More food for thought:
  • The Japanese eat relatively little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

  • The French eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

  • The Japanese don't drink much red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

  • The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

  • The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of fatty food and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

 According to the American Medical Directory of Physicians in the U.S.: There are 22 doctors whose last names are Needle, Probe, and Lance; 20 named Drill, Scope, Bolt, and Pin; 19 named Cure, Fix, and Heal; and 9 named Klutz and Croak. In addition, there is a psychiatrist named Dr. Couch, an anesthesiologist named Dr. Gass, and 11 doctors named Dust, Mold, and Pollen (although none are allergists!). Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 21.

 A woman named Janet Merel of Deerfield, Illinois has created a product called "Diet Dirt," which is sterilized, edible soil. When this product is sprinkled on pastry, sweets, and other fattening foods, it makes them taste (surprise) like DIRT (so people won't overindulge). To order, call 1-888-DietDirt (by the way, Diet Dirt is a bargain at only 10 bucks a bag!).

 On a 1994 trip to New York to receive a prestigious award, Chinese running star Wang Junxia explained her training regime. Junxia said that she often ran up to 22 miles a day, and ate healthy food, like worms, caterpillar fungus, and turtle blood. Because she had been so successful (setting world records for many years), skeptics suspected drug use (which, by the way, never proved to be true). Her coach said that her secret was the "wormy juice" she consumed, which he happens to bottle and sell worldwide, making $1 million dollars to date.

 Hugo Roberts, 48, was arrested in '92, when a patient of his complained that he "licked" her body when she asked for help. Roberts, a self-proclaimed expert on nutrition and physical health, explained that he only was checking to see if she ate too much sugar or salt. "Tasting parts of her body," he said, "was the only way to be sure."

 In a 1995 report about things that would help prevent gas, "Beano," a popular anti-gas aid, is not always well-received. "For some people," the report stated, "the production of a high volume of resonant, pungent intestinal gas is a source of personal pride and fulfillment."

 In response to a charge that he forced his men to let him "bite their butts," Israeli Cpt. Shai Engler was court marshalled and dismissed. Engler explained that he bit new troops to motivate them to fight, AND, so he could test and assess the musculature of their "cheeks." From "Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest," by John Kohut and Roland Sweet.

 Researcher Thomas Samaras wants to intentionally stunt people's growth. Explaining that taller people use more energy and more food, he suggests dietary restrictions that will limit a person's height. The 5' 10" Samaras suggests a height of "about five feet," and believes that a weight of "110 pounds" should be the ultimate goal. If you monitor your child's diet, Mr. Samaras also explains, it's possible to restrict their height by as much as eight inches, or more. From "Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest," by John Kohut and Roland Sweet.

 The Weight Watchers organization went to court when a member filed suit. Fran Fulton, who was suffering from degenerative eye disease, explained that the company failed to provide recipes on audio tapes. Miffed that it took her about eight months to lose about 17 pounds, Fulton complained that she would have lost 40 or more (if she had the tapes). From "Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest," by John Kohut and Roland Sweet.

 If you're looking for proof that overweight people take too much abuse, a recent "Economist" story couldn't make this any more clear. The publication called the story "Fat is a financial issue," using phrases like "chunky evidence" and "expect some weighty research." As if this wasn’t bad enough, the story ran again, this time, called "Slim pickings for fatties," in the South African "Business Times."

 A recent Reuters poll concluded that "although most smokers in the US know that cigarettes can cause heart and lung disease, few have been able to stop." In fact, they say of all of the folks who responded to the poll, NONE had ever successfully quit or achieved any long-term success. This should have come as little surprise, though, since the ad placed by the pollsters (to enlist candidates) was for "more than than 1,000 adult smokers — no quitters allowed."

 Geneva, Switzerland — A new report from the World Health Organization claims that 96% of all international terrorists fail to eat a nutritious breakfast. So remember, before you go planting that bomb, make sure that you eat your Wheaties!

 San Francisco, California — After unveiling a new billboard ad (depicting an alien being), a San Francisco health club got a response that they didn't expect. The ad's "clever" caption was "When they come, they'll eat the fat ones first." Portly protesters turned out in force to complain that the ad was cruel.

 Ramapo, New Jersey — A new acne medicine has side effects that are making folks question its use. Among them are hearing loss, blood clots, nausea, fainting, and paranoid thoughts, as well as memory loss, tumors, insomnia, bone rot, and shortness of breath. The same drug-maker also offers a hair restoration drug. Its side effects? Hyper-obesity and explosive diarrhea.

 The Marathon des Sables spans 140 miles through the Sahara Desert over a period of six days! That's one marathon a day! Temperatures average 120 degrees and sandstorms are very common. An Italian runner actually disappeared in one and was lost for nine days - until he was found in Algeria - less about 44 pounds!

 At a health club in Houston, Texas, a 32 year old man died of cardiac arrest when the only staff person who knew CPR was in the middle of a membership sales pitch and refused to get off the phone.

 Chances of meeting a woman whose measurements are 36-18-33 (the extrapolated measurements of a Barbie doll): 1 in - 100,000.

 In general, you need 10 calories a day for each pound of weight just to stay alive. You'll need more than that, of course, if you plan to get out of bed.

 In 1999, a Scottish woman died after giving up food and drink for seven days and only sipping water for the following two weeks. "Her goal," her spiritual brethren explained, "was to completely eliminate all need for food or water - for the rest of her life." Her mentor claimed that the woman's death was not due to any physical need for food. Rather, she said, "it was a failure to satisfy spiritual needs caused by a battle with her own ego."

 A weight-management drug called Xenical was found in clinical trials to reduce fat absorption by almost 30%. It does this by inhibiting the effects of lipase - a hormone that breaks down triglycerides into fatty acids. "This is not a cure-all drug," warns Robert H. Eckel, M.D., chairman of the American Heart Association. "It's meant for people who face serious health risks as a result of obesity, not someone who wants to drop a few pounds." The drug's long-term efficacy is not clear, and the side effects - diarrhea, flatulence, and possibly worse - really stink. See your physician for more information. Fitness - November, 1999.

 Dr. Stuart M. Berger (an author of best-selling diet and health books) claimed that his weight-loss programs would increase longevity. He died on February 23, 1994. At the time, he was 40 years old and weighed 365 pounds (From "Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest: True News of the World's Least Competent People by John J. Kohut and Roland Sweet).

 In order to tame tubby tots who have a penchant to overeat, a camp in Shanghai, China has devised a novel plan. Overweight children are forced to crawl on their stomachs under barbed wire, while the sounds of bombs and gunfire are blasted through loudspeakers over their heads. When asked why they thought such a high percentage of children were overweight, Chinese officials blamed the increase in consumption of Western fast foods. Maxim, March 2001.

 Real excuses doctors have heard from people who don't work out:

"I can't exercise because I'm out of shape."
"I don't want to give my mother the satisfaction of knowing that I'm taking care of myself."
"I don't go to the gym because the TV is always on something I don't want to watch."
"I only have so many heart beats left and I don't want to waste them on exercise."
The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Vol. 21, No. 1

 A poorly ventilated room and a diet of "cabbage and beans" are being blamed for the death of a man who died while inhaling his gas. Reportedly, he was asleep in his bedroom when he succumbed to the fumes. The police observed a "high concentration of methane" in the room, as well as a "noxious cloud" that lingered ominously by the bed. Had a window been left open, one man said, he'd still be alive. One rescuer was hospitalized and at least three others got sick.

 A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker jogged off a cliff, when according to his wife, "he put on some tunes and completely zoned out."

 How we feel about ourselves is the core of self-esteem, says author Louise Hart Boulder, Colorado, Sunday Camera, February 5

 Seen on a container of salt: Warning: High in sodium

 "Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link" — Cornell Daily Sun, December 7, 1995

 "Light Meals Lower in Fat" — Huntington Herald-Dispatch, November 30

 From an actual transcript:

     Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
     A: No.
     Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
     A: No.
     Q: Did you check for breathing?
     A: No.
     Q: So, it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
     A: No.
     Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
     A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
     Q: But nevertheless, could the patient have still been alive?
     A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.

 Real statements on patient / client records from doctors, fitness trainers, and nurses:

  • Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband reports she was very hot in bed last night.
  • My client has been depressed ever since she started training with me three years ago.
  • My client left the gym feeling much better except for her original complaints.
  • The patient has no past history of suicides.
  • Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

 A 44-year-old man was so desperate to shed some flab that he had a friend perform liposuction - in his garage! Being the considerate type, the makeshift "surgeon" apologized to the deceased man's family.

 A man trying to find a new use for his jump rope was rushed to the hospital after sliding six feet of it into his urethra. Apparently, the rope uncoiled when entering his bladder, creating a huge knot that he was unable to remove. The moral of the story? Improper use of exercise equipment can result in serious injury.

(From "When Working Out Isn't Working Out," St. Martin's Press, 1999)