Tuesday, March 11, 2008



Amusing: Another one of the hoary attacks on white bread

Such attacks go back to the 1920s at least. The study is a classical example of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Summarizing a lot of studies that are themselves just epidemiological speculation tells us nothing

Eating white bread and sugary breakfast cereals can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, new Australian research suggests. A world-first study by Sydney scientists has found conclusive evidence that a high GI diet, generally rich in food that is burnt by the body quickly, leads to a higher risk of common lifestyle diseases.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how different foods affect your blood glucose levels, with those that are "low GI" released more slowly and deemed better for health. A team of nutrition experts at the University of Sydney evaluated 37 diet studies involving nearly two million people worldwide to analyse the effect of eating high GI foods, which are usually highly processed. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a link between a high GI diet and a high risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The diet was also linked to gall stones and some types of cancer.

"The key message from this study," says lead author Alan Barclay, "is that the GI of your diet is a powerful predictor of disease risk. "Grandma was right, you are what you eat." He said the link with diabetes was "not surprising" because eating high GI foods inflates your blood glucose and insulin levels. "You may literally 'wear out' your pancreas over time [Crap! In the human body, a much-used function tends to get stronger] and eventually it may lead to type 2 diabetes in older age," Mr Barclay said.

The researchers were more surprised by the "strong relationship" between GI and cancer. High GI foods cause constant spikes in blood glucose which increase insulin and a related substance called 'insulin-like growth factor one', both of which have been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer. "Other research shows that a high GI diet tends to reduce 'good' HDL cholesterol levels and raise triglycerides levels; bad news for cardiovascular diseases," he said. "And people with low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels are more prone to gall stones."

The researchers said their findings support eating a low GI diet to maintain healthy weight and help avoid disease. Caryl Nowson, a professor of nutrition and ageing at Deakin University in Melbourne, said because high GI foods were typically high in fat and sugar and low in fibre, they were also ready known to be linked with disease. "This review is just a new way of breaking down dietary information we already have," Prof Nowson said. She said while the benefits of eating according to GI rating had been proven, it was just one of many ways to structure a healthy diet. "If you focus on having a classically balanced diet high in fibre and low in sugar, fat and refined foods you'll find you're eating relatively low GI anyway," Prof Nowson said.

Source






No sex for fatties?

This stuff is as yet unpublished but it sounds like the usual epidemiological crap -- based on self-reports, no doubt

Fat men who care more about sex than losing weight should realise there is a good possibility they will have erectile dysfunction, an obesity expert says. The head of Adelaide University’s medical school, Professor Gary Wittert, said men should take note of research linking obesity to erectile dysfunction. “Australian men care about erection problems, perhaps more so than possible cardiovascular disease,” Prof Wittert said. “This may present an opportunity to improve communication about the benefits of weight loss.”

Prof Wittert said that while many men were aware of several health problems which were caused by obesity, difficulties getting an erection were less known. “It’s becoming well known that there are high levels of obesity in Australian men and that this has significant consequences for chronic diseases, both physical and psychological,” he said. “What is less well known is that not only blood vessels to the heart are affected by obesity but similar effects occur with the blood vessels to the penis with resulting erectile dysfunction and poor urinary tract function.”

Prof Wittert will release some of the findings of a major study into the health and ageing of Australian men tomorrow afternoon. As part of the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study, about 1,000 men were examined in an attempt to identify the key factors that determined their reproductive, physical and emotional health.

Source

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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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1 comment:

Neil said...

Re. the GI story. I thought fat had the lowest GI of anything. If so, then we should be eating more of it and less cereals, etc.