Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for January, 2007

18 Jan

All the News, None of the Calories

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

This is a low-fat blog post, Apples. Here’s the daily roundup:

1) Hypothetically, Of Course!

Answers to the Top 10 Embarrassing Health Questions. Hey, we know, it’s for your friend.

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2) Go On, Get Fresh!

We’ve talked before about big cities like Chicago and New York hopping in the anti-trans-fat fryer. Massachusetts will be the first entire state to do so (of course it’s Massachusetts). And Starbucks recently volunteered outright. McDonald’s hasn’t been able to perfect their beloved heart attack sticks (a.k.a. french fries), but they keep trying to get rid of trans fat, by golly.

Unfortunately, our investigative vigilantes over at Mercola’s blog inform us that food companies are finding a sneaky way around this whole trans fat ruckus. They’re just switching the deadly trans fat for another, equally terrible fat. Doing so allows them to get away with saying “0 grams trans fat” on food labels.

You know, there are days when we want to think highly of our fellow food-manufacturing humans. And then we remember – oh yeah, we’re bees! We don’t have to think good thoughts about these greedy “it’s just the free market” milquetoasts! You don’t, either.

Selling. Deadly. Food. Is. Wrong.

End of story. Spread the word, Apples.

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Here are some facts about why trans fat (a.k.a. Frankenfat) is so important to avoid. Thanks, Beacon!

3) Thanks for Smoking. No, Seriously.

In a grand gesture of love and thanks for customer loyalty, Harvard finds that death merchants tobacco makers have steadily increased nicotine levels in cigarettes since 1998. Harvard even took a second look after the death merchants industry whined about it, and still came up with pretty convincing proof. Gravity is more controversial. Thanks to the Urban Hermit for this news.

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Help a Loved One Quit for Good

Lung Cancer News

And around the web:

Fascinating brain discovery!

Also on the table:

Export junk food to poor countries. Export subsequent obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Solution? According to the New England Journal of Medicineyness, we need to…export drugs to cure it all!

How about we save everyone, rich and poor alike, by demanding an end to the mass production of Frankenfoods? Does guacamole really need 27 ingredients plus three layers of packaging that no one but a two-year-old with a case of the mad molars can get into?

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18 Jan

File This Under Ponce de Leon

Occasionally an ad for a new product pops up in my email inbox that’s so ridiculous, I have to share it. Being involved in the health and fitness world for many years, I feel like I’ve seen it all – until the next scam comes along that is so blatantly dishonest, it’s almost funny. Almost – except that innocent people are too often the target of such useless health products.

The latest scam is something seemingly innocuous: water. Yes, water. Who knew water could be improved upon? Well, according to the hydration “experts,” the average bottle of water needs a lot of help. Of course, it’s going to cost you.

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I’m not talking about fancy French water or sparkling seltzers. Expensive though such beverages may be, they aren’t making any wacky claims. Water, in just about any form, is beneficial for your health (not to mention necessary for life). The more you drink, the better you tend to feel.

However, there is a cottage industry of designer waters that you should be wary of. These waters typically go by names like penta-water, super oxygenated water, cell water, living water, coherent water … As the old saying goes, truth truly is stranger than fiction.

These water manufacturers all claim the same things in so many words. The basic promise is more potent, better-hydrating, “living” water. If the back of the bottle talks about cellular structures, living versus dead water, ionic processes or oxygenation, run for the nearest public water fountain. It’s quackery at its finest.

My personal favorite? One water manufacturer actually claims to use “platonic solid inversion geometry” to formulate their aqua. (Funny, I don’t remember that being covered in calculus class. I guess it’s new math.)

These water hucksters will go so far as to talk about “vibration” and “frequencies” of water. Of course, any 15-year-old in chemistry class can explain that these terms are irrelevant to drinking water.

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As far as oxygenation is concerned, there’s simply no such thing. You cannot “oxygenate” water. You can certainly add extra oxygen during the filtering or bottling process, but you cannot fundamentally change the molecular structure of water. If you do, it’s no longer, well, water. Water is, of course, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. “Adding” oxygen atoms would mean we’re no longer talking about water.

The “oxygenated” water flooding the store shelves is regular old water with a scientific-sounding name. Swirl a glass of tap water, and you’ll see some oxygenation, too.

Don’t fall for these fake health waters. Water will boost your health, but the latest incarnation will only drain your bank account.

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18 Jan

The Sisson Spoof

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17 Jan

Sting Like a Bee…

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:

1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!

Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!

Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.

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2) We’re Going Down, Down…

Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.

3) Good Switch, Starbucks

First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.

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Oddballs:

A Nation of ‘Girly Men’?

And Here We Thought BK’s Chicken Fries Were Weird

Square Melons Are Less Stressful or Something?

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