Thursday, August 08, 2013

Good News on the Obesity Front

You know the saying about how you never see Volkswagen "Bugs" until you start shopping for one, and then they seem to be everywhere you look?  Well, I had that experience when I started blogging about the book Salt, Sugar and Fat, and Americ"
a's obesity problem.  Suddenly, I saw articles about obesity everywhere!  The good news is that we may be turning those statistics around.

Sabrina Tavernise, reporting for The New York Times, tells us that obesity rates for pre-school age children from poor families dropped in 19 states from 2008 to 2011, although they remained unchanged in my state of Arizona.

One of the causes of the slowdown in obesity rates may be that breast-feeding has been encouraged.  Also, the mothers of those pre- schoolers may be poor, but they are more educated than in the past, and they want their children to be healthier adults than their grandparents were.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Why Is Having Dental Work Done Such Torture?

After not going to a dentist for years, due to personal dread and the high cost, I finally made an appointment with the local dental school in Mesa.  The first few visits were wonderful.  I could not have been more impressed.  The visits are long since the students are being extremely thorough and careful, checking and double-checking every entry on the computer.  Then a professor comes over and pretty much repeats what the student has done. So, count on 3 hours instead of the one hour you. usually spend at the dentist.  But I learned more about my mouth than I had in my previous 70 years! I completely understood what needed to be done and why.  At least this time I didn't feel like maybe the dentist said I needed that crown for $700 because it was time to make a payment on his cabin in the White Mountains!

I went twice, once for soft tissue investigation, and once for hard surface examination, and then the third visit was to go over a treatment plan and to make a mold of my mouth in case I opt for a partial on the bottom.  The total charge for all this was $69.00.

The first item on the treatment plan was deep cleaning.  You know, the kind where they go under the gums and scrape the crap off the roots.  I really don't know what happened to make this so frickin' miserable, but I don't know if I can go back for the second quadrant.  First, they used lidocaine instead of novocaine.  Every other time I have been numbed up, the dentist would stick the needle in and it was kind of painful, but it was over quick.  Not this time.  The professor was right there, telling Milen just where to put the needle, and telling him to "deposit" slowly, slowly.  Oh my God, it was torture!  It seemed like he had that needle in there at least 5 minutes.  And that was just the first of three!  And, to make matters worse,  it wasn't really that effective.  It was completely worn off by the time he was done.  I wasn't a very good patient after that, I'm afraid.

By the time the cleaning was completed (on that one quadrant) my arms were quivering from gripping the arms of the chair with a death grip, my whole mouth was throbbing, and I was pissed because the technology hasn't improved since I was 10 years old.

Why is it still so awful?  I don't know if I will go back or just let my teeth fall out!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Most Decisions Don't Require a Lot of Thought

So, after two weeks of reading Salt, Sugar, Fat, what did I learn?  I learned that, indeed, the Food Giants have hooked us, and they aren't about to turn loose.  It is a problem we have created with our economic system, actually.  These are corporations, their stock is traded on the stock exchange, you may even own stock in some of them.  Their job is to sell product.  Their mission is to increase profits every quarter.  The only way to do that is to sell more and more, expand their lines, decrease their costs.  Unless the government steps in and regulates food as it does drugs, the corporations won't - can't - change their ways.  And the members of Congress who have to vote to institute regulations don't want to lose their jobs, so they won't do it.

It's up to each and every one of us.  We have to read labels, be willing to cook more meals ourselves, not depend on processed food for our total nutrition.  And we especially need to stay away from the fast food joints.  If we can manage to stop buying enough of the food that's stuffed with salt, sugar and fat, then those corporations will switch to healthy products or die.  After all, enough people stopped smoking to hurt Philip Morris.  That's one of the reasons PM bought the food companies!  It's time to do it again.

If you can't change your habits for yourself, then do it for your kids.  Do you really want your son or daughter to have Type II diabetes by the time they are 40?  Well, believe me, those Food Giants do not care.  A corporation has no conscience.

Good Eating!