Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The extremely naive article below tries to create that impression. Amusing that one of the nastiest defects (organs developing outside the body) was most prevalent in the children of skinny mothers though!

The article is just the usual crap epidemiology, however. The authors obviously recognized that WHY the mothers are fat had some relevance but did little about it. The fatties were probably poor (a preponderance of fatties are) and poor people have more health problems generally.

And it is now widely accepted that BMI is not a good index of obesity anyway! What a laugh the whole thing is!

Prepregnancy Obesity as a Risk Factor for Structural Birth Defects

By D. Kim Waller et al.


Objective: To describe the relation between maternal obesity, overweight and underweight status, and 16 categories of structural birth defects.

Design: An ongoing multisite, case-control study. Clinical geneticists reviewed all of the cases, excluding those that had or were strongly suspected to have a single-gene disorder or chromosomal abnormality. Mothers with preexisting diabetes were also excluded. Body mass index was based on maternal report of height and weight prior to pregnancy.

Setting: Eight participating states in the United States.

Participants: Mothers enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study who had index pregnancies between October 1, 1997, and December 31, 2002.

Main Exposure: Maternal obesity.

Main Outcome Measures: Crude and adjusted odds ratios.

Results: Mothers of offspring with spina bifida, heart defects, anorectal atresia, hypospadias, limb reduction defects, diaphragmatic hernia, and omphalocele were significantly more likely to be obese than mothers of controls, with odds ratios ranging between 1.33 and 2.10. Mothers of offspring with gastroschisis were significantly less likely to be obese than mothers of controls.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study of its scale to examine prepregnancy obesity and a range of structural birth defects. These results suggest a weak to moderate positive association of maternal obesity with 7 of 16 categories of birth defects and a strong inverse association with gastroschisis. The mechanisms underlying these associations are not yet understood but may be related to undiagnosed diabetes.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161:745-750

Oldster couple live on Maccas

Shriek! How did these people live to be 84! They should have died years ago according to the faddists

AN 84-year-old British couple who have eaten at their local McDonald's every day for the past 17 years have spent nearly $50,000 on hamburgers and fries. Lee and Mary Humphrey have scoffed the same meal - a double hamburger each with a shared large fries - more than 6000 times and have never dined out anywhere else, Metro.co.uk reported. The couple have their own table at the fast-food outlet and moved house two years ago to East Sussex so they could be within walking distance.

They admitted that McDonald's supplied the bulk of their diet. "We don't eat big when we come home. We like to sit down in the afternoon and watch Deal or No Deal with a Magnum chocolate covered ice cream," Mrs Humphrey told Metro.co.uk. "Lee will have a bowl of cereal in the morning and I'll make him a pre-cooked roast beef at the weekends."

Despite the high amounts of fat they consume, the couple said they were fit and walked 6 km every day. "McDonald's is all we need and we're never ill, in fact I'd say we're fighting fit," Mrs Humphrey said. "I think it's the best restaurant in the world".



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 and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they 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.


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