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Top 10 News Stories of 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 Posted by Peter Janiszewski, PhD

While we try to feature a mix of the latest obesity and exercise research along with a healthy dose of weight-loss product reviews on Obesity Panacea, often we also discuss key news stories that relate to health and fitness. In the last post of 2009, we look back at the headlines of this year that managed to grab our ever-fleeting attentions. Enjoy!

1. Does obesity cause global warming? Researchers predict the increase in green house gas emissions emanating from a world getting increasingly more plump.

2.Berlin Brothel Embraces Active Transportation. New promotion by a brothel in Berlin (where prostitution is legal), gives a €5 (~$7.50 USD) discount to patrons who commute by bike or public transit.

3. 500 lb Inmate Hides Gun in Folds of Fat. The 500 lb man was apparently searched 3 times before arriving at his prison cell, but none of these searches found the 9mm pistol hidden deep within his rolls of adipose tissue.

4. Obesity as defense for DUI charge? A defense lawyer claims that the tests used to assess the defendant's sobriety were inappropriate given that he is obese.

5. Hydroxycut Recall. Best-selling weight-loss gimmick is pulled off shelves due to FDA's exposure of health hazards (i.e. death) associated with use of product.

6. Obesity as a defense for a murder charge? According to this defense lawyer (not the same guy from #4 above), his client was too obese to commit the murder of his son-in-law.

7. American Heart Association says "Sugar Is Bad". Aside from the propaganda of Big Food, was there ever any doubt?

8. Santa Claus Advocates an Unhealthy Lifestyle? Jolly old St. Nick comes under attack for his gluttonous and irresponsible lifestyle.

9. Calorie Counts on Restaurant Menus. The debate over this issue was fierce and continues to make headlines into 2010.

10. TIME magazine erroneously concludes that exercise won't make you thin. The author of the story selectively reports on singular studies, often incorrectly, misquotes experts, often showcasing his naive understanding of physiology, all in order to arrive at his apparently preconceived (and largely absurd) notion that not only will exercise not help you lose weight – it may actually make you fatter.

Happy New Year!

Peter Janiszewski

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3 Response to "Top 10 News Stories of 2009"

  1. Eiskrystal Said,

    #7 I still can't get over that 9 teaspoons of 'extra' sugar is considered a moderate amount per day. Or that a can of pop contains 8 of them.

    Posted on December 31, 2009 at 3:55 AM

  2. Peter Janiszewski, PhD (Cand.), MSc Said,

    @Eiskrystal I completely agree - 9 teaspoons seems like an awful amount of sugar. The scary thing is the majority of people are well above this threshold - just with pop alone - I mean, really, what's 1 can of pop/day? I used to regularly drink Coke as a kid, and it would have been normal for me to consume 3 or more cans on a given day. Since then I've switched to water and have almost completely cut out liquid calories (except for chocolate milk, which I have as a treat). Still, when I walk through the food courts on our university campus I see most undergraduate students eating a slice of pizza and washing it down with a bottle of pop.

    Posted on January 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

  3. Eiskrystal Said,

    I had a terrible sweet tooth as a child. I was also an incredibly fussy eater. My sugar intake slowly increased over time so one day I just stopped becuase it was getting silly with how much sugar was going in my tea (for example).
    Funnily enough when I stopped judging everything by how sweet it was I became a lot less fussy.

    I found I had to put more sugar in my tea to counter the sugar in say a chocolate bar because it was judged on sweetness. By not having sugar, the tea was measured on its actual taste and didn't feel tasteless then after the chocolate.

    Posted on January 6, 2010 at 4:25 AM


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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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