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Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Aug

A Few Primal Musings

A few more “primal” odds and ends that have popped up. I welcome your thoughts on any and all.


Beneficial Fat

No, I’m not talking about our editor’s love of lipids (although I’m all for that – I’m a big fan of plenty of dietary fat). I’m talking about junk in the trunk, if you will. Neal posted an adiposity-related article from the New York Times in the forum yesterday. I’d like to open it up for discussion and dissection here. Scoot over and read the piece, then let me know what you think about it. I plan to write a post addressing this issue at length at some point in the near future, but let’s get the ball rolling today. (Help me out, will ya?)

Flying Vs. Driving

Can’t recall if it was the back of Time or the New Yorker, but I noticed an ad last week from Allstate comparing our fear of flying to our fear of driving. To paraphrase: “If 12 loaded jumbo jets crashed in a year, something would be done about it.” The kicker: that’s how many teenagers are killed in car wrecks every year. It got me thinking about this piece on risk I wrote some time back. Read the piece and click back to comment here. Once again, our “primal blueprint” hasn’t fully adapted to modern life. It’s fascinating how we perceive and react to risk. Unfortunately, it’s also inaccurate.

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Well I just think the driver requirement age should be raised to 19. That would make a lot of these premature deaths just go away.

    cindy wrote on August 8th, 2007
  2. Obviously obesity is a huge problem. Moreover it is the fault of the parent for becoming easily overwhelmed to really care about their child’s dietary needs. If we could, as parents, do away with our own laziness. The problem could start to be solved with our children.

    Mitchell wrote on August 8th, 2007
  3. Cindy,
    Your thoughts on raising the driver age limit to 19 yrs. old is laughable. How in the world is a working parent with one or more school aged children supposed to get work on time if they have to 1st take their kids to different schools?
    If anything lower it to 15 I say.

    brett wrote on August 8th, 2007
  4. I do not think it is so much age as the education that goes into learning to drive. In Germany, for example, it’s really difficult to get your license and you have to take a series of tests in different weather conditions, etc. And they have fewer accidents. I think if we had stricter requirements, there would be fewer accidents.

    What do you all think?

    Sara wrote on August 8th, 2007
  5. I am with you Cindy. Driving is a priviledge, not a right. Yes Sara, more experience needed. My son is 14. I will drive him, he can ride his bike, walk, or take the bus until I feel he is ready to drive. I walked up hill both ways in the snow when I was a kid.

    Crystal wrote on August 8th, 2007
  6. I’m not sure I knew anyone in high school who hadn’t been in a car accident.

    But, I agree with Sara. If it were as hard to get a driver’s license as it is to get, oh, a pilot’s license, then maybe there’d be as low a percentage of car crashes as plane crashes.

    Also, I think raising the driving age to 18/19 would make the problem worse. It seems like poor timing to suddenly give them the freedom/responsibility of driving right as they go off to the beerful romp that is college.

    Bradford wrote on August 8th, 2007
  7. As a child passenger safety techinician, my own children are well versed in what happens in a crash, and they know they must be properly restrained (which means a 5 pt harness car seat for the 3 year old, and booster seats for the 6 and 8 year olds, and everyone in the back seat until they are learning to drive). I think too many parents don’t start at a young enough age emphasizing the risks in riding in/driving a car. I like the idea of the graduated licensing, where they are given a little responsibility and then after so many months they can have a little more (like driving a sibling, moving up to driving one friend, moving up to driving after dark, etc). Car crashes are the leading killer of ALL kids, not just teens, so that tells me that as parents we are not taking proper precautions. I don’t know if my oldest will be allowed to drive when he is 16. He is very impulsive, easily distracted, and not good under pressure. We’ll see how he matures in another 8 years. Just because he turns 16 won’t mean he’ll automatically get a license. He’ll have to prove he’s worth of it, and it will come with a long list of restrictions lol, which I’m sure he will hate me for! But I just want him alive you know.

    Nancy wrote on August 8th, 2007
  8. Bradford, I think that’s a good point about too many freedoms coming at one time. Spread ’em out!

    Sara wrote on August 8th, 2007
  9. I believe that it’s good to learn to drive at an early teenager and experience trial and error while at home. The parents are there for them then rather than driving at a later age after they’re away from home on their own. Personally, I feel safer flying than in a vehicle:)

    Donna wrote on August 8th, 2007
  10. At first, I suspected this article might be another “obesity isn’t bad” counterattack from the food industry. I was pleasantly surprised in the end when the author made brief mention that fat may be its own body system and not just a bunch of cells, a system capable of turning out enzymes that regulate growth. This would jibe with my belief that as a person grows larger, there are chemical changes that accelerate the weight gain. The author mentioned that fat serves a beneficial purpose of storing energy for leaner times. What needs to be emphasized is that our bodies are not suited to permanent fatness but alternating periods of feast and famine. We know that periodic fasting is very beneficial for health and longevity.

    Sonagi wrote on August 9th, 2007
  11. Also consider: the recent discovery that certain bacteria which maximize caloric absorption are more prevalent in overweight people. Just search “gut bugs” on MDA :)

    Sara wrote on August 9th, 2007
  12. “I do not think it is so much age as the education that goes into learning to drive. In Germany, for example, it’s really difficult to get your license and you have to take a series of tests in different weather conditions, etc. And they have fewer accidents. I think if we had stricter requirements, there would be fewer accidents.

    What do you all think?”

    Sounds good, except for the fact that Europe has excellent public transport. Ours sucks. I curse the corpse of Henry Ford, who lobbied our Congress to spend public money on highways for his budding industry.

    Sonagi wrote on August 9th, 2007
  13. In other words, in many countries, a driver license is an option. In this country, it’s a necessity. More rigorous education and testing would be a good thing, nevetheless.

    Sonagi wrote on August 9th, 2007

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