Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …
Sorry if I was slow on my replies the past few days. I was out of town for a rather important event.
Remember this guy? The one with the abs? That’s my son Zack during a visit back when the girls were wee toddlers. I used that photo in Fat Head.
I was nearly 42 when I finally got married. For years, I thought Zack was going to beat my record. Nope, he only made it to age 37. He married his longtime girlfriend Chelsy on Saturday.
Here he is with Alana, Sara and Chareva:
And with The Older Brother and me. I’m the one who has more head than hair:
The wedding was originally scheduled to take place near a scenic covered bridge. Pounding rains in Illinois put the kibosh on that location. We would have needed boats. So it was an indoor wedding, but we had a great time.
Facebook pushing veganism
Here’s another reason not to like Facebook, as reported on the Raise Vegan site:
Tech giant, Facebook has launched a new pilot program with vegan company, Raise Vegan, Inc. to bring the classroom to parents, in a push to encourage raising children on plant-based diets.
The new subscription-based groups that launched this week, are the virtual classrooms, run by experts in their fields of medical, nutrition and birth.
If Facebook is going to sponsor virtual classrooms, perhaps they can offer one that teaches reporters how to use a damned comma. Anyway …
The vegan company that started just a year ago, is an all female-led team based in New York, with offices in Ireland, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Seeing a much needed service for parents, they grew from just a few members, to millions of parents around the world in a matter of months.
Of course it’s an all-female team. Most vegans are women. And by the way, when you’re not chewing on sprouts or whatever, LEARN HOW TO USE A COMMA!
The introduction of their first virtual classroom led by vegan nutrition experts and registered dietitians, Dahlia Marin and James Marin, a husband and wife team who own the vegan company ‘Married to Health‘, describes how it will help parents be armed with expert information for raising vegan children, offer short masterclasses and provides daily interaction with experts to ask questions and gain knowledge.
Yeesh. I don’t know if there’s a correlation between a vegan diet and lousy grammar skills, but let’s not take a chance. Eat your meat and stay away from these Facebook groups.
Eat Your Grains And Obey Your Rulers, Part Two
Last week, the head of nutrition science at Public Health England pinpointed the reason so many people are overweight: it’s because those of us who disagree with government recommendations are confusing people, so they don’t follow government advice. Yup, I kid you not. Here’s part of the perfesser’s essay published in iNews:
Last week Dr Aseem Malhotra criticised an evidence-based paper published in the Lancet medical journal.
That “evidence-based paper” would be the piece-of-crap observational study that didn’t actually look at low-carb diets, but nonetheless concluded that low-carb diets shorten lifespan.
Dr Malhotra’s article fails to recognise the wider condemnation of low carb diets from across the mainstream scientific community, both when he launched his diet book and within the Lancet study.
Hmmm, let’s see if we can follow the (ahem) logic: Dr. Malhorta has to be wrong because the mainstream scientific community condemns low-carb diets. This would, of course, be the same mainstream scientific community that once told us the cholesterol in eggs will kill us, then backed off 35 years later with a simple statement that cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern.
The gains of short-term loss must not cloud the dangerous impact of excluding entire food groups or consuming diets that are implicated by longer-term conditions such as heart disease.
Excluding an entire food group is dangerous. Just hold onto that thought for now ….
We are facing an obesity crisis because, in part, people are increasingly confused about what is good for them, being fed inaccurate information and ultimately not following well-founded government advice.
Riiiight. It’s the confusion that’s the problem, ya see. Back when pretty much everyone was on board with that well-founded government advice, recommending heartheathlywholegrains! and scaring people away from arterycloggingsaturatedfat!, people just kept getting leaner and healthier, by gosh.
Then for some reason, people started looking for alternative advice. It’s almost as if that well-founded government advice didn’t work for them.
Celebrity diets come and go but our advice remains consistent – eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day; base meals on higher fibre, starchy carbohydrates; eat some beans, pulses, eggs, fish, meat (or vegetarian alternatives) and dairy foods; choose unsaturated oils and spreads; and consume foods high in salt, saturated fat and sugars infrequently and in small amounts.
Yes, government advice has been remarkably consistent for the past 40 years. So has the growth in rates of obesity and diabetes.
By the way, perfesser, I noticed you’re okay with vegetarian alternatives to meat. Wouldn’t that be excluding an entire food group?
What have I been saying all along about The Anointed? When the Grand Plan fails, it’s never because the plan was a bad idea. Failure is always proof that 1) people didn’t actually follow the plan because they’re evil and/or stupid, or 2) the plan didn’t go far enough.
The perfesser wants us to do the same thing again, only bigger. No thanks.
Don’t go outside – they can spot obesity from space now
Okay, I admit it: when I saw the headline, I wondered if they were using AI to recognize large bodies walking down the street. Here are some quotes from Science Direct online:
Obesity is a complex health issue impacted by a range of factors, one of which is the physical, urban environment we live in. Now, scientists have used artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite images of US cities to map that link – in effect, detecting obesity from space.
The researchers, from the University of Washington, fed some 150,000 high-resolution satellite images sourced from Google Maps into a convolutional neural network (CNN) – a kind of AI that uses deep learning to independently analyse and identify patterns within the dataset.
The neural network the team used in this case was already pre-trained on approximately 1.2 million images – experience that helped it analyse the built environment across the cities, identifying features such as roads, buildings, trees, water, and land.
In addition, the researchers used estimates of obesity prevalence from the 500 Cities project to create a model that assessed the association between those features (plus points of interest like gas stations, shopping malls, parks, and pet stores) and obesity prevalence in the studied areas.
“Our approach consistently presents a strong association between obesity prevalence and the built environment indicator across all four regions, despite varying city and neighbourhood values,” the authors explain.
Good grief. After all that gobbledygook, what it gets down to is that there’s an association between living in a certain kind of neighborhood and obesity. Yeah, we knew that already. Before I even read the next paragraph, I knew they were going to blame obesity on the environment.
The research broadly supports a lot of what we already knew about the built environment’s impact on obesity: open, green spaces that enable physical activity are usually good for public health; densely packed neighbourhoods hemmed in by roads and lacking greenery are not.
Ah, it’s the lack of green spaces that make people obese. So plug this question into your artificial intelligence and see if you can get an answer: if a lack of green spaces make people fat, why are obesity rates higher in rural areas than in urban areas?
Just another side effect …
Boy, this almost makes the side effects of statins look tame by comparison. Here are some quotes from an article in Bloomberg online:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors and patients that some widely used diabetes drugs may, in some rare cases, cause a flesh-eating bacterial infection of the genitals.
Seems as if half the commercials I see on TV these days are for drugs. The voice-over actor always prattles through a long list of side effects. I’d like to see them try to sneak that by.
Side effects may include headache, liver damage, dry mouth, insomnia, and a flesh-eating bacterial infection of the genitals.
The drugs covered by the warning include Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana, AstraZeneca Plc’s Farxiga and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Jardiance. Known as SGLT2 inhibitors, they were approved in 2013, 2013 and 2016, respectively. The drugs help the body lower blood-sugar levels via the kidneys, and excess sugar is excreted in a patient’s urine. Urinary tract infections are a known side effect.
All of the drugs in the class except Merck & Co.’s Steglujan, the most recently approved, have been linked to the condition. The manufacturers must add information about the risk to the prescribing information and medicine guides given to patients.
“I’m going to prescribe Farxiga to bring down your blood sugar.”
“Any side effects, Doctor?”
“Well, I’m required to warn you that you could end up becoming infected with bacteria that eat your penis.”
“I see. And wouldn’t that be highly traumatic?”
“No, I’ll prescribe high-dose Lipitor and you’ll forget it ever happened.”
I think I’ll skip the drugs and stick to a good diet instead.