1. Are greenhouse gases making you fat?

    The 'Al Gore Cure' for obesity

    Gaining weight? Don't blame your own lousy habits -- blame global warming instead!

    That's right, researchers in Europe are actually making the ludicrous claim that carbon emissions make people overeat (which answers some of the questions I've had about Al Gore, anyway).

    And you're not going to believe how they cooked this one up.

    The researchers say an analysis of data on thousands of people tracked from 1974 to 1996 finds that fat ones and thin ones alike all gained weight over that period -- and they added proportionally the same amount of weight.

    They claim the rise in CO2 levels over those 22 years is to blame -- because apparently, CO2 makes your blood more acidic... and more acidic blood tricks your brain into wanting more food.

    The overall weight gain over 22 years is undeniable. The part about CO2, however, is pure balderdash. You may as well blame ancient aliens, the post office, or Lee Harvey Oswald -- it makes about as much sense, and there's probably about as much evidence.

    Look at any population of humans over several decades, and you'll see weight gain. That's true of nearly every period in human history, and it has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect.

    It's the hormone effect.

    As we age, our bodies make less of the hormones we need most. For women, the trigger is usually menopause. For men, it starts even earlier, when testosterone levels start to drop off in our 30s.

    In both cases, once those hormones slow down, the spare tire shows up. Throw in the one-two punch of today's worst habits -- fast food and sedentary lifestyles -- and of course we're bigger than ever.

    But if you REALLY want to shed those extra pounds, don't buy a Prius, wear a CO2-filtering gas mask, invest in carbon offsets, or beg Al Gore to run for President of the World.

    Just watch your habits, and visit an experienced naturopathic physician who can test your hormone levels and top you off.

    Bottom line here: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not make you fat. But studying it can make you stupid.

  2. Eat your way to a smaller brain

    Your belly might be growing... but your brain is shrinking -- and the more you eat, the smaller it gets.

    In a frightening study from the New York University School of Medicine, researchers used MRI images to compare the brains of 44 obese people to those of 19 slimjims who were the same age and had the same background.

    Those who were obese had less volume in the regions of the brain associated with eating, appetite, and reward. They had smaller orbitofrontal cortices, which control impulse behavior, and more water in the crucial amygdala region.

    They also had higher levels of inflammation than the normal-sized volunteers.

    In case you're wondering, none of this is good. Put it all together, and here's what it means: When you overeat, you literally damage your brain to the point where it no longer knows how much to eat or when to stop.

    The researchers behind the study warn people to eat more slowly and avoid high-fat food, which is missing the point completely.

    It's not how fast or slow you eat, but what you eat -- and the natural fats in fresh meat and fatty fish are absolutely essential to the brain and overall mental health, and will keep you slim and trim if you pass on the carbs.

    And I don't care how slowly you eat sugar -- it will give you a great, big belly and a tiny, rotten brain.

  3. Eat your way to a smaller brain

    Your belly might be growing... but your brain is shrinking -- and the more you eat, the smaller it gets.

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