"I'm flying Southwest and I oftentimes take the middle seat. I don't think Christie is taking the middle seat. So I'm doing my part for austerity." —California's Jerry Brown fires back at portly New Jersey pol Chris Christie, who recently referred to the Golden State governor as an "old retread." As delightful as it is to see politicians spar, I am struck by the notion of how horrible it would feel to board a plane and realize you'd be sitting next to either one of these gentlemen. I guess if I had to choose I'd pick Brown, but only because of the certainty that I'd be asleep within ten [...]
If you are for some reason so inclined, here is how to make a Big Mac in your own kitchen. Although I have to think that no matter how closely you follow the instructions, you're never going to attain that particular flavor that is associated with the existential despair of actually being in a McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac. You know the taste. It's a mixture of resignation and umami. [Via]
What do people like to watch on the Internet? Kittens, obviously. Babies. And, apparently, fat guys yelling at teachers. Internet, you creep me out sometimes.
• "Americans love fried chicken. Just like they love chips and dip. So what could be tastier, fast-food restaurants conclude, than chicken you can eat like chips and dip."
• "Seventeen percent of all meals ordered at restaurants in the U.S. are now eaten in cars, according to NPD Group, a consumer research firm."
• " Whereas ice cream or chips used to suffice as a snack, people now want something more substantial like a small sandwich…"
• "Last week Pizza Hut introduced a P'Zolo, a rolled, hot sandwich intended to be held in one hand. It comes with marinara or ranch dip."
"In a new study of eating habits and behavior, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a researcher and professor at the University of California, San Diego medical school, lays out evidence that a diet high in trans fats is linked to traits of irritability and aggression." Related: "A new forecast on America's obesity crisis has health experts fearing a dramatic jump in health care costs if nothing is done to bring the epidemic under control. The new projection, released here Monday, warns that 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030, and 11% could be severely obese, adding billions of dollars to health care costs."
Mark my words, THIS is how The Machines are going to finally take over. You know what? They're welcome to it.
The debating season may be presidential, but if the spectacle of supersized pandering served with an unlimited salad bar of platitudes, slogans, and empty promises strikes you as strangely unfulfilling, there is always academia, where, sometimes, the politics are as equally vicious because the stakes are equally as high. Such was the case in San Antonio recently, at the Obesity Society's 30th annual meeting, the premier scientific conference in the US on what is, arguably, the nation's most pressing health problem. As the prologue to a four-day Finnegan's Wake of technical discussion (did you know that NMDA receptor NR2B subunits in the parabrachial nucleus mediate compensatory feeding?), the society's presidential [...]
Can you even get your head around the idea that we once lived in a world where women were encouraged to GAIN WEIGHT and show off fuller figures? It's crazy! I can't believe it, and neither can Matt Lauer, who calls it "a world upside-down." And how! So bizarre!
"Research by the Institute of Economic Affairs argues that a tax on fatty food could actually increase the burden on the health system and unfairly penalise the poor. It believes there are flaws in the current government anti-obesity policies which make them not only unfair but potentially costly. It claims that the obese cost the economy more when they are alive but because they die earlier they avoid expensive round the clock care later in life." Also doing their part: smokers.
"We were in a race against time to get the weight off Meow before he developed complications from his obesity, and we lost." —Sad news out of Santa Fe: Meow the cat has died. He was two years old, and rather overweight.
"As the number of obese Germans rises, the funeral industry is scrambling to make adjustments in how larger bodies with more fat can be safely incinerated. A number of crematoriums have suffered severe damage when burning fat overwhelmed their emergency measures." Meanwhile, in Britain: "Five firemen from a single Yorkshire town have injured their backs and muscles while trying to manoeuvre overweight people in the past two years, a report found. It resulted in a total of 13 working days being lost as the injured officers recovered. Now crews in Rotherham, one of Britain's fattest towns, are using forklift trucks and hydrolic platforms to rescue fat people [...]
"U.S. food companies are reaching children by embedding their products in simple and enticing games for touch-screen phones and tablets. The new medium is far cheaper than Saturday morning TV commercials and could prove as effective."
"Every extra hour of television that a toddler watches weekly takes a toll on their waist size and athletic ability by the time they turn ten, claim scientists. Waistlines of ten-year-olds who had watched 18 hours a week at the age of four were 7.6mm bigger than those of children who had watched the average amount of 14.8 hours, the study found. The distance children could jump was also reduced by a third of a centimetre for each extra hour of TV they had watched per week at the age of two."
"Slater’s 50/50, a Southern California burger chain, has launched a 100-percent-bacon burger (a ground bacon patty topped with a slice of thick-cut bacon, bacon-cheddar cheese, a sunny-side-up egg and, yes, 'bacon island dressing')."
"More than one in every 10 Americans feels drowsy during the day, and the leading causes appear to be fatness and sadness."
"New research shows dieting raises levels of hormones that stimulate appetite — and lowers levels of hormones that suppress it. Meanwhile, brain scans reveal that weight loss makes it harder for us to exercise self-control and resist tempting food. Worse still, the more people diet, the stronger these effects can become, leaving some almost doomed to being overweight as a result of their attempts to become slim. And as research lays bare the dangers of yo-yoing weight, some experts argue it would be better not to diet at all."