Food & Nutrition

This uniquely American tendency to assign racism where none exists has struck again in yet another bizarre way. And it's absurd to try to make the case that we are racist toward Chinese food, when the number of Chinese restaurants triples those of U.S. cultural icons such as McDonald's and Starbucks.
Our statistical analysis suggests that the further north Americans live, the likelier they may be to drink excessively. Is it due to the long, dark winter nights?
Environmental Working Group, which promotes fear and doubt about the (non-organic) American food supply, tries to pretend it isn't industry-driven. But given the group's cozy relationship with industry, it's no surprise officials have named Shazi Visram, a top organic baby food company founder, to its board.
A new paper touting great news is sure to be embraced by the organic customer base. There is just one problem: The research was funded by industry, the very thing organic consumers say is wrong with industrial farming. Organic food corporations and trade groups are clearly a lot more like 1950s Big Tobacco companies than Big Tobacco is today.
We've been discussing the uselessness of healthy people taking vitamin/mineral supplements for lo, these many years. But if you don't believe us, just see what some doctors from Harvard are advising their colleagues about who really needs vitamins, and when.
Just when you think you've heard it all, a new one comes down the road. Here's an in-depth analysis of an unprecedented Twitter discussion. 
While we may well try to diet our way out of the rising incidence of obesity, calorie labeling does not appear to be particularly effective. That's because the Cochrane Library, which, as an organization, invented meta-analysis, released one on the effect of calorie labels on what we eat. Guess what? They have no impact.
Excess body fat is associated with many ailments — including breathing problems. Recent research has found reducing adiposity, particularly in the deep abdominal area (visceral fat), is associated with improved breathing as well as ameliorating other ills.
Quackery can be appealing because it's consistent with the American notion of freedom and individuality and resistance to control and dogma. And a major logical failing of the educated – although it's rarely recognized for what it truly is – is simply prejudice, where everything "natural" is good and everything "artificial" is bad.
Stationary bike riding or weight training, to keep muscles vibrant and strong, is important exercise. But it shouldn't be overdone by doing too much, too fast, or the result can be rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdo, for short, can occur when muscle fibers die and enter the bloodstream, which in some cases can produce kidney failure.
You best get your drink on this week, while beer and wine consumption is good for you! Over the years, there have mixed results on alcohol consumption and benefits to the body. This week, having two glasses of beer or wine could cut one's risk of premature mortality by 18 percent. At least that's the conclusion from one study which studied the habits of people who live past their 90s, since 2003. 
Would knowing more about one's genetic makeup help select the best type of diet for weight loss? Apparently not, since researchers found that information about a person's DNA doesn't help when choosing between low-fat and low-carb diets.