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Obesity Report Cards:

Math: A; English: B; History: A; Spanish: B; Body Mass Index: F

It seems that some schools are joining the obesity police. The NYT reports that some school districts send home report cards on how children fare on the "Body Mass Index," a crude measure of obesity. Children that are above the 85th percentile on the BMI are considered "obese," or at risk of obesity. Pennsylvania, for example, requires BMI reporting for children in K-8.

The practice of reporting students' body mass scores to parents originated a few years ago as just one tactic in a war on childhood obesity that would be fought with fresh, low-fat cafeteria offerings and expanded physical education. Now, inspired by impressive results in a few well-financed programs, states including Delaware, South Carolina and Tennessee have jumped on the B.M.I. bandwagon, turning the reports — in casual parlance, obesity report cards — into a new rite of childhood.

Legislators in other states, including New York, have proposed them as well, while some individual school districts have adopted the practice. . . .

Even health authorities who support distributing students' scores worry about these inconsistent messages, saying they could result in eating disorders and social stigma, misinterpretation of numbers that experts say are confusing, and a sense of helplessness about high scores.

"It would be the height of irony if we successfully identified overweight kids through B.M.I. screening and notification while continuing to feed them atrocious quality meals and snacks, with limited if any opportunities for phys ed in school," said Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital Boston.

anonVCfan:
Isn't BMI sufficiently "crude" that it's not much good in school? LaDainian Tomlinson is "obese" according to the BMI scale. That's not to say that there are a lot of elementary school children walking around who are built like professional athletes, but there are enough variables not built into the formula that it seems a little silly. If a child is obese to the point that parents need to worry, one usually doesn't need a test to prove it.
1.8.2007 8:43am
jallgor (mail):
BMI is a really horrible method for judging obesity. If they really wanted to do this right they would measure body fat percentage (and do it accurately, not with the calipers that are typically used). If you just use BMI many very fit students would probably be considered obese because there is no accounting for muscle mass. I am 5'8", 185 and I consider myself be about 10 or 15 pounds over my ideal weight. My ideal bodyweight according to BMI is 151 and I can assure you that I am emmaciated at that weight.
1.8.2007 9:28am
Delurking (mail):
"Children that are above the 85th percentile on the BMI are considered "obese", or at risk of obesity...".

Given this definition, how do they intend to measure progress?
1.8.2007 9:30am
Elliot123 (mail):
The BMI is somewhat meaningless since there are so many very healthy people whose bodies don't fit the model. I would much rather see a comment from the school nurse on the kid's weight. This might alert some parents that the kid is carrying more than a few childhood pounds. Think of it as a cheap way to implement government health care. Can school nurses be sued for saying a kid is fat?
1.8.2007 9:32am
Jake (Guest):
Clearly we'll just have to increase school budgets until all children are above average on the BMI.
1.8.2007 9:33am
WHOI Jacket:
In Lake Woebegone, all the children were above average on the BMI.


All that corn-fed beef from the Mid-West.......
1.8.2007 9:52am
Abdul (mail):
What's good for the goslings is good for the goose. Let's support the full disclosure of the BMI of all public servants in the Education Sector. Taxpayers should know if their school boards, principals, and phys ed teachers are overweight, smoke, or drink more than one glass of wine or spirits per night. With this information, we can make more informed decision as to who to preach the gospel fo diet and exercise to the students
1.8.2007 9:57am
Houston Lawyer:
At my daughter's school play last year I was appalled at the weight of some of the kids. I saw more than one fourth grade girl that was easily double what her weight should be. And this is in a master planned community, not some place where it is dangerous for kids to play outside.

The kids who were considered over-weight when I was in grade school were mere pikers when compared to these kids. I don't see much that we can do about it though, since the alternative is basically a concentration camp for fat kids.
1.8.2007 10:07am
Jake (Guest):
Actually, I wonder to what extent the self-esteem/anti-bullying push has had the unintended result of increasing childhood obesity.

Although a more direct cause is probably the reduction in recess time and unsupervised play time more generally. When I was a kid we got 2 fifteen to twenty minute recesses plus an hour for lunch. My understanding is that this is being squeezed down now.
1.8.2007 10:10am
glangston (mail):
I'm with Dr. Ludwig and I'd go a little further to suggest that institutions have a Director of Irony. He'd be a busy guy or gal but pointing out the irony a decade or two after it's inception shows us there is some need for this position. The "one size fits all" folks are now able to determine that size is LARGE, either with their own eyes or the BMI.
1.8.2007 10:41am
Waldensian (mail):

At my daughter's school play last year I was appalled at the weight of some of the kids. I saw more than one fourth grade girl that was easily double what her weight should be. And this is in a master planned community, not some place where it is dangerous for kids to play outside.

Your geography reference leaves me mystified. Are you saying there is a relationship between neighborhood type (e.g. "master planned community," "dangerous") and the size of the children who live there?
1.8.2007 10:50am
RMS (mail):
California schools have banned soda machines at schools and are feeding the kids low calorie meals. A problem is that a 220 pound football player gets fed as much as a 80 pound girl, and they get grumpy and the level of fights goes up.
1.8.2007 10:52am
Abdul (mail):

A problem is that a 220 pound football player gets fed as much as a 80 pound girl, and they get grumpy and the level of fights goes up.


Call me old fashioned, but I think it's wrong for 220 football players to pick fights with 80 pound girls.
1.8.2007 10:53am
Jacob (mail):
Children under 12 do no have a level of muscle mass large enough to completely fool the BMI in the ways some of you presume. Children are smaller, with much less variation in height, weight, and body types. This means there should be a lot less variation in BMI, and the very real variables that disrupt the admittedly crude measure make less of an impact on it because of this. It's safe to say that any elementary-age child above the 85% mark (especially TODAY's 85% mark) is "at risk" for obesity, in that he or she actually is close to an unhealthy body weight. But Elliot's right in that a nurse could take one look at a kid (also a crude measure) and immediately tell the same thing. The point of this program doesn't seem to be a hyper-accurate assessment of body type, but merely a regular opportunity to give notice to some parents that their children are pushing the limits of what's healthy. This is something school nurses do all the time with eyesight/hearing checks and scoliosis reviews, and one would hope that a parent would consult a physician after the school nurse's report just like in those circumstances.
1.8.2007 10:55am
KevinM:
I'm sure the BMI grades will be no more confidential that the kids' academic grades. But at least schoolyard bullies will have a sound statistical basis for their taunts.
1.8.2007 11:04am
Elliot Reed:
Our society already has a tendency to act as though healthy = thin, when in reality thinness is neither necessary nor sufficient for good health. Doing more to teach kids that their problem is being fat rather than leading an unhealthy lifestyle can only make fat kids even more miserable [1] and encourage unhealthy practices such as yoyo dieting. It would be much better to teach kids to develop habits of healthy eating and regular exercise. If you eat eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains and exercise regularly you will greatly improve your health even if you don't lose much (or any) weight. Conversely, eating lots of junk food and exercising by vegging out in front of the TV is bad for your health even if a high metabolism keeps you thin.

[1] However much you may believe obese people deserve to be stigmatized by society, there is no real justification for the kind of crap kids put up with, from both kids and adults, for being "fat," even though this is something they have limited control over.
1.8.2007 11:11am
Chris B (mail):
I'd be worried about parents reacting to strongly to temporary 'unhealthy' numbers since most of these kids bodies are going to be changing significantly. Antecdotally, my brother and I, and my son as well, went through a period in jr high where our weight was above average but within a year or two normal growth slimmed us down.
1.8.2007 11:12am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Your geography reference leaves me mystified. Are you saying there is a relationship between neighborhood type (e.g. "master planned community," "dangerous") and the size of the children who live there?

I think the point is it is safe to play outside, maybe programs provided. just a guess.
1.8.2007 11:20am
sk (mail):
"Your geography reference leaves me mystified. Are you saying there is a relationship between neighborhood type (e.g. "master planned community," "dangerous") and the size of the children who live there? "

My guess is that he is referring to the fact that poor people (in dangerous neighborhoods) are fatter than upper middle class people (in 'planned communities'). The idea being upper middle class parents are more likely to monitor their childrens' behavior (including eating behavior).

Sk
1.8.2007 11:24am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Lots of people in my family are built like fire hydrants. Notwithstanding that he could lose a few pounds on his stomach, my 9-year-old son find shirts that I wore in high school tight in his shoulders. (Neither of us can get our thumb and forefinger around are respective wrists.) It's not just overweight, my children are bigger, and getting there a lot faster, than I was.

But as much as we encourage them to go out and run around, to walk home from school, there is a lacking of outdoor activity. We've had some reductions in recess and lunch hours in the schools; the school strongly discourages students bicycling to school (and even at high school provides more facilities for students who drive than students who bicycle); and if we let our kids wander in suburbia as much as I got to wander in (a very nice section of) the Bronx we'd be negligent.
1.8.2007 11:49am
BladeDoc (mail):
Let me assure you (as a one-time fat kid) that the fat kids know they're fat. Their parents know that they're fat and the kids in school know that they're fat. Saying that the school should let them know that they are fat is ridiculous and clearly only the fist step. Once just telling them they're fat doesn't work they will be put on an in school diet (i.e. kids over a certain BMI will only served different foods than the rest) and the final step will be charging parents with child neglect/endangerment if they fail to improve the child's BMI. Anyone want to start a pool on which city/state goes first? I go with NY.
1.8.2007 12:24pm
BladeDoc (mail):
First Dammit FIRST
1.8.2007 12:27pm
JBL:
One interesting thing about this proposition is that unlike a lot of things the schools track and report, BMI is more or less an easily visible attribute. Especially in the extreme cases, reporting the numbers doesn't reveal any new information; at most it just quantifies what the parents and other kids already knew.

That being the case, it's not at all clear that the information would lead to an increase in inconsistent messages and social stigma. If anything, the program could be used as an opportunity for the schools to provide consistent messages about diet, excercise, and natural variation in build and metabolism. And the messages could be directed at the 15th percentile as well as the 85th (and they can adjust the percentiles as the distribution narrows). If they get it right, the increased stigma, if any, may well be associated with unhealthy behaviors rather than genetic differences. This has some controversial aspects, but it could be an improvement over the sorts of stigma I recall in grade schools in my day.

My objections to the practice are more general and apply to everything else the school system measures; it's something of a slippery slope. At some point focusing resources and accountability on those things that we can quantify and standardize risks clouding out those things we can't (or don't) quantify and standardize, and in the end I think we're usually better off treating people as individuals. What's interesting is that reporting BMI is probably less problematic in that respect than grades and standardized testing for intellectual or academic acheivements, which are already very much part of the system.
1.8.2007 12:47pm
Visitor Again:
A huge number of today's children are alarmingly overweight, just as a large number of today's adults are obese, whatever allowances are made for body type. And a fairly large number of these children and adults do not seem to care in the least; they might know they are overweight, but they are not sad about it and do not care about it. Indeed, fat appears to be "in" or at least acceptable among many of them. This goes for both boys and girls, men and women.

One of the problems in low income areas is the lack of easy access to healthy foods, although lack of education about good diet is also a major factor. You can go miles in the ghettos of Los Angeles without running across a supermarket. What you have instead are fast food joints and convenience stores and corner stores selling mostly unhealthy food at relatively high prices--vast arrays of chips and dips and sweets and sodas, but no or very few vegetables.
1.8.2007 12:53pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"But at least schoolyard bullies will have a sound statistical basis for their taunts."

I was bullied, not for obesity but rather for my autism. And this does not stop at our schools ...

"However much you may believe obese people deserve to be stigmatized by society, there is no real justification for the kind of crap kids put up with, from both kids and adults, for being 'fat,' even though this is something they have limited control over."

Amen. I like to wrap my horse-rider legs around the bullies, lock legs in place, and bench-press them by squeezing hard (over 300 lbs with my legs due to a lifetime of horse jumping). It works pretty well, although I have lost a few boyfriends that way.

"My guess is that he is referring to the fact that poor people (in dangerous neighborhoods) are fatter than upper middle class people (in 'planned communities'). The idea being upper middle class parents are more likely to monitor their childrens' behavior (including eating behavior)."

This is actually contrary to new scientific studies that show poor people are fatter than those with more economic means due to the quality and qualtity of food they can buy and what's in it. It is also known that long periods of hunger can cause schizophrenia.

"It's not just overweight, my children are bigger, and getting there a lot faster, than I was."

It could be caused by all the growth hormones and genetic engineering in the food we are feeding our children.

It could also be caused by the overuse of pharmaceuticals (e.g., Zyprexia) about which serious side effects of obesity many people have not been properly warned. (See recent $500 M class settlement with Lilly re: Zyprexia)

"But as much as we encourage them to go out and run around, to walk home from school, there is a lacking of outdoor activity."

A very good reason to take up therapuetic horsebacking riding. Just ask an autistic.

Next, we will have the Bar admission police making licensure denial specifications for having the wrong BMI -- a subjective lack of good moral character, no doubt.

My BMI may exceed the guidelines, and I may no longer be able to jog, but how many 50 year old women still have the riding fitness to show-jump horses at the highest levels? Muscles have a higher weight.
1.8.2007 1:03pm
Kenvee:
BladeDoc said

Let me assure you (as a one-time fat kid) that the fat kids know they're fat. Their parents know that they're fat and the kids in school know that they're fat.


Actually, while I would agree with you as a former "fat kid", in this day and age I'm going to have to disagree. I've seen too many parents who smile indulgently and say that Precious is just "big boned", has "baby fat", or is "just perfect" while Precious sits there at more than twice their healthy weight and crams down another doughnut. I think our current era of child indulgence is the main culprit behind growing childhood obesity, and parents positive that their little angel is just perfect the way he is can be completely blind to reality.

I think the "report card" is ridiculous for a whole host of other reasons, but not because the parents already know.
1.8.2007 1:05pm
Mark Field (mail):
I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned food pricing. There are two ways of dealing with unhealthy eating patterns:

1. Let people pay their own medical bills and therefore suffer the costs of bad practices (the economic costs; obviously they can't avoid the physical costs).

2. Built the cost of unhealthy eating into the price of food, so the cost is paid up front.

We have chosen, for better or worse, not to demand self-insurance, thus ruling out option one. Option two seems to make sense under those circumstances and seems especially so for children.
1.8.2007 1:06pm
WHOI Jacket:
How would genetic engineering foods affect obesity? Do you absorb the genes of the food you eat? I must be at least 40% cow by now....
1.8.2007 1:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"A huge number of today's children are alarmingly overweight, just as a large number of today's adults are obese, whatever allowances are made for body type. And a fairly large number of these children and adults do not seem to care in the least; they might know they are overweight, but they are not sad about it and do not care about it. Indeed, fat appears to be "in" or at least acceptable among many of them. This goes for both boys and girls, men and women."

And it is equally possible this is caused by the capitalistic practices of the pharmaceutical companies putting half of America on mental health drugs like a candy store sells gummy worms, and people do care about it, but it is too late -- their metabolisms have been permanently and irreparably harmed.
1.8.2007 1:11pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"quality and qualtity of food"=quality and quantity of food
1.8.2007 1:13pm
Mike Keenan:
An alternative to a BMI could be more health-related criteria -- one-mile run/walk, number of pull-ups, and so forth. I would like to know how fit my children are (and I do). I can see at a glance how fat they arew.
1.8.2007 1:13pm
Houston Lawyer:
My reference to master planned communities seems to have gone amis. In master planned communities around Houston, all the homes are built on what was previously undeveloped land. The streets are designed to be family friendly and kids are free to roam outside. My kids would have to travel about 3 miles before they would reach the first commercial center. Therefore, these kids should be playing outside. Kids who live in places without safe yards to play in may be confined to their homes for long periods of time. Time spent in doors is not likely to be spent exercising.
1.8.2007 1:15pm
Ahmed (mail):
What's wrong with being fat? It's expensive, sure. But it's also a choice to lounge about all the time and eat a lot.

It's like the Oprah phenomena. People drive around being appalled at fat kids because they want som,eone t9o be appalled at. It's a great distraction if you are upset at something to have an easy target, and fat folks are the most popular target of the judgemental.

Is it medical cost? Like the seat-belt justification? Should we ban anything that leads to health problems? Homosexuality could be linked to some expensive health problems too, you know.
1.8.2007 1:16pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"There are two ways of dealing with unhealthy eating patterns:

1. Let people pay their own medical bills and therefore suffer the costs of bad practices (the economic costs; obviously they can't avoid the physical costs).

2. Built the cost of unhealthy eating into the price of food, so the cost is paid up front.

We have chosen, for better or worse, not to demand self-insurance, thus ruling out option one. Option two seems to make sense under those circumstances and seems especially so for children."


This proposal might work in an ivory tower. But if it were to work in practical reality, one would have to first recognize the following:

1. More than 46 Million Americans lack any health care insurance whatsoever and are not welathy enough to afford to self-insure;

2. The people without health care insurance who are to poor to afford to self-insure would not be able to absorb the payment of their own medical bills and this would then fall on hospital emergency rooms, bringing our already crisis-laden health care system to its knees (you can't get blood out of a turnup);

3. Unhealthy eating is already built into the price, quality, and quantity of food available to the poor, and this is precisely a major source of the problem -- your proposal would simply effectively cause the massive pricing-out of poor people from the food they need resulting in mass malnutrician and starvation;

4. Food pricing change that would work, would require the more wealthy people with access to better food to be surcharged a higher price (kind of a neutralizing effect on the tax cuts for higher income people and their estates), to ensure a proper food quality subsidy for the poor who are unable to pay anything "upfront" -- a very unpopular idea; and

5. Poor people always have, are at present, and are likely in the future to pay psysical costs -- this is at the heart of the obesity promlem itself that has been identified.

In sum, to find a solution, we need to change our system.
1.8.2007 1:27pm
RG:
What's wrong with being uneducated? Isn't that also a personal choice? Should we therefore not give academic grades? Obese people are going to have a variety of difficulties in life just like an uneducated person would. If the child and parents don't care about these difficulties, or are unwilling to make the necessary life changes, then they are free to ignore this piece of information on the report card.

If the report cards were stating a useless and completely irrelevant piece of information, say the student's hair color, I doubt anyone would mention it. The only reason that anyone cares, and why they get so ridiculously defensive about it, is because it is an important piece of information, but people like to avoid addressing the issue. I don't see why weight is such an off limits topic, why can't it be put on the table to discuss in a reasonable fashion.
1.8.2007 1:28pm
whit:
BMI is ridiculous. Much like the RDA, and the "food pyramid", it is based on bad science, bad statistics, and encouraged by dr's who understand neither nutrition, nor health- only how to prescribe pills.

i am very obese by BMI standards, yet my bodyfat percentage is 12%. why? because i compete as an athlete.

the problem is that (among other things), dr's etc. are too afraid to use the word FAT (as in "overfat") and thus substitute "overweight".

overweight is meaningless. overfat IS bad. overweight is not

weight is not a proxy for fat.

BMI, much like the RDA etc. is designed for the "statistical norm" and fails to take reality into account
1.8.2007 1:28pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Overweight is defined as a BMI >25. By this definition about 2/3 of Americans are overweight. However setting the threshold at 25 was a political compromise circa 1990. Setting it lower was thought be infeasible because it would make 2/3 of Americans overweight (at that time)! The correct threshold is 22. Above 22 you start to get positive slope on the disease incidence versus BMI graph. Now it's true that BMI is somewhat crude and percent body fat is much better. It's also true that the guideline breaks down for some people with a lot of muscle mass. That's we call BMI a "guideline."

You can lose weight if you want to. Caloric restriction and exercise to increase muscle mass will work. The problem is people don't want to bad enough. But look at racing jockeys. The must conform to the weight limits or they can't enter the race. Thus they can't make a living without controlling their weight, and they do control their weight. So don't tell me it can't be done. As a start we could require school administrators to have a BMI < 25 to set an example. If they don't then we can decrease their salary according to some formula. Or fire them. If jockeys can do it, principals can do it. If you want to get the students to slim down then provide a suitable reward or punishment. How about free college tuition if your BMI drops below 22? I'll bet you would see a lot of slim students.
1.8.2007 1:43pm
Mark Field (mail):
whit and Zarkov, you seem not to have read the earlier post noting that the objections they raise to BMI (and I agree with them) mostly apply to adults and have little relevance to children.

MKDP:

I agree with you that the poor need food. I didn't intend to suggest otherwise. What I had in mind was changing the relative cost of food. For example, we might tax white flour so that it equals or exceeds the cost of whole grain flour. That would send the correct price signal. Other policies would then deal with the ability of the poor to afford food (e.g., a negative income tax).
1.8.2007 1:53pm
WHOI Jacket:
Basic physics people. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.

Other concerns notwithstanding (varying metabolism rates, genetic predispositions, etc) you reduce caloric intake and increas caloric output, you will lose "weight" (fatty tissue, muscle mass, whatever)

All "planed diets" in the world are superfulous to this principle. You eat well in moderation and eschew the sedientary lifestyle, you should be (95% of the time) be all right.

It is the failure of the education system and in society in general that we cannot seem to get this basic idea accross to people both young and old.
1.8.2007 1:56pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
It could be caused by all the growth hormones and genetic engineering in the food we are feeding our children.

That would certainly explain why my daughter and my neice have hit puberty at much younger ages than did my mother, my wife or my sister-in-law. (This is a well-known phenomenon.)

Riding horses is good, but it's a lot more expensive than most outdoor activities.

Houston Lawyer: I guess I grew up in a "master planned community" too, although we called it a "cooperative housing project". Back in those days before stranger danger was invented :-S the biggest danger to unattended children was getting hit by a car, and the lack of internal streets in the project made letting kids wander a lot more reasonable. But by the 4th grade that shouldn't make a difference.

An alternative to a BMI could be more health-related criteria -- one-mile run/walk, number of pull-ups, and so forth.
This article about the Hyannis school that sent home BMI letters says it is a federal requirement. Is there still a President's physical fitness test? (Not sure what that measures -- if I remember correctly it was 60% running, and with ridiculously short legs I never got any points on those parts, learning early that gym, and by extension most of school and most of the government, is very silly.)
1.8.2007 1:57pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"You can lose weight if you want to. Caloric restriction and exercise to increase muscle mass will work. The problem is people don't want to bad enough. But look at racing jockeys. The must conform to the weight limits or they can't enter the race. Thus they can't make a living without controlling their weight, and they do control their weight. So don't tell me it can't be done."

This in not true for people in an anti-psychotic drug-stupor. See above-Zyprexia comments. No amount of caloric restriction or exercise will reduce the BMI busting pharmaceutical-induced weight gain of unjustifiably given mental health drugs, and most people drugged like zombies sleep about 16 hrs per day and have no energy to follow your suggestions. In such circumstances it is not at all about "wanting it bad enough." This is a stereotypical misconception.

On the topic of jockeys, I am a perfect example of why your argument is flawed. I weighed 98 lbs. when I galloped Thoroughbreds at Belmont Park racetrack, and my weight never varied much above 105 lbs all my life -- until the California Bar and the State's psychiatrists evaluating my bar admission experimented with the concept that giving risperdal to an autistic to solve the functional language-limitations would "work" (instead of a non-pharmaceutical speech recognition assistive device). My weight sky- rocketed to 260 lbs in just four months while I ate virtually nothing and was lucky to afford 1 meal a day with no food for snacks. I was starving and quickly became at risk for diabetes.

My doctors had to rethik their approach, and it has been a difficult struggle ever since the Zyprexia-like risperdal permanently and irreparably changed my metabolism and blood sugar levels for the worse; takes me about 3 horse ride per day level now to keep the weight down to *normal* (appx. 110 lbs. range). I only have one equine disability service animal, so this fight to keep the weight off (even though I have a lot of muscle mass) is never ending and if I could weight less I would, but I would need more people to pay me to ride more horses to get boost my activity level higher. My husband is always, as he says "cutting my shavings back."

So, no -- even jockeys cannot 'always do it;' you really have to look at what individualized factors are involved rather than preaching blanket directives that do not work well with certain classes of people.

Of course, there is reward enough for a horse jumper -- the lower the weight, the higher the horse can jump. It is a matter of aerodynamics.
1.8.2007 2:12pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):

What's wrong with being uneducated? Isn't that also a personal choice? Should we therefore not give academic grades? Obese people are going to have a variety of difficulties in life just like an uneducated person would. If the child and parents don't care about these difficulties, or are unwilling to make the necessary life changes, then they are free to ignore this piece of information on the report card.


The traditional purpose of a report card is to tell parents how well their child is performing academically, which is something they cannot readily discern simply by looking at their child. Obseity, on the other hand, is readily observable. We don't need report cards to "report" obseity any more than we need them to "report" hair color.
1.8.2007 2:16pm
whit:
"It could be caused by all the growth hormones and genetic engineering in the food we are feeding our children. "

ridiculous, and unscientific.

GH is not orally bioavailable. that's why clinics prescribe it as an injectable. it survives neither the gut nor first pass liver metabolism

it's actualy a pretty fragile compound.

all this yapping about bovine growth hormone etc. is about as unscientific as the creationist who claims the earth was created a few thousand years ago.

it's utter rubbish.

please show me, with SCIENTIFIC evidence, how GH or "genetic engineering" could have these effects?

answer: they don't

if you want some actual possibilities, consider that there are far more environdmental estrogens present now than in our natural state of anture.


i am referring to solvents, lubricants, plastics, and pesticides (although the latter are present in such trace amounts as to be negligible, the others are influential)

but i repeat - growth hormone injected into animals CANNOT affect you whatsoever. you cannot eat growth hormone in the flesh of an animal (not to mention the whole cooking process, but i digress)

it's a ridiculous bit of anti-scientific luddite fervor from the PETA types
1.8.2007 2:17pm
cathyf:
This month's Discover has an interesting article on fat and how the body stores and uses different kinds of fat. The fat in the abdomen, which surrounds the abdominal organs inside the abdominal wall is what appears to be associated with the health risks of "obesity". While the subcutaneous fat appears to not be bad for you and to even have small beneficial effects. A sumo wrestler probably has a BMI way way above "obese" but those fat rolls are subcutaneous, and the wrestlers burn off all the bad visceral fat. On the other hand, someone who is stick thin everywhere except for a potbelly (a body type associated with Indians) has sky-high levels of visceral fat while their BMI is well below normal. (The rate of type 2 diabetes in India is twice as high as the US.)

The scientists quoted in the article agreed that exercise was all that was important, because exercise burns this visceral fat. They also agreed that how much subcutaneous fat a person stores is almost totally genetically determined, and no amount of diet/exercise short of starvation was going to have much of an effect on it, especially not a permanent effect. The social stigma of obesity is not particularly well-targetted in light of this -- the healthy big asses and thunder thighs are considered just as ugly as the pot belly, and even with a pot belly it takes an MRI to figure out if the fat is in front of (good) or behind (bad) the abdominal wall.

If you read about the science of obesity, it is quite fascinating, and pretty dismissive of the "common wisdom" that body shape is purely a function of moral virtue. One thing seems pretty clear, though, to anyone who has ever been in a school for any length of time: if you starve school kids at lunch, some children's bodies will burn off some of their fat stores in order feed calories into their brains; other children's bodies will conserve on their fat stores and starve their brains, making those children sleepy, stupid and cranky until dismissal. If you send home BMI report card to those kids in the latter group, the most natural common-sense "solution" will be to starve the kids at breakfast, so that then they can be sleepy, stupid and cranky all day. Given that children's primary task in school is to learn, sleepy, stupid and cranky doesn't seem like a very good strategy...

I'm also fairly suspicious of the "spend more money on phys ed" crowd. This bad fat is burned off by exercise, and at the same time stress (by putting certain hormones into the bloodstream) cause more of it to be formed from the same calories input. It's hard to see how the fat kids sitting on the bench being bullied by teachers and classmates because of their athletic incompetence is going to either provide exercise or reduce stress for them. If the fat kids need to play in order to lose weight, maybe, ya know, it might just be counterproductive to tell the other kids that it's ok to refuse to play with them because they're fat...
1.8.2007 2:22pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"It is the failure of the education system and in society in general that we cannot seem to get this basic idea accross to people both young and old."

The failure of the education system. LOL. I can remember my fight with my high school gym class all too well. I was riding about 8 horses a day, before and after school. I went to the barn every day and hung out in case I could pick up an extra horse to ride when someone else could not make it out to the barn that day. That was alot of horsr riding activity for even a teenager, and I was exhausted by the time gym class came around with its quite sedentary "sports" activities.

My mother and I tried our best to convince the school that my horse riding exceeded the gym activity levels and therefore I should get a gym class waiver! But not to be; no one at my school understood a thing about horses, except when students skipped school and rode their horses on the wet soccer fields leaving *gasp* hoofprints. And then the Vice-Principal would try to outrun the horses with the truancy officers. What a sight!

I hear some schools in Southern California now do recognize horse riding justifies a gym class waiver, but alas, too late for me. I rode 8 horses a day and then had to earn a Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Physical fitness award in gym class.
1.8.2007 2:24pm
whit:
look, i am aware that MOST children are not muscular enough to make BMI as bad a proxy for overfat, as it is for adults. however... my point stands. the problem is not OVERWEIGHT. it is overfat, and they are not the same. the AMA etc. needs to stop playing politically correct nonscientific pattycake and call a spade a spade.

second of all, there are a proportionally very small %age of people who are obese basically because of no fault of their own. VERY small. the VAST majority simply eat too much. after years working part time as a personal trainer, and as a competitive strength athlete for over a decade, i have seen literally hundreds of examples of people who "could not" lose fat, lose it when they STOP STUFFING THEIR FACE.

part of being a libertarian is believing people are responsible for their behavior. assuming they don't WANT to be fat, the vast majority of fat adults have nobody but themselves to blame

as for kids, i agree that the schools, acting "in loco parentis" have a duty not to provide complete garbage food to kids.
1.8.2007 2:24pm
Visitor Again:
Haven't we all seen how the jockeys keep weight off? They have a special toilet stall with special equipment designed for vomiting--a vomitorium, if you will. And some of them have rebelled against weight restrictions that exact a cruel toll on their health. I think I saw this on Sixty Minutes or a similar show and I know I've read several stories on it in newspapers and/or magazines. So I hardly think it's useful to say that because jockeys can keep their weight off, anyone can. The jockeys go through torture to keep it off.
1.8.2007 2:26pm
whit:
cathy,that sounds like a good article, but it is stuff that has been known in the bbing and strength training fields for over two decades. visceral fat vs. subcutaneous fat (also, brown fat, etc. and other stuff like that). just as how atkins becaome popular as a technique with the general public about 1/2 a century after strength athletes were doing it (ketogenic dieting), so this discover article is way old news.

for example...

alcohol tends to promote the storage of visceral fat. some women alcoholics will get a relatively male bodyfat deposit pattern (fat gut skinny legs) for this reason among many (alcohol also lowers testosterone in men, but i digress)

this has nothing to do with "moral virtue",. it has to do with science, and behavior. people who eat too much - get fat. period

i realize there is somehwat of a disconnecy between a calorie (measured in a bomb calorimeter) and a energy unit in the body (see for example how fibrous calories are not the same as non-fibrous etc.) but IN GENERAL - eating too much makes you fat

it really IS that simple. i can prattle for hours about leptin, brown fat, metabolism, exercise, etc. but it really is that simple. eat less and/or raise your metabolism, so your caloric INTAKE is less than the body requires for homeostasis, and the body WILL slough off fat.

but that would take personal responsibility, and lord forbid some discomfort. can';t have that :l
1.8.2007 2:30pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):

This is actually contrary to new scientific studies that show poor people are fatter than those with more economic means due to the quality and qualtity of food they can buy and what's in it. It is also known that long periods of hunger can cause schizophrenia.


Give me a break. The poor are generally fat because they over-indulge on fast food and low-quality pre-pared foods that are, on average, more expensive than perfectly wholesome meats and vegetables. Stroll through a produce isle and actually look at the prices -- many fresh veggies and fruits are incredibly cheap. Many people don't eat them because food loaded with salt and fat tastes better (to them at least). Ask yourself, does it really cost more to broil a chicken than to fry it?
1.8.2007 2:30pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):
I hear some schools in Southern California now do recognize horse riding justifies a gym class waiver, but alas, too late for me. I rode 8 horses a day and then had to earn a Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Physical fitness award in gym class.
1.8.2007 2:34pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"'It could be caused by all the growth hormones and genetic engineering in the food we are feeding our children.'

ridiculous, and unscientific."


Oh, whit, and how do you know it is "unscientific?" Do you have some controverting scientific studies to support your objections? Link some Citations, please.

I see this GBH debate as, well, sort of a bit like global warming. The jury is still out on the future effects.

"all this yapping about bovine growth hormone etc. is about as unscientific as the creationist who claims the earth was created a few thousand years ago."

But, good thing for me, I have allergies to eating too much meat, and get an extremely upset stomach when I do. Autism-food allergies wouldn't you know. I also don't believe in killing animals. So making myself a human experiment in the *future hindsight* effects of bovine growth hormone is not a big concern for me.

My husband is another story -- every time he goes on a meat-eating binge, this seems to trigger spileptic seizure activity for 6-7 days after. Why? I'm sure it will take a scientist to tell me. In the meantime, I duck.

"(not to mention the whole cooking process, but i digress)"

Ahh, I don't cook either, I write legal pleadings. anotehr functional limitation of my autism. But I do try to stay away from overcooked McDonalds burgers.

"i am referring to solvents, lubricants, plastics, and pesticides (although the latter are present in such trace amounts as to be negligible, the others are influential)"

You got my agreement there. My husband once raised a successful diminished capacity defense on behalf of a fellow who inhaled such solvents all his life and was consequently wacked.

And, lets not forget 1950s mercury based vaccines being a likely concurrent cause of autism.

FYI -- I am also not a PETA type. They tried to ruin barrel racing at the old Sonoma rodeo.
1.8.2007 2:39pm
whit:
"Give me a break. The poor are generally fat because they over-indulge on fast food and low-quality pre-pared foods that are, on average, more expensive than perfectly wholesome meats and vegetables"

bingo. i also notice the poster you responded to had the classic "blame society" attitude. nothing that people do is their fault. stuff HAPPEN to the poor. it's all society.

blah
blah

i've spent most of my career working in the hood, iow around poor people. and i see almsot every day the foods they CHOOSE to buy at the grocery store, as i shop there. whole grain rice (cheap), legumes (cheap), tuna fish in water (cheap), in season vegetable (cheap), etc. etc ???

nope.

wonder bread, soda, lots of fried foods, lots of processed (and expensive foods, ) etc.

this is the first time in recorded history that the #1 nutrition/health problem among the poor is obesity, and the diseases associated with it. CDC estimates over 60% of all chronic disease is lifestyle choice related, specifcally in most cases- DIET.

iow, like SO many things that people do to hurt themselves (including continuing the cycle of poverty) it comes down to personal choice

making bad personal food choices makes one tired, less able to think quickly and effectively, more likely to get injured, take sick leave, etc. etc.

and then there are the medical bills
1.8.2007 2:44pm
whit:
"Oh, whit, and how do you know it is "unscientific?" Do you have some controverting scientific studies to support your objections? Link some Citations, please"

i don't need CONTROVERTING studies when you have provided no SUPPORTING studies. again, i will repeat.

GH is NOT orally bioavailable. i know a LOT about growth hormone, and drugs in general, since it has been my specialty for about 15 years in law enforcement. growth hormone is completely unable to be processed by the digestive system, and that's taken DIRECTLY from a vial. you most definitely cannot get effects of it from the flesh (especially cooked flesh) of an animal

it IS absurdly unscientific, and the claim (about GH) wasn't made by me

the burden is on them to support this absurd statement with facts, not PETA rhetoric about the evils of "corporate farming" with GH!!!

the horror...
1.8.2007 2:47pm
Houston Lawyer:
I believe that they've dumbed down the presidential fitness standards as well. My kids were told that it counted as a chin-up for that program if you dipped your chin 3 inches below the bar and pulled yourself back up. I hurt for a week after showing them what proper chin-ups look like.
1.8.2007 2:48pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"If you read about the science of obesity, it is quite fascinating, and pretty dismissive of the 'common wisdom' that body shape is purely a function of moral virtue."

Oh, Geez. Don't tell that to the California Bar ... It could cause the unanticipated reversal of certain moral character determinations ... "It has been an age old tension in the quasi-criminal law between moral virtue and disability."
1.8.2007 2:48pm
cathyf:
but that would take personal responsibility, and lord forbid some discomfort. can';t have that
Sure, we should all be like Terri Schiavo -- now there was a fat teenager who took responsibility and made herself into a thin adult.

(All you people complaining that somehow Terri with a dead mind in a live body was worse than when she had a live mind in a fat body are just making excuses to avoid a little discomfort.)
1.8.2007 2:49pm
whit:
"But, good thing for me, I have allergies to eating too much meat, and get an extremely upset stomach when I do. Autism-food allergies wouldn't you know. I also don't believe in killing animals. So making myself a human experiment in the *future hindsight* effects of bovine growth hormone is not a big concern for me."

ok, look. i am going to repeat this . growth hormone is a peptide hormone. it is not bioavailable, and certainly cannot be ingested from the flesh of an animal

there is a reason why people pay BIG money for injectable growth hormone. because it is the ONLY way to get growth hormone into your body.

furthermore, growth hormone is ALREADY NATURALLY present in cows. injecting them merely increases the amount of GH. this is not (contrast with trenbolone for instance) an unnatural substance to be in the cow's system

i don't think that being allergic to meat makes you lucky. meat is incredibly nutritious and a wonderful pleasure. however, from a moral standpoint i respect the choice not to eat meat.

it comes down to this. PETA, their medical shill-branch PCRM etc. don't like that people eat meat. so, they spread false information (which is easily refutable by actual science) that GH in cows is harmful to humans, etc.

it's rubbish and i challenge ANYBODY to provide scientific evidence that it IS harmful. it cannot be harmful because it is not GOING TO GET INTO YOUR SYSTEM. GH is part of the hormonal feedback loop. it is not like there is 6 iu's of growth hormone just sitting in a steak, and that this GH can be ingested. it is not scientific
1.8.2007 2:54pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"however... my point stands. the problem is not OVERWEIGHT. it is overfat, and they are not the same."

I agree. But after I jump several courses of 3'6" jumps with different people's horses, I still get told I am "overweight." *Sigh*

"assuming they don't WANT to be fat, the vast majority of fat adults have nobody but themselves to blame"

And there is nothing more delightful than being a fit 50-something horse rider who sees 20- and 30-somethings whine about not being able to ride anymore because they are in pain and their ass grew too wide to fit in the saddle.
1.8.2007 2:58pm
whit:
cathy, get real. what the hell does terry schiavo have to do with this? should we all get grossly obese because if we take responsibility for our fat, we will be the next karen carpenter?

talk about EXCLUDING THE MIDDLE.

i guess we all should not take baths either, because after all - hundreds of people drown in bathtubs every year.

get real

what a stupid argument, and completely dismissive of human dignity and choice. the vast majority of fat adults are thus because of what they CHOOSE to eat. otoh, i think it is incredibly abusive the way that some parents feed their kids complete garbage, but tha's another story.



i said: but that would take personal responsibility, and lord forbid some discomfort. can';t have that


cathy said: Sure, we should all be like Terri Schiavo -- now there was a fat teenager who took responsibility and made herself into a thin adult.

All you people complaining that somehow Terri with a dead mind in a live body was worse than when she had a live mind in a fat body are just making excuses to avoid a little discomfort.)
1.8.2007 2:59pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mark Field:

Read me carefully and you find I only suggested BMI measurements for school administrators and college students. I think both these groups consist of adults.

Mary Katherine Day-Petrano:

Yours is a very special case that doesn't apply to the population at large. I don't see why your personal and unusual experience has any relevance to the average overweight person who does not take these kinds of medicines.

Visitor Again:

The television show "60 minutes" is a notoriously poor source of reliable information. Stories about specific individuals prove little or nothing about the group they are members of. Is there any evidence that jockeys on the whole are unhealthy? Here is a quote from Weight Management and Weight Loss Strategies of Professional Jockeys.


"These rapid weight loss methods did not differ between the 51% of jockeys who followed a weight management plan compared to those who did not. The impact of these extreme weight loss practices on riding performance and health remains unknown."



This certainty casts doubt on the notion that racing jockeys maintain their weight by unhealthy extreme measures. I'm not suggesting that people should use the same methods that jockeys use. I only bring it up to show given enough incentive it is possible to control your weight. Besides jockeys have to be really thin. You don't need to get that extreme to get to a healthy weight.
1.8.2007 3:10pm
K Parker (mail):
David Chesler,
and if we let our kids wander in suburbia as much as I got to wander in (a very nice section of) the Bronx we'd be negligent.
No you wouldn't. The fact tht some thoughtless, knee-jerk types might think of you as negligent wouldn't actually make you so.
1.8.2007 3:15pm
whit:
also note that jockeys are competitive athletes, and gettign the extremes of performance/body composition required for elite athletes is NOT the same as getting a HEALTHY level fo fat and fitness

in almost any sport where elite performance is being sought, SOME safety/health is being sacrificed for elite performance. it is not healthy for a person to get down to 6% bodyfat. bodybuilders do this for contests. but it's part of competition

it does not therefore follow that the same general methods they use, taken to a lesser extent, are not quite healthy and beneficial

similarly, slogging dozens of miles a week in training for a marathon is definitely not as healthy (joint health wise) as a more varied program of exercise that places less joint stress, greater range of movement, etc. but the former is necessary for elite performance

think of almost any sport, and you can think of how elite performance objectives (see: jockey above, where minimal weight is a big part) are not done for health.

but that lesser extremes of the same general things (faster, stronger, less fat, more muscular) are quite healthy, as are the methods. used more moderately
1.8.2007 3:19pm
Mark Field (mail):

Read me carefully and you find I only suggested BMI measurements for school administrators and college students. I think both these groups consist of adults.


If you were suggesting that we treat school administrators as role models for the children, I now understand your point.
1.8.2007 3:21pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"i don't need CONTROVERTING studies when you have provided no SUPPORTING studies. again, i will repeat."

I'm pissing my pants! But, first, I notice pled. I am entitled to an evidentiary hearing ... with BGH experts. I might add I think I might potentially count as genetic engineering expert since I did a directed study on animal patents with J. Thomas McCarthy, and read the Harvard mouse patent firsthand as well as for all those oil-eating bacteria.

Moreover, I do recall in California there was a big to-do about genetically engineered strawberries escaping and hybridizing the wild and domestic strawberries. Now scientists are trying to put lightening bug genes in grasshoppers.

The procedural posture is not yet ripe for a conclusion.

"there is a reason why people pay BIG money for injectable growth hormone. because it is the ONLY way to get growth hormone into your body."

I would not inject GH or steroids or any such shortcuts into my body -- anyone who has seen what that does to performance jumping horses would shudder at the long-term consequences. People pay a BIG money for a lot of bad things. It is better just to workout. Talent rises to the top.

"i don't think that being allergic to meat makes you lucky. meat is incredibly nutritious and a wonderful pleasure. however, from a moral standpoint i respect the choice not to eat meat."

Well, maybe so, and if the truth beknown I do eat Surf and Turf (Lobster &Filet Minon) anytime I get the chance, the last time being before I left California. But I definitely don't do McDonald burgers or Wal-Mart sandwiches. Enough stomach torture is enough, kind of like trying to outdrink a drinker and finding out the next morning you can't.

"'Give me a break. The poor are generally fat because they over-indulge on fast food and low-quality pre-pared foods that are, on average, more expensive than perfectly wholesome meats and vegetables'"

I dunno, I gave a couple homeless guys sleeping outside the California Bar headquarters and the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco a couple dollars because they had not eaten for days, and they showed up scarfing down a Double-Mac special -- 69 cents.

Most homeless poor do not have kitchens. e.g., Nidia v. Guiliani. If they bought rice or lettuce, where would they store it? Such staples -- good or bad -- become an economic waste of the few dollars the extremely poor have to spend on food. It is actually more economical to buy McDonalds burgers and fries and eat every three days ... but at what the price? FAT malnurished starving poor people.

"Terri Schiavo"?

The whit paradox.
1.8.2007 3:37pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Mary Katherine Day-Petrano:

Yours is a very special case that doesn't apply to the population at large. I don't see why your personal and unusual experience has any relevance to the average overweight person who does not take these kinds of medicines."


And a Disclaimer!
1.8.2007 3:42pm
whit:
again, nice post - but NO evidence

why am i not surprised,

i am still waiting for somebody to explain how GH injected into an animal could somehow be bioavailable upon eating that animals meat (however many days later)

again, this is one of the most fragile compounds around.

it's a PEPTIDE HORMONE

most hormones are not bioavailable, with one major exception - estrogen.

also, injecting GH is not a "shortcut". it is a perfectly legal way, with a script of course, to improve all sorts of aspects of health. and again, it's a question of MODERATION. i am not talking 10 iu's a day like a soviet wrestler.

this is kind of tangential to the issue, which is that GH is not orally bioavailable and no evidence has been presented for the absurd nonscientific prattle about how eating GH injected cows could have any effect on estrogen levels
1.8.2007 3:43pm
Visitor Again:
The television show "60 minutes" is a notoriously poor source of reliable information. Stories about specific individuals prove little or nothing about the group they are members of. Is there any evidence that jockeys on the whole are unhealthy?

Not 60 Minutes! Dear me. I shouldn't have generalized about all jockeys, but the stories I saw--in the printed media as well as on TV--said that there was a special vomit stall with special vomiting equipment--they showed it on TV--in the jockeys' room, and there were several jockeys speaking out about what apparently had previously been a subject no one was willing to talk about. I've read of some jockeys getting permission recently to ride at a slightly higher weight.

I know it's possible to lose and control weight because I've done it. I'm 5 feet 9 inches, weigh 135 to 140 lbs., and am at 21 on The Death Clock's body mass index scale. Don't tell me The Death Clock is unreliable, too. I want that little time it's given me!
1.8.2007 3:48pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"in almost any sport where elite performance is being sought, SOME safety/health is being sacrificed for elite performance. it is not healthy for a person to get down to 6% bodyfat. bodybuilders do this for contests. but it's part of competition"

Therein lies the difficulty of making it to the elite top levels -- e.g., "Piece O' Cake, US National A/O Hunter Champion Title. There are lots of wanna-bes, but only a few with the Title.

On the journey, it is quite rememberable to wipe out on a racing horse at high speed (horse, dirt flying everywhere), or fall from the sky over a horse jump nose first into the ground (breaking two ribs), or have your front tooth knocked out because you had not yet perfected how to keep your face out of the zone of a horse's head when things go wrong by age 20.

I still recall being run under the deck of our house in New York by my stinker pony when I was 13, ducking not quite far enough, being hit in the head by a porch cross-beam as my pony race through, being pulled off by the beam backwards over her hindquarters, and my father running outside because he thought it was a sonic boom.

Riding jockey length stirrups on a racing horse requires the muscles to waterskiing all day. I can still remember breezing a horse with Angel Cordero at Belmont Park, when another horse raced by mine too close off the turn, and took me at lightening speed down to the wire -- muscles get trembles when they are overexerted.

And, jumping grand prix size jumps (6'3" x 6'6") so big as you approach at a gallop you start thinking how any horse alive can jumping a looming mountain and in the next split second wonder if you surely will die, takes a lot of mental control, balance, and technique and *like magic* your horse flies over it with a foot to spare.

However, the risks cannot be understated. When I sold life and health insurance in KY, I recall horse riders being uninsurable risks in the same category as airplane test pilots. As I said, talent rises to the top -- for those who want it enough.

"similarly, slogging dozens of miles a week in training for a marathon is definitely not as healthy (joint health wise) as a more varied program of exercise that places less joint stress, greater range of movement, etc. but the former is necessary for elite performance"

This, too is a problem of horse riders, mostly from the joint-shock from jump landings and dismounting tall horses over a lifetime. Fortunately, they make these Herm sprenger (4-way jointed) stirrups, the bend and flex, taking away most of the joint-shock.

"think of almost any sport, and you can think of how elite performance objectives (see: jockey above, where minimal weight is a big part) are not done for health."

In my case, there really isn't any other exercise I can do, and I have always used therapuetic horseback riding for my autism limitations/health since age 10. And, now that my vision is deteriorating, I am finding my jump take-off spots are improving because I have to depend more on the horse being my eyes and that requires me to feel the rate of speed by the motion. Without this therapy, I would not be able to earn what little I can from training other people's horses. And I certainly would not discourage anyone from exercising at any level.
1.8.2007 4:05pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P,

I dunno, I gave a couple homeless guys sleeping outside the California Bar headquarters and the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco a couple dollars because they had not eaten for days, and they showed up scarfing down a Double-Mac special -- 69 cents.

Hmmm. There's a fellow who hangs out in that neighborhood who has told me every time I've seen him that he hasn't eaten for two days. The last time he said this, I offered him the bagged dinner I was about to eat myself — homemade pizza — and he said he couldn't eat solid food because of his bad teeth. I said, OK, let's go have some soup together, and he said that the soup place he went to was in Chinatown, and he'd have to take a bus. At this point, you understand, my BS detector was going nuts.

The thing is, the man really is obviously-to-the-naked-eye malnourished. But he would do almost anything to get cash from me rather than food.
1.8.2007 4:24pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):

Most homeless poor do not have kitchens. e.g., Nidia v. Guiliani. If they bought rice or lettuce, where would they store it? Such staples -- good or bad -- become an economic waste of the few dollars the extremely poor have to spend on food. It is actually more economical to buy McDonalds burgers and fries and eat every three days ... but at what the price? FAT malnurished starving poor people.


Well, you went from poor to homeless pretty quickly there. I assumed we were talking about the "working poor" -- i.e, those with jobs and homes, but who have very little disposable income. Those who have no access to shelter and a means of food storage comprise a tiny percentage of the population. Really tiny.

Moreover, even in your example, one can find relatively healthy meals at McDonalds. People eschew grilled chicken for big macs because the big macs taste better, pure and simple.
1.8.2007 4:53pm
whit:
bingo, atlanta. i was referring to the "homed" poor, and the vast majority of poor (lowest income quintile) do not live on the street.
1.8.2007 4:56pm
WHOI Jacket:
Michelle,

No teeth, refusing offered food, only wants cash?

If he had the shakes and slurred speech, I'd say he was probably on or off of crack. I saw a lot of those types around the North Avenue MARTA station before the city of Atlanta passed the anti-panhandling ordinances.
1.8.2007 5:02pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"again, nice post - but NO evidence

why am i not surprised,"

Because you too quickly jump to a judgment? Whereas in juxtaposition autistic thought is a bit slow? Just a suggestion ...

Your conclusion that there would be no possible effect on a human consuming a cow that has been given BGH assumes proper use of hormones in a *normal* sample population.

The Evidence:

What happens if safe levels of GBH or other hormones are exceeded? —

"[I]llegal injection of oestradiol preparation could produce injection site residues which largely exceeded tolerances. In the case of feed additives, improper use might imply use of approved drugs in non-approved species, improper dose, improper combinations, improper duration of use and improper withdrawal periods. However, the provision of human safety was assured through the establishment of maximum residue levels, levels considered to be safe if consumed by humans in the diet for an entire lifespan. EC Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones): Complaint By Canada, Report of the Panel

You don't say ... What happens with misuse —

"[T]he consumption of meat (or of any meat-containing food preparation) containing a misplaced implant could be a hazard for human health, in particular for children, fetuses, pregnant women or immunodeficient people. Misadministration of any of the six hormones in dispute could change the kinetics of elimination of these hormones and induce a subsequent higher level of residues. This could become a real health hazard if there was systematical misuse." EC Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones): Complaint By Canada, Report of the Panel

Autistics have immune system deficiencies —

"If swallowed, they would not be digested but would pass through the — human gastrointestinal tract largely unchanged." EC Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones): Complaint By Canada, Report of the Panel

Considering the fact I am autistic and this means leaky gut syndrome, I wonder what happens in this instance? A factual distinction.

"In 1993, when BGH was approved in the U.S. it was approved on the basis of the same limited information in this journal abstract. Upper management level scientists at Monsanto claim that since BGH is a protein, it gets digested and broken down so there won't be any physiological problems. However, within the last year, the scientists at Health Canada were able to obtain the whole study. Research on the animals showed that BGH does pass through the gut, the animals had increased antibody levels, and at the same time there was damage to various organs such as cysts in the thyroid and inflammation of the prostate and other glands." Wolfson, How Bovine Growth Hormone Was Rejected In Canada

Autism is an inflammation disorder —

"Prior to 1980, Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) could only be obtained from cows, but with the development of genetic engineering, scientists were able to genetically engineer bacteria that were able to produce BGH in the laboratory. Even in the mid-eighties, scientists who were developing BGH were very concerned and said we should have long-term testing before we start using this in cows. When we inject a hormone into an animal or a human, it affects other hormones and it can have a whole cascade of effects which no one really knows. In Europe, hormones are not permitted to be used in cows ..." Wolfson, How Bovine Growth Hormone Was Rejected In Canada. See, also BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE: "CRACK FOR COWS," by investigative reporters: Steve Wilson and Jane Akery for Fox TV, Tampa Florida.

Autistics are adversely affected, See the autism Milk casein controversy —

Frankenstein!

But I would still devour one of those rare meals of Surf &Turf, if one presented itself.
1.8.2007 5:04pm
markm (mail):

i've spent most of my career working in the hood, iow around poor people. and i see almsot every day the foods they CHOOSE to buy at the grocery store, as i shop there. whole grain rice (cheap), legumes (cheap), tuna fish in water (cheap), in season vegetable (cheap), etc. etc ???

nope.

wonder bread, soda, lots of fried foods, lots of processed (and expensive foods, ) etc.

Remembering the neighborhoods I grew up in 50 years ago, there were poor as well as middle-class families, but there were very few fat kids - and the mothers all cooked. They all used a lot of lard, but they started with the basic, cheap staples. The difference between rich and poor was in the amount and quality of meat that went with those mashed potatos, macaroni, rice, etc. It's just mind-blowing that the "poor" can now pig out on things that are several times as expensive per calorie as my mother's meals, and get enough calories to get fat.
1.8.2007 5:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT -- 'Hmmm. There's a fellow who hangs out in that neighborhood who has told me every time I've seen him that he hasn't eaten for two days. The last time he said this, I offered him the bagged dinner I was about to eat myself — homemade pizza — and he said he couldn't eat solid food because of his bad teeth. I said, OK, let's go have some soup together, and he said that the soup place he went to was in Chinatown, and he'd have to take a bus. At this point, you understand, my BS detector was going nuts.

The thing is, the man really is obviously-to-the-naked-eye malnourished. But he would do almost anything to get cash from me rather than food."

It is a problem, for sure. Many (but not all) homeless are substance abusers. Substance abuse, unfortunately, is not limited to the homeless. (both pages).

Some are so addicted they will even spend their food money on drugs. But don't confuse this problem with the transportation barriers many disabled people experience -- Chinatown is a hike from the SF Federal Courthouse and California Bar headquarters.

It isn't BS that the disabled have way too many problems; they just do have a lot, but by helping to solve some of their problems you can help them to solve all the others by themselves. It is all about reasonable accommodations.

And, yes, that goes for an autistic with functional language-limitations who can ride horses like the wind.
1.8.2007 5:13pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Yikes, the link aparatus went wild.
1.8.2007 5:15pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Well, you went from poor to homeless pretty quickly there. I assumed we were talking about the "working poor" -- i.e, those with jobs and homes, but who have very little disposable income."

Another one of my autistic-errors, like pronouns, forgetting to define the class.
1.8.2007 5:18pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, I will research the effect of this specifically on autism -- "it's a PEPTIDE HORMONE" -- and get back with you on what I find.
1.8.2007 5:21pm
whit:
another thing is that when i work shifts in the "hood", the percentage of people i see who are obese is just obviously FAR higher than the percentage of people when i work upper middle class or wealthy neighborhoods. again, this is the first time in history this has occurred. it used to be that obesity was a sign of power - "man with a belly" (the godfather) and of course kings were also supposed to be fat. then, we morphed to the "you can't be too rich or too thin" thang

regardless, it is GREAT that (in the US) not getting enough food is not a problem for the vast majority of the poor. like i said, i work among the poor everyday. obesity is a far far far more serious [problem than lack of food.
1.8.2007 5:21pm
A.C.:
We've drifted away from the "report card" theme. can we go back?

I'm still wondering what is gained by sending home reports on a phenomenon that is so easy to observe in daily life. Vision and hearing tests are important because mild-to-moderate problems might be missed otherwise. (I assume that most children with very severe problems are identified before school age.) Is there any reason to think there are large groups of parents (as opposed to individual eccentrics like the Durselys in Harry Potter) who don't perceive fat children as fat? Who may even, in the extreme, be trying to fatten them up because they think it's a good thing?

And in such cases, is an individual report the best way to call attention to the problem or would general health/nutrition information be better? Is the school the right place to intervene? My problem is with the individual reports, and I wouldn't mind using the schools to distribute general health information. But given the difficulty of weight loss (it's a lot more complicated than getting glasses), I'm not sure that calling attention to individuals without providing follow-up can do much good. And the idea of follow-up in the context of public school scares me. Will children be punished academically if they sneak in snacks?
1.8.2007 5:22pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):
Undoubtedly some parents whose kids are fat do not perceive them as such because of the inherent difficulty in finding fault with one's own children, especially when the problem is something that may be (at least in part) the parent's fault. If parents can overlook the obvious signs of obseity staring them in the face every day, simply noting a BMI index on a report card is not going to accomplish anything.

Using the schools to distribute "general health information" is likely a waste of time. Almost everyone understands that some foods are bad and should be eaten in moderation. More information won't solve a problem that is, at bottom, caused by a lack of self-control Oor appropriate parental control) and lack of exercise.
1.8.2007 5:36pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
AC, there is far too much standardization and regulation of every little detail of school life these days. It leaves all the winners out, and dumbs down the rest. Imagine if, instead of chasing my mounted friends off the soccer field with the truancy police, the VP had arranged with the hunter-jumper barn Paul Newman owned 5 minutes down the cross-country track to give the school a deal on horseback riding for gym class. That would truly have been an incentive to achieve a great report card.
1.8.2007 5:40pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Undoubtedly some parents whose kids are fat do not perceive them as such because of the inherent difficulty in finding fault with one's own children"

My mother told me I was too fat all the time, and that was when I weighed 98-105 lbs. She also didn't like my horse, Misty, who stepped on and broke four of her toes.

"simply noting a BMI index on a report card is not going to accomplish anything"

Agreed, especially when students hide their bad report cards from their parents.

"Almost everyone understands that some foods are bad and should be eaten in moderation. More information won't solve a problem that is, at bottom, caused by a lack of self-control"

Mine is chocolate!
1.8.2007 5:45pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P,

Actually, the place I run into this guy is round SF Civic Center, which is even further from Chinatown than the Bar headquarters is. I am not going to get into how he gets into downtown SF from Chinatown repeatedly when he purportedly has no money for food, nor why he has always had no food for two days every time I've encountered him (which is eight or nine times now). The man is obviously desperately unhappy and ill, and also lying through his teeth — what remain of them. (WHOI Jacket: Yes, almost certainly a crackhead.) I don't think giving him money is a good idea. If I didn't have to review a concert that evening, I would have insisted on taking a bus with him to Chinatown and having dinner with him.
1.8.2007 5:46pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"it used to be that obesity was a sign of power - "man with a belly" (the godfather) and of course kings were also supposed to be fat. then, we morphed to the "you can't be too rich or too thin thang"

It think this is my husband, Mr. Mt. Petrano (the godfather)'s problem. I am still trying to morph him down to size, but it is tough --

First course: garlic and some pasto and basil
Second course" garlic, pesto, and bread dipped in olive oil
Third course: garlic, hot peppers, and Italian pizza
Fourth course: Sleep in front of the TV
Fifth course: garlic sprinkled Italian cookies

I am probably going to be in a lot of trouble now .... there's a danger of being dragged into a garlic patch. I don't know if obesity is a sign of power, but garlic is another story!

EV told me garlic repels both autistic and vampires ...
1.8.2007 5:54pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT -- he probably hops a MUNI bus. It was always a scary ride from Market St. downtown SF past Hastings Law School thru the Housing Projects are I used to have to travel on my way to Kendick Hall (up on Fulton St. x Stanyon). Lots of really crazy-dangerous people. People got knifed right in front of my law school on the bus, just not when I was on it. There was also a robbery in the law school parking lot, two criminal law profs and a nite student got held up. All the area law students used to get agressively panhandled at Law Distributors when they went to the block behind Hastings to get their law books. The panhandlers thought law students had $$. You have to watch yourself downtown SF, especially when the sun sets.
1.8.2007 6:02pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Does anyone think the poor are too stupid to know a three pound bag of sweet potatos is healthier than a 12 ounce bag of potato chips? They buy the chips because they like the taste. Low expectations?
1.8.2007 6:09pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P, the four food groups are coffee, chocolate, garlic, and wine.

Downtown SF is indeed scary, esp. if you don't know what to avoid. I once walked up to Civic Center along Turk from Market, after dark. I don't recommend this.
1.8.2007 6:14pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT, have you seen how they lock down Hastings at night? They have a better lock down to keep the law students and law library users inside safe than a federal prison.
1.8.2007 6:16pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Elliot123,

Does anyone think the poor are too stupid to know a three pound bag of sweet potatos is healthier than a 12 ounce bag of potato chips? They buy the chips because they like the taste. Low expectations?

Well, that isn't entirely fair, is it? The obvious difference between the two things is that one requires preparation to be edible and one doesn't.

That said, I have seen lots of overweight minority youth walk right past the cheap pho place and the cheap Indian place and the couple cheap taquerias, not to mention the Safeway and the amazingly-cheap Asian grocer, all on 16th St. in SF, in their rush to get to BK or McD.
1.8.2007 6:22pm
AtlantaLyr (mail):

Well, that isn't entirely fair, is it? The obvious difference between the two things is that one requires preparation to be edible and one doesn't.


One's health is paramount, unless it means waiting 45 minutes for one's sweet potato to finish roasting.
1.8.2007 6:49pm
Guest12345:
Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Dick Cheney, Dennis Hastert, Larry Summers, Karl Rove, Michael Hayden, John McCain, numerous law enforcement officers, civil servants, etc. Lead from the top, eh?
1.8.2007 9:00pm
Lev:
The BMI is fine as an indicator.

And if some individual believes he is in such hot s*** physical condition that his obesity indicating BMI is incorrect, I am sure there are a few tests that can be arranged, such as: 100 situps, 25 pushups, 10 pullups, run a mile and a half in 12 minutes, bench press 75% of his body weight, and similar.

Otherwise, El Puerco!
1.9.2007 12:09am
therut:
I think tight jeans need to come back into style for guys. These kids in the long big shirts and large pants are just adjusting to fat clothes. But then again fat girls have no problem showing their rolls of fat with their short shirts and their big bottoms with their thongs showing seem to not bother them at all. I think the kids are used to fat as the norm and really do not care. I know their parents do not. I am the recipitent of the hostile parents when they bring in their large children cause the school had the nerve to call them fat. All one has to do is look at momma and daddy and their kids looks just like them. They do not consider themselves fat and the dang sure do not consider their overweight children fat. This is a useless waste of time for the school and for me as a physician. These parents are not going to change anything. Even if they wanted to they tell me they have almost no control over their children. Meaning the first time tubby whines the parents let them eat. Children of today must not be denied!!
1.9.2007 12:42am
jallgor (mail):
Lev,
BMI is a terrible indicator for adults, it really is. Although, I think the poster above made valid points for the fact that BMI might be a decent indactor for prepubescent kids.

Your fitness criteria are laughable. Is that really what you would call being fit? Except for the 10 pullups (which is actually quite difficult for even a very fit average-sized male and even harder for most women) your fitness criteria are pretty easy. I am in the worst shape of my life. I am ashamed to say that I sit in an office all day and get no regular exercise whatsoever. That being said, I can easily knock out 25 pushups, run 1 and 1/2 miles in 12 minutes (8 minute miles!!?) and bench press 75% of my body weight. My BMI is 28.
1.9.2007 9:03am
whit:
"And if some individual believes he is in such hot s*** physical condition that his obesity indicating BMI is incorrect, I am sure there are a few tests that can be arranged, such as: 100 situps, 25 pushups, 10 pullups, run a mile and a half in 12 minutes, bench press 75% of his body weight, and similar. "

the BMI is not a good indicator because it uses excess mass (beyond the mean) as an indicator of excess fat

in a sedentary population, BMI and Fat levels are correlated (and of course BMI and LBM (lean body mass levels) are inversely correlated)

however...

athletes (and some body types that are not necessarily even athletes ) ARE DIFFERENT

i have spent many many years as a conmpetitive strength athlete, and i see this ALL THE TIME.

the issue is not OVERWEIGHT

the issue is OVERFAT

but the problem is both PC and bad science, in that people want to talk about BMI because it's "nicer". it's also NOT accurate

the most accurate method for measuring bodyfat is autopsy. that is pretty inconvenient :l

however, there are numerous ways to measure it that are MUCH MUCH more accurate than BMI, that do not create a false connection between WEIGHT and FAT etc.

fwiw, i USED to be a competitive runner/swimmer/surfer type.

i had a very low BMI. when i started training to be a weightlifter (mostly olympic style lifting, with some powerlifting as well), i gained WEIGHT

weight =/= fat

it's that simple.

again, the RDA is bogus. the food pyramid is bogus. and the BMI is bogus. nice going AMA!!! NIH too

my BMI is 32.3

that makes me obese

yet my bodyfat ranges from 10% to 15% depending on what cycle of my training i am in.

this is an example of why BMI is so ridiculous.
1.9.2007 11:28am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"And if some individual believes he is in such hot s*** physical condition that his obesity indicating BMI is incorrect, I am sure there are a few tests that can be arranged, such as: 100 situps, 25 pushups, 10 pullups, run a mile and a half in 12 minutes, bench press 75% of his body weight, and similar.

Otherwise, El Puerco!"

Hey, Lev. Let me add a better test -- why don't you'll come on down to Tampa Bay Downs and take a spin on my hot hot hot equine disability service animal and see what level of fitness and skill THAT takes; I'll even help you get him to breaks fast from the gate ... and if you survive and can keep him from running around that track more than once, or don't get launched through the air like a canon ball when he leaps and bounces, or get trampled when he spooks, then we will take some measures of your fitness levels.

Otherwise, Tally Ho!!

*Hint* Your above stated fitness criteria would not be sufficient for the task.
1.9.2007 11:28am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Goodmorning, whit

"people want to talk about BMI because it's 'nicer'. it's also NOT accurate"

That's exactly it. Brought about by this entire standardized testing fad and the false confidence it makes so many place in the idea a truncated simple quantifiable method of measurement is somehow accurate. Frequently it is not precisely because of all the potentially very relevant factors left out to achieve the simplification.

Please translate what is "=/=" ?? I do not understand what this symbol means.

I am still getting back to you on that notion you have that meat coming from cows given BGH is "safe" because it involves peptide hormones. I do not think this conclusion is correct in people with autism, since autism has a specific problem related to several peptide hormones, e.g. oxytocin, vasopressin, other neurotropic peptides.
1.9.2007 11:39am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Lev, I used to be able to run 3 miles in 19 1/2 minutes, until I started having ankle and knee joint problems. Vigorous horseback riding takes a lot more fitness, but does not impact the ankle/knee joints in a weight-bearing manner. I also have a cervical injury, can't do the pushups/pullups post-injury. And I can't ride horses that buck like in the rodeo anymore, torques/whiplashes my neck in unpredicable directions. My equine disbaility service animal does not buck.

Again, your measure, BMI, is problematic for the same reasons your one-size-fits-all concept of exercise fails. Not individualized. Lots of athletes have sports injuries, especially older athletes; that does not mean they retire from athletic exercise. Its sort of like racehorses with leg injuries more often swim, than run on a hard track surface for their trainin betwen races.
1.9.2007 12:00pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"=/=" is a does not equal? Never saw one keyboarded before.
1.9.2007 12:18pm
whit:
"Please translate what is "=/=" ?? I do not understand what this symbol means. "

MKDP is correct. it means "does not equal"

"I am still getting back to you on that notion you have that meat coming from cows given BGH is "safe" because it involves peptide hormones. I do not think this conclusion is correct in people with autism, since autism has a specific problem related to several peptide hormones, e.g. oxytocin, vasopressin, other neurotropic peptides"

my point is that it is a fragile compound that cannot survive either the digestive system (stomach, small intesting) OR the first pass liver metabolism.

it is as simple as this.

1) GH is a natural substance already present in cows
2) farmers inject cows with GH because GH is part of the feedback loop that increases growth
3) GH is NOT present in the MEAT. it is metabolized VERY quickly (feel free to look up the half life). also note that GH is injected in aqueous solution, and is not esterified like some compounds.
4) since it is metabolized, it is not present in the meat
5) even if it was, cooking would completely destroy it
6) as would your digestive system

etc.

so, GH is a natural substance that is injected to INCREASE the endogenous levels to promote growth

it cannot have ANY effect on a human being eating the cow meat, and again i have yet to see any evidence that explains how it can

also, it helps to understand WHY there is this 'controversy' around GH

it starts with PETA. PETA is against all meat eating, so they do everything they can to try to insinuate that eating meat is unhealthy. since (some) meat is injected with GH, they attack this as a way to scare people. PCRM is a the shill group for PETA to give them 'scientific cred'. they are routinely shredded by peer reviewed data, but even PCRM (to my knowledge) has never claimed that injected GH could be an orally bioavailable substance upon eating a steak

its basically bad science (if you could even call it 'science' ) from lefties, that is JUST as absurd as bad science from righties, but it is amazing the way that the same people have different standards of scientific rigor for when something does or doesn't agree with their ideology
1.9.2007 12:37pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, then do you regard cow milk same as cow meat?
1.9.2007 12:49pm
whit:
i don't know enough about how milk is produced to have much of a comment on milk vis a vis GH

however, the burden is on people who DO think that injected GH could affect milk, to make that argument - with science. i am open to hearing some. my issue was with the idea that meat is any less safe because a cow has GH injections. that is absurd
1.9.2007 12:53pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"i don't know enough about how milk is produced to have much of a comment on milk vis a vis GH"

A guarded answer?

"4) since it is metabolized, it is not present in the meat
5) even if it was, cooking would completely destroy it"


If it is metabolized, then it is metabolized according to your belief, so post-metabolism if it would not be present in the meat then it logically follows it would not be present in the milk. Correct?

Your guarded answer suggests you are not to sure about this proposition that it gets metabolized and thereafter is no longer present. Thus, you must be relying on #5, the fallback position that in the meat the process of cooking would destroy it anyway. Correct?

Therefore, according to the line of your thinking, cooking might not be the same as pastuerization, etc. of milk, a different process than cooking meat, so you do not feel sufficiently knowledgeable to express an opinion -- because your opinion might not be correct. Right?

Just asking. I'm trying to verify and confirm your science.
1.9.2007 1:03pm
whit:
mary,. call it a guarded answer or whatever

im not speculating in this thread. i am stating scientific data and fact

i do not admittedly understand how milk is produced, or any such scientific stuff surrounding it, so i am not going to offer an OPINION that is not grounded in scientific fact

this blog, and the internet in general, would be a much more sane and informative place, if people would generally do the same

your reasoning vis a vis milk sounds REASONABLE, but i don't have the scientific data to KNOW one way or the other.

so, it is distinguished case from meat, and one i do not wish to go into the tangent on.

i prefer discussing from positions of knowledge, not of speculation.
1.9.2007 1:17pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, didn't you just say "the burden is on people who DO think that injected GH could affect milk, to make that argument - with science. i am open to hearing some"?

When I try to obtain the info I need from you (missing parts of the *gist* of your argument -- remember, autistics don't get *gists*), to giving you what you want to hear, you dismissively change the subject to a "tangent on." I hope that is not because I might be able to refute part of your position by "stating scientific data and fact" ...

I am not one to speculate. I just wanted to know if you believe the premises you stated:

"4) since it is metabolized, it is not present in the meat
5) even if it was, cooking would completely destroy it
6) as would your digestive system"

leading to your conclusion is it safe to eat cow meat after cows havebeen given BGH? Did you want to change anything?

I need to know, because I am prepared to discuss this from a position of knowledge -- and I am not trying to discourage you in any way from eating meat that give you pleasure. I am a milk drinker, so I have some interest in this subject as well.
1.9.2007 1:29pm
whit:
no, i don't want to change anything. i repeat. i have NO idea how milk is produced, so i don't opine.

the thing that i objected to was the comment about meat and GH something i have a nice background of scientific knowledge to draw on.

for all i know, milk is produced in the "fun tummy" next to the spleen in a cow and etc. my point is that i am not going to get sucked into tangents that are both irrelevant and that i am ignorant on. the meat argument stands on its own, and i still have yet to see any rebuttal to it, or evidence contrary to it, so i am glad that the original point i refuted.

again, i want to make this clear. based on what i KNOW about GH and Meat, it sounds like the same reasoning could be extended to milk. but absent specific knowledge about how cows produce milk, i am not going to speculate
1.9.2007 1:38pm
SG:
"i prefer discussing from positions of knowledge, not of speculation."

She's (he's?) a witch! Burn him!

I mean, come on, what kind of an attiutde is that to have in a comments section?
1.9.2007 1:46pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, I admire one who takes an unwaiveringly strong stand, and does not bend according to which way the wind blows.

It seems to me, though, the "funny tummy" of a cow is still part of the cow as is the meat.

I am just wondering if you are only open minded when you think you already know all the answers, and why you say you are open minded across-the-board -- but when you might have to admit lacking knowledge and actually have someome teach you something you did not know before (a good thing, since it improves your knowledge base), you become defensive and raise the subterfuge-defense to what you don't know under guise of "irrelevant?" See, either you're open minded or you're not.

Thereby, comes the whit Terri Schiavo paradox. I can accept that sometimes all of us make errors because we lack knowledge. It is a difficult to swallow, on the other hand, when someone who professes to be open minded only says he is when maybe he isn't.

What do you fear so much about expanding your knowledge?

I note, it is highly relevant whether it is safe to drink milk in large quantities in light of making an effort to maintain the proper BMI.
1.9.2007 1:55pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Its ok, SG, I have this under control. Don't be so hard on whit. He is very intelligent and has an excellent command of the techniques of argument. Quite admirable.
1.9.2007 1:58pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Its ok, SG, I have this under control. Don't be so hard on whit. He is very intelligent and has an excellent command of the techniques of argument. Quite admirable.
1.9.2007 1:58pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Ooopps hit a double keystroke without my speech recognition on due to husband on a phone call while I was blogging.
1.9.2007 1:59pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, I thought you said you worked in law enforcement a long while. Most law enforcement people I know are scientific, and like to get things right -- especially when a lot may be at stake. I think I can demonstrate you are mostly right, but I just wanted to teach you some knowledge you might not have known about an exception. I am not being a law prof here, with the Socratic method, trying to embarass anyone -- LOL, I got called on myself first day of law school.

What we eat is very relevant to this so-called BMI.
1.9.2007 2:10pm
whit:
MKDP, we are going to keep butting heads here because you want me to extend into an area which i admittedly do not understand (milk production) and necessarily thus make assumptions. i simply aint going to hop down this bunny trail

as i said, it SOUNDS REASONABLE that GH would not affect milk whatsoever. that is ENTIRELY different from my stance on meat which is that GH injections CANNOT harm humans if they eat meat from GH injected cows.

the former is based on inductive logic, where i admittedly don't know for sure. the latter is simply scientific fact.

i appreciate the kudos (props to you too) but that's about as much as i can say about milk.
1.9.2007 2:17pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, I did not realize we were "butting heads;" I thought we were having an intelligent discussion/debate.

Just curious, how did you obtain your knowedge that "GH injections CANNOT harm humans if they eat meat from GH injected cows"? Was it omniscient or something? Or did you read scientific studies somewhere? Or go to a lecture and hear the findings reported?

I mean, all of our knowldge comes from somewhere I would think; I'm just trying to find out where your knowldge came from.

That's all. See, I think I can't eat BGH injected meat because it does pass through my intestines due to a lack of permeability caused by the insult that sets off autism in the first place, allowing the wrong peptides (BGH) to cross the blood brain barrier.

Maybe not for you, since you apparently are not autistic. But for me, maybe yes, and this woudl be an exception to the knowledge you have stated. Fair?
1.9.2007 2:25pm
whit:
please explain to me how

1) eating meat can cause GH to cross the blood brain barrier
2) why cow meat from cows with exogenously introduced GH are any QUALITATIVEY different than cows that do not have exogenously introduced. hint: BOTH animals have GH. the ones with exogenously introduced GH simply have more

as for "how i know this stuff". like i said, ihave been involved in the sports nutrition and science field for 20 yrs

as for drugs, i have testified as an expert witness and worked deep undercover for some time. i was trained by numerous agencies, blah blah

and i read a lot of pubmed articles

regardless, i cannot emphasize this enough. exogenous GH is just adding MORE of a substance that is ALREADY present in the cows

and it is NOT present in the meat, nor is it bioavailable if it was
1.9.2007 2:34pm
Wild Pegasus (mail) (www):
I heartily endorse this idea. And, in addition, they should just do away with grades and send home notes saying, "Mr. and/or Mrs. Smith, your son is Grade F dumbass."

- Josh
1.9.2007 3:55pm
Guest12345:
You guys do know that BMI isn't a measure of "fat", it's a measure of health. As a health indicator BMI is a good number to know. Having a high BMI puts you at risk for health complications. Even if you are lean, if you have a high body mass your more likely to have heart disease that someone with a low BMI.
1.9.2007 3:59pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Whit - any thoughts on why girls are developing younger?

How do you all like "Do you sink in water?" as a test for fat? When I've lost weight, I sink fast. At my normal weight (BMI about 30) I sink in fresh water if I exhale.

I'm not overweight, I'm undertall. To have a non-overweight BMI at my current height I'd have to get down to the weight I surpassed the summer I turned seventeen. (I had the start of a belly but I was mostly ripped.) I put on about 5 pounds of muscle the rest of that year, and about 5 more towards the end of college when I did a little lifting. If I got down to that weight again I'd be gaunt -- and that's just for a 24.9.

As a diabetic I can always lose a quick 5 pounds by going off my medications for a few weeks, doing that much more damage to my kidneys and small blood vessels.
1.9.2007 5:07pm
Speaking the Obvious:
Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Dick Cheney, Dennis Hastert, Larry Summers, Karl Rove, Michael Hayden, John McCain...
---
You're saying the fat rise[s] to the top?
1.9.2007 6:03pm
SG:
"any thoughts on why girls are developing younger?"

I recently saw something (sorry, no link) that girls without a male present begin estrus something like 14 months earlier. There was supposition that there was some sort of pheremonal inhibition at work, although nothing definite.

Given the huge rise in single (typically female) parent households, this might explain (some of) the phenomenon.
1.9.2007 6:25pm
whit:
SG, that is interesting.

i think part of it may also be due to environmental estrogens (which i mentioned earlier).

and BMI is not a measure of health. BMI is CORRELATED with health, but again with athletes etc. it is way way way off. the idea that carrying around more WEIGHT (vs. fat) ceteris paribus is less healthy, is extremely problematic and not proven. not even close

and lets not even get into enlarged hearts of olympic rowers (who tend to have LOW bmi i might add)

BMI is NOT a proxy for fat, and it is not a measure of health
1.9.2007 6:36pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
DC, see, I think whit is onto something there for dealing with this pesky BMI thing. If one overdoses on GH, one might hope for some additional height, and *suddenly* the BMI equation all works out -- no gets a bad report card.

whit inescapably professes lack of knowledge about why girls are developing younger The Case against Financing Dairy Projects in Developing Countries, Milk and Menarche, since he disavows any opinion on cows milk, and would rather stick to cooked cow meat -- likely a distinction without a difference. The telltale sign for this is whit's love affair with the PETA (PCRM) folks -- "Got Milk?"

whit, cleverly poses the ultimate nirvana for how to make more young sensuous girls, give the fountain of youth to the elderly, and cure autism, all in one -- and lets not forget enhance athletic performance. whit's epiphany that came from eating meat, because it gives him pleasure. Don't worry, whit, I don't like PETA either.

whit, no doubt a remarkable chess player, already knows if I am induced to eat more meat, the BGH injections give to the cows these days to increase bovine milk production will likely pass through my autistic intestines and cross the blood brain barriers, Id. ("BGH milk is supercharged with high levels of abnormally potent IGF-1 [insulin-like-growth-factor 1], up 10 times the levels in natural milk and over 10 times more potent. IGF-1 resists pasteurization, digestion by stomach enzymes, and is well absorbed across the intestinal wall") -- where (why am I not surprised) this might effect a boost to my growth hormone deficiencies.

whit's interest in GH is indicative of a hope the increase in GH will set of a chain reaction to remedy other peptide-caused deficiencies such as autistic oxytocin deficit in hopes I might become achieve the rules of social interaction in the courtroom (and perhaps on this blog) at the same time the need to reasonably accommodate my cognitive-phobias with a speech recognition device might at last be eliminated.
(oxytocin is a "peptide hormone[] found in the brain and shown to participate in social behavior, stress, anxiety and affiliative behaviors including social communication").

whit calls my bluff, but he already knows how this would occur--

(1) If glutamine is depleted in an infant's diet (mine before age 3 due to insult setting off the autism causing multiple vitamin, mineral, and hormone deficiencies, the GI tract is going to be very susceptible to damage. This means the intestinal cells will not be able to maintain their barrier function against microorganisms, and food peptides. This translates to enhanced intestinal permeability to proteins and other compounds that normally should be EXCLUSED from entering the body. If so-called foreign peptides and proteins do enter the body, they are going to induce an immune reaction in the gut immune tissues. see
White, Intestinal Pathophysiology in Autism, Dept. Physiology, Emory Univ., Atlanta

(2) "While IGF-1 may only be absorbed in limited quantities in healthy subjects, this is likely not be the case for those suffering from various conditions that can cause increased intestinal permeability, such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, autism, cirrhosis, and cow's milk allergy, just to name a few. In addition, the use of various medications, such as ... NSAIDs can increase intestinal permeability," ,a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.mercola.com/2001/aug/22/igf-1.htm">Mercola, Many People are Taking IGF-1 Without Even Knowing It

(3) BGH has been demonstrated to become bioactive in people with intestinal permameability -- e.g., autistics. link ("This contamination, taken in through meat and dairy products consumed by the human mother, shows up in her breast milk where these pesticides and drugs are then transmitted to the infant").

(4) This suggests autism is partially a serious metabolism disorder, with resulting defiencies in glutathione, increasing an autistic's vulnerability to oxidative stress. James, et. al., Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism

By curing the oxidative stress problem through increasing MKDP's GH levels, no doubt whit hopes to circumvent a 2nd Terri Schiavo paradox -- compelling recognition of the benefits of a speech recognition device.

The advent of an obesity epidemic has give rise to a proliferation of ideas to obtain the right BMI score. America's Weight Problem - Where Is The Pharmaceutical Industry?

whit, more of a scientist than I, knows he might be able to (by dispelling the dangers of eating BGH meat) cure my autism (The Relationship between Repetitive Behaviors and Growth Hormone Response to Sumatriptan Challenge in Adult Autistic Disorder), keep me from aging, and enhance my equestrian athleticism -- all at once. *BGH*

whit, quite well knows it is the exogenous peptides at the core of altering autism. Braithwaite, Investigation Into Exogenous Peptides
(autistics really like opoiods). But, whit, does not have in mind the nice opoiods (Autism: An Overview crossing from the blood barriers into an autistic's brain from milk.

*BGH* is the way to go!

"Inductive logic," wouldn't you know ...
1.9.2007 6:58pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
The link function is really difficult on this blog. It really needs to be just a one-click maneuver.

I think by moving the cursor over the inadvertently blued-out block of text above, the three links become obvious.

The one that did not take para #2 (NSAIDS), is
Mercola, Many People are Taking IGF-1 Without Even Knowing It
1.9.2007 7:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I give up with the links. See whit, I was trying to provide you data and facts, when everything turned blue. I think I did so:

"my point is that it is a fragile compound that cannot survive either the digestive system (stomach, small intesting) OR the first pass liver metabolism."

I think my above links support that while it may be a fragile compound, the problem is not one of surviving the digestive system in an autistic, it simply escapes through the permeable intestinal lining, thereafter causes an immune reaction, and passes through the bloof brain barrier.

The fact "2) farmers inject cows with GH because GH is part of the feedback loop that increases growth" is not reeally relevant, since I am not disputing that they do this or offering my opinion whether I think this is good or bad.

"1)GH is a natural substance already present in cows"

This is not the issue; the issue is what happens when you add Gh injections to the naturally occurring GH in the cow, and it causes overload of GH to pass thru the permeable intestinal lining in an autistic. GH overload is the potential problem.

3) GH is NOT present in the MEAT. it is metabolized VERY quickly (feel free to look up the half life).

I think my links above suggest GH IS present int he meat and well as the milk of cows injected with BGH, and that it passes through mother's milk after mom eats cow meat into infants; hence it surely could pass through an autistics permeable intestinal lining and cross through the blood brain barrier. Moreover, the FDA is not doing one heck of a job requiring mroe research and regulation in the U.S. of the BGH use in cows intended for consumption and/or dairy.

"4) since it is metabolized, it is not present in the meat"

Dependent on whether or not #3 above is true, and I have suggested it is not.

"5) even if it was, cooking would completely destroy it"

Maybe not as the links I provided suggest, and moreover if one charred the meat well-well done, then there might be the additional problem of cancer causign potentialities.

6) as would your digestive system

I think I have demonstrated through the links I cited above this is not true in an autistic.

"please explain to me how

1) eating meat can cause GH to cross the blood brain barrier
2) why cow meat from cows with exogenously introduced GH are any QUALITATIVEY different than cows that do not have exogenously introduced. hint: BOTH animals have GH. the ones with exogenously introduced GH simply have more"
1.9.2007 8:18pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I give up with the links. See whit, I was trying to provide you data and facts, when everything turned blue. I think I did so:

"my point is that it is a fragile compound that cannot survive either the digestive system (stomach, small intesting) OR the first pass liver metabolism."

I think my above links support that while it may be a fragile compound, the problem is not one of surviving the digestive system in an autistic, it simply escapes through the permeable intestinal lining, thereafter causes an immune reaction, and passes through the bloof brain barrier.

The fact "2) farmers inject cows with GH because GH is part of the feedback loop that increases growth" is not reeally relevant, since I am not disputing that they do this or offering my opinion whether I think this is good or bad.

"1)GH is a natural substance already present in cows"

This is not the issue; the issue is what happens when you add Gh injections to the naturally occurring GH in the cow, and it causes overload of GH to pass thru the permeable intestinal lining in an autistic. GH overload is the potential problem.

3) GH is NOT present in the MEAT. it is metabolized VERY quickly (feel free to look up the half life).

I think my links above suggest GH IS present int he meat and well as the milk of cows injected with BGH, and that it passes through mother's milk after mom eats cow meat into infants; hence it surely could pass through an autistics permeable intestinal lining and cross through the blood brain barrier. Moreover, the FDA is not doing one heck of a job requiring mroe research and regulation in the U.S. of the BGH use in cows intended for consumption and/or dairy.

"4) since it is metabolized, it is not present in the meat"

Dependent on whether or not #3 above is true, and I have suggested it is not.

"5) even if it was, cooking would completely destroy it"

Maybe not as the links I provided suggest, and moreover if one charred the meat well-well done, then there might be the additional problem of cancer causign potentialities.

6) as would your digestive system

I think I have demonstrated through the links I cited above this is not true in an autistic.

"please explain to me how

1) eating meat can cause GH to cross the blood brain barrier
2) why cow meat from cows with exogenously introduced GH are any QUALITATIVEY different than cows that do not have exogenously introduced. hint: BOTH animals have GH. the ones with exogenously introduced GH simply have more"


Ok, I didn't need the hint. I'm pretty good at figuring out puzzles and solving complex dilemmas; I just don't have the social cognition to figure out *gists,* literal and sequential is better. But those points are asked and answered, see above cited links.

"however, the burden is on people who DO think that injected GH could affect milk, to make that argument - with science. i am open to hearing some."

I think I did that. More science-- Congress recently appropriated $1 B to do further research on autism.

"my issue was with the idea that meat is any less safe because a cow has GH injections."

Well, I don't know that I am really arguing it is less safe or that the BGH is bad. I drink a lot of milk, so I should be one to complain? Milk is probably worse in terms of delivering the growth hormones. I'm certainly not going to stop drinking milk, or eating steak when I do fell like it because of the BGH. Might even make me stay younger longer, never know.

I think I have too much imbalance of acid in my stomach, reason why it is hard to eat meat. But the milk coats the stomach so I don't get those several hours long stomach aches. This is a big problem for me across many foods. I can't say I'm complaining about the opoiods effects. LOL Autistics LIKE opoiods, with a script, of course.

"it starts with PETA. PETA is against all meat eating, so they do everything they can to try to insinuate that eating meat is unhealthy. since (some) meat is injected with GH, they attack this as a way to scare people. PCRM is a the shill group for PETA to give them 'scientific cred'. they are routinely shredded by peer reviewed data, but even PCRM (to my knowledge) has never claimed that injected GH could be an orally bioavailable substance upon eating a steak

its basically bad science (if you could even call it 'science' ) from lefties, that is JUST as absurd as bad science from righties, but it is amazing the way that the same people have different standards of scientific rigor for when something does or doesn't agree with their ideology"


I not political in my science. And as I said, PETA is not friend of mine. I remember when I worked in teh Church thrift store downtown Sonoma, CA to help pay my daughter's school scholarship, and PETA people (so I was told) got into the store and sliced up all the mink coats to protest killing animals for fur. I don't agree with killing animals, but once the fur was on those coats, they sure were nice!
1.9.2007 8:33pm
Guest12345:
and BMI is not a measure of health. BMI is CORRELATED with health, but again with athletes etc. it is way way way off. the idea that carrying around more WEIGHT (vs. fat) ceteris paribus is less healthy, is extremely problematic and not proven. not even close


Six years ago I went on a diet and dropped 40 lbs of body weight. I went and had my bodyfat measured hydrostatically and found that I had a BF of 15%. At fifteen percent I was on the line between average and lean. However by visual inspection (looking in a mirror) I was definitely not lean. The reason for that is I weight 252 lbs. Fifteen percent of which is 38 pounds of fat. Volume-wise that's about 110 baseballs. I'm 6'2" so my BMI was 32.4, ie. obese. Was I obese? Certainly not. However my cholesterol and triglycerides were high. My blood pressure was high. Both had improved, but neither was good. BMI was definitely a better indicator of my overall health than bodyfat.

Also smaller bodies typically have longer lifespans in both humans and animals. Which has nothing to do with BMI, but certainly indicates that the health impacts of shear physical size are real.
1.9.2007 10:47pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Guest 12345. I think whit is a day-blogger. But you have some interesting points.

I would be regarded as obese measured by BMI, and maybe if I were wearing loose fitting office clothes. But my riding keeps me pretty fit, and I see lots of other riders at the barn, thin, all ages of young (10-18), and others who I'm sure would vet out on the BMI, but none of them are as fit as I am when it comes to riding the horses and jumping sizeable jump courses. I don't think my body fat is very high, because I have a lot of muscle. I see the thinner and younger riders unable to handle even half the strength of horse I can, and some of them are fair riders.

I really don't know what my BMI is, but my blood pressure has always been very low, and never a cholesterol problem up until I last checked. But I have all these other problems related to my disabilities.

Does that affect my obesity-fitness? I am pretty sure the metabolism problems in autism make it really hard to keep the weight off, and I would bet that's why I never grew very tall (5'0", I know how high horse jumps are by simply walking the course and standing next to the jumps). I know this experimental risperdal I was put on to try to make my writing more clear for the California Bar messed with my hormones, because it makes women who are not pregnant and not nursing a baby lactate, and caused a 150 lb weight gain in 4 months when I was eating 1 meal a day; I do think it had a permanent effect on my ability to keep weight off even though my doctors took me off it in short order. If I had known it would cause such havoc with my riding weight, I would have rejected it, but I didn't and the permanent after effects are part of the weight quotient now, unfortunately, at this point.

I do have a question for whit, though (really, I'm sincere), since I don't know and he says he has a lot of experience with this. I always had the muscular weakness inherent in autism, even at age 19, and this made me have to work 10 times harder than everyone else just to get the strength and endurance all the other riders seemed to achieve so easily. By time time I used to get on my 8th horse, I felt like I was just hanging on, no strength left. I fatigue easily. I don't see a change in my strength or fitness between then and now (age 50), since I work the horses and keep the fitness, and I still have this problem.

So whit, the question is what can I do to change this muscular weakness problem? I read somewhere it is another one of those deficient peptides, hormones, or minerals, whatever, caused by the autism problem. If I could bring my strength up a level, that would really improve my riding. Some horses almost jump me off at 5'+, if they have a round bascule and really crack their back over the jumps. I also have problems stating on big fat horses that get difficult to handle. If I could improve my inherent muscular weakness problem (this is not a training problem), I might to be able to hang and not nearly get jumped off. Do you have any suggestions beyond the GH? You seem to think GH helps athletes, too (with a script). It would be great to solve at least one of these autism problems I have. I am open to it, if it might help.

Guest 12345, I did notice that when I weighed less, my service horse could really run off with me and it was quite tough to keep control over him. Weighing a little more, I can sit balanced in the saddle, very solid, and this makes it a lot harder for a horse to get me off; also I don't get run off with as much, and by run off with, I don't mean way out of control but I get dragged several strides sometimes before I can get him back. When I galloped at the racetrack (younger days), I heard some of the jockeys who exercised in the early morning had to carry extra weight bars to bring their low weight up to the appx. 165 lbs most exercise riders weigh, in order to add the extra weight to their strength v. the horse.

My biggest strength problems usually happen when I am on a straightaway, a long approach to a jump, or on a long turn, not when I am presented with having to negotiate shorter tighter turns. I can use the shorter tighter turns to change the horse's balance, break the speed, and thereby maximize my strengh by leveraging against the horse's balance; but on a long straightaway, it is an issue of pure strengh and I have a difficult time with this.

I wish I had the metabolism of my service horse, for sure (lean, great equine BMI). I hate it when flabby low BMI people who don't exercise pick on me because my BMI defines me as obese when I am pretty fit. Its a bummer.
1.9.2007 11:46pm
Lev:
It is wonderful to see that everyone in here with a high BMI is also in above average physical condition, nay, are highly conditioned competitive athletes.


I am in the worst shape of my life. I am ashamed to say that I sit in an office all day and get no regular exercise whatsoever. That being said, I can easily knock out 25 pushups, run 1 and 1/2 miles in 12 minutes (8 minute miles!!?) and bench press 75% of my body weight. My BMI is 28.


Don't forget the 100 situps - all the way down and up. And don't forget full arm extension at the top and the chest brushes the ground at the bottom on the pushups - none of that six inches of movement nonsense. Why don't you try all that next weekend, see if your body can fill your mouth's brag. BTW "normal" is 19-25, so you aren't far from the "normal" range anyway.


the issue is not OVERWEIGHT the issue is OVERFAT...BMI is bogus. nice going AMA!!! NIH too my BMI is 32.3


Except for actual strength athletes who actually are in shape, overweight and overfat seem to travel together, eh.


Again, your measure, BMI, is problematic for the same reasons your one-size-fits-all concept of exercise fails. Not individualized. Lots of athletes have sports injuries, especially older athletes; that does not mean they retire from athletic exercise.


Ah yes, everyone in the US is an athlete, and BMI just doesn't apply to athletes, who never retire from athletic exercise...therefore it applies to no one.


I put on about 5 pounds of muscle the rest of that year, and about 5 more towards the end of college when I did a little lifting. If I got down to that weight again I'd be gaunt -- and that's just for a 24.9.


I was gaunt, when running 30 miles a week, 6-7min miles, with a BMI of about 19-20. The funny thing is, even when using weights for strength, I never got above 24 - in fact, the only time I reached 24 was when I was in the worst shape of my life. Maybe you would just be "gaunt" compared to "plump", eh.

This all reminds me of the stories that have been appearing regularly in the news about how, despite the level of obesity in the US, "I am not overweight, but so many others are."

More seriously, there have been several stories reporting studies that the apparent optimal BMI range for the best life expectancy is something like 24-28.

I love it in here, we're all above average - handsomer, prettier, smarter, more athletic, richer, nicer, smell better. Kind of makes you feel sorry for everyone else.
1.10.2007 1:00am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I am also a big coffee drinker, caffeinated. I note, a new news report came out on the pain control benefits of caffeine relative to exercise. link

Of course, I knew this already by actual experience, since coffee takes my morning headaches and cervial pain away at about 3-4 cups, never did get coffee-induced jitters. But I also use it prior to athletic workouts, not post. Along with high dose NSAIDS.

Don't want a bad report card ...
1.10.2007 8:22am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
whit, when you come online, I just wanted to refer you to some more questions I had about grass-fed beef v. PETA's view about this subject we are discussing, on the newer Cloning thread, above.
1.10.2007 9:52am
pleading:
MKDP:
this study is worthless. with an n of 9 there's not enough subjects to extrapolate to a larger audience. the data are merely suggestive at best and we're told nothing about the other meds these women may have used for pain.

as well, the study's subjects are "young women whose daily caffeine consumption is low,"

2 categories you don't fit into.

this is all to say:

NO ONE HERE CARES about your cervical pain, your autism, your bout with psychotropic medicines that you blame for your almost 200 pound weight gain. It is not relevant to our discussions.

put simply:

GET YOUR OWN BLOG
please
1.10.2007 11:35am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Well, pleading, aren't you a cheery one. Obesity is the thread subject, and your dramatic blowing out of proportion a 150 lb. weight gain of my past into an insult of 200 lbs. is, actually right on point to the subject of obesity. But, since you seem to have an aversion to fat people, I feel I should tell you I lost a lot of weight, so not to fear.

And who asked someone who hates obesity to rain on the party? Your pleading violates the local rules.

But, just so you know, and not to change the subject, but I also want to know why whit thinks the B of P should be on me, anyway? Where's the rule for that? This is a blog. I couldn't sleep at all last night, just thinking about why the B of P is on me to prove GH beef is safe to eat?
1.10.2007 12:03pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
pleading, I have a suggestion for the source of your crankiness, you may have an unhealthy BMI. I think you should get checked out.
1.10.2007 12:08pm
Visitor Again:
NO ONE HERE CARES about your cervical pain, your autism, your bout with psychotropic medicines that you blame for your almost 200 pound weight gain. It is not relevant to our discussions.

I don't think it's accurate to say NO ONE HERE CARES, even in lower case.
1.10.2007 1:23pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Whit - the girls in question are in households with both fathers and mothers present. (Not that I'm a fountain of testosterone... And one of the mothers of one of the girls had an early menopause, with a gap of more than a year between the mother's last period and the daughter's first.) We're trading impressions, anecdotes, and vague memories, but my anecdotes say that girls from intact familes are hitting puberty earlier than past generaions.


While previous studies have found that girls typically began showing signs of puberty at 10 to 11, a new report by the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society (LWPES), a nationwide network of physicians headquartered in Stanford, California, suggests that it is normal for white girls as young as 7 and black girls as young as 6 to start developing breasts. This conclusion was based on a study of 17,000 girls between the ages of 3 and 12 conducted by the Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) network of 1,500 pediatricians nationwide and published in the April 1997 issue of "Pediatrics."


Mary Katherine - I was not aware of the connection between autism and digestion. Citations please? (I'm more familiar with the high-functioning Asperger's end of the spectrum.)

Lev: The funny thing is, even when using weights for strength, I never got above 24 - in fact, the only time I reached 24 was when I was in the worst shape of my life. Maybe you would just be "gaunt" compared to "plump", eh.

Maybe, or maybe BMI absolutely does not take into consideration body type, bone type, and so forth. It doesn't matter how fat I am or how skinny I get: my thumb and forefinger are never going to meet encircling my wrist. I'm always going to be short and squat. (I used to be short and squat and somewhat ripped; now I'm short and squat with a moonface and a big ass. [This is beginning to sound like my personals ad, "weight proportional to height" (alpha = 2.8 pounds per inch).])
1.10.2007 2:07pm
jallgor (mail):
Lev,
Sorry I forgot about the 100 sit ups. I went ahead and did those. I also knocked off 50 good push-ups. I didn't do it last night but I know I can bench press my own weight since I have tried it fairly recently. I went and ran a mile and 1/2 in about 8.5 minutes. Even in my best condition 10 pull ups would have been difficult so I didn't bother with that since I'll admit I can't do it. Am I sore? Very. But it was all very manageable. Now I should note that when I usually think of being in "shape" I usually think of that as a reference to cardio and not strength but since you included tests of both, I obliged.

I was a Division 1 wrestler 10 years ago so maybe my views are off. I was 5' 8" about 145 pounds, had about 5% body fat and was in pretty sick physical condition, both strength and cardio. In my opinion, if you can't at minimum run several 6 minute miles you are not in good shape (at least if you are between the ages of about 15 and 50). The strength issue will vary more by person but I think a person of average physical strength should be able to bench their own weight (perhaps substitute leg press for women), do at least 50 or more pushups in a minute, and pretty much do sit ups all day. I don't consider myself to be in good shape under my own criteria but most people would not consider me overweight either. To get down to optimal BMI I would have to lose almost 35 pounds. That's just not right.
1.10.2007 2:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
DC, I provided several such citations in the post where the links went haywire, above. Autistic disgestion problems are one of the central problems of autism, and it is now believed this relates to what goes wrong in the autistic brain. That's why Congress appropriated the $1 Billion in December 06 for more research on autism. If you read the cites I provided and want more, I have a whole library on this. Just tell me what you want.

I wish the blood sport of attacking my autism would stop, I am not in a fighting mood, since I just had some major dental work done and I'm not going to feel too good for a couple days. I would suggest the bloodthirsty might find a better suited venue at the Roman Coliseum. Thanks, VA
1.10.2007 3:37pm
Visitor Again:
But, just so you know, and not to change the subject, but I also want to know why whit thinks the B of P should be on me, anyway? Where's the rule for that? This is a blog. I couldn't sleep at all last night, just thinking about why the B of P is on me to prove GH beef is safe to eat?

Mary Katherine, I've never heard of anyone bearing the burden of proof on anything in the sort of discussions that take place on this blog. And I think telling someone they bear the burden of proof in an exchange like the ones we have is a cop-out.

The most that can fairly be said is that when people make an assertion that's disputed, they may be asked to back it up with any available evidence or authority, just as those who dispute the assertion may be called on to back up their position with any available support. But the burden of proof is not placed on one side as opposed to the other side in any of our discussions. So I wouldn't worry about burdens of proof in a blog discussion. It's not worth much thought at all, much less thinking all night and losing sleep.
1.10.2007 3:42pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Well, VC, I was thinking more along your lines. I mean, this is a blog, so how can a burden to prove something be assigned to one party in a blog dispute?

But then, whit told me otherwise --

"however, the burden is on people who DO think that injected GH could affect milk, to make that argument - with science. i am open to hearing some. my issue was with the idea that meat is any less safe because a cow has GH injections. that is absurd"

I did not see how merely calling the other side's points "absurd" provided any scientific proof either, that might have convinced me. And then I wondered if the burden to make proof was somehow on me, because it is never placed on whit. But then I did not to unduly speculate about that, didn't think it appropriate.

Now you tell me not to worry so much, I appreciate that. Maybe I can get some good sleep tonight. Fall into some nice dreams, deep REMs ...
1.10.2007 3:53pm
Lev:
jallgor

As an ex-wrestler, your view of what is "physically fit" is extreme, although it would certainly fit the category of "physically fit for a wrestler."

]Now I should note that when I usually think of being in "shape" I usually think of that as a reference to cardio and not strength but since you included tests of both, I obliged.

Certainly cardiovascular fitness is, in my opinion, the most important by far because it affects all bodily systems including weight, cholesterol etc., but strength also matters.


Even in my best condition 10 pull ups would have been difficult so I didn't bother with that since I'll admit I can't do it.


That's funny. Pullups are strange. In college I had a roommate who was stronger, faster etc. than I was. It drove him crazy that he could never ever do as many pullups as I could. Never. Not even come close.
1.10.2007 6:48pm
Visitor Again:
The claim that no one here cares about the autism of one of our colleagues prompted me to do a little research on the web.

A brief report in today's Los Angeles Times said:


Researchers at 11 universities will create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients in an effort to identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.

The University of Michigan will lead the three-year, $10-million effort funded by the Simons Foundation, the school announced this week. The New York philanthropic group aims to spend $100 million long-term to find a cure for the disorder that affects one in 200 children.


I googled the number of autistic children in the U.S.A. and found some experts are estimating the incidence of autism is as high as one of every 150, 160 or 166 children. And, since autism affects males disproportionately, some experts say one of every 100 boys has an autistic disorder.

Whatever the actual numbers, it is apparently beyond question that the number of autistic children is huge, that it has been increasing rapidly over the past 20 years for reasons yet unknown and that it is still increasing at dramatic rates. If adults are included, somewhere between one and two million people in the U.S.A. suffer from one of the autistic disorders. Some experts say the number of autistic children in the U.S.A. will reach four million within another decade.

Autism is not at all the freak or rare occurrence affecting very few it was assumed to be not long ago. All of us ought to be concerned about it, and it is certainly relevant whenever we're discussing topics related to health and welfare.

Finally, while there certainly is no need to patronize the autistic or to pull punches in debate with them or to accord them any special treatment in our exchanges with them, I would have thought that all commenters on this blog would extend decency and courtesy as a matter of course to a colleague who is autistic. Nearly all of us do so, and, given the ease with which one can scroll by messages one does not want to read, it is astonishing that someone would go out of their way to do otherwise.
1.11.2007 9:01am
jallgor (mail):
Lev,
Maybe the ex-wrestler thing skews my view but the criteria I set out would definitely be well below the standard for a fit wrestler. We were expected to start the first practice of the season with 3 miles in 18 minutes. By the end of the season, everyone on the team except the heavyweight could easily do 10 miles in under an hour. And we're just talking wrestlers rememeber, we are not exactly built for speed.
The things I set out were things that I would consider an average "fit" person can do. In fact, this thread has inspired me to try and get back to that base line. I expect an elite athlete to be capable of much, much more but I have no illusions that I'll ever be in that kind of shape again.
The pull up thing is weird but its often simply explained by wieght. The 103 pounder on my H.S. team could do pull ups all day while the heavyweight (245 lbs.) could barely do 1.
1.11.2007 9:43am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Thank you, VC. I am not used to anyone accepting an autistic as a colleague in the post-law school world, something I wish would change.

I am also still wondering where whit went. Do you think he lacks the courage to defend why "telling someone they bear the burden of proof in an exchange like the ones we have is a cop-out?"

I am contemplating whether pleading might have been one of whit's law clerks, sort of a whit-by-proxy. Maybe that's the answer -- defending the indefensible?

I think I have a theory -- whit lacks the perfect BMI, but is a fit athlete, of whom pleading is extremely envious due to his own lack of fitness, while having the perfect BMI. Somehow this coalesces into an inordinate amount of crankiness on the part of pleading and and inability of either one of them to defend the indefensible and answer the challenge.
1.11.2007 10:13am
Visitor Again:
Mary Katherine, it could be that whit's just busy with other things that are more important to him, like work. For him, this blog might be pretty far down the list of things that have to be attended to. At any rate, there are so many reasons why he might not have come back that it's hardly worthwhile speculating or theorizing. Speaking of which, I have to go now for the rest of the day because I have a deadline in my own work. I wish I could hang out here longer, but I just can't today and maybe not even the rest of the week. See you later.
1.11.2007 10:45am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Thanks, VC. Agree. Hasta la vista, friend.
1.11.2007 11:54am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
it is apparently beyond question that the number of autistic children is huge, that it has been increasing rapidly over the past 20 years for reasons yet unknown and that it is still increasing at dramatic rates.

Is that the numbers, by the same diagnostic criteria, or the numbers diagnosed?

I used to be a smart kid who didn't work to his potential, and who wasn't good at remembering faces or picking up on non-verbal cues. I was nothing at all like the girl who could only squat and grunt, or the boy who hopped around and talked incessantly.

The same phenomenon is true in diabetes: diagnoses has become more sensitive, and control has become easier to achieve. While we've got more diabetics (setting aside the obesity and corn syrup contributions which are closer to the topic of this thread) we'll have fewer people going blind and losing feet and kidneys from spending decades with their A1C in the 8 to 9 range.
1.11.2007 11:59am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
DC, I, too want to know more about autism, as well as about whit.

There is one particular question I really want to know more about -- are federal judges for budget cutting purposes, short-cutting the Daubert/Kumho expert gatekeeping requirement by accessing PubMed articles, and, if so, is this being done under Federal Judicial Center Manuals/guidelines distributed by the FJC?

I think this is a pretty fair question, since

(1) NIH has an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to autism (gov't-slanted research in light of gov't goal to defeat having to pay for autism claims); thus, if federal judges are using NIH data/scientific research via pay-subscription only to PubMed to make disability determinations in the federal courts about autism contra actual psych/dr reports presented to them in a case, this could pose a serious conflict of interest if it turns out mercury-based vaccines the government authorized as "safe" for distribution has caused the autism -- i.e, the government has a huge interest in neutralizing and discrediting all scientific evidence that would demonstrate the government vaccines caused autism on account of the size of complex tort claims that would ensue, potentially eclipsing all others in terms of damages (think agent orange, etc); and

(2) the concept of not making LEXIS/WESTLAW available without cost to all litigants, while it is available to federal judges, is the notion that all such legal materials are available to the public in hard copy in publically available law libraries; increasingly this is not the case. If federal judges are trying to take a budget short cut circumvention of having to spend even part of the federal judiciaries' budget on providing autistics experts to prove their need for necessary reasonable accommodations, etc. via simply consulting PubMed articles, which are NOT freely available to the public, then there is a big problem -- ex parte info coming into a case with no opportunity to test its validity, a form of justice where certain materials are being made available to judges that are not made available to ligitants, etc.

If this is occurring, it would truly give more urgency to Chief Justice Roberts call for Congress to greatly increase finding for all areas of the federal judiciary. Query -- a federal judges/magistrates really engaging in a policy and practice of denying IFP and disability experts for federal judiciary budget reasons, rather than the merit of cases?

I just see a big problem if federal judges are controverting individualized medical/psych/dr. reports with PubMed articles, if this is occuring, and in my instance, if they are articles I cannot afford to obtain, and that are not being cited in orders/opinions in my cases.

And I still want to know if "whit" is Hon. James D. Whittemore, United States District Court Judge. The English writing style is remarkably similar. "whit" has not answered this question.
1.11.2007 2:44pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"call for Congress to greatly increase finding for all areas of the federal judiciary. Query -- a federal judges/magistrates really engaging in a policy and practice of"= call for Congress to greatly increase funding for all areas of the federal judiciary. query -- are federal judges/magistrates really engaging in a policy and practice of
1.11.2007 2:48pm
Lev:
jallgor

Except that, in my roommates case, weight for height, we were about the same.
1.11.2007 5:23pm