Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Red meat sheds men's dangerous belly fat

What "incorrect" advice!

A DIET rich in red meat can help overweight men shed layers of dangerous tummy fat. The findings from the CSIRO study suggest high protein intake effectively strips abdominal weight, but opponents of the diet say eating extra meat comes with its own risk, cancelling out the benefits. The study compared a diet high in protein, red meat and fibre with one high in carbohydrate and fibre. Trials on more than 100 overweight and obese men found that both diets led to similar weight losses but the high protein diet was more effective at reducing abdominal fat levels.

"Abdominal fat is a key risk factor for men for a range of diseases including colorectal and other cancers," CSIRO dietitian Dr Manny Noakes said. "The results also show that a range of indicators of bowel, kidney and bone health showed no difference between the high protein diet and the high carbohydrate diet."

Independent nutritionist Rosemary Stanton warned the diet was a double-edged sword. A [fraudulent] report released last month by the World Cancer Research Fund showed a higher incidence of many cancers, including colorectal cancer, with a high meat diet. "You need to balance any short term effects on abdominal fat with the long term risk of increasing the risk of cancer," she said. "When you do that you have to wonder whether it's worth the risk."


Leftist nutters Blast McDonald's Report Card Advertising

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is demanding that McDonald's immediately stop advertising on children's report cards. Last week, students in Seminole County, Florida received their report cards in envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald promising a free Happy Meal to students with good grades, behavior, or attendance. "This promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low," said Susan Linn, director of CCFC and a psychologist at Judge Baker Children's Center. "It bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy Meal."

The advertisement appears on report cards envelopes for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The envelopes are used to transport report cards to and from home throughout the school year.

"My daughter worked so hard to get good grades this term and now she believes she is entitled to a prize from McDonald's," said Susan Pagan, an Orlando parent. "And now I'm the "bad guy" because I had to explain that our family does not eat at fast food chains. I'm outraged that McDonald's is trying to exploit my daughter's achievement - and that the Seminole County School Board would help facilitate this exploitation."

While McDonald's has pledged to only advertise its healthier options to children under twelve, the Happy Meal promotion explicitly mentions cheeseburgers, French fries, and soft drinks as options. Happy Meals featured on the report card can contain as many 710 calories, 28 grams of fat, or 35 grams of sugar. McDonald's has also pledged to stop advertising all food or beverage products in elementary schools. Added Dr. Linn, "Turning report cards into ads for McDonald's undermines parents efforts to encourage healthy eating."



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].

9). And how odd it is that we never hear of the huge American study which showed that women who eat lots of veggies have an INCREASED risk of stomach cancer? So the official recommendation to eat five lots of veggies every day might just be creating lots of cancer for the future! It's as plausible (i.e. not very) as all the other dietary "wisdom" we read about fat etc.

10). And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This is another anti-fat scare that emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.

Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology:
"The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre's yield of cotton. He calculated the correla-tion coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi-tions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal-ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added."
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. But in medical research, data selectivity and the "overlooking" of discordant research findings is epidemic.


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