On The Road To Olympic Gold, Kenyan Marathoners Fuel Up On Carbs : NPR (NPR.org)

NPR's "The Salt" blog reports on the plant-based high-carb diet of some of the fittest people on the planet: On The Road To Olympic Gold, Kenyan Marathoners Fuel Up On Carbs

And they eat pretty healthy, as do most Kenyans who have food. As I looked at the lean, quiet, sinewy young men and women sitting down to dinner, I saw plates piled high with carbohydrates.

"It's just normal Kenyan food — vegetables, spaghetti, ugali," said Wilson Kipsang, captain of the Kenyan marathon team.

The national dish, ugali, is a corn mush made from cornmeal and water that has the consistency of mashed potatoes and almost no taste; Kenyans usually sop it into whatever else is on the plate. Githeri is a mixture of boiled corn and kidney beans. Sukuma wiki is chopped boiled kale, which desperately needs Tabasco sauce. The competitive runners seldom eat meat. Beans supply most of their protein. For a snack, the runners eat roasted corn on the cob. No salt.

Weight Training May Lower Diabetes Risk (Well)

Well Weight Training May Lower Diabetes Risk (Well)

After controlling for many variables, including age, body mass and alcohol intake, the researchers found that engaging in aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes a week lowered the risk of developing the disease by 52 percent. Doing the same amount of weight training, meanwhile, was associated with a 34 percent lower risk, independent of any aerobic exercise. But doing both led to the greatest reduction in risk. Dr. Willett said the mechanism behind weight training’s beneficial effect on diabetes most likely stems from its effect on insulin receptors.


Facing An Emergency, We’re Still Asking, “Where’s the Beef?” - In These Times

At In These Times, David Sirota considers the USDA "Meatless Mondays" kerfluffle in light of the drought: Facing An Emergency, We’re Still Asking, “Where’s the Beef?”

It should shock you that our government's response to such an epic agricultural crisis is a small non-binding recommendation to consume a bit less meat. Indeed, compared to our nation's past reaction to other national security emergencies – from World War II-era recycling campaigns to post-9/11 homeland security spending binges – a “Meatless Monday” suggestion in an internal newsletter is stunningly inadequate.

It should likewise disgust you that even this inadequate recommendation has prompted not merely lawmakers' boisterous opposition – but also public displays of gluttony aimed at encouraging Americans to consume even more water-intensive products than ever.

And, most important, this episode should frighten you because it shows that those elected to deal with national security threats are so owned by industry that they now respond to crises with mocking condescension, in the process raising a harrowing question:

If an historic drought can't convince us to even talk about eating less than 194 pounds of meat every year, then how are we ever going to discuss solutions to – much less actively combat – the even bigger crises headed our way?

The Bullying Culture of Medical School (Well) Tom Swiss Sun, 08/12/2012 - 00:48

From the New York Times blog "Well": The Bullying Culture of Medical School

For 30 years, medical educators have known that becoming a doctor requires more than an endless array of standardized exams, long hours on the wards and years spent in training. For many medical students, verbal and physical harassment and intimidation are part of the exhausting process, too.

BBC: Carbon monoxide's damaging role in heart rhythm found

The BBC reports on a study showing that low levels of carbon monoxide, in the range encountered from vehicle traffic, can cause cardiac arrhythmia:

Carbon monoxide is produced by faulty boilers, cigarettes and car exhausts.

It is deadly at high levels as it "shoulder-barges" oxygen out of the blood, meaning less is transported around the body. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 50 people in the UK each year and many more around the world.

Pfizer settles bribery charges for a parking ticket fine

The New York Times reports that pharma giant Pfizer has reached a $45 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that it and Wyeth (which it gobbled up in 2009) regularly bribed doctors and health care workers in such countries as Russia, China, Bulgaria, Italy, Indonesia, and Pakistan to prescribe its potions, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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