Are you as mystified by medical studies that pop out of the woodwork with unfailing regularity as I am?
Well, then, the latest in a series of mind-boggling human mappings says it’s waist over weight: even if you are NOT overweight but have a ‘bulging’ midriff (is that a physiological possibility? Ah, who knows?), you are dead meat.
A few months ago, scientists got sceptical of the virtuous properties of water — which include clearing the body of toxins, keeping vital organs fighting fit, keeping weight down, and improving skin tone and hair texture. Not only were the experts doubtful of water’s wonders, they also said drinking too much of the liquid could damage your kidneys.
And yes, they are saying the use of mobile phones can lead to all sorts of complications.
One study showed that people exposed to mobile-phone radiation were 4 per cent faster at certain mental tasks than others, and that taking calls (on your handset) has the effect of making you about 20 years younger. But hang on.
You could get brain cancer — or a tumour in your head at the very least — in the process, revealed another research.
In one of his columns, Ian Sample, science correspondent with The Guardian, wrote how he used to be happy in the knowledge that two staples of his diet, namely caffeine and pizzas, were inherently bad for him. One fine day, he found out that Italian scientists had discovered pizzas act to protect us from all manner of cancers. “And they should know,” he winked in his column. “Then it was the turn of the Australians. After a bunch of tests on athletes, scientists at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra have concluded that caffeine is not only going to make me more powerful and exercise longer, but it’s likely to make me lose weight faster too. If I’d been feeling guilty about what I was consuming, it would all have been for nought.”
I chanced upon the Real Age monitor the other day, on the Internet. Real Age, I was told, is what you ACTUALLY are. Officially, you may be 60, but hey, if you’ve been doing the Right Things (having more than five friends, eating more than three servings of fruits and vegetables, not smoking etc etc), you could be much younger.
I solemnly proceeded to answer 20 questions on (a) diet, (b) fitness, (c) habits, and (d) environment. My ‘report’ was emailed to me in a couple of hours.
My Real Age turned out to be more than my official age (even though I haven’t fudged my birth certificate).
One critical setback for me, it seems, is the fact that I don’t have a dog at home. What to do? I am crazy about dogs; my all-time favourite movie is one called Fluke where the lead role-playing canine goes through several rounds of reincarnation to track down his family. But I can’t keep a wagging tail at home. My apartment, it turns out, is not ‘pet friendly.’ My lease says: “Animals strictly not allowed within building premises”.
Does that mean that age will catch up with me?
Absolutely, says the Real Age monitor. I’m going to be an old hag soon -- and I’ll have an adorable Labrador or a spiffy poodle to blame.
A few days ago, someone forwarded me this chain mail. I loved it. It’s a Q&A session with Doctor Cool -- and you can take his prescriptions all the way to the grave. Here are some sample exchanges:
Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100 per cent of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine -- that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it... don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap. And the killer was:
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
After taking the Real Age test, this was just what was the doctor ordered.
*Published in the UAE's KHALEEJ TIMES on Nov. 21.