Thursday, September 14, 2006

Strangely selective weight loss

Odd that they forgot to mention the $14,050 worth of plastic surgery below

Big Brother bum-dancer Sara-Marie Fedele hopes to inspire overweight young people with her stunning new body. Once tipping the scales at 86kg, the gregarious reality star is now 24kg lighter due to a regime of balance and moderation. The new slimmed-down Fedele will act as a mentor for a group of 16 to 25-year-olds on Channel 9's The Great Weight Debate tonight.

Fedele said she believed young people often battled with their weight because they did not realise how flexible healthy living can be. "Everybody and their body is different," the 2001 Big Brother contestant said. "Don't put pressure on yourself to lose 10kg in 10 weeks. Choose a diet that suits you and your lifestyle. "You don't want to be waking up every day thinking you're on a diet."

Fedele said she dropped the 24kg last year by taking a long-term approach. "I didn't weigh myself, I just took measurements. "And I probably eat more than I ever did before. I just eat healthier food and I make myself eat breakfast, lunch and snacks. "It's all about moderation, which is how I have kept the weight off." Fedele said young people should be wary of thinking weight loss would solve all their body image issues. "I didn't actually change within myself."



"Obesity" is being used to push every elitist whelbarrow in sight

Governments have inadvertently encouraged Australia's obesity epidemic by allowing "McMansion" type developments that pay no heed to healthy living, an expert on diabetes has warned. Addressing an international conference in Sydney today, Monash University professor Paul Zimmet said "these ugly dwellings" had been developed across entire residential blocks with no attention to pavements, bike paths, playing fields or exercise areas.

Professor Zimmet, director of the university's International Diabetes Institute, told more than 2000 delegates to the International Congress on Obesity that the obesity pandemic was as big a threat as global warming and bird flu. "This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world, led by affluent western nations, whose physical activity and dietary habits are regrettably being adopted by developing nations," Prof Zimmet said.

He said the problem needed urgent solutions - not just widespread changes to diet and exercise but the rethinking of national policies on urban and social planning, agriculture policy, education, transport and other areas. "In particular, have our state and local governments inadvertently contributed to this epidemic by permitting property developers to give us urban social problems, most noticeably manifest in the ubiquitous McMansion," he said in his opening address to the conference. "These ugly dwellings which are now sprawled across entire residential blocks at the expense of backyards, have also been a key feature of developments without attention to sidewalks, bike paths, public transport corridors, playing fields and friendly exercise areas, attractive and accessible to people who want to maintain their level of fitness and a healthy lifestyle."

World Health Organisation figures show Australia has fast growing obesity rates, with rates among children now double that of the US and triple that of the UK.

Prof Zimmet also warned that the "diabesity" pandemic was set to bankrupt health budgets all over the world. He cited the cost to Australia of treating obesity-related conditions, with the pharmaceutical benefits scheme contributing $1.7 billion to the treatment of heart disease and $220 million towards diabetes remedies last year. He told academics from Australia, Japan, the US, UK, Canada, Sweden, Indonesia and New Zealand that the six-day conference must mark a turning point in the battle against the scourge. "Let us aim to produce debate, analysis and a direction out of this meeting to offer to and partner with our respective governments throughout the world in search of sensible and do-able solutions to this crisis," he told the audience.

He warned people not to "live in their silos with their pet beliefs on fast food, banning TV advertising or taxing junk foods". "We must take a kaleidoscopic view, a panoramic vision, to look at the big picture and acknowledge how our lives and the environment has changed in the last two or three decades," Prof Zimmet said. "Our path to eliminating obesity involves you, government departments of health, sport, education, agriculture, urban planning and transport, industry and the whole community."


Voltaren now bad for you: "Popular over-the-counter painkiller diclofenac - best known under the brand name Voltaren - has been found to increase the risk of stroke or heart attack by 40 per cent. The increase is similar to the extra heart-attack risk created by the now-withdrawn anti-arthritis drug rofecoxib, sold as Vioxx, whose US manufacturer, Merck, is fighting thousands of product-liability claims by patients blaming it for heart attacks or other injuries. The worldwide withdrawal of the bestselling Vioxx two years ago created safety fears over similar "Cox-2 inhibitor" drugs, such as celecoxib, sold as Celebrex. It helped increase sales of alternative anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, such as Voltaren. The latest study on diclofenac, published online today by the Journal of the American Medical Association, concludes there are "serious questions over the safety of diclofenac", which is available in Australia both on prescription and over the counter. It is sold as Voltaren, Dinac, Fenac, Diclohexal and under other names. The 50mg diclofenac tablet is one of the top 50 drugs subsidised by the federal Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, with almost 800,000 scripts written in the year to June last year."

Bionic eye?: "Some blind people are a step closer to having sight restored following a breakthrough by Australian researchers developing a "bionic eye". Early tests by scientist at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital have succeeded in stimulating limited visual sensation in people suffering a rare form of genetic blindness. After almost five years of testing on animals, Professor Minas Coroneo said recent human trials had produced positive results using the same technology employed in cochlear hearing implants. "We started with the tests earlier this year using a different approach to other groups," he said. "Instead of putting electrodes on the retina to try and stimulate the eye we have actually been putting them on the outer wall of the eye which we think gives us an advantage. "What we've been able to show is that we seem to be able to get signals through to the brain by stimulating the eye in that way." After the small electrodes were placed on the surface of the eye using a small contact lens, a video camera attached to a pair of glasses was used to pick up images and transfer them to the electrodes via a computer. The electrodes then stimulate the retina to send messages down the optic nerve to the visual area of the brain. "Most of the patients we tested it on see a spot of light and the light gets brighter the more we turn the power up," Prof Coroneo said. "The next step from here is that we want to implant a whole bunch of these electrodes and then run a little wire under the skin to behind the patients' ear where we will have a little plug which we can attach to the computer." However, the professor warned against premature celebrations, saying it would be probably five years until the devices were available.

Germans would be amazed: "The House is once again confronting the slaughter of horses for meat, a practice lawmakers thought they had ended last year. Congress voted in 2005 to stop horse slaughter. But they didn't ban it outright -- lawmakers yanked the salaries and expenses of federal inspectors. In response, the Bush administration simply started charging slaughter plants for inspections. A vote was planned Thursday on whether to put an end to horse slaughter. Critics call the industry un-American." [To be unsentimental about it, horses are basically just cattle that run fast]


Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.


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