Odds And Ends (Mostly Odds)

      106 Comments on Odds And Ends (Mostly Odds)

Time to clean out the bookmarks in my browser again.  Here are some of the items I saved in recent months but never found worthy of a full post:

Diet Purists Are Mentally Unbalanced

All this time, I’ve been thinking I changed my diet to improve my body. Turns out I was just losing my mind.  “An obsession with healthy eating” has been labeled as a “serious psychological condition” and (this is the really important part) given a Latin-sounding name — orthorexia nervosa.  Once you give an otherwise benign behavior or condition a Latin-sounding name, that makes it an official disease … like when “married for 35 years” was renamed erectile dysfunction.  Here are the symptoms of orthorexia nervosa:

Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out. The obsession about which foods are “good” and which are “bad” means orthorexics can end up malnourished.

If untreated, the disease can apparently lead to all kinds of crazy behaviors:

“It’s everywhere, from the people who think it’s normal if their friends stop eating entire food groups, to the trainers in the gym who promote certain foods to enhance performance, to the proliferation of nutritionists, dieticians and naturopaths who believe in curing problems through entirely natural methods such as sunlight and massage.”

That means nutrition fanatic /  massage therapist /sun-worshipper /carb avoider  Dana Carpender is officially wacko.  I could’ve sworn she’s just spunky.

The article didn’t specify, but I’m guessing treatment involves a strict regimen of beer, pizza, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, corn dogs, fructose-sweetened soy milk, frappucinos, and Chunky Monkey ice cream. Oh, and statins too, since they cure pretty much everything.

Give me a break. If you eliminate foods you believe are bad for your health, you’re not nuts; you’re conscientious.  If you post dozens of 1000-word essays in the comments section of a blog because you believe it’s your mission to convert all non-believers to a “plant-based diet,” then you’re mentally unbalanced.

Exploding Heads

What’s the best way to calm people who have a stress-related condition? I vote for naming the condition Exploding Head Syndrome.

“Any idea what could be causing this, doctor?”

“Nothing to worry about.  Looks to me like a simple case of Exploding Head Syndrome. ”

“Whaaaaat?!!”

“Now, don’t get excited it’s just a  … would you mind moving away from that vase?  The shards could be dangerous.”

Marie Raymond sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, freaked out by the sound of her name being shouted loud and clear. Other times she’ll be awakened by the sound of a huge crash, as if someone has broken a window or knocked over a set of dishes. After dealing with it off and on for the last several months, Raymond believes she may have exploding head syndrome.

As strange as the name sounds, exploding head syndrome is actually a rare and relatively undocumented sleep phenomenon. While sleeping or dozing, a person with the condition hears a terrifically loud sound in their head, such as a bomb exploding, a clash of cymbals or a gun going off.

I know how Ms. Raymond feels. In college, I once jerked awake after hearing banging, breaking glass, and my name being shouted.  Turned out it was just my roommate coming home after night of experimenting with illegal substances.

But I do wake up now and then after hearing my name called out while I’m sleeping. (Seriously, I do.)  It’s never really freaked me out, though — except for the one time I decided to answer.

“Tom!”

“Uh … yeah?”

“Just seeing if you’re still alive. Guess we have to wait awhile longer.”

“Excuse me?!”

“Nothing.”

Plains Indians Were Tall And Healthy

The buffalo-hunting Indian tribes were the tallest people in the world at time, according to a recent study:

The average adult male Plains Indian stood 172.6 centimeters tall — about 5 feet 8 inches. The next tallest people in the world at that time were Australian men, who averaged 172 centimeters. European American men of the time averaged 171 centimeters tall, and men living in European countries were typically several centimeters shorter.

These results contradict the modern image of American Indians as being sickly victims succumbing to European disease, said Richard Steckel, co-author of the study and professor of economics and anthropology at Ohio State University.

This study shows that despite the many technological advantages that the European-American settlers had over the American Indians, the Plains tribes enjoyed better health, at least nutritionally.

While the reasons for the general good health of the Plains Indians compared to whites has not been extensively studied, Steckel said several plausible theories exist. For one, the Plains Indians ate a varied diet that included a variety of native plants, as well as buffalo and other game that typically roamed the Great Plains.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that Indians’ diet didn’t include sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn, dairy foods, pesticides, herbicides or artificial additives … so while they were tall, they suffered from extremely high rates of orthorexia nervosa.

Bribery Lowers Health-Care Costs

I expect the current administration to jump all over this idea:

It has long been one of the most vexing causes of America’s skyrocketing health costs: people not taking their medicine. One-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed, and up to one-quarter never fill prescriptions at all, experts say. Such lapses fuel more than $100 billion dollars in health costs annually because those patients often get sicker.

Now, a controversial and seemingly counterintuitive effort to tackle the problem is gaining ground: paying people money to take medicine or to comply with prescribed treatment. The idea, which is being embraced by doctors, pharmacy companies, insurers and researchers, is that paying modest financial incentives up front can save much larger costs of hospitalization.

I can’t believe it took the health experts so long to reach this conclusion.  All they have to do is read a few books on economic history and they’d learn that health-care costs were a heck of a lot lower 50 years ago because everyone was taking six or seven prescription drugs.  Now most adults only take two or three, and look where that’s gotten us.

Aetna has begun paying doctors bonuses for prescribing medication likely to prevent problems: beta blockers to prevent heart attacks, statins for diabetes sufferers. Currently, 93,000 doctors are in Aetna’s “pay for performance” program; bonuses average three percent to five percent of a practice’s base income. Even the new federal health care overhaul includes incentives, expanding a program paying pharmacists extra for helping some Medicare patients learn to take pills correctly.

So that’s how we bring down runaway health-care costs: give pharmacists federal dollars to do their jobs.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines also suggest using financial incentives to encourage people to follow the advice. Perfect. Let’s pay farmers to produce lots of whole grains, soy products and vegetable oils, then pay people to eat them. Then when those people become fatter and sicker, we can pay pharmacists to show them how to take their medications, then pay the patients to take the medications.

While we’re at it, we should also pay psychiatrists to prescribe anti-psychotics for people who refuse to eat whole grains, soy products and vegetable oils, then pay pharmacists to mix the drugs into some grass-fed hamburger patties.

Canadian Bacon

According to a recent survey, 43% of Canadians prefer bacon over sex.  I’m not sure what to make of this one.  I can only assume the bacon is very, very good or the sex is very, very British.  Since the bacon-over-sex preference dropped significantly in French Quebec, it’s probably the latter.

As far as I know, I’ve only had sex with one Canadian, which is too small of a sample to make statistically significant comparisons to bacon.  I’d apply for a grant to conduct more research into the matter, but I’m pretty sure my wife would rescind my bacon privileges for life.

Research Endowment

Another study I wouldn’t want to explain to my wife … conducted in France (of course), with an abstract (I’m not making this up) on PubMed:

To test the effect of a woman’s bust size on the rate of help offered, 1200 male and female French motorists were tested in a hitchhiking situation. A 20-yr.-old female confederate wore a bra which permitted variation in the size of cup to vary her breast size. She stood by the side of a road frequented by hitchhikers and held out her thumb to catch a ride. Increasing the bra-size of the female-hitchhiker was significantly associated with an increase in number of male drivers, but not female drivers, who stopped to offer a ride.

Now ya tell me.  If my car ever breaks down and I need to hitchhike, I’m going to regret going low-carb and losing my boobs.  I’m not a big fan of drawing conclusions from associations, but in the case of this study, I’m pretty sure we’re looking at cause and effect.

Cow Farts Exonerated In Global-Warming Caper

I don’t know if this is good news or bad news.  I was really hoping those “Meatless Mondays” at Harvard would save Manhattan from sinking into the ocean 20 years from now.  Our only hope now is to switch to fluorescent bulbs and give our homes the warm, relaxing ambience of gas-station mini-marts.  Here’s the story:

In the past environmentalists, from Lord Stern to Sir Paul McCartney, have urged people to stop eating meat because the methane produced by cattle causes global warming. However a new study found that cattle grazed on the grasslands of China actually reduce another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.

Authors of the paper, published in Nature, say the research does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries. However in certain circumstances, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland. The research will reignite the argument over whether to eat red meat after other studies suggested that grass fed cattle in the UK and US can also be good for the environment as long as the animals are free range.

Free-range animals are actually good for the environment?  Well, I am shocked.  Next they’ll discover that ruminant animals have been roaming the planet for millions of years without destroying it.

Lierre Keith already figured this stuff out, but somebody needs to inform Dean Ornish.

Door-To-Door Meat

Here in my home state of Tennessee, a man was arrested for swallowing a half-burned marijuana cigarette when police stopped him for questioning.  That’s not the weird part.  The weird part is that he was selling meat door-to-door. From what I can gather, he wasn’t a successful door-to-door meat salesman, but that’s clearly due to having a lousy territory.  He should’ve been selling in Canada.  That would’ve allowed him to work a sales pitch like this:

“Good morning, ma’am.  I’m here in the neighborhood offering housewives like yourself a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have sex with me.”

“What?!  Go away, you pervert, eh?”

“Or we could smoke a joint and eat some of this fine bacon.”

“Listen, ya hoser, I’ll call the … oh. Would you like to come in?”

Meat Is Murder, So Murder The Meat

I guess the door-to-door meat salesman was lucky he didn’t ring this guy’s bell:

A knife-wielding man was arrested earlier this week in what police called a meat massacre at a south-central Indiana supermarket. When officers arrived, they found meat scattered everywhere in what Edinburgh police called one of the most bizarre cases they had ever investigated.

Police said Anthony Coffman, 28, used a hunting knife to cut through meat packages, throwing open containers of raw beef on the floor. He then poured dog food over some of the meat in hopes of contaminating it so it couldn’t be sold, said Edinburgh police Deputy Chief David Lutz. A store employee tried to stop Coffman, but gave up when he threatened the employee with the knife, police said.

Whoa, there, buddy!  You don’t want to stab a human!  They’re almost the metaphysical equals of cows.

Coffman told police that he is a vegetarian and gets upset when others consume beef, telling the employee that God sent him to ruin the meat and that he was trying to save little girls from food he believes would make them “chubby.”

Police think an argument earlier in the day prompted the incident. “He’d got into it with his grandmother. She was preparing a pot roast … and he was upset over that,” Lutz said. “Him and her had a few words, and then a couple hours later, he’s down there at the Jay C Food Store doing this.”

Good thing the guy doesn’t eat meat, or he might’ve become mean and aggressive.  Coffman is clearly out of his gourd.  Meat doesn’t make girls chubby … it just causes global warming.

The article didn’t say if the knife-wielding vegetarian would serve time in prison.  If so, I suspect he’ll lobby for internet privileges and occupy himself leaving 1000-word comments on my blog.


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106 thoughts on “Odds And Ends (Mostly Odds)

  1. monasmee

    OK, here’s my oddball submission taken directly from the Dr. Pepper website:

    What Does 10-2-4 Mean?

    Those well-known Dr Pepper numbers of 10, 2 and 4 weren’t selected at random. They represent the times of day when the human body needs a little “pick-me-up” to avoid an energy slump.

    It was in the 1920s that Dr. Walter Eddy at Columbia University studied the body’s metabolism. He discovered that a natural drop in energy occurs about 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. But he also discovered that if the people in his research study had something to eat or drink at 10, 2 and 4, the energy slump could be avoided.

    After Dr. Eddy’s research findings were released, Dr Pepper challenged its advertising agency to come up with a theme which would suggest that Dr Pepper should be that 10, 2 and 4 drink which would keep the energy level up. The result was one of the most enduring of Dr Pepper’s advertising themes: Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2 and 4.

    Today, just those numbers 10-2-4 suggest it’s time for a Dr Pepper!

    Sugar for the slumps, corn flakes for over-randiness. We had some real corkers back in the day.

    Reply
  2. Carol Bardelli

    Cracked me up! As for the plains Indians, my great grandfather was full blood Cherokee and 6′ 4″ – even taller than his ancestors. I seem to have inherited his orthorexia nervosa.

    Not worry; soon there will be a drug for that.

    Reply
  3. monasmee

    OK, here’s my oddball submission taken directly from the Dr. Pepper website:

    What Does 10-2-4 Mean?

    Those well-known Dr Pepper numbers of 10, 2 and 4 weren’t selected at random. They represent the times of day when the human body needs a little “pick-me-up” to avoid an energy slump.

    It was in the 1920s that Dr. Walter Eddy at Columbia University studied the body’s metabolism. He discovered that a natural drop in energy occurs about 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. But he also discovered that if the people in his research study had something to eat or drink at 10, 2 and 4, the energy slump could be avoided.

    After Dr. Eddy’s research findings were released, Dr Pepper challenged its advertising agency to come up with a theme which would suggest that Dr Pepper should be that 10, 2 and 4 drink which would keep the energy level up. The result was one of the most enduring of Dr Pepper’s advertising themes: Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2 and 4.

    Today, just those numbers 10-2-4 suggest it’s time for a Dr Pepper!

    Sugar for the slumps, corn flakes for over-randiness. We had some real corkers back in the day.

    Reply
  4. Carol Bardelli

    Cracked me up! As for the plains Indians, my great grandfather was full blood Cherokee and 6′ 4″ – even taller than his ancestors. I seem to have inherited his orthorexia nervosa.

    Not worry; soon there will be a drug for that.

    Reply
  5. Dana

    Oh Lord God. Just because some of us point out that American Indians died from diseases introduced by Europeans does NOT mean we think they were sickly. Where do these idiots come up with this crap? It’s simple immunology: if your body has ZERO experience with a pathogen, chances are real good your body will get sick, no matter how healthy you were to begin with. And in case these yo-yos haven’t figured it out from the history books, smallpox was one mean disease even amongst the Europeans catching it. I don’t know if they died less often proportionally, but all other things being equal (i.e., baseline nutritional status, which in “civilized” Europe was worse than on the pre-Contact Great Plains), they would have.

    Can we not accept that Europeans decimated American Indians without making the Indians out to be wimps? Face it, they were out-populated, out-germed, and out-gunned. The outcome was a no-brainer. If anything they should be commended for holding out as long as they have. Lots of us would have given up and died out ages ago.

    “Him and her had a few words”… oh man. And this is the spokesman for the entire Edinburgh, Indiana police department. Sorry… Grammar Nazi moment there.

    Yes, Dana Carpender is indeed spunky. 🙂

    I actually appreciated the fact that they pointed out the Indians were tall and healthy. And clearly anyone who can chase down a deer on foot is no wimp.

    I’m a certified Grammar Grump myself, so no apology required. I cringed when I read that sentence.

    Reply
  6. k_the_c

    Veganism has to be an eating disorder. You have to consciously choose not to eat what the body naturally wants to eat.

    I think for most, it’s driven by moral beliefs.

    Reply
  7. Ginger

    Hello, my name is Ginger and I’m an Orthorexic. The last time I ate sugar was more than 2 years ago when I took a sliver of cake at a birthday party. It all started when I read that sugar causes free radicals which prematurely age the body and make you look and feel older. Add to that the connection with sugar and diabetes, and well, I stopped consuming it. I also avoid sugar, salt (except organic sea salt), alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods (if they contain added sugar and are not organic) and yes, this is just the start of my diet restrictions. “Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out”.

    It was suggested that I must be Orthorexic because so many of the things on the orthorexia checklist apply to me, like “do you refuse to eat a meal, even on rare occasion, that was lovingly prepared by a loved one, simply because it contains something you deem unhealthy?” (YES).

    Most of my friends and family know I will bring my own food to an affair. They sometimes do ask if there’s something they can make that I will eat and sometimes they even make that thing, but they probably feel like they’re aiding and abetting.

    To make all this worse, even though I’m Orthorexic, I’m NOT skinny but I have no diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure (and all the stuff I’m expected to have because I’m not skinny). This is very frustrating for my doctor and insurance company. Perhaps if I were to eat a non-orthorexic diet, I could become sick for them so they could blame it on my weight and stay happily in their comfort zone of blaming and condemning fat people for all the country’s woes.

    I guess my reluctance to eat junk food, processed food, sugar and chemically laden food over the last 26 years has gotten worse, but I kept figuring if I look good and feel well even though most of my friends and family are falling apart with heart disease, diabetes and chronic illnesses (even the people who ARE skinny), then maybe I should ignore their nagging about my orthorexic diet and keep doing it.

    Is there any help for me or am I condemned to be labeled “mentally ill” and suffer with O.N. forever?

    If you attend support-group meetings for several years, you may re-acquire your taste for sugar and other additives.

    Reply
  8. Tammy

    I didn’t know sugar was a “food group” I guess now I know !!

    Apparently it’s essential for mental health.

    Reply
  9. Jan

    I once dated a Canadian chemist for five months. Trust me – bacon IS better.

    Perhaps we should all mount an assault on our local grocery stores and stab bags of flour and sugar, then dump cans of tuna on them because they make Scottish guys stupid.

    Now you’re talking. Of course if I end up in prison, my wife will be very annoyed.

    Reply
  10. Sean

    I did a little digging on orthorexia nervosa and wrote about it (http://praguestepchild.blogspot.com/2010/07/orthorexia-nervosa.html). Turns out the guy who coined it was half-joking and meant it as a description not the coining a new disease. But since he used a Latin phrase, instead of something like dietaholicism, the media (and even some idiotic nutrition researchers) went hog wild on it.

    A new eating disorder fits in perfectly with the j-school narrative of medicine and science: invent a disease, come up with a prescription medicine to solve the problem, everything’s hunky-dory. Oh yeah, and bribe the doctors to prescribe it.

    I’d like to think he was joking.

    Reply
  11. Gina

    I love how the vegetarian guy decided to throw dog food on the beef in order to keep it from being sold, as if it being ON THE FLOOR wasn’t enough to make sure it was thoroughly contaminated. Great post, lots of fun stuff here!

    The guy was clearly off his rocker. This is what Lierre Keith calls “vegan rage.”

    Reply
  12. Paolo

    I think it’s a matter of quantity, as in all mental disorders. If you think about food 24 hours a day, spend all your free time looking at nutrition blogs in order to eat well maybe you have an obsession.

    The problem is that they invent a new deasease just to find new indication for drugs, and they would treat anybody that care about what he eats, no matter how obsessed they are (hope my english is good…)

    Your English is fine, and way better than my Spanish.

    Reply
  13. Wanda

    I like bacon and all, but I certainly wouldn’t take it before sex. It makes a much better snack afterward.

    Let’s hope it never becomes an either/or situation.

    Reply
  14. Your older brother

    Since this is Odds and Ends, this just in:

    ” The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar.”

    Problem solved. I feel healthier already!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  15. Erik Danielsen

    It would be interesting to see a comparison done between the physical characteristics and general health of those plains indians and their contemporary east coast natives, since those non-nomadic tribes did cultivate and consume corn. Since we’re always told about how the natives taught the settlers how to plant corn (with hokey details like the fish in the seed mound) it makes you wonder. Was it a significant enough part of their diet to incur negative health effects, or was there so few other negative factors that their bodies could generally handle it? Eating stored corn all winter instead of stored pemmican like the plains indians would be less nutritious, to be sure.

    Also, interesting news articles this morning on the campaign to rename HFCS as “corn sugar,” on Yahoo’s front page. Many nutrition “experts” and industry reps include statements about how “sugar is sugar, and HFCS isn’t any worse for you than any other sugar.” While of course fructose is fructose (though not glucose or sucrose) they’re all, naturally, trying avoiding the point that it’s all bad for you. Not necessarily worse for you than other sugar sources, but that’s like how Camels aren’t necessarily worse for you than Newports.

    Jared Diamond did comparisons of hunting Indians vs. farming Indians … same area, related tribes. Bottom line is that the hunters were taller and healthier.

    Reply
  16. Jan

    I once dated a Canadian chemist for five months. Trust me – bacon IS better.

    Perhaps we should all mount an assault on our local grocery stores and stab bags of flour and sugar, then dump cans of tuna on them because they make Scottish guys stupid.

    Now you’re talking. Of course if I end up in prison, my wife will be very annoyed.

    Reply
  17. Your older brother

    Just read farther down in the article, and to my relief your buddies as CSPI are already on the case:

    “But sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same, and there’s no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bottom line is people should consume less of all sugars, Jacobson said.”

    Case closed. Until five years from now, when MJ starts telling everyone that corn sugar is a HEART ATTACK IN A SODA CAN!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  18. Sean

    I did a little digging on orthorexia nervosa and wrote about it (http://praguestepchild.blogspot.com/2010/07/orthorexia-nervosa.html). Turns out the guy who coined it was half-joking and meant it as a description not the coining a new disease. But since he used a Latin phrase, instead of something like dietaholicism, the media (and even some idiotic nutrition researchers) went hog wild on it.

    A new eating disorder fits in perfectly with the j-school narrative of medicine and science: invent a disease, come up with a prescription medicine to solve the problem, everything’s hunky-dory. Oh yeah, and bribe the doctors to prescribe it.

    I’d like to think he was joking.

    Reply
  19. Oscar

    Hmm.. Orthorexia Nervosa

    Haven’t seen any TV ads yet for the drug to treat it…Pfizer must still be working on it!

    It’ll happen.

    Reply
  20. Felix

    I think there is a thin line between “eating healthy” and orthorexia. If you try to avoid carbs most of the time because you believe it’s healthier, that’s fine. If you develop a fear of eating a potato or a piece of bread every now and again, I think you’re on the border of orthorexia.
    There are many who overdo it and become compulsive with this. That’s one of the reasons why I liked Fat-head so much. It was basically anti-orthorexic. It said: Don’t worry about the low-fat scares, you can eat fatty burgers from fast-food joints and still lose weight and be healthy. I have a black belt in nutrition. I’m not afraid of food. 😀
    Sure, vegans are the first who come to mind with this, even though I think this is more like some sort of puritan religion, where you are moral or immoral based on which food you eat. But there are also low-carbers who are overdoing it.

    We of course want to reasonable about it. I went to a Mexican restaurant with my best friend last month and had the works, including tortilla chips and beer. It’s a matter of eating correctly most of the time.

    Reply
  21. Dan

    I wonder who gets sicker, those who don’t take the drugs or those who do. Furthermore, if the patients aren’t taking the drugs, how will paying doctors to prescribe more drugs, that patients won’t take, help? Such is the convoluted logic of the government-pharmaceutical complex.

    Mr. Coffman claims God told him to contaminate the meat? Obviously not the same God who declared that meat would be food for humans and even told his chosen people to eat meat, and red meat at that.

    When you start offering payoffs, all kinds of unforseen consequences will result.

    Reply
  22. kandylini

    I think you ought to have a regular “Odds and Ends” feature day! This post is hilarious.

    But maybe I’m just mentally unbalanced from being orthorexic, and not eating any sugar.

    If that voice yells “More Odds and Ends!” while I’m sleeping, I’ll definitely do it.

    Reply
  23. Raine

    I am an orthorexic with exploding head syndrome. What should I do? Is there any hope for me at all?

    With intensive therapy, you can train the voice in your head to yell “Eat sugar!”

    Reply
  24. Gina

    I love how the vegetarian guy decided to throw dog food on the beef in order to keep it from being sold, as if it being ON THE FLOOR wasn’t enough to make sure it was thoroughly contaminated. Great post, lots of fun stuff here!

    The guy was clearly off his rocker. This is what Lierre Keith calls “vegan rage.”

    Reply
  25. Your older brother

    Since this is Odds and Ends, this just in:

    ” The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar.”

    Problem solved. I feel healthier already!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  26. Erik Danielsen

    It would be interesting to see a comparison done between the physical characteristics and general health of those plains indians and their contemporary east coast natives, since those non-nomadic tribes did cultivate and consume corn. Since we’re always told about how the natives taught the settlers how to plant corn (with hokey details like the fish in the seed mound) it makes you wonder. Was it a significant enough part of their diet to incur negative health effects, or was there so few other negative factors that their bodies could generally handle it? Eating stored corn all winter instead of stored pemmican like the plains indians would be less nutritious, to be sure.

    Also, interesting news articles this morning on the campaign to rename HFCS as “corn sugar,” on Yahoo’s front page. Many nutrition “experts” and industry reps include statements about how “sugar is sugar, and HFCS isn’t any worse for you than any other sugar.” While of course fructose is fructose (though not glucose or sucrose) they’re all, naturally, trying avoiding the point that it’s all bad for you. Not necessarily worse for you than other sugar sources, but that’s like how Camels aren’t necessarily worse for you than Newports.

    Jared Diamond did comparisons of hunting Indians vs. farming Indians … same area, related tribes. Bottom line is that the hunters were taller and healthier.

    Reply
  27. Your older brother

    Just read farther down in the article, and to my relief your buddies as CSPI are already on the case:

    “But sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same, and there’s no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bottom line is people should consume less of all sugars, Jacobson said.”

    Case closed. Until five years from now, when MJ starts telling everyone that corn sugar is a HEART ATTACK IN A SODA CAN!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  28. Oscar

    Hmm.. Orthorexia Nervosa

    Haven’t seen any TV ads yet for the drug to treat it…Pfizer must still be working on it!

    It’ll happen.

    Reply
  29. Bullinachinashop

    “It’s everywhere, from the people who think it’s normal if their friends stop eating entire food groups”

    I’m getting reeeeeaaally tired of that crappy remark. Why do people insist on holding me to this standard but not vegans? Is it because my reasons sound less like a religion?

    As for bacon over sex; I am French Canadian, proud to choose sex over bacon, and having such a hard time holding back from the jokes. You should have put that one as a thread of its own and let people insert their punchlines 🙂

    Patient: “I’m going on the Atkins diet.”
    Doctor: “You can’t give up an entire food group! It isn’t healthy!”

    Patient: “I’m a vegetarian.”
    Doctor: “Good for you!”

    Canadian Bacon jokes allowed and encouraged in comments.

    Reply
  30. Felix

    I think there is a thin line between “eating healthy” and orthorexia. If you try to avoid carbs most of the time because you believe it’s healthier, that’s fine. If you develop a fear of eating a potato or a piece of bread every now and again, I think you’re on the border of orthorexia.
    There are many who overdo it and become compulsive with this. That’s one of the reasons why I liked Fat-head so much. It was basically anti-orthorexic. It said: Don’t worry about the low-fat scares, you can eat fatty burgers from fast-food joints and still lose weight and be healthy. I have a black belt in nutrition. I’m not afraid of food. 😀
    Sure, vegans are the first who come to mind with this, even though I think this is more like some sort of puritan religion, where you are moral or immoral based on which food you eat. But there are also low-carbers who are overdoing it.

    We of course want to reasonable about it. I went to a Mexican restaurant with my best friend last month and had the works, including tortilla chips and beer. It’s a matter of eating correctly most of the time.

    Reply
  31. Dan

    I wonder who gets sicker, those who don’t take the drugs or those who do. Furthermore, if the patients aren’t taking the drugs, how will paying doctors to prescribe more drugs, that patients won’t take, help? Such is the convoluted logic of the government-pharmaceutical complex.

    Mr. Coffman claims God told him to contaminate the meat? Obviously not the same God who declared that meat would be food for humans and even told his chosen people to eat meat, and red meat at that.

    When you start offering payoffs, all kinds of unforseen consequences will result.

    Reply
  32. kandylini

    I think you ought to have a regular “Odds and Ends” feature day! This post is hilarious.

    But maybe I’m just mentally unbalanced from being orthorexic, and not eating any sugar.

    If that voice yells “More Odds and Ends!” while I’m sleeping, I’ll definitely do it.

    Reply
  33. Raine

    I am an orthorexic with exploding head syndrome. What should I do? Is there any hope for me at all?

    With intensive therapy, you can train the voice in your head to yell “Eat sugar!”

    Reply
  34. Alex

    In some cases, there may actually be something to this orthorexia stuff. Check out this guy:

    Will somebody please feed him a nice juicy grass-fed steak!

    Agreed. Those people are suffering from an obsession. Johnny looks like if he fell down, he’d break every bone in his body.

    I’ve had the same reaction to some of the vegans who’ve sent me pictures of themselves to prove how healthy they are, and they look like walking skeletons. If you’re not actually getting healthier, it’s not a healthy diet.

    Reply
  35. Angel

    On a related note about doctors prescribing meds … I have had a falling out with my naturopathic doctor / chiropractor because she kept wanting to sell me a lot of expensive supplements to help with my digestive issues. I refused some here and there, and I know she thought I was “just being stubborn” (that annoying sort of non-compliant patient). I know another naturopathic doctor / chiropractor in town who does the same thing. I suspect selling those nutritional supplements means a lot of easy money for the chiropractors, and like medical doctors, they really do believe they are helping. I am, however, sick of pills, and I don’t feel I was helped much by the supplements. The only good thing about those supplements is that they are probably, on average, less harmful than pharmaceuticals. That’s not much of a good thing. Bone broth, butter and beef are much better medicine.

    Yes, I’d be suspicious of any doctor who wanted to sell you supplements right out of his or her own store.

    Reply
  36. Rocky

    Ginger, and other orthorexics:

    Please come to the support meetings. We have donuts!

    Sounds like AA.

    Reply
  37. Lori

    I recently blogged about cutting out entire food groups. The very people who criticize the practice are themselves guilty of it. They’re cutting out the plankton group, the grass group (they could eat it if they took enough cellulase pills), the insect group and the organ meat group. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Those plains Indians were, I am sure, eating quite a bit of two of those groups. Here on the western plains, there ain’t much besides grass, game, sand, hard clay soil and 13″ of moisture a year. Berries are tiny and native rose hips are so hard and yucky that the birds and squirrels won’t touch them.

    My girls discovered the insect group after watching Man vs. Wild. They now have well-informed opinions about which ants taste best. I understand the red ones are spicier.

    Reply
  38. Be

    Hallelujah! We just need to tweak the 12 step program:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over carbohydrates and our will power has become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (the Dietary Guidelines) could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Vegans and Tree Huggers.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our pantries, and have removed all animal products.
    5. Admitted to our Doctor, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our dietary wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have the National Corn Growers Association remove all these defects of our character.
    7. Humbly asked Dr. Ornish to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all mammals we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to all Fast Foods purveyors wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to eat without harming any life and when we were wrong promptly admitted it and ate more grain and tree bark.
    11. Sought through voices in the night to prevent our heads from exploding.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to all other Orthorexics, and to consume statins as often as possible.

    Before the grammar Nazi attacks my writing I have chosen to follow the lead of AA – they were a bunch of drunks after all. Oops – sorry, drunks don’t have to go to those damn meetings.

    Love it. And at the end of each meeting, donuts.

    Reply
  39. Bullinachinashop

    “It’s everywhere, from the people who think it’s normal if their friends stop eating entire food groups”

    I’m getting reeeeeaaally tired of that crappy remark. Why do people insist on holding me to this standard but not vegans? Is it because my reasons sound less like a religion?

    As for bacon over sex; I am French Canadian, proud to choose sex over bacon, and having such a hard time holding back from the jokes. You should have put that one as a thread of its own and let people insert their punchlines 🙂

    Patient: “I’m going on the Atkins diet.”
    Doctor: “You can’t give up an entire food group! It isn’t healthy!”

    Patient: “I’m a vegetarian.”
    Doctor: “Good for you!”

    Canadian Bacon jokes allowed and encouraged in comments.

    Reply
  40. Alex

    In some cases, there may actually be something to this orthorexia stuff. Check out this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-RinnfW52c

    Will somebody please feed him a nice juicy grass-fed steak!

    Agreed. Those people are suffering from an obsession. Johnny looks like if he fell down, he’d break every bone in his body.

    I’ve had the same reaction to some of the vegans who’ve sent me pictures of themselves to prove how healthy they are, and they look like walking skeletons. If you’re not actually getting healthier, it’s not a healthy diet.

    Reply
  41. Angel

    On a related note about doctors prescribing meds … I have had a falling out with my naturopathic doctor / chiropractor because she kept wanting to sell me a lot of expensive supplements to help with my digestive issues. I refused some here and there, and I know she thought I was “just being stubborn” (that annoying sort of non-compliant patient). I know another naturopathic doctor / chiropractor in town who does the same thing. I suspect selling those nutritional supplements means a lot of easy money for the chiropractors, and like medical doctors, they really do believe they are helping. I am, however, sick of pills, and I don’t feel I was helped much by the supplements. The only good thing about those supplements is that they are probably, on average, less harmful than pharmaceuticals. That’s not much of a good thing. Bone broth, butter and beef are much better medicine.

    Yes, I’d be suspicious of any doctor who wanted to sell you supplements right out of his or her own store.

    Reply

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