Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Husbands make women fat

So women should give up marriage?? It's all anecdotal anyway. I could equally make an argument that marriage assists slimness. There are plenty of single fatties around

WOMEN who pile on the pounds once they get married and can't seem to stick to diets can now blame their weight worries on their husbands. Experts say a husband is more of a hindrance than a help in a wife's battle of the bulge. "For some women, marriage definitely can be fattening," says Dr Brian Steadman, a leading British authority on nutrition. "It's hard enough for them to stick to good eating habits when they're single, but they can find it impossible after they're married.

"For a start, they've got to prepare food for two people, and it gets worse when children come along. Suddenly, she is constantly thinking about food - buying it, cooking it, fixing snacks and meals at different times of the day. And if the husband doesn't need to diet, then with all the best intentions in the world, the poor woman is going to find it very tough preparing big wholesome meals for the family and low-calorie snacks for herself."

Dr Richard B. Stuart, an American authority on slimming and nutrition, and former psychological director of Weight Watchers International, the author of Act Thin, Stay Thin, agrees. "If a woman can't stay on a diet, it could easily be her husband's fault," he says. "In fact, a husband might subconsciously be encouraging his wife to remain fat, and make it harder for her to lose weight." And he gives these reasons why this could be so:

If he feels in any way insecure in his relationship, then he reasons that a plump wife is less likely to leave him or make other men jealous.

If he has a low sex drive then having a fat wife is a very good excuse for lack of interest or potency.

If he's the kind who isn't prepared to put a lot of effort into the marriage, then it will be much easier for him to keep her "fat" than "happy".

If his wife is a failure as a dieter, it "allows" him to have his workaholic schedule or an affair.

And there are many other ways that a husband, perhaps unwittingly, can hinder his wife's ambitions to keep her weight down. "For instance, she may ask for his help in her battle of the bulge, only to be told, 'Sure I'll help, but we're not giving up pizza night'," Dr Stuart says. "Or he might give her a box of chocolates as a 'reward' for losing 1«kg. Some husbands even turn their support into competition, with the wife as loser. I know of one who agreed to go jogging with his wife, only to leave a trail of dust in her face every time as he sped off at breakneck speed."

However, there are also some reasons why a wife herself might prefer to be fat. "She may find it harder to avoid sex with her husband (if she were thin), or fear how she will handle the sudden attention from other men," Dr Stuart says. "And with the 'fat' cover-up gone, she may be forced to confront some painful issues."

According to a British study, despite fears of being too tubby, 62 per cent of women piled on the kilos when they fell in love. The results of the Gallup poll also show that one in four women hates being seen naked during sex for fear of turning their man off. And 90 per cent are unhappy about love-making because they believe they are overweight.

The biggest problem area is tummy bulges. A third of married women feel they are being judged by their bodies. "Putting on weight has a more damaging effect on women than men," Dr Stuart says. "As a woman's weight goes up, her self-esteem goes down. "While men get ego satisfaction from their jobs, women still associate their self-worth with their appearance.

"As husbands, many men can, without realising it, add to a woman's problems with her weight. Some often respond to their wives as if they were men, lending the kind of support a male would want, such as a pep talk. "Not only does a woman want different kinds of support, but her needs change during the course of her weight loss. He adds that a wife trying to keep her weight down should help her husband to help her. "Be specific. Should he talk about your progress? Reward you? Praise you? Keep the dialogue going."


Useless official food warnings

So were those tomatoes that grocery stores and consumers dumped two weeks ago really contaminated with salmonella bacteria? Or were hot peppers the real culprits in an outbreak of food-borne diseases that have sickened 1,200 people in 42 states?

As the Sacramento Bee's Jim Downing found last week, no one really knows for sure. Government scientists tracing the source of such illnesses rely on the most unreliable of sources: sick people's memory of what they ate last night, last week or two weeks ago.

Federal Food and Drug Administration investigators have not yet found any evidence of contamination on actual tomatoes. Nonetheless, based on the advice of health officials in New Mexico where the first outbreaks were detected and on the hazy memories of sickened people, the FDA issued a warning June 7, advising consumers to avoid red Roma, red round and red plum tomatoes. The produce industry estimates losses from the tomato scare could run as high as $250 million.

The FDA has since reconsidered its warning. Maybe it wasn't tomatoes. Maybe it was raw jalape¤os or serrano peppers. So hot peppers were added to the suspect list last week, and more produce was dumped.

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, one of the nation's leading experts on food-borne diseases, blames the confusion in part on a hodgepodge of state and local public health systems that are ill-equipped in terms of training or resources to do the sophisticated analysis necessary to reliably trace the source of food-borne illnesses. He thinks Congress should set national standards for epidemiologists who trace food-borne illnesses similar to those in place for criminologists who examine evidence from crime scenes.

Source. (A story here says that peppers rather than tomatoes were behind the salmonella outbreak).

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