Eat less, lose weight

portion-control

According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, losing weight is "basic physiology. Eat fewer calories than you expend." This sounds like advice we’ve heard before, but this time it’s a little more black-and-white. To quote one of the organizers of the study: “People do have to choose heart-healthy foods. I think the beauty of the study is that they have a lot of flexibility in terms of the dietary approach."

In other words, eat what you want that isn’t junk. Just don’t eat too much of it.

A tax on... fitness?

Picture 6

When Governor Paterson proposed the “obesity tax” on sugary soda several weeks ago, many thought it was a good idea. It was praised as a smart way to raise $400 million a year while deterring people from consuming something unhealthy.

Now a new idea of the Governor’s seems to go completely against this philosophy of promoting a healthy lifestyle. He wants to tax gym memberships!

To quote State Deputy Health & Human Services Secretary Joe Baker, “The tax on health club memberships is something we're doing to raise revenue. There's plenty of other ways... that folks can get out and exercise, particularly children.”

Spoken like someone who has no clue about what it takes to be fit.

London gym great place to pick people up

Gymbox_1243387c
Super Human, Fine Female, Main Man, Micro Male, and Dainty Diva

At a gym in central London called Gymbox, members have the option of lifting a unique kind of weight: human weight. The unitard clad “dumbbells” pictured above are five of the six employees (not pictured: Well ‘Ard Woman at 85 kg) who perform the valuable function of being lifted while shouting words of encouragement at the lifter.

The “dumbbells” climb onto specially outfitted machines, allowing their weight to be used as resistance in a variety of ways. (And you thought members just wrapped their arms around these guys and picked them up. Come on, that would be SILLY!)

Vitaminwater plays doctor

vitaminwater

Does Vitaminwater reduce the risk of chronic disease, improve joint health, and build immunity? Those are pretty impressive claims for the beverage bottled by Coca Cola Co., and the Center for Science in the Public Interest isn’t buying any of it. In fact, they’re suing Coca Cola, claiming that the detrimental effects of the 33 grams of sugar found in each bottle far outweigh any of the questionable benefits from the added vitamins.

According to the head litigator, “Vitaminwater is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat.”

HAHAHA!


Laughing when there’s nothing to laugh about is an activity that has typically been reserved for the deranged. Not any more, thanks to Madan Kataria, the man who created “laughter yoga” in India 15 years go.

As our economy circles the drain, growing numbers of Americans with plenty to cry about are now turning to this form of exercise as a way to boost their moods. Although forcing a bunch of “ha-has” and “ho-hos” intermingled with yogic breathing probably does a body some good, why not catch some stand-up comedy or watch a funny movie instead? At least that way you not only feel better but also preserve your sanity.

AquaMantra is bottled B.S.

aquamantra

From the AquaMantra website:

I AM GRATEFUL™, I AM HEALTHY™, I AM LOVED™ or I AM LUCKY™.

The thoughts inherent in those words permeate the liquid, influencing the taste and beneficial properties of the water. If you are drinking ‘I am Healthy’ for example, you will resonate with the energy to be healthy. ' I am Loved' will encourage you to feel loved and 'I am Lucky' will encourage you to feel gratitude for your life and how you want to be lucky!

How about “I AM WASTING MY MONEY!”

A big thumbs-down to Whole Foods for carrying this bottled water.

Heart Attack Grill

heartattackgrill
Heart disease is funny and sexy!!

If you’re feeling suicidal but don’t like rushing into things, there’s a new slow way to kill yourself. Visit the Heart Attack Grill in Tempe, Arizona.

The menu includes the “Single,” “Double,” “Triple,” and “Quadruple Bypass Burgers,” the last of which proudly clocks in at 8000 calories. And what better to go with your burger than “Flatliner Fries,” which are “deep fried in pure lard!” Want a diet soda with that? Too bad. Only regular soda is served, so top of your meal with a Jolt Cola instead. For your convenience, unfiltered cigarettes can also be purchased directly off the menu.

For that extra special touch, a sexy “nurse” brings you your food and later carries your fat ass out to your car in a wheelchair.

To quote the owner (who incidentally dresses like a doctor despite not being one), “Don’t worry about what people are telling you. Live for the day.” Good advice if you want to be alive for just one more day.

Corn syrup fights back: Round 2

corn

A few posts ago, I expressed annoyance at a new ad campaign by the Corn Refiners Association, claiming that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is really no worse for you than sugar. Having been told over and over again than corn syrup is one of the reasons we Americans are so fat, my immediate reaction was to label the campaign as propaganda. Even worse, I supported the argument with a quote from Dr. Mercola, someone who I’ve since discovered is a complete quack.

Perhaps HFCS has indeed been given unfair treatment. There are studies linking it to obesity, but this link could simply be due to overconsumption of products containing HFCS, products that would be just as unhealthy if sweetened with something else.

The health effects of HFCS certainly need to be studied further, but as of today, it’s not a slam-dunk win for either side.

PETA vs. cow milk

pam
PETA spokesperson. Coincidence?

The conditions in dairy farms today are such that cows being used for milk undergo quite a bit of suffering. PETA has a solution that will decrease demand for cow milk as well as improve human health: say no to the udder and yes to the human teat.

PETA has gone as far as writing a letter to Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Inc., urging the owners to make the switch to breast milk. (I’m not sure what the response was, but I can take a good guess.)

Although in theory the idea makes sense, in practice it’s more than a little disturbing. Sure, consuming the milk without gagging will be a challenge, but more importantly, how the hell are we going to collect it? Donations? Women farms?

The root of PETA’s overall mission is a good one. It’s a shame that the organization is run by a bunch of nuts.

Sarah Palin is just like you... really

palin

From the September 22 New Yorker:

According to “Sarah,” a biography by Kaylene Johnson, Palin had got into politics after she befriended the man who was then mayor and his police chief at a step-aerobics class. She made them her allies and ran for City Council. Then she challenged them for control of City Hall, and drove them out.

And you thought step class was just about keeping fit.

Thanks for the article, Matt!

Corn syrup fights back

cornsyrup

Perhaps you’ve seen the commercial. A guy and and girl are having a picnic in the park. She offers him a popsicle, and he turns it down because it has high fructose corn syrup in it. When asked why corn syrup is bad for you, he’s unable to respond. She smiles and says, “It’s made from corn, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and it’s fine in moderation.”

“Get the facts. You’re in for a sweet surprise,” says the announcer at the end of the commercial. Is it true? Has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) been given a bad rap?

According to Dr. Mercola, no. “Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form (soda), its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.” Although a healthy amount of skepticism is a good thing, the fact that HFCS is nasty stuff is a pretty well established nutritional fact.

The above commercial is simply part of a campaign by the Corn Refiners Association to rehabilitate the reputation of HFCS. The good news is that corn syrup consumption has gone down enough for them to be getting nervous. The bad news is that this effort to fight back might actually work with people gullible enough to think our health is in their best interest.

Neck manipulation dangerous?

neck

My neck and lower back have been feeling tight recently, and I’ve been considering going to a chiropractor for a little twisting and joint-cracking. An article I just read, however, gives me pause.

A study published in the Neurologist showed that young stroke patients were five times more likely to have had neck manipulation within a week of their stroke. Yikes!

Perhaps it’s too soon to react to this. Just because one event occurs after another doesn’t imply a causal relationship. An alternate explanation could simply be that head and neck pain, which often precede strokes, cause the already stroke-prone patients to seek relief from chiropractors.

Red Bull give you more than wings

redbull

It’s already been established that using Red Bull as a mixer in cocktails is a bad idea. Now it’s looking like drinking Red Bull even by itself is dangerous.

A study by the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital showed that even one can of Red Bull was enough to make the cardiovascular condition of university students similar to that of people with heart disease.

The caffeine content in a can is equal to that of a cup of coffee, certainly nothing to be concerned about. It’s the combination of the caffeine with taurine, an amino acid commonly found in energy drinks, that seems to be causing the adverse effects.

Although Red Bull is the product being picked on in the study, there’s no reason to absolve other energy drinks which use the same combination of caffeine and taurine. It’s probably a good idea to stay way from these energy drinks altogether.

Machine 1, woman 0

abductor
The assailant

At the end of last month, a woman described as a “very large lady” was using the abductor machine at the Harlem NYSC when she was suddenly flung across the room.

The abductor machine is the one which gives you resistance as you open your legs, giving your outer thighs a workout. My guess is that she somehow locked the machine in the open position, and that when she tried to get off, the lock popped open and the legs swung shut. (For the machine to have flung such a large person so far, she must have loaded up a tremendous amount of weight.)

Foot-eating fish

shark
File this one under disgusting-but-on-second-thought-I-might-try-this.

Since razors are no longer a legal way for pedicurists to remove dead skin from callused feet, there hasn’t been a good alternative way to do the job... until now. In a spa in Alexandria, VA, customers can soak their feet in a tank of tiny carp, allowing the “doctor fish” to nibble away only at the dead skin, leaving the live, healthy skin behind.

Slightly nauseating but intriguing at the same time, this method has proven itself to be quite effective not only at giving people smooth feet but also at bringing attention to the Yvonne Hair and Nails Salon, the only place at the moment that offers this treatment.

Kevin Trudeau: scumbag

trudeau
Did you know that natural cures for everything from Attention Deficit Disorder to depression to diabetes exist right under our noses? Are you aware that bodies with high pH are immune to cancer?

The FDA, drug companies, and the American government are all conspiring to keep information like this from you. At least that’s what Kevin Trudeau tells us in his book “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About!” Rest assured, readers -- this piece of literature blows the lid off this conspiracy and exposes these “natural cures” for all of us to finally use.

So throw away those antidepressants. Get rid of that insulin. Say goodbye to that pesky chemotherapy. The answers to your problems are in your kitchen cupboard!

Kevin Trudeau is someone who has made a lucrative career out of giving people false hopes, causing many of them to follow treatments which have seriously compromised their health. (Almost every claim he has made has been debunked.) Do yourself a favor and steer clear of anything written by this jackass.