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Weight, diet & exercise

Some of my colleagues now run triathlons and, like them, I wonder why. I am certain that my body wouldn’t take this type of punishment and also unsure whether, from the viewpoint of fitness, such extreme forms of exercise are a good idea for relatively sedentary souls such as myself. My uncertainty increases when I […]

China & the diseases of affluence

I found this report on the incidence of type 2 diabetes in China stunning. An excerpt”

“As the economy has grown, ever-increasing numbers of Chinese are eating more, drinking more, driving more and sitting more. Data from makers of soft drinks suggests that sales in the more affluent parts of the country have risen fivefold […]

Atkins was right – the problem is sugar not saturated fats

For many years I have supported the ideas of the late Robert Atkins that it is processed carbohydrates not saturated fats that cause heart disease. This study in Scientific American by Melinda Wenner Moyer surveys recent evidence which supports this same claim. In short, cut out the cookies and cakes not saturated fats.

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Financial incentives to induce healthy behavior

An insidious externality in our comprehensive health cover system is that poor health risks, even if induced by negligent individual behavior, are borne as costs by the community rather than those who create them. This is moral hazard. Consumers have inadequate incentives to look after their health since their health costs are partly borne by […]

Indigenous diabetes epidemic

In an earlier post I pointed out the problems indigenous Australians have with licit drugs like alcohol and tobacco. If aborigines do drink (and most don’t) they tend to drink at destructive levels. The incidence of smoking among indigenous Australians is about twice that of others. Aboriginals also suffer an extremely high incidence – roughly […]