This makes me ill

Of course, I love the cartoon “the Dinette Set” by Julie Larson. This one made me chuckle:

burl pants

Ok, Burl really isn’t fat enough for a 52 (what I used to wear); I’d call him a 46. But never mind.

Obesity is a huge problem, and a related condition (binge eating disorder) is far more widespread than the better known problems of anorexia and bulimia.

Out-of-control binge eating is the biggest eating disorder in the United States, more common than anorexia and bulimia combined and contributing to a rise in obesity, researchers said on Thursday.

Binge eating afflicts 3.5 percent of U.S. women and 2 percent of men at some point in their lives, according to a study by psychiatric researchers at Harvard University Medical School and its affiliate, McLean Psychiatric Hospital.

“I suspect that the connection that we have drawn in this study is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem of out-of-control eating and its relationship to obesity,” Dr. James Hudson, the study’s lead author, told Reuters.

He said binge eating — where people cannot stop from eating well beyond the point of being full at least twice a week — is a chronic and persistent condition in the United States that is under-reported and under-diagnosed.

“The most striking finding of the study is the emergence of binge eating as a major public-health problem,” Hudson said.

The researchers surveyed more than 9,000 people from 2001 to 2003 in the first national survey of eating disorders.

It said about 0.9 percent of women and 0.3 percent of men reported suffering at some point from anorexia nervosa — a disorder characterized by refusing to eat and an obsessive desire to be thin. It said 1.5 percent of women and 0.5 percent of men reported the condition of bulimia, in which binge eating is followed by attempts to compensate by methods such as self-induced vomiting or excessive laxative use or exercise.

It also found a “surprisingly high” proportion of men with anorexia and bulimia — at one-fourth of the reported cases for each of those disorders.

Yes, I’ve had a run in with this and ate myself to 320 pounds prior to getting help. While in the Navy, I gained 40 pounds in 5 months at sea.

By the way: THAT is a size 50 waist person.

But the following reall breaks my heart: even kids are having stomach surgeries for weight control purposes!

As the popularity of stomach surgery has skyrocketed among obese adults, a growing number of doctors are asking, “Why not children, too?”

For decades, the number of kids trying weight-loss surgery has been tiny. The operations themselves were risky, with a death rate of about 1 in 50. Children rarely got that fat, and when they did, pediatricians hesitated to put the developing bodies under the knife. Only 350 U.S. kids had such an operation in 2004, according to federal statistics.

But improvements in surgical technique and huge increases in the number of dangerously obese children have begun fueling a change of heart.

A group of four hospitals, led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, are starting a large-scale study this spring examining how children respond to various types of weight-loss surgery, including the gastric bypass, in which a pouch is stapled off from the rest of the stomach and connected to the small intestine.

Three more hospitals have approval from the Food and Drug Administration to test how teens fare with a procedure called laparoscopic gastric banding, where an elastic collar installed around the stomach limits how much someone can eat.

The FDA has hesitated to approve the gastric band for children, but surgeons at New York University Medical Center reported in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery this month that the device holds promise.

The 53 boys and girls, aged 13 to 17, who participated in NYU’s study shed nearly half their excess weight over 18 months, while suffering relatively minor complications.

Crystal Kasprowicz, of St. James, N.Y., said she lost 100 pounds from her 250-pound frame after having the band installed at age 17.

“I’m a totally different person,” she said.

That just sickens me.


February 4, 2007 Posted by | politics/social | Leave a comment

Superbowl Morning 2007

From the Daily Kos (did I mention that the founder is from Chicago?)

bears colts


I woke up to -2 temperatures. I still managed to drag my sorry butt to the pool and get in 4500 yards; 5 x 100 fist, 5 x 25 3g, 75 free, 10 x 100 (1:40-1:41, one 1:42), 4 x 250 on 5 (4:17, 4:11, 4:11, 4:12), 1000 pyramid (25, 25, 50, 50, 75, 75, 100, 100, decend the same way, 5 sec. rest between reps) 17:54, 5 x (alt 25 stroke, 25 free) on 2.

No, I am not a fast swimmer, but I still get it in.

By the way, one of my students sent me this a couple of years ago.

Little do they know that I feel this way all of the time when I am doing research. I am trying to learn the underpinnings of Fox’s Free Differential Calculus (a way of obtaining the Alexander Polynomial of a group which abelianizes to a free abelian group); basically one lifts the various relations to their preimage in the universial covering space and gathers the coefficients of the lifts of the two cannonical generators.

It does give a nice way of calculating what you need, but Fox is oh-so-careful in his derivations.

February 4, 2007 Posted by | mathematics, swimming | Leave a comment

Minus 2

It is 2 below zero F and I am getting ready to go to the riverplex for a swim.

“Enjoy”, if that is the proper word.

February 4, 2007 Posted by | politics/social | Leave a comment