Philobiblon: Weekend reading

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Weekend reading

* I must have read this figure before, but it struck me anew this morning - only 13 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women are eating at least five portions of fruit and veg each day. (It is not that I can claim any high ground on this - in my early working years, when in my own small defence I often worked 12 hour-plus days - I wouldn't have averaged more than two or three.)

An article in the Observer suggests this is linked to mental dysfunction:

Increasing rates of anxiety, depression and irritability could be due to a poor diet that lacks the essential chemicals to keep the brain healthy, according to a leading mental health charity.

* Books: are we on the cusp of the e-revolution? But for now here's what sounds like a truly inspirational book by a woman abused horribly as a child, in south London, who has made her own successful way in the world. (Ugly by Constance Briscoe)

* You know all that fuss about "elderly mothers" - well, women who have children in their forties are four times more likely to survive to 100 than women who gave birth earlier. And pregnancy makes you smarter - perhaps all of those men sacking their workers when they get pregnant should think again.

* John Simpson speaks out against the blunt instrument of the government's anti-terrorism legislation:

There have been unreflective, knee-jerk laws in this area in the past: the ban on broadcasting the sound of Gerry Adams's voice, for instance. It will be much harder to defend society better against terrorism if we prevent journalists from finding out the precise nature of the threat against us. Does the Government really mean to do this amount of damage to the meticulous, independent journalistic investigation of terrorism? Surely not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a vegan and I don't eat 5 portions a day, so don't worry. Its a stupid figure that doesn't take into account the way people eat.

Basically, almost all westerners would be healthier if they ate a lot less processed food, less meat, and a lot more (preferably organic) fruit and (steamed) veg. They'd be thinner too, as fruit and veg are mostly water but you can still fill up on them.

Most processed food has a tiny amount of real food in in, and a lot of salt/sugar/fat-based gloop. You aren't paying for food, but for the processing and the packaging. Modern food processing is the science of artful packaging.

A bit of chocolate won't hurt you, but most folk in the UK are seriously overdoing it on salt consumption (sodium x 2.4 on those sneaky labels). One tin of soup can be your daily max.

A lot of folk tend to gradually increase their alcohol consumption over time, without noticing, to the detriment of their health, especially if they have stressful occupations-are you drinking more now than you used to?

The easiest way to improve your basic sense of well-being is to drink more water (not any other liquid, but plain water). Simple as that.

...and get an exercise bike for a regular, private, gentle workout whilst perusing ceefax.

Getting a domestic HEPA air filter to improve the air you breathe in your home will also help.

To reduce your day-to-day stress levels, avoid all national news reports. If you don't believe me, try it for 6 months.


1/15/2006 03:09:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie said...

RE healthy diet...did you see the recent New Yorker book review?

1/15/2006 04:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those unable to fly to NY and enroll in psychotherapy, eating less of the bad stuff, eating more of the good stuff, and exercising a bit is a cheaper alternative.

Fad diets are rarely healthy, and when people get sick of discomfort eating, they usually bulk up again.

Its good to banish your demons and sort out your unhappiness, but happy people can get fat too.

Eat less of the bad stuff, fill up on the good stuff, and exercise a bit, and your own personal biological engine will purr.

True, deep unhappiness/mental health issues do manifest themselves in unusual behaviour, such as eating disorders, but most people just eat too much of the wrong things because they can.

Many of our general diet problems start in youth...

Bizarrely, a school in N. Lincs has recently switched back to a junk food regime, because the little darlings were finding it hard to adjust and their parents were complaining. One lad sent to school with just a pack of crisps didn't get a healthy eating sticker, and went home in tears.

His parents complained that he was sensitive. And on a diet of crisps he'll probably be developing diabetes and have premature heart disease by his late teens too. No good parenting sticker then, either, I fear.

If you feed your pets a bad diet and they get fat, the nice man from the RSPCA will take them away to protect them. Feed your kids crap, and you are exercising parental choice. A victory for personal choice then for Mommy Chav and Daddy Chav in N. Lincs.

The Atkins is fairly repulsive, and environmentally unfriendly (cf. natural/energy resources required for meat against non-meat food production).

1/16/2006 07:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find some great information about health more air purification right here in case anyone is interested.

1/23/2006 04:29:00 am  

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