Category Archives: Alcohol

CONTAMINANTS IN FOODS… NOT TO WORRY? Vol. 1 No. 71


© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationGlobal food production has become the mainstay of providing food for the masses. The food supply chain is so complex it may now be considered a supply web. Protecting citizens from health risks due to chemical contaminants is a gargantuan task at best.

“The new globalized food supply contrasts sharply with the landscape of previous generations when many foods were grown, manufactured, and distributed within a local area.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015) If there were any food problems, it would be confined to a more manageable geographical area.

The weary citizen is more concerned today than ever before about what they buy and demands more information about its effect on their health. An all-consuming fear has developed concerning chemical contaminants in the food supply. This fear is exacerbated by misinformation disseminated by unreliable and unscrupulous sources.

Markus Lipp, PhD
Markus Lipp, Ph.D.

“Fortunately, available data suggest that many unregulated contaminants have a negligible effect on human health. In these cases, enacting limits would not protect consumers but would create unnecessary regulatory burden, making food more expensive but not safer, said Markus Lipp, Ph.D., former senior director of food standards at U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and currently senior food safety officer, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Lipp and other experts—toxicologists, food scientists, and regulators—spoke at the “Chemical Contaminants in Foods Workshop—Risk-Based Approaches to Protect Public Health,” held at USP headquarters in Rockville, Md., in November 2014. (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Dr. Claire Kruger is President of Spherix Consulting
Dr. Claire Kruger is President of Spherix Consulting

Claire L. Kruger, Ph.D., a toxicologist and president of Spherix Consulting, Inc. said,”No food is completely safe. Even water can kill you if you drink too much; everything we eat comes in shades of gray, not black, or white, with regard to safety. Foods actually possess degrees of harmfulness because all foods have the potential to cause harm. Potatoes normally contain natural toxins called glycoalkaloids in small amounts that pose no health risk, but during prolonged storage, potatoes can generate higher glycoalkaloid levels that can cause neurologic effects. Another substance, acrylamide, is formed in many foods during baking and frying, and it always has—it is nothing new—but regulators are investigating its health effects.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Henry Chin PhD Independent expert in Food Safety, Food Chemistry and Composition, Crisis Management and Risk Management
Henry Chin Ph.D. Independent expert in Food Safety, Food Chemistry and Composition, Crisis Management and Risk Management

“In 2011, news broke that arsenic had been detected in apple juice, and consumers were alarmed. Many people think of arsenic as a poison, and it certainly can act as a lethal poison. Yet arsenic is also a chemical element that occurs naturally in water and soil and does not harm people if the amount ingested is sufficiently low, said Henry Chin, Ph.D., Henry Chin and Associates and a member of the USP Food Ingredients Intentional Adulterants Expert Panel.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

In addition, what is the media’s role in the communication of risk and risk assessment concerning the food supply? Apparently in the media’s pell-mell rush to press accuracy and thoroughness are brushed aside in favor of timeliness and sensationalism. New studies are taken at face value with little or no support from previous studies either pro or con.

Fellow travelers should take note and consider the source of information reserving judgment until all the facts are presented. It is unfortunate that the majority of the population has a knee-jerk response to any alarmist media release about contaminants in food. A knee-jerk response only opens the door to suspiciousness and frustration as to what to eat next. “Consumers routinely turn to self-proclaimed “experts” for guidance about what to eat and what to avoid. These sources are often biased by profit motive—they are selling something—but even if not, they typically provide misinformation because they lack the knowledge, credentials, and judgment needed to provide accurate, useful advice.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

“Although health risks from food contaminants will never disappear completely, that is not the goal, and it is also not necessary. The dose makes the poison, and if the dose is kept at a safe level, the risk to human health is negligible, or even nonexistent. The key for public health is not to have a zero tolerance for contaminants, but rather to keep contaminants within tolerable, safe limits. Perhaps the ultimate goal is two-fold: Safe food and peace of mind from trusting that our food is safe.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Lipp, M., & Chase, C. G. (2015, November Volume 69, Number 11). Chemical Contaminants in Foods: Health Risks and Public Perception. Retrieved November 19, 2015, from IFT – Feeding the Minds that Feed the World: http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2015/november/features/chemical-contaminants.aspx?page=viewall

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NO SLEEP EQUALS TOO MUCH WEIGHT: NOT A GOOD COMBINATION! Vol. 1 No. 64


Tired Businessman With CoffeeYou were up all night to meet a deadline for work or because of the restless night. It is now time for a shower and a shave then out the door. First, stop Starbucks. However, today is a bit different. Today you are compelled to stop at a fast food drive through and get one or two of their breakfast specials or a few apple curlers, which are loaded with calories you would not normally eat.

If this is you, read on.

Gerald E. McGinnis Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School Senior Physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Gerald E. McGinnis Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Senior Physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

According to Dr. Stuart Quan, MD, “The amount of sleep Americans say they get every night has declined from an average of approximately 8.5 hours in the 1960s to slightly less than 7 hours today. There are probably lots of reasons why, but they likely include 24/7 occupations, prolongation of the “day” with artificial lighting, the use of electronic devices at bedtime (blue-wavelength light from these devices delays sleep onset), and the widespread belief that sleep is less of a priority compared to other activities, whether they are work- or pleasure-related.”

Besides sleeping less, we also tend to weigh more as well. Greater than 30% of adult Americans are obese; this is in comparison to less than 15% of adults in the 1960s. This obesity epidemic has also spread to children; around 17% are considered obese. This is an unsettling trend because obese children are prone to become obese adults.

downloadStrong evidence suggests causality between  a decrease in sleep duration and the increase in obesity. Many large studies involving thousands of adults mostly have found that short sleepers (defined as 5 hours or 6 hours less per night) were as much as 45% more likely to be obese. There is not as much data on children, but in one study, it was found that children who sleep less than 7.5 hours per night had a threefold greater risk of becoming obese over a five-year period.

vending-machine-for-snacks“Studies also demonstrate that short sleepers don’t eat healthfully. Overall, their alcoholdiets have less food variety, a greater percentage of calories from snacks, and higher amounts of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Furthermore, they tend to skip the main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and tend to snack more. These habits promote weight gain and the eventual development of obesity,” states Dr. Quan.

Dr. Quan goes on to say, “Experimental studies indicate that sleep restriction leads to abnormalities in the processing of blood sugar (glucose) and changes in hormones that control appetite. For example, the hormone ghrelin stimulates appetite, whereas the hormone leptin reduces it. With sleep restriction, levels of ghrelin rise and those of leptin fall, thus leading to an increase in hunger and appetite. Additionally, these studies have observed that sleep-restricted individuals have a greater desire for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods.”

“The take-home message is that getting enough sleep is one way to lower your risk for weight gain and obesity. There is a tendency to put on pounds, as one grows older. Inadequate sleep will only worsen this trend. If a person is already overweight or obese, weight loss will be more difficult without adequate sleep. From a societal perspective, the obesity epidemic, with its associated increases in the rates of several chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes), places a greater burden on the health care system and contributes to rising health care costs. Adequate sleep deserves to be included with exercise and good nutrition as one of the essentials of good health.” (Quan, 2015)

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.


Quan, S. M. (2015, October 7). Too little sleep and too much weight: a dangerous duo. Retrieved October 13, 2015, from Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/too-little-sleep-and-too-much-weight-a-dangerous-duo-201510078396?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=10.09.2015%20(1)

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.

GOBBLE, GOBBLE, THANKSGIVING EDITION Vol. 1 No. 57


Gobble, gobble, Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays to you all. ‘Tis the season of overindulgence with the end effect of becoming an overfed slugabed or layabout.

Fellow travelers, are you one of the millions sitting at your desk or walking around with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and are not even aware of it? Overdoing food and alcohol during this holiday season could make the condition worse leading straight to a heart disease and/or liver failure.

Dr. Howard Monsour, chief of hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital
Dr. Howard Monsour, chief of hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital.

“Data has shown that nearly 30 million Americans have NAFLD. Many times it is missed until the person’s liver enzyme levels are high,” said Dr. Howard Monsour, chief of hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Patients can die from a heart attack or cirrhosis of the liver. It’s a serious condition that we have to get under control quickly in this country.” (Kovacik, 2015)

livThe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an accumulation of fat deposits inside the liver cells. Alcohol, drugs, obesity, lipid disorders and diabetes can all contribute to this disease. Moreover, many individuals with this condition suffer from Metabolic Syndrome, a group of factors, which include a large waist size (men greater than 40 inches, women greater than 35 inches), high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and insulin resistance that heighten the risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Over a period, an individual could experience fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite. Some individuals may develop pain in the center or right upper part of the belly. The symptoms might get worse after heavy drinking.

“However, much like type 2 diabetes, NAFLD can be cured with proper diet and exercise,” Monsour said. “If you lose 12 percent of your current weight, no matter how much you weigh, you can eliminate fat from your liver.” (Kovacik, 2015)

Dr. Monsour continues by saying that hearty exercise: as weight lifting, swimming, running or aerobics, between 75 and 150 minutes a week with a high rate of 120 or above during the holiday season and beyond will help with this problem. He also suggests that eating fruits and vegetables as a snack before attending a family function or holiday party will help you feel full and just might keep you away from foods high in fat.

fatty-liver-cirrhosisIt should be noted that between five and 20% of people with fatty liver would develop serious liver disease. Whether or not one develops cirrhosis, fibrosis or liver cancer depends on whether the person has inflammation in the liver caused by the fat resulting in an inflammatory response called steatohepatitis. Many times but not always, this causes an increase in liver enzymes on routine blood tests.

“The key is to catch it early and man times it may not be discovered until a routine checkup,” Monsour said. “If you start to experience symptoms, see a doctor as soon as you can. Letting it go without evaluation can lead to a very difficult, unhealthy life.”

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

Kovacik, G. (2015, November 16). People Unaware of Fatty Liver Disease Could Make the Problem Worse with Holiday Overindulgence. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from HUSTON Methodist LEADING MEDICINE: http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-unaware-of-fatty-liver-disease-could-make-the-problem-worse-with-holiday-overindulgence

 


 

 

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.