Panaceia or Hygeia

immunize yourself against the pandemic of lifestyle diseases

Archive for October, 2009

Junk food addiction

Posted by Colin Rose on October 28, 2009

The type of reactions Kessler describes when some people are presented with junk food is classical addictive behaviour. Why doesn’t Kessler like to call junk food obsession an addiction? My guess is that as a former FDA Commissioner he would like to think that the problem can be solved just by banning junk food. If he admits the existence of  junk food addiction he has to face the reality that all attempts to ban addictive substances of any sort have been disastrous; people will satisfy their addictions at any cost to themselves and their society. Whether we like it or not, we are all affected by the consequences of addiction; if you have any kind of disease insurance, public or private, you are paying much more than you would if there were no alcohol, tobacco or junk food addictions, all legal. Illegal cocaine and heroin addictions only increase your share of police and military costs. So, collectively, we have to put a  major effort into preventing and treating addiction, a medical problem so intractable that we pay police rather than doctors to deal with it.

Slaves to sugar
National Post
28 Oct 2009

For years, I wondered why I was fat. Science seemed to suggest it was my destiny. “Set-point theory” says that adult weight is destined to remain at a predetermined level and that we will adjust our energy intake and output to keep it there. According…read more…

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You can say no

Posted by Colin Rose on October 27, 2009

A great book, but Kessler calls everything that can be digested “food”. Artificial concoctions formulated to appeal to addictions to sugar, fat and salt are junk food and have no more reason for existence than cocaine or tobacco. It is impossible to eat too much of unrefined cereals, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low-fat dairy products or lean meat with no added butter, margarine or oil.

National Post
27 Oct 2009

To understand how eating promotes more eating, we must first understand the concept of “palatability” as the term is used scientifically. In everyday language, we call food palatable if it has an agreeable taste. But when scientists say a food is…read more…

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National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Posted by Colin Rose on October 14, 2009

What does the pandemic of cat and dog obesity tell us about the pandemic of human obesity? Animals don`t get fat in the wild, only when they live with obese humans and are fed the same junk food. No junk food, no obesity. No survey has looked at the association between pet obesity and obesity in their owners but we would predict that there would be a very good correlation.


Junk Food Addicts

We are surprised that no mention is made of  Pfizer`s Slentrol, “the first prescription weight loss medication for dogs”. Feed your dog expensive junk and then spend more money on an expensive pill.

Obese Pets: How to Help Your Furry Friend Stay Slim

Given that today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, I thought I would touch on the topic and provide some handy references and tips for those pet owners concerned about the size of their furry companions.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 33 million (44%) of US Dogs and 51 million (57%) US Cats are Overweight or Obese.

“Pudgy pooches and fat cats are now the norm.” states Dr. Ernie Ward, founder and President of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) in a recent press release. He goes on to suggest that “the majority of today’s overweight pets will endure painful and expensive medical conditions – all of which can be avoided.”

But how can you tell if your pet is overweight or obese?

Here are a few simple guidelines provided by APOP:

Your Pet is Overweight if…
– Difficult to feel ribs under fat
– Sagging stomach – you can grab a handful of fat!
– Broad, flat back
– No waist is apparent

More specifically, you can refer to the Body Conditioning Scoring System for Dogs and Cats which has an easy to follow grading system (with pictures) : 1 (very thin), 2 (underweight), 3 (ideal), 4 (overweight), 5 (obese).

The APOP website also offers a helpful Pet Obesity Info Sheet which lists the proper weights of various breeds of dogs and cats, their regular dietary needs (calories), as well as nutritional information for various pet treats and foods.

For example, did you know that your Golden Retriever should not be exceeding 75 lbs while your regular domestic cat should stay under 10 lbs?

Much as in humans, excess weight among pets is associated with increased risk of numerous diseases including: osteoarthritis , diabetes, hypertension , cardiovascular disease , and cancer.

And what are the factors predisposing your pet to gaining excess weight?

A 2003 study conducted by Robertson in Murdoch University, Australia used a random telephone survey of 2326 households in the Perth metropolitan region to interview the 657 owners of a total of 860 dogs. In this study, most dogs (69.7%) were considered by their owners to be the correct-weight or body-condition, while 25.2% were considered overweight or obese – numbers that are lower than those documented in the US.

The study found that dogs that were overweight or obese were more likely to be neutered, fed snacks, be of older age, and ate only one meal a day. Additionally, for every hour of exercise performed by the dog each week their risk of obesity fell by 10%.

As your pet’s owner, you are responsible for ensuring little Mr. Bojangles lives a long and healthy life. To do so, you have to keep your cat or dog at a normal weight.

Once again, the APOP provides very helpful advice for managing your pet’s excess weight (Read: weight management for dogs and weight management for cats).

In the end, the strategies are quite similar to that for obese humans.

First, the pet should be checked by a vet for any possible disease states predisposing to obesity, and making weight loss potentially difficult.

Second is calorie balance – increasing the amount of daily exercise your pet gets (easier with dog than cat), while limiting the number of calories they ingest – being particularly careful to not exceed their nutritional requirements with snacks and scraps of “people food” or by using a self-feeder.

Keeping a daily log of activity, caloric intake, and regular weigh-ins is a good way to track progress. For a sample food and activity log for your pet click here.

And finally, if you would like your pet to participate in today’s national effort to raise awareness of pet obesity, and help establish reliable data on the severity of the issue, please fill out the online Pet Obesity Data Form.

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CHUM hires a new director

Posted by Colin Rose on October 8, 2009

Paire’s waist circumference looks at least 45 inches. Abdominal obesity is a preventable disease resulting from junk food addiction that increases the chances of many other diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Another example of how the “health care” system is showing you how to care for your health.

CHUM hires a new director
The Gazette
08 Oct 2009

Hoping to turn the page on years of internal strife, the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal has recruited a top hospital administrator from France to serve as its executive director. But yesterday, in his first appearance before the…read more…

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Getting more for less in health care (National Post, 06 Oct 2009)

Posted by Colin Rose on October 6, 2009

Esmail assumes that producing “health care” is analogous to producing widgets; the law of supply and demand applies to both. Not so. Demand for “health care”, really disease care, is infinite. Deluded inhabitants of developed societies believe that any money spent on doctors and hospitals will prolong their lives. But, there is no correlation between per capita expenditure on doctors and hospitals and any measure of health. The cost of disease care will continue to rise as long as demand is fueled by absurd expectations of a necessarily finite system, driven by the latest, doctor-self-aggrandizing story on some “life-saving” technology. The cost of disease care can only be contained if doctors are put on salaries and practice according to the Hippocratic Oath and the best evidence for effectiveness and safety of treatments. Only then will doctors have an incentive to do less. Unlike the present perverted fee-for-service system, there would be no incentive to administer profitable but superficially attractive and potentially lethal procedures or drugs for non-life threatening disease. Also, unlike the present system, there would be a primordial incentive, less work for the same money, to prevent the diseases of lifestyle that account for most of the cost of the disease care system and most of the premature deaths in our society.

Getting more for less in health care
National Post
06 Oct 2009

Thanks to poor fiscal management, the government of Ontario finds itself in a difficult fiscal situation. It must find a way to eliminate the significant deficits that are expected until at least 2015/16. Given that tax increases are certain to damage…read more…

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