Tuesday, March 22, 2011

McDonald's-only runner Joe D'Amico finishes in top 30 top at Los Angeles marathon

A reminder that "junk" food is a value judgment, not a scientific description. McDonald's food has a full range of nutrients

A MARATHON runner who vowed to eat only McDonald's in the 30 days leading up to the Los Angeles Marathon has beaten his own personal best time at the event and finished 29th overall. Illinois man Joe D'Amico ran the marathon in two hours, 36 minutes and 13 seconds, last Sunday beating his previous personal record by 41 seconds, the Chicago Sun-Times said.

"It went just as I planned," Mr D'Amico said after completing the 42.1km race. "The course was much tougher than I expected and the wind and rain didn't help, but I felt strong."

In the month leading up to the marathon, D'Amico ate 99 meals at McDonald's. His typical daily intake consisted of hotcakes and an Egg McMuffin for breakfast, a grilled chicken burger and a large Coke for lunch, and a hamburger and fries for dinner.

He allowed himself to drink water and take a daily multivitamin and a runner's supplement.

He said he took on the personal challenge because he loves McDonald's and running, and but insisted he was not trying to make a point. His effort garnered more than 23,000 Facebook fans and raised $US27,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Mr D'Amico said his wife chose the restaurant where they ate last night. "We managed to walk past a couple of McDonald's restaurants after the race without stopping," he said. "I'll probably be back in a McDonald's sometime next week."


Mothers who drink in early pregnancy 'more likely to have unruly children'

Ho hum! Just the usual class effect. Dumb working class mothers are more likely to booze and their kids take after them

Teenagers are more likely to be unruly, aggressive and badly behaved if their mothers drank early in pregnancy, researchers claim. The risk of anti-social behaviour rose threefold among 16-year-olds whose mothers drank as little as one alcoholic drink a day during the first three months of pregnancy.

A U.S. study of almost 600 youngsters analysed rates of ‘conduct disorder’ at regular intervals from their birth. Conduct disorder was defined as a pattern of behavioural problems that included aggression towards people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, theft and serious rule-breaking.

The risk of ‘lifetime’ bad behaviour patterns went up threefold with one or more drinks a day compared with drinking less, or abstaining. There was no extra risk linked to drinking at a later stage in the pregnancy. Dr Cynthia Larkby, from the University of Pittsburgh, monitored 592 children from birth to age 16, half of whom were African-American with the other half white.

Information was collected about the drinking habits of the children’s mothers, including quantity, frequency and the pattern of alcohol use.

The scientists wrote in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: ‘From a clinical perspective, prenatal alcohol exposure should be considered as another risk for conduct disorder. ‘The next steps in research should be to define the interactions between prenatal exposures, environmental factors, and heritability. This would allow a more complete picture of the relations between prenatal alcohol exposure and conduct disorder.’

The issue of how much is safe to drink during pregnancy has caused controversy in recent years. In 2007 the Department of Health published guidance saying pregnant women should avoid drinking alcohol altogether, as should those trying to conceive. This replaced previous guidance which said it was safe for pregnant women to drink one to two units of alcohol per week.

The Government said its update was not based on new research, but was introduced to provide consistent advice to all women.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence also advises women to avoid alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy. Heavy drinking in pregnancy is linked to foetal alcohol spectrum disorder in children, which can cause a range of physical, mental and behavioural problems.

Previous U.S. research has suggested that later behavioural problems in children may be linked to drinking during pregnancy.

However, a study from University College London last year found light drinking by pregnant women – one or two units of alcohol a week - was linked to children who were better-behaved than those whose parents had abstained from alcohol.

It showed the risk of behavioural and emotional problems among toddlers increased for mothers who were heavy drinkers – those having at least one drink a day or a binge session of six drinks or more during pregnancy.

Half a pint of ordinary-strength beer counts as one unit, while a small glass of wine equates to one or one-and-a-half units depending on the alcohol content.


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