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Moses Yoder
01-24-2013, 2:34 PM
The thread on Diet Cokes got me wondering how many people don't care about health risks (or perhaps think they are overrated) and just do it anyway. Like smoking for instance. Or using artificial sweeteners. Let's just start with those two and see where it goes.

For instance, here is an article on aspartame, an artificial sweetener;

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/13/artificial-sweeteners-more-dangerous-than-you-ever-imagined.aspx

And here is one on smoking;

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/

And yet, even after reading these I bet there are still people here who drink aspartame and smoke cigarettes. Just wondering.

Mike Circo
01-24-2013, 2:51 PM
Everything in moderation, and good genes. That's my motto.

My grandfather lived to be 96. Retired twice and worked until he was 88. He smoked cigars, drank martinis every night. Ate salty food, fatty food, red meat, potatoes and even (gasp!) beer. He was never sick a day in his life. My mother is the same way.

My Sister however is a dietition and eats "right", she is always tired, "coming down with something", having stomach issues and has blood pressure issues too. I have none of that, and eat "wrong".

Life is too short to worry needlessly. If you deny yourself all good things, you will add maybe a couple of years to your life. But those are at the end and not really good years anyway ;-)

David Weaver
01-24-2013, 2:59 PM
I wouldn't put any weight on anything from that first site. The guy who runs that site thinks HIV doesn't cause AIDS, and generally has a whole lot of other unsubstantiated ideas to sell himself and his stuff.

Smoking is known, the mortality adjustment for a smoker is a known measurable thing, and is somewhere around 2 or a little north of 2 (meaning that in general, if 3 out of 1000 non-smokers would become deceased at a given age, approximately 6+ smokers out of 1,000 would become deceased).

I'd go to wikipedia for an unbiased assessment of aspartame. It may have links to bad things (I personally get migraines if I drink aspartame in more than a small quantity, not always, but with noticeably higher frequency), but at least you have a better chance of getting reasonable information and citations without an agenda.

Moses Yoder
01-24-2013, 3:59 PM
I wouldn't put any weight on anything from that first site. The guy who runs that site thinks HIV doesn't cause AIDS, and generally has a whole lot of other unsubstantiated ideas to sell himself and his stuff.

Smoking is known, the mortality adjustment for a smoker is a known measurable thing, and is somewhere around 2 or a little north of 2 (meaning that in general, if 3 out of 1000 non-smokers would become deceased at a given age, approximately 6+ smokers out of 1,000 would become deceased).

I'd go to wikipedia for an unbiased assessment of aspartame. It may have links to bad things (I personally get migraines if I drink aspartame in more than a small quantity, not always, but with noticeably higher frequency), but at least you have a better chance of getting reasonable information and citations without an agenda.

So essentially you are saying you make your decisions based on things called "scientifically proven facts" and you believe it is possible to do something without bias.

If you have a wife, does her input influence you at all? For example, I would be happy to partake of aspartame and die fat and happy at a very young age but my wife believes otherwise. I do have to say I would not smoke though; all of the smokers I have known in my life have come to miserable ends, not happy at all. So I guess my decision paradigm hinges on personal experience.

Jerome Stanek
01-24-2013, 4:13 PM
So essentially you are saying you make your decisions based on things called "scientifically proven facts" and you believe it is possible to do something without bias.

If you have a wife, does her input influence you at all? For example, I would be happy to partake of aspartame and die fat and happy at a very young age but my wife believes otherwise. I do have to say I would not smoke though; all of the smokers I have known in my life have come to miserable ends, not happy at all. So I guess my decision paradigm hinges on personal experience.


By that thinking I would stay away from water as everybody that died had been drinking water at one time or another so water is dangerous.

Moses Yoder
01-24-2013, 4:27 PM
By that thinking I would stay away from water as everybody that died had been drinking water at one time or another so water is dangerous.

I agree absolutely, we had our water tested a few years ago and found it to be safe. So far, in my personal experience, it has been relatively safe. What you say is very true though; it has small bits of poisinous substances in it that will make me age faster and eventually die. In my experience water is not as bad for you as smoking. For instance, in comparing my wife's grandfather and grandmother she smoked and he does not. The last ten years of her life she was not able to breathe well, and she died probably 10 or 12 years ago now. He did not smoke, is over 90 years old now and in fine health and has no problems breathing, still drives himself. They both drank city water at about the same rate. This is my personal experience.

Steve Meliza
01-24-2013, 4:44 PM
When I was growing up my mom fed us margarine because it was said to be healthier than butter. One night I saw a news cast about a little red wine being good for your heart, then the next night a story about a little red wine increasing the risk of cancer (or something like that). I refuse to attempt to stretch my days out a little by having a miserable existence and refuse to leave before my time by being a slob without any self control. Have moderation in ALL things and enjoy the time that you have been given.

Ryan Mooney
01-24-2013, 4:59 PM
Have moderation in ALL things and enjoy the time that you have been given.

Personally I'm trying to cut back on moderation... .... ... :rolleyes: :D

That water is in fact dangerous stuff!!!! :rolleyes:: http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

Myk Rian
01-24-2013, 5:11 PM
It's the chemicals that are put in everything we eat. Our bodies don't know what to do with them.
Margarine is one molecule short of being plastic. Really.
As a result we have cancers that are totally un-explainable, illnesses for no reason, we need energy drinks to stay awake. The list is endless.
Our Grand-parents didn't grow up with those chemicals. They smoked and drank, and lived into their 80s and 90s.

EDIT: Let me add all the above ground nuclear blasts that were carried out. Poisoned ourselves right good with that, we did.

Jay Jolliffe
01-24-2013, 5:15 PM
We've been being poisoned by the food corps for a long time & there still figuring out ways to due more damage.....

David Weaver
01-24-2013, 5:36 PM
So essentially you are saying you make your decisions based on things called "scientifically proven facts" and you believe it is possible to do something without bias.

If you have a wife, does her input influence you at all? For example, I would be happy to partake of aspartame and die fat and happy at a very young age but my wife believes otherwise. I do have to say I would not smoke though; all of the smokers I have known in my life have come to miserable ends, not happy at all. So I guess my decision paradigm hinges on personal experience.

This is a really odd line of reasoning. My wife doesn't determine whether aspartame does or doesn't have any significant health effects. If she harrassed me about eating it, that might influence me but even if that was the case, that wouldn't point me toward a quack who sells supplements and books for advice above and beyond the entire body of study data. The reason why I would ignore conclusions from the first site is not a difficult concept. I didn't know who the guy was, but the way his site is laid out with self promotion and pushing of goods, as well as the tone of his arguments in his "article" was enough to make me look him up on wikipedia. The fact that he has some medical-type training and can still be that emotional and biased is even worse, I thought for sure I'd find out he was a quasi doc and not someone with any kind of medical credentials.

David Weaver
01-24-2013, 5:37 PM
They smoked and drank, and lived into their 80s and 90s.


Actually, if they smoked or drank, they lived less long than current smokers and drinkers, and if they were non smokers, they lived less long than current non-smokers. What they didn't do was worry about whether or not the lead arsenic they were using to poison grasshoppers, etc, would get in their food supply.

Ole Anderson
01-24-2013, 5:50 PM
If our combined leadership put all the energy into anti-smoking that has been brought to bear on the gun issue post the Sandy Hill shooting, just think how many more lives would be saved than were lost in that tragedy. Using an example of folks that live to a ripe old age regardless of their bad habits to support your bad habits is like saying there is no global warming because it sure is cold today. There ya go, smoking, guns and global warming. That ought to continue the discussion, and they all can affect our long term health.

Belinda Williamson
01-24-2013, 6:04 PM
So, where do you all stand on GMOs, antibiotics, and growth hormones? Do you buy/eat strictly organic? I drink diet coke. I eat grass fed beef, and pork, from animals raised by friends who do not use antibiotics and hormones. I buy produce, when I can, from the local Farmer's Market from another friend who is a seed saver and only grows heirloom varieties. I buy eggs from free range chickens from either friend. If you buy your groceries from a typical store, it is ludicrous to think that there are more harmful chemicals in a diet coke than there are in the produce, grains, and meat that you consume.

Fred Perreault
01-24-2013, 6:53 PM
One of the least noticed items might be the quality of the irrigation water that is used in the vegetable growing areas. Tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and other greens are grown in areas with known slightly to moderately contaminated water. Of course, that won't be a serious issue in a few years because there won't be any water in those areas for irrigation. California, New Jersey, Florida, and other states are going to have to choose between farming water and drinking water.... and then there are the slaughterhouse issues. My veggie garden has gotten bigger every year for the past few years.

paul cottingham
01-24-2013, 7:19 PM
We eat organic, no aspartame, artificial sweeteners, etc, cause our daughter does way better when we do. On the other hand, my grandfather, who smoked till he was 88, was an active alcoholic, and ate whatever the hell he wanted, died at 96, with all his marbles and mobility. He retired at 92, and only then because he got in a fight with his boss, who fired him.

David Weaver
01-24-2013, 8:02 PM
If our combined leadership put all the energy into anti-smoking that has been brought to bear on the gun issue post the Sandy Hill shooting, just think how many more lives would be saved than were lost in that tragedy. Using an example of folks that live to a ripe old age regardless of their bad habits to support your bad habits is like saying there is no global warming because it sure is cold today. There ya go, smoking, guns and global warming. That ought to continue the discussion, and they all can affect our long term health.

Smoking won't be an issue until the exchanges funnel everyone onto a federal exchange and everything becomes uniform ( effectively single payer ). If it doesn't get to that, it's less prevalent now in high schools than it has been in a long time. The exchanges are going to allow smoker / non smoker rates, and employers are going to do it more, and I'd imagine that will slow people down.

And in the favor of anecdotes since we seem to have folks who like anecdotes more than data, my uncle dale lived for 98 years eating bacon and eggs every morning, never wasting the grease, instead using it to fry the eggs.

belinda, I don't believe that the effect of aspartame at some moderate level will be discernible vs. other things. Certainly, obesity effects, smoking effects, etc have been easier to observe. I don't drink it because of my head, but I don't believe it's as bad as the people who want to sell supplements and natural living books would like you to believe. It's better for their pockets if they quote only one side of the story or just plain outright lie.

You can look at the list of things the EU doesn't allow, for example, and aspartame isn't one of them.

paul cottingham
01-24-2013, 8:11 PM
Yeah, you know what? I agree with you David. Even if there wasn't any strong evidence that these things are bad for you, even the suggestion that they are ought to motivate us. And I am saying that as a recovering drunk, and an ex smoker. But it's never simple. There is gobs of evidence that we shouldn't eat pork or beef, but we do. There are plenty of other examples.
I just happen to know a few exceptions....

ray hampton
01-24-2013, 8:39 PM
what about the report that your pet cat will died from too much sugar -substituting

David Weaver
01-24-2013, 8:43 PM
Exactly right, it's never simple. When we've been "on" something for a very long time (aspartame, antibiotics, etc) if there was a huge strong highly correlated strong confidence sort of association, we'd know it already.

That leaves weak associations and the sometimes bad data or not well defined data to be used to tell us what or what not to do.

I love diet coke, I wish I could drink it in volume sometimes to relax. One day we should eat red meat, the next day, no tuna, then no spinach, etc. Sometimes it's nice to enjoy things. I don't have to drink chromium oxide IV or benzene to do it, something that's only as bad as breathing the smoke around a campfire and eating burnt marshmallows may do it.

Ed Aumiller
01-24-2013, 9:12 PM
A few years ago my blood pressure went really high.... took some elimination to determine it was the aspartame in the diet pepsi causing it.. did not affect anyone else in family, just me..
Different strokes for different folks...

paul cottingham
01-24-2013, 9:57 PM
my blood pressure problems are caused by my in-laws, but that's another story.:D
Just kidding dear....

Charles McKinley
01-24-2013, 11:58 PM
If doctors know what they are doing why is it called a PRACTICE?

If you want to understand a study the first thing to do is to look who PAID for it. Good chance the results show favorably on them.

Longevity past a good mind and functioning body is a CURSE.

Look no further than the nearest old age "home" for proof. I get physically ill each time I visit and binge on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to feel better. (The miniature ones have fewer calories!)

My Great-aunt Elsie was well into her 80s, nearly blind and deaf and really liked chicken. One day the dr. said she should not eat it so much, so she stopped. What good did taking away one of her few pleasures do??? My Gram would have liked to have throttled the dr.

Do what you enjoy as long as it doesn't do direct harm to others, no one get out of hear alive anyway.

Ride hard die young.... if I had know I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.

Thanks for letting me vent and BTW how much wood dust, finishing fumes, welding smoke and grinding dust and other things do we ingest every day that is just part of life????

Thanks for letting me vent.

Matt Marsh
01-25-2013, 5:45 AM
I wonder why the food and soft drink industries haven't done more with Stevia?

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 8:53 AM
I wonder why the food and soft drink industries haven't done more with Stevia?

How much does it cost compared to aspartame? What's the supply like? I'd imagine when anyone puts pencil to paper, the combination of cheapest and easiest to get in large supply without any interruptions bears a lot of weight.

Matt Marsh
01-25-2013, 4:16 PM
How much does it cost compared to aspartame? What's the supply like? I'd imagine when anyone puts pencil to paper, the combination of cheapest and easiest to get in large supply without any interruptions bears a lot of weight.

Even if it is more, I would think there would be a large market for a natural sweetener with zero calories, that tastes great, and that has none of the ill health concerns that artificial sweeteners have.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=nuvia&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anuvia&ajr=1#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=truvia&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atruvia

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stevia

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 4:37 PM
I think you're right, we're in the world of "Dr. Oz says".... if he says stevia is better (and he must have because there was a big rush on our house to get it for some reason last year - the excitement has worn off now), then there's already a market for the product if the price can come down some (I googled it and found some cans of soda at wal mart for about $1 each).

I'll bet if you wrote about it to stevia and to pepsi co both would be willing to talk about it and the prospects.

Jason Roehl
01-25-2013, 4:46 PM
Is there a problem with just aspartame? Hard to say. I can't imagine, though, that ingesting that, along with HFCS, MSG and other preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings, along with the antibiotics and synthetic hormones in meat, and the pesticides on vegetables doesn't have some sort of negative, long-term effect. I think the body is fearfully and wonderfully made, and is incredible at withstanding some chemical abuse. Some friends of ours have a son who is moderately autistic and/or ADHD. Several years ago they went gluten-free and removed a few other things from his diet (such as bananas and eggs), and he improved greatly.

I think some vaccines are good. This flu-shot craze has me baffled, though. On the one hand, the media touts how close it is this year to the virus causing the widespread flu outbreak, then 10 minutes later they're reporting how it's an epidemic. I've never had a flu shot, don't plan to, and I've had the flu maybe twice in the last 15 years. I stayed home, slept, ate, drank and took fever reducers and got over it. I think if people wouldn't insist on trying to sterilize their entire house and wouldn't use hand sanitizer like it fell from the sky, maybe they would have the immune systems to fend off or if need be, withstand the occasional bout of flu. Some of the healthiest people I know have the dirtiest houses.

Then there's the constant onslaught of airborne chemicals. Perfumes, air fresheners, cleaners, etc. all drive me nuts. I have a big beak, and I can smell all that stuff at distance (if I can smell your perfume as you pass me on the interstate, and I have my windows closed, that's too much). Inhaling all those daily can't be healthy.

Now, do I lose sleep or fret over all this? Nope. I do what I reasonably can and go on with life, doing my best to enjoy it despite it's myriad of trials and troubles. Being some kind of miserable health Nazi just to add a couple years to my life doesn't sound like much of a life to me.

Kevin Barnett
01-25-2013, 5:23 PM
Even if it is more, I would think there would be a large market for a natural sweetener with zero calories, that tastes great, and that has none of the ill health concerns that artificial sweeteners have.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=nuvia&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anuvia&ajr=1#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=truvia&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atruvia

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stevia

I think your assumption that things, because they are "natural", are better for you than a sweetener that has years of testing behind it is funny. I also got a kick out of the original poster that linked to a website promoting "aids" and "supports" and "nutritional" which are terms used when companies don't want to make a real claim that the FDA can react to.

Darius Ferlas
01-25-2013, 5:51 PM
We eat organic, no aspartame, artificial sweeteners, etc, cause our daughter does way better when we do. On the other hand, my grandfather, who smoked till he was 88, was an active alcoholic, and ate whatever the hell he wanted, died at 96, with all his marbles and mobility. He retired at 92, and only then because he got in a fight with his boss, who fired him.
At least when he was young he had a good start with real food. That may have helped.

Today's children will be the first generation to live shorter lives than the previous. (source (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/17/health/17obese.html?_r=0))

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 8:26 PM
It's unlikely they'll live shorter lives than their parents, at least on average. Mortality is expected to improve indefinitely and has up to this point despite the fact that we are much fatter now than we were 30 years ago. The word "could" is used in that source.

Despite all of the discussions of chemicals in food, bad food quality, poor diets, lack of physical jobs, we still live longer than we ever have.

I stick on this kind of stuff a little not because I defend lowest cost food or scads of maintenance prescriptions, but because measuring mortality is very closely related to what I do.

Brian Elfert
01-25-2013, 8:36 PM
A longer lifespan is only a good thing if we have a good quality of life. Living to 90, but in constant pain with zero enjoyment of life is no way to live. Modern medicine can keep people alive for a long time even if they have little quality of life.

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 9:07 PM
I can't say too much about that other than to describe the disability rates, and how they are for most of the jobs we have now vs. what they are in jobs like mills and industry.

I personally don't like the idea of living to age 95, I agree that a miserable long life is still miserable. I don't think we'll have more pain than generations before us, though, even if we're fat, we don't wear out our bodies and we have more options for things like knee replacements and arthritis drugs. It's really never been easier or better to live than it is now.

Darius Ferlas
01-25-2013, 9:42 PM
It's unlikely they'll live shorter lives than their parents, at least on average. Mortality is expected to improve indefinitely and has up to this point despite the fact that we are much fatter now than we were 30 years ago. The word "could" is used in that source.

Despite all of the discussions of chemicals in food, bad food quality, poor diets, lack of physical jobs, we still live longer than we ever have.

I stick on this kind of stuff a little not because I defend lowest cost food or scads of maintenance prescriptions, but because measuring mortality is very closely related to what I do.

Well, then you must know that lower life expectancy is already occurring:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/06/16/what-lower-life-expectancy-tells-us-about-the-future/

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 10:07 PM
The first sentence in your link rats you out:

"although they are up overall for the country."

Here is real data, and a discussion about the future. This is real data compiled both over a period of increasing obesity and through the aids epidemic. Still improvement overall.

http://www.soa.org/research/experience-study/pension/research-mortality-improve-bb.aspx

The PDF exposure draft on the right (last document) and the two PDFs up from that will give you a better picture, not a newspaper story designed to grab headlines.

Chris Walls
01-27-2013, 9:49 PM
I have a theory that ALL of those studies by universities , think tanks and so on should by law have to be released all on the same day. You could then scroll through them and choose which one to believe this year.
Chris

Greg Peterson
01-28-2013, 1:02 AM
I try to eat right, and for the most part I do. I also spend four evenings a week in the gym. I wear a heart rate monitor while at the gym. It records my cardiovascular activity and then gets uploaded to the web and into reports.

I am not sure that working out (cardio and free weights) will prolong my life. I am confident however that my quality of life will not drop off as fast or as drastically as it would otherwise.

I believe that as a population, we are far to sedentary and that this is largely responsible for many of our health problems. I also think we consume too much processed food. Too much salt and too much sugar. But again, the body was designed to be used, and far too many fail to use their body.

Brian Elfert
01-28-2013, 9:53 AM
A number of runners who run lots of miles have died in their 50s 0r 60s from heart conditions. The theories are that their heart was overworked from all the running. It appears too much exercise can be bad for us just as too little exercise. I'm definitely in the too little exercise category and need to get back on my treadmill now that my back is better from overworking it a week ago.