Wednesday, December 20, 2006


But the subtext of it is to demonize McDonalds. It took four medical researchers writing in a prestigious medical journal to establish such amazing facts as the fact that people eat more McDonalds in places that have a McDonalds restaurant! But such "authoritative" findings will be quoted in campaigns to get McDonalds out of hospitals, of course. The fact that for many people the McDonalds is the most comforting and reassuring part of a hospital does not matter, of course. The do-gooders must have a demon to attack. Journal abstract below:

Marketing Fast Food: Impact of Fast Food Restaurants in Children's Hospitals

By Hannah B. Sahud, Helen J. Binns, William L. Meadow and Robert R. Tanz.

OBJECTIVES. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine fast food restaurant prevalence in hospitals with pediatric residencies and (2) to evaluate how hospital environment affects purchase and perception of fast food.

METHODS. We first surveyed pediatric residency programs regarding fast food restaurants in their hospitals to determine the prevalence of fast food restaurants in these hospitals. We then surveyed adults with children after pediatric outpatient visits at 3 hospitals: hospital M with an on-site McDonald's restaurant, hospital R without McDonald's on site but with McDonald's branding, and hospital X with neither on-site McDonald's nor branding. We sought to determine attitudes toward, consumption of, and influences on purchase of fast food and McDonald's food.

RESULTS. Fifty-nine of 200 hospitals with pediatric residencies had fast food restaurants. A total of 386 outpatient surveys were analyzed. Fast food consumption on the survey day was most common among hospital M respondents (56%; hospital R: 29%; hospital X: 33%), as was the purchase of McDonald's food (hospital M: 53%; hospital R: 14%; hospital X: 22%). McDonald's accounted for 95% of fast food consumed by hospital M respondents, and 83% of them bought their food at the on-site McDonald's. Using logistic regression analysis, hospital M respondents were 4 times more likely than respondents at the other hospitals to have purchased McDonald's food on the survey day. Visitors to hospitals M and R were more likely than those at hospital X to believe that McDonald's supported the hospital financially. Respondents at hospital M rated McDonald's food healthier than did respondents at the other hospitals.

CONCLUSIONS. Fast food restaurants are fairly common in hospitals that sponsor pediatric residency programs. A McDonald's restaurant in a children's hospital was associated with significantly increased purchase of McDonald's food by outpatients, belief that the McDonald's Corporation supported the hospital financially, and higher rating of the healthiness of McDonald's food.


'Dark chocolate eases ME symptoms'

I won't criticize this one!

Eating small amounts of dark chocolate every day can help combat a chronic illness, it emerged today. The specially-formulated chocolate helps reduce the symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a study by researchers at England's Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust found.

People who took part in the study reported feeling significantly less fatigue after eating 1.5oz (45g) of the chocolate every day for eight weeks. They also reported feeling more fatigue when they stopped eating the chocolate and were receiving a placebo instead, researchers said.

Symptoms of ME, which is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), include exhaustion, general pain and mental fogginess. But its causes are not fully understood and diagnosing the condition is difficult because many of the flu-like symptoms are similar to other illnesses.

Professor Steve Atkin, who conducted the study, said: "No one has examined the effects of chocolate on CFS before and so this is a very exciting and interesting result for us. "The participants in this study were taking 45g of specially formulated chocolate for eight weeks then having a two-week period of rest before then taking a simulated dark chocolate, low in polyphenols, for another eight weeks. "In the test period they reported feeling less fatigue and once they moved on to the placebo chocolate they began feeling more fatigue again. Interestingly they didn't experience any significant weight gain either, which is an extra positive."

The formulated chocolate contained 85% cocoa solids and was rich in polyphenol flavonoids, which have been reported to reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease, cancer and strokes. Chocolate is also known to increase neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is associated with regulating mood and sleep.

There is currently no cure for ME and treatment concentrates mainly on managing symptoms, such as headaches, sore throats, sleep disorder and abnormal temperatures. Although the cause of the illness is not yet known, scientists are looking at the possibilities of viruses, environmental toxins and genetic predisposition.



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.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter? It is just about pure fat. Surely it should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.

The use of extreme quintiles to examine effects is in fact so common as to be almost universal but suggests to the experienced observer that the differences between the mean scores of the experimental and control groups were not statistically significant -- thus making the article concerned little more than an exercise in deception


No comments: