The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Skinniness Epidemic 

Well, it certainly didn't take long for the "medical studies" (and I put those in quotes on purpose) to change their mind. Of course the government's insistence that we're in the middle of an "obesity epidemic" is well known. As a result, more and more nanny staters and healthists have been trying to force people to change what they do for their own good, whether they want to or not. Now we're finding out that the opposite can be just as bad:

Starving - officially known as caloric restriction - may make worms and mice live up to 50 percent longer but it will not help humans live super-long lives, two biologists argued Sunday.

They said their mathematical model showed that a lifetime of low-calorie dieting would only extend human life span by about 7 percent, unlike smaller animals, whose life spans are affected more by the effects of starvation.
"Our message is that suffering years of misery to remain super-skinny is not going to have a big payoff in terms of a longer life," said Phelan, an evolutionary biologist, in a statement.

So does this mean that we'll have government subsidies on Twinkies?

The last quote there is the most important. It punctuates exactly what this is all about. Quality of life vs. length of life. If someone wants to enjoy eating a lot, and get fat but not live as long... that is actually a person choice. For some people, it may well be a very acceptable choice. Some may look at folks in their 90's, and their quality of life and decide that's not what they want. They may decide they'd rather more fully enjoy their younger years. Who are you to tell them they shouldn't?

This "public health" craze over obesity has got to stop. Stay out of my stomach.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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