More Exercise?

25 03 2010

Yesterday I saw this article in the Arizona Republic (from the LA Times)  saying that the Journal of the American Medical Association released a new recommendation for women to exercise for 60 minutes per day every day in order to avoid gaining unwanted weight. Yahoo has the same basic story (from Reuters). I find the Yahoo article particularly offensive because it’s titled, “For women, battle of the buldge just got tougher”, as if the recommendations have changed how diet and exercise effect women’s body fat; and they have a picture of an obese woman in a bathing suit, as if someone reading the article might not know what a fat person looks like.

Whenever you see an article about any kind of scientific research, it’s best to skip to the actual science. Or in this case, “science.” From the Republic:

The study was based on surveys of more than 34,000 U.S. women who were, on average, age 54 at the start of the study. They reported their physical activity and body weight, as well as health factors such as smoking and menopausal status, over 13 years. On average, the women gained 5.7 pounds during the study.

What? They were 54 years old on average? That means the average age at the end was 67 (depending on who died). I don’t understand how or why they would derive recommendations for all women based on survey data from post-menopausal women. Nor do I understand how an average weight gain of less than half a pound per year is at all significant.

From Yahoo:

Only 13 percent of women in the study maintained a healthy weight throughout the study — and those who got an hour of exercise a day on average or more were by far the most likely to be in that group.

Something’s not right here if they all averaged a 13-year weight gain of 5.7 pounds while only 13% maintained a healthy weight. At this point, I’m inclined to dig into the actual numbers, but I’m not about to pay $15 for the privilege. Without getting into it, I can’t really tell, but it smells like the data do not fit the conclusion. I think what’s going on here is that current government recommendations (150 minutes of moderate exercise per week) aren’t working and instead of questioning whether exercise causes weight loss or prevents weight gain, the experts will just conclude that it’s not enough. This study is being used because it weakly shows the desired conclusion.

I’ve been convinced that exercise is not a reliable means of weight loss (or weight gain prevention) ever since reading this article by Gary Taubes:

There was a time when virtually no one believed exercise would help a person lose weight. Until the sixties, clinicians who treated obese and overweight patients dismissed the notion as naïve. When Russell Wilder, an obesity and diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic, lectured on obesity in 1932, he said his fat patients tended to lose more weight with bed rest, “while unusually strenuous physical exercise slows the rate of loss.”

The problem, as he and his contemporaries saw it, is that light exercise burns an insignificant number of calories, amounts that are undone by comparatively effortless changes in diet. In 1942, Louis Newburgh of the University of Michigan calculated that a 250-pound man expends only three calories climbing a flight of stairs—the equivalent of depriving himself of a quarter-teaspoon of sugar or a hundredth of an ounce of butter. “He will have to climb twenty flights of stairs to rid himself of the energy contained in one slice of bread!” Newburgh observed. So why not skip the stairs, skip the bread, and call it a day?

More-strenuous exercise, these physicians further argued, doesn’t help matters—because it works up an appetite. “Vigorous muscle exercise usually results in immediate demand for a large meal,” noted Hugo Rony of Northwestern University in his 1940 textbook, Obesity and Leanness. “Consistently high or low energy expenditures result in consistently high or low levels of appetite. Thus men doing heavy physical work spontaneously eat more than men engaged in sedentary occupations. Statistics show that the average daily caloric intake of lumberjacks is more than 5,000 calories, while that of tailors is only about 2,500 calories. Persons who change their occupation from light to heavy work or vice versa soon develop corresponding changes in their appetite.” If a tailor becomes a lumberjack and, by doing so, takes to eating like one, why assume that the same won’t happen, albeit on a lesser scale, to an overweight tailor who decides to work out like a lumberjack for an hour a day?

Credit for why we came to believe otherwise goes to one man, Jean Mayer…

It’s always one man.





Helpful Information from the Government!

24 03 2010

I found something odd at a .gov website: Penis size: Survey of female perceptions of sexual satisfaction. The conclusion is hardly shocking:

Women reported that penis width was more important for their sexual satisfaction than penis length. The results were statistically significant. Penis width needs to be given more consideration, and taken into account when one discusses penis size.

…but this is apparently supposed to be a surprise because it contradicts the conclusion of Masters and Johnson, as if people learned about sex from them and not from porn and, well, having sex.

The methodology is rather funny:

To test the notion of the possible importance of length vs. width and female sexual satisfaction, two male undergraduate college students – both popular athletes on campus…

Oh, if only… If only it continued, “one with a long narrow penis, the other with a short wide penis…”, but it doesn’t. They had these two guys ask 50 girls who they considered sexually active if penis width or length was more important. 45 said width. It seems odd that these guys were asked to contact women who they most likely knew personally and may have had sex with. This introduces a huge potential bias. The respondents’ answers could have been colored by what they knew about the surveyors’ penises and their inclination to boost, spare, or hurt their feelings. Of course, this doesn’t really matter because the whole survey is unimportant.

My point is simply that many people are struggling financially, but they need not worry because the government is here to tell us that chicks prefer fat dicks.

I found this while looking for the story of Juan Baptista dos Santo and Blanche Dumas(nudity), a man and a woman with a total of six legs, two penises, two vaginae, and two voracious sexual appetites. That link claims the two got it on, but another source says, “While there is no evidence that the two had illicit meetings, there is great rumor of a brief affair.”





Bad Advice From Dr. Drew?

19 03 2010

Last night, as I often do, I listened to Loveline for a bit. The first call I heard was from a 20 year-old girl who was concerned that she was fantasizing about other men while having sex with her boyfriend and that she was no longer sexually attracted to him. She had been with him for four years and said she couldn’t imagine being without him. He was her first and only boyfriend. Dr. Drew’s thinking is that relationships that start at 16 are supposed to end and that young people stay in relationships too long because they’re unable to recognize when they are over. His advice to the caller was that it was probably time for her relationship to be over. Guests Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clarke Duke (all promoting Hot Tub Time Machine) were agreeable to this.

I have a lot of respect for Dr. Drew and have learned a great deal from him, but I’m not so sure I agree I share his view. I have said before that I think too many people stay in bad relationships for too long, but that isn’t necessarily what’s going on here. From what I’ve been reading (PDF) , it is common for a woman to lose sexual interest in her mate after about four years. The girl who called in sounded like she cared deeply about the guy she was with and seemed seriously disturbed by her feelings. She did not sound driven or willing to cheat or leave him. I would not advise her to stay, necessarily, but I would tell her that what she’s going through is common and that her relationship might not need to end. I wouldn’t have any suggestions on how she might regain the attraction she once had for her mate, but she might not need that. Simply knowing that her experience is typical could possibly be enough.

Of course, the guy probably needs to step up his relationship game.





“I’d love to be 1000lb”

16 03 2010

I shall first quote myself where I was describing the type of fat people who disgust me:

I’m talking about the tubs of goo who ride the scooters at Walmart when they’re buying their cookies and ice cream, people who wear sweatpants because that’s all they have that fits.

From the Telegraph, we have Donna Simpson: woman who wants to be world’s fattest

Miss Simpson, 42, from New Jersey, USA, already holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s biggest mum. She was 520lbs when she had daughter Jacqueline, three, becoming the largest woman to give birth.

Now she weighs a mega 600lbs, or 43 stone, and hopes to break the 1,000lbs or half a ton mark.

Miss Simpson, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, eats whole cakes and bags of donuts and tries to move as little as possible.

That seems a good recipe for her goal, but why have such a horrid goal?

She runs her own website where people pay to watch her eat, or see her wash her huge body.

Oh my. I would think that at 1000lbs, she would not be able to wash her body (let alone take care of her children). It is really something that in an age of endless free porn, people actually pay for stuff like this.

The cash helps fund the family’s $750 a week food shop, which Miss Simpson carries out in her mobility scooter.

Helps fund? Who foots the rest of the bill?

She met her partner Philippe, 49, seven years ago on a dating site for plus-size people.

Philippe, who weighs just 150lbs, is a self-confessed fat admirer, who will only look at a woman if she weighs over 28 stone.

Maybe this dweeb helps feed her. If my math is on, 28 stones is about 390lbs. In the post I linked to above, I noted how fat women are usually not happy to be someone’s fetish. They want to be loved in spite of their obesity, not because of it. The refreshing things about the woman in the story are that she isn’t in denial about her physique, and she is able to earn an income because of it. I could be wrong, but I would suspect that she understands and accepts that most men, most people, are disgusted by her appearance. She just doesn’t care and welcomes the attention she gets.

It might be a bit disturbing that’s she’s basically trying to kill herself, but that’s not unlike the self-destructive behavior you’ve probably witnessed in alcoholics and drug addicts.

Go here to read about the heaviest people ever.





Why do Women Wear Make-up and Perfume?

16 03 2010

Read the rest of this entry »





Sexism

15 03 2010

Here’s something stupid. It’s called Do you write ‘Mr and Mrs’? Scientists claim it is a sexist throwback to the 16th century. Real scientists should be offended.

They said letters that begin ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and references to ‘Mr and Mrs’ are both remnants of an old -fashioned world view that placed men before women.

Starting from there they did some research and found that people are more likely to name the male first when they mention male/female couples and apparently more likely to name the more masculine of the two when they speak  of same sex couples. Does any of this actually matter? Of course not.

Dr Hegarty said: ‘The results of our studies suggest that people tend to put men, or male qualities, before women. As this is a remnant of the sexist grammar of the 16th century, it would seem that psychologically we are still sexist in writing.’

I don’t see how saying one person’s name first implies at all that they are superior or more important.

Several years ago, I remember reading about how it became considered sexist, in Sweden I think, for men to pee standing up. From Yahoo Answers:

Urinals seem like a man’s way of saying “Haha! I can pee standing up, but you can’t!” Meanwhile, women are forced to sit on toilet seats that are often dirty. It’s completely disrespectful to women.

It’s also a way of requiring women to submit. Women must literally and figuratively lower themselves to urinate, while men are allowed to stand up and be above it all.

I think everyone agrees that we should strive for complete equality between men and women. If women are required to sit on toilet seats, shouldn’t men too? Should urinals be removed from public places?

This look like a joke, but the person may well be serious.

From 2007:

Young women in Sweden, Germany and Australia have a new cause: They want men to sit down while urinating. This demand comes partly from concerns about hygiene — avoiding the splash factor — but, as Jasper Gerard reports in the English magazine The Spectator, “more crucially because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women.” One argument is that if women can’t do it, then men shouldn’t either. Another is that standing upright while relieving oneself is “a nasty macho gesture,” suggestive of male violence. A feminist group at Stockholm University is campaigning to ban all urinals from campus, and one Swedish elementary school has already removed them. In Australia, an Internet survey shows that 17 percent of those polled think men ought to sit, while 70 percent believe they should be allowed to stand. Some Swedish women are pressuring their men to take a stand, so to speak. Yola, a 25-year-old Swedish trainee psychiatrist, says she dumps boyfriends who insist on standing. “What else can I do?,” said her new boyfriend, Ingvar, who sits.

What else can you do, Yola? How about instead of wasting your time being pointless, you find something useful to do. Make me a fucking sandwich or something.





Would You Dance to this Song?

11 03 2010

Combichrist – Happy Fucking Birthday:

I think DJ’s should play this whenever it’s someone’s birthday, but I’m told this sort of music has a very limited audience.