This is where I’ll be for a week.
Australian researchers have figured it out: we eat too much. This was a really interesting study. They compared national food supply data from the 1970s and the early 2000s. Given the weight distribution of the US population in the 1970s, and the increase in per capita food consumption from 1970 to 2000, they could estimate how the weight distribution would change by 2000. The result:
According to the researchers, the predicted and actual weight increase in children matched exactly, indicating that the increase in caloric intake alone could explain the additional pounds. Adults gained less than the data predicted—18.9 pounds versus 23.8 pounds—which “suggests that excess food intake still explains the weight gain, but there may have been increases in physical activity over the 30 years that have blunted what would otherwise have been a higher weight gain,”
Using the methodology in the study, adults would have to cut back their daily caloric intake by about 500 calories per day to revert to the weight distribution of the 1970s.
Just what I needed: another interesting blog to read! This one is called Denialism Blog. From the About page:
Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one’s viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions.
Examples of common topics in which denialists employ their tactics include: Creationism/Intelligent Design, Global Warming denialism, Holocaust denial, HIV/AIDS denialism, 9/11 conspiracies, Tobacco Carcinogenecity denialism (the first organized corporate campaign), anti-vaccination/mercury autism denialism and anti-animal testing/animal rights extremist denialism. Denialism spans the ideological spectrum, and is about tactics rather than politics or partisanship.
What brought me to the blog was this post about a huge metastudy entitled “Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies”. This is a topic that interests me, and I’ve blogged on it before. The post points out how dangerous it is to be overweight. But it looks like being underweight is also associated with increased mortality. Read the whole thing.