“THE FAT BASTARD GAZETTE” BIG FOODS, PIG PROCESSING VOL.1 NO. 19


Is the Junk-Food Era Drawing to a Close?

| Wed Feb. 25, 2015 6:00 AM EST

Not long ago, the great processed-food companies like Kraft and Kellogg’s towered over the US food landscape like the high hat that adorned the head of Chef Boyardee, the iconic canned-spaghetti magnate whose empire is now owned by ConAgra.

But now, Big Food has fallen on hard times. Conagra, which owns Hunts, Reddi Whip, Ro-Tell, Swiss Miss, and Orville Redenbacher, along with Chef Boyardee, recentlyslashed its 2015 profit projections and sacked its CEO. Kraft—purveyor of Oscar Mayer deli meats, Jell-O, Maxwell House coffee, and Velveeta cheese—also recentlyshook up top management and reported sluggish sales in 2014. Cereal titan Kellogg’s has seen its sales plunge 5.4 percent over the past year, Advertising Agereports.

There’s a “mounting distrust of so-called Big Food, the large food companies and legacy brands on which millions of consumers have relied on for so long,” said Campbell Soup’s CEO.

What gives? Part of the problem is currency fluctuations. Having conquered the US market, Big Food for years has looked overseas for growth. Recently, a strong US dollar has cut into foreign profits, because a pricier dollar makes overseas sales worth less when they’re converted to the US currency, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported.

Currencies rise and fall, but the real specter haunting the industry may be something less ephemeral than the dollar’s gyrations. Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison—whose company makes V8 juice and Pepperidge Farm baked goods along with soup—recently publicly declared that there’s a “mounting distrust of so-called Big Food, the large food companies and legacy brands on which millions of consumers have relied…for so long,” reports Fortune‘s Phil Wahba, in an account from a conference at which Morrison spoke. Morrison also cited the “increasingly complex public dialog when it comes to food” as a drag on Campbell Soup’s and its competitors’ sales, Wahba reports.

In other words, Big Food successfully sold a vision of cooking as a necessary inconvenience, to be dispatched with as painlessly as possible—open a soup can for dinner, unleash a squirt of artificial cream onto a boxed cake for dessert—that’s starting to lose its charm.

One reason is surely health. Over the past decade, there has been a bounty of research on the ill effects of highly processed food. And when Yale medical researchers David Katz and Samuel Meller surveyed the scientific dietary literature for a paper in 2013, they found that a “diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”

Interestingly, Katz and Meller found does okay. The authors conclude the “aggregation of that as long as you stick to the “minimally processed” bit, it doesn’t much matter which diet you follow: low-fat, vegetarian, and Mediterranean have all shown good results. Even the meat-centered “paleo” approach evidence” supports meat eating, as long as the “animal foods are themselves the products, directly or ultimately, of pure plant foods—the composition of animal flesh and milk is as much influenced by diet as we are.” That’s likely because cows fed on grass deliver meat and milk with a healthier fat profile than their industrially raised peers.

Meanwhile, as Big Food flounders, sales of fresh food grown by nearby farmers continues to grow at a pace that would make a Big Food exec salivate. A recent US Department of Agriculture report found that there are now 8,268 farmers markets nationwide—a jump of 180 percent since 2006. Then there are regional food hubs, which the USDA describes as “enterprises that aggregate locally sourced food to meet wholesale, retail, institutional, and even individual demand”—the kind of operations that can move fresh food from local farms to, say, grocery stores, so you don’t have to show up at the exact right time at the farmers market to get your local collard greens. Food hubs, the USDA reports, have jumped in number by 280 percent since 2007.

Finally, there are schools—a site long dominated by Big Food, where little consumers learn eating habits before they emerge into the world as income-earning adults. According to the USDA, school districts with farm-to-school programs grew by more than 400 percent between 2007 and 2012.

For decades, “American cuisine” was an oxymoron, the punch line to a sad joke. Billions of dollars in profits have been made betting on the US appetite for processed junk. Those days may be drawing to an end.

USDA Whistleblowers Tell All–and You May Never Eat Bacon Again

| Fri Feb. 27, 2015 6:00 AM EST

In 2004, Elsa Murano stepped down from her post as chief of the US Department of Agriculture division that oversees food safety at the nation’s slaughterhouses. Two years later, she joined the board of directors of pork giant Hormel, a company that runs some of the nation’s largest slaughterhouses. Murano received $238,000 in compensation for her service on Hormel’s board in 2014 alone.

Read “The Spam Factory’s Dirty Secret” and “Gagged by Big Ag.”Illustration by Tim O’Brien

This is a classic example of the “revolving door” that separates US government regulators from the corporations they regulate. It’s hardly the most shocking thing I gleaned from the whistleblower-protection group Government Accountability Project’s recent exposé of conditions at three hog slaughter facilities associated with Hormel. But it’s interesting to think about in light of GAP’s allegations, found in sworn affidavits filed by four USDA inspectors stationed in Hormel-owned plants. Three of the inspectors chose to remain anonymous; the fourth, Joe Ferguson, gave his name.

Their comments focus on three Hormel-associated plants, which are among just five hog facilities enrolled in a pilot inspection program run by the USDA. In the regular oversight system, USDA-employed inspectors are stationed along the kill line, charged with ensuring that conditions are as sanitary as possible and that no tainted meat ends up being packed for consumption. In the pilot program, known as HIMP (short for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points-based Inspection Models Project), company employees take over inspection duties, relegating USDA inspectors to an oversight role on the sidelines.

“USDA inspectors are encouraged not to stop the line for fecal contamination.”

What’s more, the HIMP plants get to speed up the kill line—from the current rate of 1,100 hogs per hour to 1,300 hogs per hour, a jump of nearly 20 percent. The five plants rolled out the new inspection system around 2002, USDA spokesperson Aaron Lavallee said. That’s when Murano, now on the Hormel board of directors, ran the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. If the privatization-plus-speedup formula sounds familiar, it’s because the USDA ran a similar experimental program for chicken slaughter for years. After much pushback by workplace and food safety advocates and media attention (including from me), the USDA decided not to let poultry companies speed up the kill line when it opened the new system to all chicken slaughterhouses last year (though it did green-light turkey facilities to speed up the line from 51 to 55 birds per minute).

All four affidavits offer blistering critiques of the hog version of the pilot program. Three themes run through them: (1) company inspectors are poorly trained and prepared for the task of overseeing a fast-moving kill line involving large carcasses; (2) company-employed and USDA inspectors alike face pressure from the company not to perform their jobs rigorously; and (3) lots of unappetizing stuff is getting through as the result of (1) and (2).

The testimony of Inspector 3, affidavit here, is full of choice nuggets, though not of the sort you want to sample before lunch. Here are a few:

  • “Not only are plant supervisors not trained, the employees taking over USDA’s inspection duties have no idea what they are doing. Most of them come into the plant with no knowledge of pathology or the industry in general.”
  • “Food safety has gone down the drain under HIMP. Even though fecal contamination has increased under the program (though the company does a good job of hiding it), USDA inspectors are encouraged not to stop the line for fecal contamination.”
  • “HIMP was initially designed for the kill of young, healthy animals. This hasn’t always been the case. A lot of the animals the plant has killed were too old. Some also had different diseases. They didn’t even slow down the line for the diseased carcasses.”
  • “The company threatens plant employees with terminations if they see them condemning too many carcasses or carcass parts.”

For its part, Hormel insists that “food safety is our top priority and we have been a leader in the production of safe, quality food for more than 100 years,” as Rick Williamson, Hormel’s manager of external communications, wrote in an email. “In addition to the USDA inspectors at the facility, there are Hormel Foods employees trained to the standards of the USDA conducting the additional inspections,” he continued. “We’ve found this allows the USDA inspectors better perspective and more flexibility to monitor activity and identify any issues.” As for food safety concerns, he added that “our facilities consistently meet or perform better than published USDA microbiological performance standards.” But he didn’t respond to my request for data to back that claim up, or for commentary on charges of poor training and intimidation of inspectors. But he did add a plug for the privatized inspection and faster kill lines enjoyed by three Hormel-associated plants: “The HIMP program places more accountability on the company, and we welcome that responsibility.”

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the agency that runs the inspection program, is standing behind HIMP too. USDA spokesperson Aaron Lavallee pointed to a November 2014 FSIS report that, he said, “shows that the food safety outcomes at the pilot facilities are on par with those operating under other inspection systems.” The report concluded that there’s “no reason to discontinue HIMP in market hog establishments.”

Meanwhile, the pilot inspection program will continue running as is, confined to five slaughterhouse and not expanding to include others, Lavallee said. Before expanding, he added, “the agency would first need to conduct a risk assessment to determine whether doing so would have a significant positive public health impact, and then engage in the rulemaking process, which can be lengthy.”

However, the USDA’s and Hormel’s rosy assessment of HIMP presents a stark contrast to a scathing 2013 report from yet another USDA agency, the Office of the Inspector General, which found HIMP plants—which it did not name—made up three of the top 10 US hog plants earning the most food safety and animal welfare citations in the period of fiscal years 2008 to 2011. Moreover, by far the most-cited slaughterhouse in the United States over that period was in the program—it drew “nearly 50 percent more [citations] than the plant with the next highest number.” The OIG also concluded that that the Food Safety and Inspection Service “did not provide adequate oversight” of HIMP over its first 15 years, and as a result,  “HIMP plants may have a higher potential for food safety risks.”

Not all company-employed inspectors “understand and have the ability to execute the proper procedures needed to make sure pathogens don’t spread to other carcasses” when “fecal matter or ingesta spills out of one of the animal’s organs.”

Ted Genoways, who in 2012 wrote a harrowingaccount in Mother Jones of what accelerated line speeds have meant for workers slaughterhouse workers, rejects Hormel’s sunny assessment. Genoways’ reporting, later expanded into the superb 2014 book The Chain, focused on the Quality Pork Processors plant in Austin, Minnesota, which supplies its meat solely to Hormel and is one of the three Hormel-associated plants among the five in HIMP. He recently told Food Safety News, “Yes, I think the line speeds [at the HIMP plants] are too fast. When you see the workers on the line say the speeds are too fast, the inspectors say the lines are too fast, the suppliers at the farm level say the lines are too fast, there’s such a unanimity of opinion that I don’t think you can come to any other conclusion.”

Well, not quite unanimous. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, of course, continues to defend the pilot program. But then there’s its cozy ties to industry—in addition to Murano’s leap to Hormel, FSIS’s then-chief of staff flew the coop to the National Turkey Federation in 2011, and another high official bolted to work for meat processor OSI Group just this month. Given the tasty meat industry opportunities that evidently await the USDA’s food safety administrators, I take FSIS’s defense of the HIMP program in the face of these sworn statements with about as much salt as you might find in a slice of Hormel’s signature product, Spam.

“THE FAT BASTARD GAZETTE” ADDICTIVE FOOD, NIBBLING VS GORGING VOL.1 NO. 18


If you can’t stop gorging on foods like chocolate, French fries, and pizza, it’s not your mistake. It has been confirmed by scientists that one can actually become addictive to such food items.

According to scientists, these foods activate the same centers in the brain, which are activated by drugs such as cocaine. According to a new study, the brains of people who become addictive to these appetizing food items could also undergo some changes.

A study, which has been conducted by scientists at University of Michigan, has analyzed ‘food addiction’ for the first time. It has also been revealed by earlier studies conducted on animals, foods that are highly processed or consist of added fat or refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar, could lead to addiction in eating behavior.

Ashley Gearhardt, U-M assistant professor of psychology, said it was not clear earlier whether foods like chocolate and pizza can activate addiction-like eating behavior in humans. People having symptoms of food addiction were found to have more problems with highly processed foods since some of them could be especially sensitive to the gratification they get from these foods.

“If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children”, said Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student, and the study’s lead author. As per researchers, the study could help understand the obesity treatment better.

Nicole Avena, assistant professor of pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and a co-author of the study said that the study tells about addiction to specific foods and will lead to more information regarding this addictive response.

 

No Health Benefit to Eating Small Meals

Posted 2 March 2015 by in Featured

Eating-HealthyVICTORIA, BC – HEALTH – A few years ago I dug into and ended up debunking a large number of diet and food myths. Alongside the main course of fat, sugar, salt, and so on, I looked into a few appetizers. One of these was the idea that healthy eating includes consuming whatever you consume as small frequent meals: nibbling.

In support of this kind of eating we are told by qualified people such as nutritionists (1) and others such as fitness trainers (2) that infrequent eating or binging puts the body into starvation mode, makes it impossible to lose weight, stresses the glandular organs, and produces dangerous blood sugar highs and lows.

The alleged health benefits of eating just a little bit of food many times through the day include an easier time losing weight, avoiding high and low nutrient levels including blood sugar, and preventing “overeating,” which didn’t seem otherwise to be defined anywhere that I could find.

When I went searching for evidence to support the benefits of eating up to six times a day (or more) I found eight articles, but only one, published in 1989 in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (3) directly examined the issue. Three meals a day was termed “gorging”, and the intervention was picking at 17 snacks per day. The endpoints were all surrogate (blood test results and blood pressure readings as opposed to any kind of real health event), showing the “metabolic advantages” of the nibbling pattern of eating (the differences shown were small).

I don’t know many people who would consider three meals a day “gorging.” The conclusions of the study are speculative.

A review article in 2008 gathered numerous studies together, one of which associated small frequent meals with greater success at weight loss. One study reviewed suggested that frequency of meals was mostly associated with subjects’ acculturation (4). Five other trials found no association of increased meal frequency with successfully losing weight. The one prospective trial in which total energy was restricted did not produce weight loss benefit, and a review in 1997 concluded that nibbling does not have energy metabolic advantages in terms of energy utilization over gorging.

Weight loss is, of course, a surrogate endpoint not associated with any real health outcome like not getting sick or delaying death. My literature review indicated that the majority of studies that have been done on the topic suggest eating small frequent meals make no health difference, and the one better-quality trial was in that majority.

Once we get a grip on how little science there is to support any benefit from nibbling I think we can be forgiven for wondering whether the real message is kind of cultural. I get the feeling a lot of people believe that nibbling is just nicer behaviour than the opposite. Less ugly and aggressive than stuffing your face or binging like a wild animal or out-of-control addict.

I should disclose that I starve and binge. I find eating lots of delicious food, I think for sound evolutionary reasons, fabulously affirming. It happens I don’t want to be overweight, although my reason is strictly aesthetic, so I have to limit the amount of food I take in each day. I’m determined to experience the pleasure of eating all I want and not get fat.

The only dietary pattern that meets both of my needs is to eat lots of satisfying food infrequently, so that’s what I do. Of course, no good evidence supports doing anything else in order to obtain a health outcome.

I’ve had to conclude that eating small frequent meals, like a lot of other ideology about what we should and shouldn’t be eating, appeals to us in an ideologically representative or cultural way. Personally, I think cultural ideas about food are important. I love the fact that the presentation, anticipation, sensual enjoyment, and satisfaction associated with eating represents a world of meaning in human relationships.

What a shame that we usually focus only on simple health outcomes (which, in general, we can’t actually get from changing our diet) and sometimes miss the real significance of what’s for dinner.

John Sloan


John Sloan is a family physician whose practice is confined to home care of frail elderly people, and avoiding institutional care of these patients. He has published numerous articles and several books on healthcare. His most recent ebook, Forbidden Food: How Science Says you can Eat what you Like and Like what you Eat (Kindle) is available on Amazon.com. He lives with his family in Vancouver.

REFERENCES

  1. Megan Porter, “Eating Smaller, More Frequent Meals,” CaloriesPerHour.com Newsletter [Online], Available: http://www.caloriesperhour.com/news_051130.php
  2. Monique Rider, “The Top 10 Reasons to Eat Small Frequent Meals,” Ezine Articles [Online], Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Top-10-Reasons-to-Eat-Small-Frequent-Meals&id=2573055.
  3. Jenkins D et al, “Nibbling Versus Gorging: Metabolic Advantages of Increased Meal Frequency,” New England Journal of Medicine, 321(14):929-34 (Oct. 5, 1989).
  4. S.-K. Lee, “Acculturation, Meal Frequency, Eating out, and Body Weight in Korean Americans.,” Nutritional Research and Practice, 2(4):269-274 (2008).

Troy Media

 

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

“THE FAT BASTARD GAZETTE” HEART, PARKINSONS VS. LOW CHOLESTEROL, ROLE OF CHOLESTEROL VOL. 1 NO. 17


Once again, fellow travelers it is time to reach out to the poor benighted Booboisie novitiates that remain

Ichebad  Chetem, Company Attorney
Ichebad Chetem, Company Attorney

ignorant of healthful living. In the spirit of bonhomie, we present in this issue’s first article a very simple, straightforward five-point question and answer guide to better health. A fifth grade student could understand the import of this simple guide. Enough said!

Your captain remains steadfast in the use of statins to combat high serum cholesterol and advocates the use of triglyceride lowering drugs against insidiously high triglyceride levels (fatty acids)

The next disparate article presents somewhat of a conundrum in reference to statins. Does one take statins and risk all manner of untoward effects of the drug or risk atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke. The Captain once again opts for the use of statins, to use a couple of lines from “The Shining,” Lloyd: What will you be drinking, sir? Jack Torrance: Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd. Parkinsons Disease affects only 1 to 2% of the population and of that population; many live in rural areas, drink well water, and are exposed over a period to herbicides.

Lastly, read a brief but informative article on the role cholesterol plays in nerve and brain function. We included this article to dispel confusion as to the importance of having a certain amount of cholesterol for daily cellular function, without it our nervous system would short circuit.

Five Heart Healthy Questions To Ask Yourself

by SILVIA FERNANDEZ

February 22, 2015

Question number one: Do I Eat Healthy? Many people claim to eat healthy but either do not or simply do not know what it means. The American Heart Association describes a healthy diet as one which includes 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, with a 1,500 mg limit on sodium.

heart2a1t
Heart with bypass graft

Question number two: Am I At A Healthy Weight? This is important because even heavier people can still be at a healthy weight. It really depends, actually on your diet as well as your fitness level.
Which leads us to…

Question number three: How much Do I Exercise? Answering this question can be somewhat complicated because recent studies have just shown that even mild exercise can provide great benefit for many people. However, if you are at an unhealthy weight or have particular health conditions which would benefit from a more regimented exercise schedule, it may be wise to consider it.

Question number four: How is My blood Pressure? High blood pressure is, of course, very bad for your heart. Diet can help, but so can the reduction of stress in your life, so be sure to weigh several factors.

Question number five: How is My Cholesterol? While a recent study has indicated that cholesterol regulations of the past no longer apply, those who wish to keep their heart in top shape might benefit from, at least, minimally restricting cholesterol.

Should Statins Remain A Parkinsons Treatment

by SILVIA FERNANDEZ

February 23, 2015

Statins have lately been the go to drug for many conditions, but a new study has investigated them more deeply to weigh the benefits and side effects.

And this investigation has realized a somewhat surprising result.

“The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences,” explains Diamond and Ravnskov.

The study go on to say, “Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments, and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.”

Study author Xuemi Huang, comments, “We confirmed our previous finding that high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were associated with a lower risk of PD (Parkinson’s disease).” The Penn State College of Medicine professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine continues, “Moreover, statin use over the course of the study did not protect against PD, and in fact appeared to increase PD risk in the long term.”
Statins
Huang goes on to say, “Statins have been proven to be effective in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events and stroke. Although some have proposed that statins might be a ‘cure-all’ drug, this might be a case where what’s good for the heart isn’t good for the brain.”

He also tries to explain the results of the study in regards to Parkinson’s Disease: “One possibility is that statin use can be a marker of people who have high cholesterol, which itself may be associated with lower PD risk. This could explain why some studies have found an association between use of these medications and low incidence of PD. Most importantly, this purported benefit may not be seen over time.”

Of course this just warrants more research; and Huang cautions physicians to learn more about statins. “This is evidence that personalized medicine is better than a one-size-fits-all approach,” he says.


Myelin Sheath

A typical nerve cell is composed of a cell body, a narrow tubular portion called an axon that conducts an electrical signal away from the cell body and a branching axon terminal that links to receiving nerve cell bodies. Some nerve cell axons, such as those running from your spinal cord to your extremities, may be a meter or more in length. Electrical impulses through these long nerve fibers, as well as through the white matter in your brain, must be insulated. Myelin is a layered material composed of phospholipid, cholesterol and protein that winds around nerve cell axons. Myelin insulates nerve impulses from neighboring nerve fibers, and it increases the speed of impulses through nerve axons.

Myelin Production

Myelin is produced in your nerve tissues by helper cells called glial cells, which are located adjacent to the nerve cells. Glial cells secrete myelin as an extension of their own cell membranes, and the secreted myelin spirals around your nerve cell axons to form segments of the myelin sheath. Many glial cells lined up along an axon are required to fully myelinate and insulate a long nerve cell. The composition of myelin is approximately 30 percent protein, 27 percent cholesterol and 43 percent phospholipid. Myelin production is absolutely dependent on cholesterol synthesis in the glial cells.

Brain Cholesterol

The weight of your brain is only a few percent of your body weight, but it contains about 25 percent of all of the cholesterol in your body. The majority of the cholesterol in your brain is present in myelin sheaths. Cholesterol circulating in your blood with lipoproteins cannot get past the blood-brain barrier, which prevents large molecules from entering your brain. Therefore, all of the cholesterol present in nerve tissue must be produced locally in nerve tissue. Your brain produces more cholesterol than it needs, and extra cholesterol is transported out of nerve tissue after conversion to a compound called 24-hydroxycholesterol. Many degenerative diseases in the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, are linked with imbalances of brain cholesterol.

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot  Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

“THE FAT BASTARD GAZETTE” POLITICALLY CORRECT DISEASE NAMES VOL. 1 NO. 16


R. Crumb
R. Crumb

It looks like the big top circus ne’er do wells are back in town. Pusillanimous balderdash is the theme of the article printed below, a clear-cut case of one, deluded Dr. L. Jason, handing the keys to the asylum to the inmates. A most foul miasma has descended upon the Institute of Medicine, its name, political correctness. The mad dogs of the great-unwashed Booboisie hound and now rabidly bite the Institute of Medicine. This is certainly not the first instance of the wise and educated to fall willfully victim to the dithyrambic ballyhooing of functional illiterates.  By what right do the functional illiterates have a say in naming any clinical disease, half of them cannot even spell or write their own name let alone understand the foundations for naming a disease. The mindless rabble as well as the middling educated should not have a chance to voice their opinion on matters requiring an advanced education. The British have it right, a place for everybody and everybody in his place.

The solicitous Dr. Jason wrote a cogent article regarding the integrity and logic of the Institute of Medicine until he caved in to political correctness and succumbed to professorial babelization highlighted in red.

So there you have it fellow travelers, political correctness in its most naked, blinded, and invasive form.

Even Fat Bastard is moved to tears of consternation.
Even Fat Bastard is moved to tears of consternation.

How disease names can stigmatize

By Leonard A. Jason • www.ProHealth.com • February 17, 2015

How disease names can stigmatize
A version of this article originally appeared on the OUPblog.
Reprinted with permission.
By Dr. Leonard A. Jason
On 10 February 2015, the long awaited report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was released regarding a new name — Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease — and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because I was quoted regarding this report in a New York Times article, in part due to having worked on these issues for many years, hundreds of patients contacted me over the next few days.The reaction from patients was mixed at best, and some of the critical comments include:
“This new name is an abomination!”
“Absolutely outrageous and intolerable!”
“I find it highly offensive and misleading.”
“It is pathetic, degrading and demeaning.”
“It is the equivalent of calling Parkinson’s Disease: Systemic Shaking Intolerance Disease.”
“(It) is a clear invitation to the prejudiced and ignorant to assume ‘wimps’ and ‘lazy bums.’”
“The word ‘exertion,’ to most people, means something substantial, like lifting something very heavy or running a marathon – not something trivial, like lifting a fork to your mouth or making your way across the hall to the bathroom. Since avoiding substantial exertion is not very difficult, the likelihood that people who are not already knowledgeable will underestimate the challenges of having this disease based on this name seems to me extremely high.”
Several individuals were even more critical in their reactions — suggesting that the Institute of Medicine-initiated name change effort represented another imperialistic US adventure, which began in 1988 when the Centers for Disease Control changed the illness name from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) to chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients and advocacy groups from around the world perceived this latest effort to rename their illness as alienating, expansionistic, and exploitive. The IOM alleged that the term ME is not medically accurate, but the names of many other diseases have not required scientific accuracy (e.g., malaria means bad air). Regardless of how one feels about the term ME, many patients firmly support it. Our research group has found that a more medically-sounding term like ME is more likely to influence medical interns to attribute a physiological cause to the illness. In response to a past blog post that I wrote on the name change topic, Justin Reilly provided an insightful historical comment: for 25 years patients have experienced “malfeasance and nonfeasance” (also well described in Hillary Johnson’s Osler’s Web). This is key to understanding the patients’ outrage and anger to the IOM.So how could this have happened? The Institute of Medicine is one of our nation’s most prestigious organizations, and the IOM panel members included some of the premier researchers and clinicians in the myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome arenas, many of whom are my friends and colleagues. Their review of the literature was overall comprehensive; their conclusions were well justified regarding the seriousness of the illness, identification of fundamental symptoms, and recommendations for the need for more funding. But these important contributions might be tarnished by patient reactions to the name change. The IOM solicited opinions from many patients as well as scientists, and I was invited to address the IOM in the spring regarding case definition issues. However, their process in making critical decisions was secretive, and whereas for most IOM initiatives this is understandable in order to be fair and unbiased in deliberations, in this area — due to patients being historically excluded and disempowered — there was a need for a more transparent, interactive, and open process.So what might be done at this time? Support structural capacities to accomplish transformative change. Set up participatory mechanisms for ongoing data collection and interactive feedback, ones that are vetted by broad-based gatekeepers representing scientists, patients, and government groups. Either the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (that makes recommendations to the Secretary of US Department of Health and Human Services) or the International Association of ME/CFS (the scientific organization) may appoint a name change working group with international membership to engage in a process of polling patients and scientists, sharing the names and results with large constituencies, and getting buy in — with a process that is collaborative, open, interactive, and inclusive. Different names might very well apply to different groups of patients, and there is empirical evidence for this type of differentiation. Key gatekeepers including the patients, scientists, clinicians, and government officials could work collaboratively and in a transparent way to build a consensus for change, and most critically, so that all parties are involved in the decision-making process.
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot  Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

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Cordially,

Captain Hank Quinlan And Staff