Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Peanut butter isn’t the ideal food anyway (it’s fine in sauces and on fresh fruit, but a PB&J sandwich is no healthier than a donut). Girls still smell better. As far as Donald is concerned, we think his hair would make a great nest.
Here’s the breaking clickativity:
1) Restless Legs Are Not News
Restless legs have a cure: movement. Restless leg syndrome is a modern phenomenon borne of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. It is NOT a disease needing a cure. The cure is to move around once in a while.
Here’s an incredible expose on how pharmaceutical companies literally create diseases so you’ll take their drugs – and how the media are complicit in spinning the lies.
2) Expect Plenty of Bad Leno Jokes Tonight
So Kentucky and West Virginia are overweight, heart-disease-ridden states. Before you gloat (or feel bad if you hail from these states), keep in mind that all 50 of our states are a giant collective embarrassment.
We are the fattest, sickest, soonest-dying, most diseased industrialized nation. Pretty pathetic, considering we’re leaders in medical research, have no shortage of nutritious food, and are the richest nation…on earth. But the media are covering this non-news like white on rice. Basically, we’re preschoolers comparing the size of our crayon boxes while everybody else has moved on to markers.
This is the kind of irritating health news we have to draw attention to, simply because it’s so stupid. It’s a good example of how the media alternately scares the living daylights out of people and reports frivolous non-news as “news”. Will anyone care about this in two weeks (or two days)? Will anything be done? Where are the investigative pieces and exposes that actually produce some change?
3) Bees Dying
This makes us very sad. And it could actually be a huge problem for crop production this year.
I’m sure you’ve heard the headlines about Orlistat, the obesity drug, being approved for OTC use. What you may not have heard about are the side effects of this fat-blocking drug. Orlistat, which will still be distributed by Rx as Xenical for morbidly obese patients, will now be sold as Alli in drugstores nationwide.
A magic pill it ain’t, Apples. I have a big (pardon the pun) problem with this drug, for several reasons.
1. How It Works
I have no doubt that Alli is going to fly off the shelves faster than bananas in a monkey farm. People want to lose weight without making changes, and that’s the unfortunate truth. Some of us are lazy; some are depressed; some don’t have the information; and like children believing in Santa, many simply want to believe in a magic cure. These folks are the ones GlaxoSmithKline is banking on. Drug companies love a sucker.
Alli “works” (and even this is highly debatable) by blocking fat absorption. This is problematic, to put it lightly.
First of all, fat does not make you fat. The human body was meant to operate in a fat-burning metabolic state. Whether you believe in God or cite Darwin or both, there’s absolutely no disputing this fact.
The advent of grain agriculture is a new thing for humans, relatively speaking, and the transition from a flesh-and-vegetable diet to a grain-and-sugar diet has humans suffering in a glucose-burning state.
The side effects of this high-sugar diet are horrendous: inflammation, heart disease, depression, insomnia, diabetes, mental degeneration, aging, obesity and cancer. Do you still really want to block fat? People I coach are shocked when I put them on a higher-fat diet because mainstream wisdom still worships at the altar of low-fat. Know what happens? Infections clear, cholesterol drops, energy increases, anxiety dissipates, skin glows, and the pounds melt away.
Second, reducing fat deprives your body of vital nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, which all need fat to metabolize. Blocking fat means you can’t properly absorb critical nutrients, which is why Alli has to be taken with a multivitamin to offset some of the damage.
2. The Law of Unintended Consequences: Oily Stools?
Alli is available under conditional approval. This is the same FDA approval stamp that got us into the HRT and Cox-2 disasters. How many thousands of women suffered from breast cancer and how many people had heart attacks as a result of these reckless approvals? Conditional approval.
As I mentioned the other day in an update on the FDA’s drug woes, conditional approval is a process by which the FDA essentially allows the burden of safety to rest with drug companies. (Yes: more often than you want to know, the FDA lets pharmaceutical companies begin marketing and selling a drug before lengthy testing has been conducted.)
This tacit trust is just super-duper for drug companies eager to sop up years of product development costs with fast cash, but I’m stumped as to how this is beneficial for actual human beings. Can you imagine if farmers, restaurants or vitamin manufacturers like yours truly just up and sold products that knowingly caused serious health issues and thousands of deaths? We’re not talking one or two or even a dozen. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of serious – often fatal – drug reactions every single year. Some estimates go into the millions.
Just who is the FDA supposed to be looking out for?
Alli, among other issues, causes incontinence and oily stools.
And this is the deal-breaker, folks. Anal leakage? Oily spotting? I don’t think so! Alli can also lead to kidney stones, gall stones, breast cancer, and hepatitis. Every time a new drug scandal hits, I think, surely, surely the FDA will make changes. It never happens. This is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different results.
There’s a better way to lose weight, but it does take some work – though not nearly as much as you’d think. You can eat fat and drop pounds simultaneously. You can enjoy flavor. You don’t have to be a slave to the treadmill. Stay tuned for tips every day on how to lose weight and feel better – sensibly, enjoyably, without any suffering at all. No spotting, either. We have a strict no-spotting rule around here.
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Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Or should that be…health is the new blog? And have you noticed the constant “this is the new that” slogans everybody likes to come up with? (Just Google: sugar is the new trans fat, brown is the new black, adults are the new kids.) How about a new turn of phrase device? Like…”couplets are the new turn of phrase device”. Oh, wait, that’s just the new thing again. Nevermind.
Here’s your piping hot batch of health news!
1) No More Wining
All the benefits of wine, none of the headache-inducing tannins and brain toxins. Just make sure you pick 100% real juice, and don’t drink too much of it (because…yes…sugar is the new trans fat). Or just eat grapes. The beneficial antioxidants everyone is in a big stomp about (like resveratrol) are found in the skins of the grapes.
2) Unexpected Mad Cow News
Here is some unexpected mad cow news. We’ll keep you posted as research develops. You might want to consider going organic in the meantime.
3) Will it make a difference?
Faster Death Agency Food and Drug Administration has come under furious scrutiny over all manner of corruption and shenanigans (Vioxx, politicizing Plan B, Prempro and numerous other drug scandals). A recent independent investigation found that the FDA errs – big surprise here – on the side of approval even when new drugs have not had extensive testing. Essentially, the FDA gives drug companies a hall pass. In so many words, the FDA says “Hey, Big Pharma, you’re gonna make sure your product is safe, right? Cool. Sally, did you find my iPod yet? I have to make my private jet to Telluride in, like, 30 minutes!”
The actual wording is convoluted legalese, but that’s pretty much what it boils down to.
In light of the fact that a post at the FDA is a cushy chill-out job for stressed former Pharma execs, this news fills us with hope. We’ll keep an eye on whether or not it actually makes a difference. Check the press release (link below), and you’ll see that the official spin is maddeningly glib: the FDA is changing because it’s simply time to update processes in light of new scientific methods. Gosh, is that it? How fun. Translation: the FDA is changing because, oops, we need to stop approving needless deaths by instituting standards that have already been around for two hundred years.
In the meantime, be careful about trying new drugs or multiple prescriptions without first doing a little research – and always get a second or third opinion (fortunately, real research is now easy to find at places like Pubmed, Vitasearch and even the FDA’s own website).
And let’s just remember, the FDA is the fine organization that brings us this inflamed nubbin:
New York has taken steps to ban trans fat. So we knew L.A. would catch up sooner or later. It just needed time to come up with a subtle little “Um, we’re already so much healthier than NYC!” jab, and here it is:
“I haven’t received one call from a restaurant saying it doesn’t want to make a change. I get more phone calls a day from restaurants that say they’ve never used it.”
We don’t care, as long as more cities jump out of the fryer, too.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
All the news, none of the trans fat.
1) Angering dermatologists everywhere!
Another holy grail of health is about to crumble. Here’s more evidence that a little sunshine is not only okay – it’s probably good for you (something any cat could tell you…if they could tell you). Want to prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, and maybe even MS? Check out this clickativity.
2) We still love apples
This is an interesting little article about how Americans are so unhealthy, not even our favorite fruits and vegetables are the best. Wow, thanks, Science Daily.
Among the findings: most people still do not know they’re supposed to eat 5 daily servings of produce. And actually, that’s not even correct – a bunch of health organizations got together two years ago and proved that 7-9 daily servings is actually what’s needed for optimal health.
The point of this daily bite is to introduce a little thing Mark refers to as relative nutrition. Sure, potatoes and apples and iceberg aren’t the healthiest produce choices in the world (go for yams, berries and spinach).
But relative to the
processed tripe convenience food that’s shoveled at the overwhelming majority of Americans – including the kidlets – any produce is better than some. Think about what you eat in a day. How much of it actually looks like something that grows in a garden?
Everyone is at a different point along the nutrition curve, which probably flows something like: raw, vegetarian, organic, fresh, selective, indiscriminate, destructive.
Most Americans, sadly, fall into the last two categories. Even most “health-minded” folks, Mark believes, hover somewhere around selective. Thanks to unethical food marketing, these well-intentioned shoppers are selecting foods that have the ring of health but are not really healthy. For example: low-fat dairy, canola oil, multi-grain bread, cereal bars, and pork – because it’s “white” meat.
The further you get along the nutrition curve, the healthier you’ll be. But keep relative nutrition in mind. If you know spinach is better than iceberg, and you can afford it, then for Pete’s sake, eat some spinach! But it’s just good to keep in mind that different people are at different points on the curve, so any progress is still progress. And it’s not just because we like apples (okay, maybe that’s some of the reason).
3) Killing is wrong, but Big Pharma evidently missed that memo…
4) The C-Section debate
Is elective Cesarean section a safer bet for baby? We already know it’s safer for mom, but the stigma remains in some societies. This study updates the debate.
Web it out:
Astrology affects your health? Study not funded by Miss Cleo (we checked). Yet another fabulous episode in Silly Studies R Us.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
All the news you want to click!
1) There’s something worse than a donut, actually.
There’s a caffeinated donut. No cops were hurt in the making of this product. The rest of us should just stay away.
2) Cure for diabetes!
That’s no joke. There is a very simple, free, enjoyable way to prevent – even cure – many cases of diabetes. It’s called exercise, and people aren’t doing it. In fact, diabetics seem to studiously avoid exercise, according to this clickativity.
Guess what? Diabetes is a stupid, made-up disease. We invent it from a combination of sloth and sugar and stress. It’s not even an interesting or worthy disease. If health problems were softball, diabetes would be the one shuffling around in the dust while all the other problems got chosen first. Why? Because they matter. Because they strike innocent people. Because they need research and cures. Diabetes is a big joke compared to diseases we should be worrying about.
Which is why, in our softball game, diabetes would go home crying. Over milk and cookies, little diabetes’ mother would explain: “Junior, 99% of the time, you’re simply not a disease deserving of any attention – not when there are so many other real diseases that don’t have cures and can’t be prevented. You just don’t need to exist. You’ve been needlessly invented and you have no excuse. In fact, your father and I haven’t quite known how to tell you this, but…you’re just a big, pointless waste of our health, time and money. In fact, I have to remind myself not to exercise, dear, or you’d simply vanish. Poof.”
Just imagine if we ate caffeinated donuts.
3) Counting Calories? Don’t Read the Label
Companies have all sorts of ways of making labels reflect the amount of calories they feel like their food contains, as opposed to how many calories the food actually contains. Slate brings us an excellent investigative piece on some of the crazy chemistry adventures of the food industry. May we point out: who really cares about calories? If you are eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and some good fats, you won’t exceed your caloric needs. Another tip-off to too many calories: feeling stuffed. That’s a definite indicator.
We’re not opposed to nutrition and caloric information on food products – the more information, the better. But rest assured, if there’s a rule or a regulation, companies are going to find a way around it. Trans fat gets banned? No problem – they’ve just come up with a new refined fat that’s even worse. People don’t like the word “lard” on their ingredients’ list? That’s okay – just change it to mono- and di-glycerides and fool ‘em all! It shouldn’t be a big surprise that calorie information is often misleading. Fortunately, if you eat fresh, whole foods, you won’t have to worry about calories. Cool, huh?
4) A Dangerous Cocktail
Antidepressants, kids, and pharmaceutical companies: it’s a deadly combination. In this case, it’s been revealed that GlaxoSmithKline lied about teen suicide risk. If they can lie, it appears, they will. Way to go, guys. You realize how you earned those second homes, don’t you?
And It’s Clickative:
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