Thursday, November 08, 2007

News Flash

Thanks to all who forwarded me versions of this article, which summarizes results of a recent study showing that being fat isn't as deadly as some researchers previously thought it was. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

OK, quick, suppose you're some kind of "expert" and a reporter calls to get your take on these new findings. How can you continue to insist that Fat Is Bad if it doesn't actually increase mortality? Well, if you're Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, here's your new angle: "...excess weight makes it more difficult to move about."

Seriously. No, seriously, she said that. (Or something like it -- it's not a direct quote in the article).

Fillyjonk has already skewered several of the dumbass reactions to the study, including Manson's dumbass reaction above, but I couldn't help drawing your attention to it here.

On an unrelated note, I found this quiz on MSNBC. The link said "Apples or bananas? Which is better?" And I was like mmm, bananas are better, yummy, food quiz, yay, click!

Well, it turns out that it's not really a quiz about what food you like best, it's about which ones are objectively "best" in terms of calorie count, fat grams, fiber, etc. As if between two fruits or vegetables there is a single "best" one for everybody all the time. I don't know, but I think if I ate a banana at breakfast, then maybe an apple would be "best" for me with lunch.

But whatever, I don't want to spoil the fun quiz for you, I just wanted to point out this one funny part. If you take the quiz, read what it says after "Corn Muffin vs. Plain Bagel". I was like, corn muffin, what the hell do they mean by that, like cornbread in the shape of a muffin? Well, it turns out that they meant the "corn muffin" that they sell at Dunkin Donuts. Who the hell even knew or cared that Dunkin Donuts has something called a "corn muffin"? It's probably deep fried for all we know, and I doubt there's any actual corn in it besides maybe high fructose corn syrup. So keep that in mind when you take the quiz -- assume that every food item they ask about is from Dunkin Donuts, since I'm sure that's where you usually are when you're faced with trying to make healthy food choices for the day.

3 comments:

K said...

Yeah, I noticed that the LA Times picked this up with a very small article on the back page of the first section. The "OMG! Fat Kills" article earlier in the week was considerably larger.

Natalie said...

I took that quiz and I only got a 77%. Thing is, I don't eat any of that shit, anyway, so how the hell would I know? Sirloin steak versus salmon? I mean, duh, I picked salmon, but what about, I dunno, not eating either and picking that nice cup o'lentils they mention? Ice cream versus chocolate cake? How about dairy allergy, bitches?

I'm sensitive about food, apparently. :)

Mary said...

Well, the Admiral and I both got a 69 (heh heh) so I guess you've got us beat. But obviously the quiz sucks, even if you don't take into account the fact that people might have food allergies (or, I don't know, be vegetarian or something). For one thing, it's totally unclear what their criteria are -- sometimes they cite lower calorie count as the reason one food is "better" than another, but then on the next question, the "better" food actually has more calories. I also think think they're just plain wrong about some things. For example, I picked the corn muffin over the bagel because I think if it actually has corn in it (a VEGETABLE), that's probably got more vitamins and whatnot than a plain bagel which is basically a bunch of empty calories. But I was (apparently erroneously) picturing a corn muffin that I made at home, with like real corn in it and stuff, i.e. not the kind from fucking DUNKIN DONUTS.