Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

5 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. Andrei says:

    Seasonal Music 1 – Modern American

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  2. Andrei says:

    Seasonal Music 2 – The original Ukrainian

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  3. Andrei says:

    Seasonal Music 3 – An interpretation on the Bandura

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  4. TraceyS says:

    Two quite unrelated things this week got me thinking…

    The first was a discussion on obesity in NZ. It led me to check on my own body mass index (BMI) which fell squarely in the middle of the “overweight” category. An upward shift of two more points and I’m adding to the obesity statistics! At my height, that’s a weight gain of about 10kg.

    Later in the week I caught two young hen-harassing, home-grown, free-range roosters and within half an hour they were in the oven roasting for dinner. A special dinner for my husband – his favourite. Now (sparing the details) doing such an act requires a bit of strength and the higher BMI comes in quite handy at multiple steps in the process, especially that one involving an axe.

    There must be loads of people out there, especially in the rural setting, who have elevated BMI’s. Upon doing a little research it appears that it is the location of the extra weight that is the real indicator of future disease. So maybe we need a different statistic which takes account of those who don’t sit at a desk all day?

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  5. TraceyS says:

    Adding to the above

    “…it is becoming increasingly clear that body fat distribution is a more important determinant of disease risk than body mass. Individuals with a high proportion of abdominal fat have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease (CAD), and cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality. Although the mechanism is unknown, it is postulated that central adiposity, specifically excess visceral adipose tissue, is associated with CAD and CVD-related mortality primarily through its impact on insulin resistance and dyslipidemia.” (http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v25/n8/full/0801640a.html). In simple terms, fat around the middle affects the metabolism.

    Can we afford to wait for the postulated mechanism to be proved? And should our health system be tracking and reporting waist circumference and waist-hip ratio trends in addition to BMI-based obesity statistics? I know plenty of people who are not obese or even overweight who have type 2 diabetes. If we are mainly focussing on obese and overweight then the larger group of normal and underweight may not be paid sufficient attention. With recent links made between diabetes and dementia, this is a waiting epidemic. People who are developing dementia may naturally find it more difficult to plan their diet or exercise regime to maintain a healthy weight, amongst a host of other problems.

    How many people know that there is an obesity problem in the developed world? It would be interesting to compare that with the number who can identify that there is an increasing trend in waist circumference and increasing waist-hip ratios and the relevance of this.

    “The epidemic of obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) maybe plateauing”. However, “[b]etween 1985 and 2007 central adiposity increased at a faster rate than total adiposity, particularly in girls. The secular increase in waist circumference and WHtR is concerning as measures of central adiposity are associated with metabolic and cardiovascular risk.” (Garnett, S. P, Baur, L. A., and Cowell, C. T. (2011). The prevalence of increased central adiposity in Australian school children 1985 to 2007: DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00899.x)

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