Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for January 2014

Is weight lifting causing the so-called obesity epidemic?

This is from a NY Times article from the year 2000:

A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five people lifts weights regularly. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association reports an 89 percent increase in the number of people lifting free weights and a 50 percent increase in those using weight machines from 1987 to 1999.

And weight lifting is much more common among today’s high school students than all adults in the year 2000. A 2012 survey of high school and middle school students:

Boys were more likely to take up these habits, with two-thirds of those surveyed reporting changing their eating habit to favor muscle mass. Thirty-five percent of boys used protein powders and 6% used steroids.

Although building bigger muscles was less common among girls, 21% reported using protein powders, 4.6% used steroids and 5.5% used other substances. In total, 12% of boys and 6% of girls engaged in three or more different behaviors to gain muscle.

And there was a demonstrated correlation between muscle-building behavior and higher BMI:

greater use of muscle-building behaviors was found among kids with higher BMIs

Because building muscles increases one’s body weight, it also increases BMI, thus the popularity of muscle-building behaviors is undoubtedly contributing to the increase in BMI and thus the so-called obesity epidemic. Obesity is just defined as having a higher BMI.

How many people lifted weights in the 1970s? Practically nobody. Old movies show that the men were skinny and not hulking and buffed up like they are today.

* * *

Some additional information from a NY Times article:

In a study to be published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, more than 40 percent of boys in middle school and high school said they regularly exercised with the goal of increasing muscle mass. Thirty-eight percent said they used protein supplements, and nearly 6 percent said they had experimented with steroids.

Over all, 90 percent of the 1,307 boys in the survey — who lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but typify what doctors say is a national phenomenon — said they exercised at least occasionally to add muscle.

So we went from maybe 5% or less of boys exercising to add muscle in the 1960s, to 90% today, and you don’t think this is contributing to increased BMI?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Are babies getting bigger?

The following statement in the NY Times article caught my attention:

Overweight or obese children often were heavy babies, at least 8.8 pounds, something other studies have also found.

Doing some searching on the internet, I’ve discovered that there is a secular trend of increased birthweight in developed countries.

So if babies are being born fatter, then maybe the so-called obesity epidemic has nothing to do with what foods children are eating how much exercise they getting after they are born.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Incredible dysgenic breeding in the Atlantic

According to the recent Atlantic article about 27-year-olds, 12% of 27-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees have children, and 45%* of 27-year-olds without bachelor’s degrees have children.

That’s a huge difference. Has dysgenic breeding accelerated during the last decade?

*The 45% figure was not in the article, but was calculated using principles learned in my 8th grade algebra class.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Posted in Biology

Fat kids become fat adults

There was a NY Times article about this earlier this week. The obvious conclusion, at least to me, is that weight is genetic and there’s not much that the government can do to stop people from becoming fat if it’s in their genes. Although I do think that increasing availability of food stamps has contributed to the problem. People who can’t afford to buy food don’t get fat.

There are those who think the answer is simply earlier childhood interventions. If we know that fat fiver-year-olds become fat adults, they think that means if we can put them on a diet when they are only four, then they won’t become fat adults. I think that’s pretty unlikely. I think that as soon as the government interveners go away, the fat genes will quickly reassert themselves. If we really want people to be less fat, we need to prevent fat people from having children.

* * *

Best comment is from Thomas:

People in general — even on sociobiology blogs — have a weird difficulty accepting the idea that your weight is genetically determined and that there is insane genetic variance among the Homo Sapiens species (meaning that we should expect different individuals to retain fat differently).

Beyond the egalitarianism, which is there for political reasons, there is some kind of narcissist peacocking going on. Slim people don’t find being slim sufficient; they also want to prove to others they deserve being slim. Which is of course very rarely the case. The vast majority of people pontificating on the laziness of fat people were born with fat-burning genes. Which makes them enjoy exercise (an activity when you can show off your perfect body, more than anything), in a virtuous circle.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Do counterfeit NFL goods take jobs away from Americans?

It is reported that DHS has seized $21.6 million in counterfeit NFL goods.

“Our agents are committed to combating the criminal enterprises selling counterfeit products which undermine our economy, and take jobs away from Americans,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director John Sandweg said in a statement.

Do counterfeit NFL goods really take jobs away from Americans? The counterfeit goods are made in foreign countries such as China. The genuine goods are made in foreign countries such as China. Possibly in the very same factory! Why should American workers care either way?

How come no one from the government is worried about the millions of jobs that are being taken away from Americans by illegal immigrants?

* * *

I think that destructure has correctly answered the question:

“How come no one from the government is worried about the millions of jobs that are being taken away from Americans by illegal immigrants?”

Because the NFL has political clout and the people losing their jobs don’t.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Posted in Economics, Immigration

Ditmas Park public school abolishing gifted program because of “diversity”

As reported in today’s Daily News a public elementary school in Ditmas Park sent a letter to parents explaining that the school administration wants the classes to “reflect the diversity of our community.” In other words, there were too many white students in the gifted classes, so they had to abolish classes for gifted students.

I’ve previously blogged about Ditmas Park, a neighborhood in Brooklyn with beautiful Victorian homes. Ditmas Park is being re-gentrified. Those homes were originally built for affluent whites, but the whites got chased out by the ghettoization of the surrounding area. Now whites are moving back and those houses are no longer the bargain they once were.

But if the upper-middle-class whites who have moved back want their children to have a decent education, they had better pay up for private school. I wonder if this has something to do with DeBlasio being the new mayor? Bloomberg didn’t care about stuff like this. I hope the white people of Ditmas Park get mugged by the nearby ghetto dwellers now emboldened by the abolishment of stop-and-frisk. Serves them right for voting for DeBlasio.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Ronald Reagan had elite advisors

There’s a really stupid op-ed article by James Oliphant criticizing Obama because he has “stuffed his administration” with “denizens of the Ivy League.” Where does Oliphant think that Reagan’s adminstration came from?

Alexander Haig – Columbia (maybe he only lasted a year because he graduated from a lesser Ivy?)
George Shultz – Princeton
James Baker – Princeton
Caspar Weinberger – Harvard (both undergrad and Harvard Law!)
Donald Regan – Harvard
David Stockman – Harvard
Jeane Kirkpatrick – Columbia University (undergrad Barnard, PhD Columbia)

Reagan also gets credit for choosing Yale grad George H.W. Bush as his running mate, a much more elite pick than Joe Biden who graduated near the bottom of his class at Syracuse Law School (probably the nation’s snowiest law school, but will never appear in a list of the nation’s best law schools).

This is another example of a conservative who hates Obama because he’s Obama and not because he has done anything differently than Ronald Reagan.

In fact, one of the things I really like about Reagan is that, even though he himself was not Ivy-League educated, he didn’t have a big chip on his shoulder about it, and he made sure to surround himself by the smartest people possible, which is why his presidency was so effective.

I predict that if, horror of horrors, Sarah Palin were to become president, she will surround herself with a bunch of morons from bogus directional state schools, and her administration will be a huge disaster.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Posted in Politics

Billy Joel’s house in Sag Harbor

Click here to view. It’s not secret forbidden knowledge, the location of his house and photos have been published in several news articles.

I think it’s surprisingly modest and non-secluded for a famous and wealthy celebrity like Joel. (Although it should be pointed out that Joel apparently owns the complex of two houses, and the property is probably worth around $3 to $4 million, but that’s still a pretty humble abode for someone of Joel’s stature.) I may have even walked right past his house the last time I was in Sag Harbor and didn’t even realize it. I guess Joel buys into the idea of living in a “walkable” town. From his house, he can walk to his boat, and to downtown Sag Harbor where he can buy good food for himself, and even organic raw dog food for his pet dogs.

Joel apparently owns other properties, including a beach house which he has been trying to sell for around $20 million, but the little house in Sag Harbor is where he prefers to live.

I think it’s ironic that Joel’s song Downeaster Alexa is about the plight of baymen who were driven away by rich people and environmental regulations that made their fishing less profitable. Billy Joel is one of those rich people who made the Hamptons unaffordable for working-class fishermen. And who caused an influx of Hispanic workers who ruined the white working class neighborhoods of the Hamptons.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Posted in Wealth

The mayor of Atlanta should have read my blog

Reported in today’s NY Times, the snow that hit the city of Atlanta was disastrous. Children were trapped overnight in schools. (Although it’s not clear to me why a school bus can’t drive in 3 inches of snow.)

On Monday, I wrote in my blog:

Over the course of the next day, some areas of the Deep South that rarely see any snow at all will get half a foot or more.

If the mayor of Atlanta had only been a regular reader of my blog, he would have known that snow was coming and he could have closed the schools.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Posted in News

Guido Congressman from Staten Island

This incident happened last evening after the State of the Union address. Reported at Real Clear Politics:

Grimm — assuming the broadcast was over — returned to admonish the reporter. The camera remained on, however. “Let me be clear to you: You ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this f—— balcony,” Grimm threatened.

After a brief back-and-forth about the validity of the question, Grimm concluded, “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

This demonstrates once again how Staten Island has the lowest class of people on the planet. The whole island is populated by guidos, who behave even worse than this Congressman.

Some other indicators of Michael Grimm’s guidoness:

  • Italian mother
  • Attended Catholic school
  • Described here as a “gym rat” who part enjoys “Arnold Schwarzenegger-style weightlifting”
  • Worked as a stockbroker at “Whale Securities,” which sounds like a bogus boiler-room operation to me (and described as a boiler room at NY Magazine).
  • Attended New York Law School (not NYU, but the crappy law school with a similar name) described by Above the Law (along with Brooklyn Law School) as being full of guidos and guidettes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Posted in New York City, Politics

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