Saturday, January 05, 2008

One in the eye for the diet knowalls:

A healthy 15-year-old girl described below who only eats chips (fries) and drinks milk -- and has done so since babyhood. Whither the "balanced diet"? No fruit & veg.?

Go here to see a picture of the perfectly healthy-looking teenager concerned

While most of us were eating our Christmas dinners last week, 15-year-old Faye Campbell was missing out. She has never tasted turkey, gravy or Christmas pudding. Nor has she ever eaten satsumas or mince pies. Instead, for most of her life, Faye has eaten nothing except chips - one bowl a day, with lots of milk to drink.

Over the years, her parents, Carolyn, 37, and Mark, 39, have endured despair and fear due to their daughter's peculiar diet. They have ignored the many doctors who, dismissing Carolyn's concerns, said that Faye was simply fussy and should be made to eat. At one point, a paediatrician warned that unless Faye, then six, was force fed, the development of her brain and body would be affected because of her poor nutrition. "I left the paediatrician's surgery crying," says Carolyn. "But I knew there had to be something physically wrong with Faye. I went straight to my GP, who prescribed iron tablets for Faye to prevent a deficiency. But I knew I could never force food down Faye's throat."

It wasn't until Faye was 12 years old that the Campbells, who live in Stowmarket, Suffolk, learned that Faye had a physical condition which made her feel so ill every time she ate anything other than chips that she learned not to take the risk.

More here

Suntans now incorrect

Everything is bad for you

Supermodel and businesswoman Elle Macpherson has been slammed by cancer authorities as irresponsible after she was quoted as saying "I tan safely". The experts say all tans are dangerous. The 44-year-old's comment come as the Cancer Institute of NSW is running a $2.16 million summer advertisement campaign with the message that "tanning is skin cells in trauma, trying to protect themselves from cancer".

Comment is being sought from Macpherson but the founder of the company whose products she was spruiking said the supermodel's comments had been misinterpreted. "What she means by that is she can go outside safely because she uses the zinc," said Andrea Horwood, founder of Invisible Zinc. Ms Horwood said she knows there is no such thing as a safe tan and that "the only safe tan is a fake tan".

But Acting NSW Assistant Minister for Health, Kristina Keneally said Macpherson had got it wrong. "Elle Macpherson might be a great model but she's hardly a dermatologist or cancer expert. There is no such thing as a safe tan. "When the skin changes colour from being in the sun, it is damaged. Even the smallest melanoma, as small as a millimetre, can grow into skin cancer." Ms Keneally said that beach-goers should ignore Macpherson's uninformed comments. "She might look great but if people want to stay healthy I encourage them to take their advice from the Cancer Institute NSW," she said. "It's an uninformed comment. It demonstrates the challenge of getting out the message that a tan is not a healthy thing. I'm not trying to be wowser, it's summertime, let's go to the beach, have a good time but let's do it safely." Asked if the comment was irresponsible, Ms Keneally replied: "Yes. There's no such thing as a healthy tan."

Macpherson, spruiking an Australian sunscreen she will launch in the US, appears on the front page of today's The Daily Telegraph stating: "I don't have the skin of an English rose but I know my skin and I tan safely."

A spokesman for Cancer Institute NSW repeated that all tans are unsafe. "There is no safe way of tanning when exposure to UV is involved," spokesman Adrian Grundy said, "That means any exposure to the sun, especially in the peak hours of 11am to 3pm during daylight saving, and through tanning devices like solarium." Mr Grundy said sunscreen, which Macperhson was spruiking in the interview, was "just one of the methods you use to protect yourself from the sun".

"It's only one of five methods. The first really important method is staying out of the sun, especially between 11am and 3pm; the second is covering up with protective clothing especially around the shoulder area, arms,leg and neck; a broad-brimmed hat which protects the top of the head and the ears; and sunglasses that meet Australian standards. The fifth method, sunscreen ... needs to be used properly. It needs to be applied at least 20 minutes before heading out into the sun and then reapplied every two hours after that."

He pleaded with the public to be sun safe this summer. "We would advise anybody who's thinking about tanning to think again, because there is no safe tan. The darkening of your skin is actually your skin in trauma. And this trauma can lead to skin cancer, particularly damaging melanoma. There's nothing wrong with pale or less than dark skin. It's actually a sign of good health to not have a tan."

The "Dark Side of Tanning" campaign, featuring a ghoulish animation of a melanoma spreading through the body of a tanning woman, also states that one damaged skin cell can start a melanoma growing and a melanoma need only be 1mm deep to spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. The TV and print campaign will run until March.



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 correlation 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 conditions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis 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.

"What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken". Who said that? Joe Stalin? Adolf Hitler? Orwell's "Big Brother"? The Spanish Inquisition? Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde? None of those. It was Dr Colin Waine, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum. What a fine fellow!


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