Being Hefty: The Laws And Lies

I’ve been a big guy most of my life, though when I look back now at pictures of me from when I thought I was too heavy makes me shake my head. You do what you can, put down the seventh Ring-a-Ding Junior, do an insane number of sit-up yet still you get to wake up to news like this:

While New York City proposes to force fast-food restaurants to post calorie information on their message boards, these three lawmakers have done the Big Apple one better – proposing to make it illegal for a Mississippi restaurant to serve anyone with a body mass index of 30 or more – the clinical threshold of obesity.

The funny thing is, as we learn through HB, that it is all a lie because the other news today is that “Healthy people place biggest burden on state“:

The study, led by Pieter van Baal at the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and Environment, found: “The underlying mechanism is that there is a substitution of inexpensive, lethal diseases towards less lethal, and therefore more costly diseases.” By comparison, being significantly overweight tends to lower overall medical bills: “Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, increasing healthcare utilisation but decreasing life expectancy.” They concluded: “Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained.”

What comfort. We die earlier leaving our children to carry the burden of paying for the thin. No word, however, on the specific effect that beer blogging struggling novice masters shot putters in training have on the public purse. Does this mean health insurers should adjust the tables? Reduce premiums for those who will not reduce?

Last Weekend Of Summer


Somewhere in America I hit two 30 yard field goals. I could do that when I was a skinny kid but haven’t done it for close to 30 years.

cfl2Not really that hard to believe given I filled the gap with at least 20 years of semi-regular soccer but it is a different skill than that round ball with all its room for forgiveness. But I am way too big. I need to do a Ben. So I bought a bench. I need to find my inner ox within my outer Dom Deluise. It’s a good bench. At only 89 bucks USD at a Dick’s it’s what I can use rather than snap.

Transfat Surprise

Reading the NYT this morning, I came across this odd passage in a story about a chef who was given some basic cooking tasks but had to use other oils:

Mr. Schwartz, a chef who has worked in some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, including Le Cirque and Osteria del Circo, agreed to conduct a cooking experiment on Thursday at the Institute of Culinary Education, where he is an instructor. Could he make dishes that are as good, or better, using only the trace amount of trans fats allowed under the city’s new rules? It was a question many of the city’s more than 20,000 restaurants would be wrestling with. “Personally, I don’t want the government telling me what I can eat,” Mr. Schwartz said, making it clear that he considered the city’s new rule a blow to his civil liberties. Nevertheless, he said, his cooking skills were up to the task.

I am quite shocked that someone who had worked in New York’s most celebrated restaurants was using transfat in what would be an expensive and one would assume carefully sourced meal. To review, transfat is the Ford Pinto of the food world – a design error. It is not a matter of “the food police” stopping you from eating fat. It is a matter of public health that this artificial fat be removed from the market. Craig remembers that there was a big kurfuffle over this on his blog two years ago. I cited this New Yorker article the reading of which was enough to drive transfats out of our house five years ago.

Presuming the NY chef knew of the article, why would he still use the stuff?