Merry Christmas! I am taking a break to enjoy my family over the holidays. For your reading enjoyment, I’m posting the Best of 2009 series. Enjoy and see you when I return!
This post originally ran on March 19, 2009. I know it’s literally Christmas Eve right now (and it isn’t Friday), but if you are looking for something to do between all the presents and the cheeseballs, this is still a good read. Makes sure you take note of the cow situation.
Recent studies conclude adults who are obese—defined as 40 or more pounds overweight—may be cutting three years off their lives. While those who are extremely obese—100 or more pounds overweight—could be shortening their lives by 10 years.
The researchers examined the findings of 57 studies involving about 900,000 adults in the U.S. and Western Europe, and found the following:
Above a healthy weight, every 5-point increase in BMI increases the risk of early death by about 30%.
People at the lowest risk of dying early are in the high end of the healthy weight range, with a BMI of about 22.5 to 25.
(To calculate your BMI, click here. )
With one third of Americans now qualifying as obese, and a lot of those obese people becoming progressively more obese, this poses a huge health risk to society.
Sure, we already know obesity is bad for us. But with each new study, we’re finding out just how bad. In fact, the researchers of this particular study conclude that obesity and smoking have the same detrimental effect on your health—both decreasing your life by 10 years.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Ten years, big deal!”
Ten years. Think about that. Where were you in 1999? Besides preparing for Y2K and digging out your old Prince cassette tape to play at your New Year’s Eve party? In 1999, I was about to give birth to my daughter Rebekah. Elijah and Elliana were not yet even a glimmer in my eye. Blogs weren’t invented yet. And I was wearing stirrup maternity pants.
When I think of all the things God has done in me and through me the last ten years, not the least of which is delivering me from stirrup pants, it gives real relevance to this study.
Even if you do beat the odds and live to be 80, your life as an obese person is a life filled with heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, depression, and probably cancer.
Also in the headlines, the government on Saturday permanently banned the slaughter of cows too sick or too weak to stand on their own, seeking to further minimize the chance that mad cow disease could enter the food supply.
“Downer cows” pose a higher health risk of having mad cow disease, and they are susceptible to infections from bacteria such as E. coli, because the animals wallow in feces.
That’s right folks. Up until Saturday, the cows that produced your Quarter Pounder with cheese very well could have been too sick to stand up and—may I repeat for emphasis—wallowing in feces!
In college I took a Business Management class and read The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair—a book written in 1906 exposing the disgusting practices of the Chicago meat packing industry in the 20th century. As a girl who was never so fond of meat to begin with, that was enough to put serious doubts in my head about eating meat of any kind.
Supposedly, all of those disgusting practices had long since been outlawed, as any good carnivore will tell you.
But then you read a little blurb on page A3, column 6 of the Louisville Courier Journal, and you ask yourself, “Outlawed??? Really?”
Seriously, people. Up until 1997, it was legal to grind up dead, sick cows and sell it as feed for other cows. Cows eating cows. No, wait: cows eating SICK cows. People eating cows which have eaten sick cows.
Wait a minute here…so in 1997, the government decided that COWS shouldn’t eat sick cows. But it took them twelve more years to determine that PEOPLE should not eat sick cows?
Am I the only one who thinks that’s yucky?
I suppose I should be careful. In 1998, Oprah got sued for saying similar things on her show.
I will be sure to be summoned to court, as well…where they’ll try to take my declining retirement funds and my 2000 Chrysler mini van with 122,681 miles on it. Oh, and my kids have little zipper pouches with allowance money. They’ll try to get that, too.
So I’m technically not telling you to abstain from beef (high in saturated fat) or that beef is in any way bad for you (raises your risk of colon cancer by 40%). I’m simply saying that it’s gross to eat anything that is too ill to stand on it’s own four legs.
That’s our news. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.