thinking the real problem here isn’t that people aren’t taking statins. The real problem is that bozos in the medical industry believe 78 million adults need them.
Some cardiologists believe the 2013 guidelines may have recommended treatment for too many people, particularly by suggesting some healthy individuals take drugs based on an estimated future risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The new guidelines may have roughly doubled the number of people eligible for treatment.
What a nice boon for the statin-makers. But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
I read elsewhere that more people are refusing statins because they’re concerned about side effects. I believe we can thank the Wisdom of Crowds effect for that. If you listen to the FDA or the average doctor, you’ll hear that very few people suffer side effects. But if you listen to the crowd, you know better.
The Anointed want even more calorie labels
There are 235 calories in a pint of Guinness Extra Stout. I know that because I spent almost five seconds conducting a Google Search. There are 149 calories in a bottle of Dos Equis. I found that info and calorie counts for dozens of other beers on this page — again, in about five seconds.
See? It’s quick and easy for beer-drinkers to look this stuff up if they care about calorie counts – which most of them don’t. But that’s not good enough for The Anointed. Nope, The Anointed believe we all need to be confronted with calorie counts, like it or not. Beer is next on their to-do list.
Soon enough, some restaurants, including all of the biggest chains, will be required to provide nutritional information for beer, just like every other product they sell. Walk into a TGI Friday’s or a Chili’s and you’ll be presented with calorie count, fat content, and more. And brewers aren’t happy about it.
Customers shouldn’t be happy about it either. If you want to drink beer and watch your calories, you can order a Miller Lite, a Bud Lite, an Amstel Light, etc. They’re all advertised as low-calorie, low-carb beers. But when most of us go out for a beer, we want to have a good time – not to have finger-wagging nanny-staters shove the calorie count in our faces.
The New York Post recently surveyed a selection of New York state brewers to find out what they think about the new rules. (The Post, delightfully, refers to government health regulators as “FDA busybodies.”) Brewers are nervous, fearing new regulatory costs and decreased sales.
I wouldn’t worry about those decreased sales. See above. Most beer-drinkers don’t give a hoot about the calories. If they do, they order a light beer.
Yet from the FDA’s perspective, this is pretty simple. “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home, so making accurate and easy-to-see calorie information available for these foods is an important part of an overall effort to help consumers make their own informed choices for themselves and their families,” said Lauren Kotwicki, a press officer at the FDA.
Gee, Lauren, thanks so much for the help. I want to make informed choices when I’m in a bar, and by gosh, I just couldn’t do it without FDA regulations. I mean, it’s not as if I could look up the calorie counts on Google. Or just order a light beer.
How many people really know the nutritional information of beer and wine, even people who are conscious of calorie counts in other foods?
Very few, because they don’t give a @#$% when they’re ordering beer or wine. But if they want to know, they’ll spend five seconds on Google.
And those calorie counts can be high: Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot, for example, is a very popular barleywine-style ale, and tops out at a whopping 330 calories and 30.3 grams of carbohydrates.
And how do you know about that whopping calorie count? Did you (just taking a wild guess here) look it up online in about five seconds?
If the point of the FDA’s labeling push is to discourage people from consuming too many calories, evidence is dubious that the strategy will work. A Washington Post survey from 2011 indicated that sales of high-fat, high-calorie products did not much decrease after nutritional labeling on them became mandatory.
Other studies reached the same conclusion. And yet despite no evidence whatsoever that calorie-count laws lead to people eating and drinking less, the FDA is moving ahead and forcing brewers to absorb the cost of providing calorie-counts that will be ignored … because that’s what The Anointed do. Failure is never a reason to abandon a Grand Plan.
Those danged vegans are ruining the planet.
How’s this for perfect timing? Two weeks ago, I wrote a post responding to a loony-leftie BBC writer who thinks governments should discourage eating meat to save the planet. But according to an online article in Science Daily, she’s the one responsible for global warmi—er, climate change:
Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change.
In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie.
Well, that’s it, then. Next time I see some vegan chomping down on a veggie burger, I’m going to walk over and scream, “Stop ruining my planet, you selfish bean-brain!” Then I’m going to demand that governments around the world apply “price reform” to make vegetarian meals prohibitively expensive. Fair is fair.
On one hand, the results showed that getting our weight under control and eating fewer calories has a positive effect on the environment and reduces energy use, water use and GHG emissions from the food supply chain by approximately 9 percent.
Oh, no. Now we’ll have loony BBC writers calling for governments to slap climate-change taxes on people who are overweight. That will suck … especially since the diet most governments recommend for losing weight is bad for the planet, according to the study.
However, eating the recommended “healthier” foods — a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood — increased the environmental impact in all three categories: Energy use went up by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and GHG emissions by 6 percent.
“Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. “Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.”
So this holiday season, do your part to save the planet – eat more bacon.
Nutritionist vs. The Philadelphia Eagles
Sports stars make a lot of money endorsing food products. Peyton Manning appears in ads for Papa John’s pizza. The 1985 Super-Bowl Bears (ah, those were the days) did commercials for McDonald’s. Michael Jordan appeared on boxes of Wheaties. It’s been happening forever, but a “nutrition advocate” is very upset with a recent endorsement by the Eagles:
South Philly-based nutrition advocate and TV food personality Christina Pirello is steamed over the Eagles’ proclamation that Dunkin Donuts’ Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich is the team’s official breakfast sandwich.
She calls the croissant creation “deadly,” given its 560 calories (300 of them from fat, including four strips of bacon). “It’s the complete trifecta to steal our collective health — fat, sugar and salt,” Pirello wrote in an open letter to team owner Jeffrey Lurie, chastising the team for setting a poor example for the fans.
Fat, sugar, salt … I only see one bad ingredient in that list.
“I thought my head would explode,” Pirello writes.
That’s probably because you don’t eat enough fat.
“I find it completely mind-boggling that you would be so irresponsible as to allow our team to send the message to fans that this is something they eat and endorse eating.”
You need to look at the big picture, lady. The sandwich consists of a croissant, bacon, egg and cheese. You notice what’s NOT in that list? That’s right … no lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant or celery. Those foods contribute to global warmi— er, climate change. So the Eagles are just doing their part to save the planet. They should probably receive an award of some kind from Al Gore.
“Look, I’m not going all vegan on you, expecting the players to endorse tofu and sprout sandwiches, but there are far better choices for this team to promote than pure unadulterated junk food. Dunkin Donuts may be paying you a lot, but if all your fans drop dead of heart disease, your gorgeous green stadium will have a lot of empty seats with tickets unsold.”
If the Eagles end up with a lot of empty seats in the stadium next year, it will be because they couldn’t win a division where every team currently has a losing record.
Tomorrow is my last day of work before an end-of-the-year vacation that will be filled with visiting family in Illinois, Christmas (of course), putting together the family 2015 DVD, and (I hope) finishing my first rewrite of the book. Barring some news I simply can’t ignore, this will be my last post until after New Year’s.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, and a Happy New Year to all of you.