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Swine Flu Kills Obese People Disproportionately

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the super-size-someone-else-please dept.

Medicine 661

Philip K Dickhead writes "Bloomberg is reporting that the World Health Organization discovered a single, surprising characteristic that's emerged among swine flu victims who become severely ill: They are all fat. Infected people with a body mass index greater than 40 suffer respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal. The virus appears to be on a collision course with the obesity epidemic. WHO officials are gathering statistics to confirm and understand this development. 'It's very likely that if we went back retrospectively and looked at people who did poorly during seasonal flu, what would shake out is that obesity would be one of the risks.' Fat cells secrete chemicals that cause chronic, low-level inflammation that can hamper the body's immune response and narrow the airways, says Tim Armstrong, a doctor working in the WHO's chronic diseases department in Geneva."

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Finally!! A Cure For Obesity!! (-1, Troll)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669843)

Just cough on a fat person.

Re:Finally!! A Cure For Obesity!! (5, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669981)

Pig flu affects fat persons.. I didn't see that one coming!

The story title is wrong ... (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670103)

It isn't killing them disproportionally - it's killing them in direct relationship to their proportions :-)

Re:The story title is wrong ... (-1, Troll)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670297)

is that something to smile about?

If only there were a virus would kill in proportion to how big an asshole you are.

Re:The story title is wrong ... (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670319)

Obesity is something you *can* fix. It's not like cancer or something else where you have little to nothing control over it. You can just do it, if you really want to.

Re:The story title is wrong ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670481)

Not in all cases, just most. Former athletes and cheerleader types can be hit with the glandular problem. It's very sad for those afflicted with it, there's nothing that can be done. Still, 99.999% of fat sods are troffers, so don't hold back.

Re:The story title is wrong ... (-1, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670463)

It isn't killing them disproportionally - it's killing them in direct relationship to their proportions :-)

is that something to smile about?

If only there were a virus would kill in proportion to how big an asshole you are.

Sorry, the fat people would still be killed off in direct proportion - after all, they need the super-sized asshole to pass the super-sized turds from their super-sized meals :-)

Look, I can sell you a tape for a buck that will help you lose weight. It's not a video tape. It's not an audio tape. It's duct tape - you just put it over your mouth.

It's true that inside every fat person is a thin person just dying to get out - the fat person ate him for a snack.

Re:Finally!! A Cure For Obesity!! (1, Flamebait)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670239)

Pig flu affects fat persons.. I didn't see that one coming!

I like it how this got modded down as troll and flamebait :)

fyi, i'm somewhat fat myself. but atleast I see the reality and admit its not good, instead of modding down :)

Well... yeh. (5, Insightful)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669845)

Being obese is pretty much an invitation for all sorts of problems. I love my steak, fries, chocolate, soda and burgers, I just eat them once every other week in small quantities. It helps when I think of baby carrots and apples as snacks.

Re:Well... yeh. (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670211)

Being obese is pretty much an invitation for all sorts of problems. I love my steak, fries, chocolate, soda and burgers, I just eat them once every other week in small quantities. It helps when I think of baby carrots and apples as snacks.

Now imagine trying to do that with severe cravings for the food. The kind of cravings addicts have for their poison of choice.

I'm fat. I'm able to avoid a huge variety of foods due to my wife's allergies. (If I've eaten the tiniest amounts of garlic, onion, capcicum, chilli, or a whole raft of spices one kiss from me could kill her. Do you have any idea how many different foods have trace amounts of these? I'm lucky if I can eat the fries at a fast food joint. If they use chicken salt, forget it). I don't have a simple issue with self control. If I did she'd be dead and I'd be up on murder charges. On the other hand I have a huge problem eating small portions. If I do I literally walk around voraciously hungry.

Oh and by the way I have an ankle so arthritic that I don't know how many more years I'll be able to walk for. At the moment if I had to run for my life I still could but I'd be paying for it with a couple of weeks worth of agony. Combine this with a desk job and yeah I _could_ try to make time for the gym (which I hate with a passion) but keeping up an excercise routine is to say the least problematic.

People who think it's a simple self control issue are idiots. Your makeup pre-disposes you to wanting to eat and to piling on weight. It's like looking at a dyslexic person and saying it's just a matter of self control when it comes to reading. It shows a profound lack of understanding of the issue.

Re:Well... yeh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670245)

I don't have a simple issue with self control. If I did she'd be dead and I'd be up on murder charges. On the other hand I have a huge problem eating small portions. If I do I literally walk around voraciously hungry.

[snip]

Combine this with a desk job and yeah I _could_ try to make time for the gym (which I hate with a passion) but keeping up an excercise routine is to say the least problematic.

So, in other words, you have a complete lack of self control and are unable to motivate yourself to keep yourself healthy.

Losing weight is stupidly easy: eat less, exercise more. So you have a bad ankle, talk to your doctor to come up with an exercise routine that doesn't involve massive amounts of walking.

30 minutes a day. That's it. If you can't do that, then yes, it's a self control issue.

Re:Well... yeh. (-1, Troll)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670309)

You should post with your name and save us all the trouble by simply declaring yourself an idiot.

Re:Well... yeh. (3, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670333)

So, in other words, you have a complete lack of self control and are unable to motivate yourself to keep yourself healthy.

Not at all.

Losing weight is stupidly easy: eat less, exercise more.

That completely ignores the fact that people feel hunger differently, people lose weight differently, and that even those that have the ability to lose weight can work their arses off and still lose nothing in a week. If weight loss were as easy for everyone as you make it out to be we wouldn't have a problem.

So you have a bad ankle, talk to your doctor to come up with an exercise routine that doesn't involve massive amounts of walking.

Yeah because I'd never have thought of that you twit. There are only a handful of things that would work for me. Weight training isn't going to work now is it. That's great for bulking up. One thing that might work is swimming. If I could get to a pool 2 hours a day maybe I'd have a chance.

30 minutes a day. That's it. If you can't do that, then yes, it's a self control issue

Dude if 30 minutes a day worked for me, I'd do it in a heartbeat. The only couple of times I have lost weight in my life I lived on salad and lean meat/chicken in tiny portions and did AT LEAST 2 hours of heavy excercise a day. Anything short of that doesn't cut it. What's worse is when I've stopped it's taken a couple of months of eating reasonable portions and not excercising as much to put on all the weight I've lost over 6-8 months AND add some more kilos as the body overcompensates. Now you can choose to believe me or not. I'm guessing not. That's up to you. I happen to know for a fact that I'm not lying. Meanwhile I CAN'T keep that up while working 10 hrs a day 5 days a week plus some weekends, spending 3 hours a day in commute, doing chores till midnight when I get home and helping to raise a family.

See that's the trouble with morons like your good self. You think it's a simple case of self control and even when someone demonstrates that they have self control you're happier to blame the person for not making super human efforts and for having a body that doesn't react in the same way as theirs. You have no regard for their actual situation. You're just eager to place the entire blame on some moral or psychological defect. Ironically it's a "let them eat cake" solution that you offer.

Re:Well... yeh. (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670451)

So, in other words, you have a complete lack of self control and are unable to motivate yourself to keep yourself healthy.

Not at all.

Losing weight is stupidly easy: eat less, exercise more.

That completely ignores the fact that people feel hunger differently, people lose weight differently, and that even those that have the ability to lose weight can work their arses off and still lose nothing in a week. If weight loss were as easy for everyone as you make it out to be we wouldn't have a problem.

You do understand that the different hunger feeling comes from the fact how much people have got used to eat, right? And also from what kind of food you eat. Carbs burn *fast* in your body, so stay off from bread, rice, potatoes and such. Eat high-protein and high-fat foods like meat, fish and chicken. They often also contain way less calories than the high-carb foods. Start by eating when you feel like so, as you're quite possible taking way less calories in that way anyways. Lower your amounts a bit all the time and you'll notice you dont really need that much food.

I feel you in that theres sometimes reasons people cant get their motivation up for that, being it work or anything else. I'm myself around the ~30 in charts. But I know the reasons for it and I know that I could make it better, instead of lying to myself that it's somehow not possible.

The only couple of times I have lost weight in my life I lived on salad and lean meat/chicken in tiny portions and did AT LEAST 2 hours of heavy excercise a day. Anything short of that doesn't cut it.

See this? That is the answer that I've already said and you've even noticed yourself. Hamburgers, bread and other such high-carb food is bad. Meat and chicken and fish is good. It's there by nature. Google for "low carb diet", go by that atleats 2 weeks and you'll notice how great it is. Then make that your lifestyle.

Re:Well... yeh. (5, Interesting)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670457)

You don't have to swim for 2 hours to get any weight-losing exercise, I think if you signed up for some night adult swimming classes you would learn a few things that would help, specifically: improving your form, breathing, flip-turns (maybe not an option with your ankle), different strokes, etc. In fact they have even invented weights specifically for water based exercising http://www.saveonpoolsupplies.com/shopping/product.aspx?productid=SKU1217&scode=I9SOPSST&e7=Y&e8=T3335&pcode=101&keyword=T3335 [saveonpoolsupplies.com] if you want to add variety. Eating less is a harder problem, some people find eating their meals slower helps, not wolfing it down. Don't expect to lose weight after a week either, it can takes months to see an actual measurable and continual change.

Re:Well... yeh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670265)

> Now imagine trying to do that with severe cravings for the food. The kind of cravings addicts have for their poison of choice.

That usually (YMMV) means you're eating the wrong food. Your body tends to stay hungry until it has got what it needs. Eat something else and the craving remains.

> I don't have a simple issue with self control. If I did she'd be dead and I'd be up on murder charges.

That seems a little farfetched, unless you ate one of those things she is allergic to because you wanted her to die. I suppose you could be looking at involuntary manslaughter.

Re:Well... yeh. (0, Troll)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670315)

"That usually (YMMV) means you're eating the wrong food. Your body tends to stay hungry until it has got what it needs. Eat something else and the craving remains."

Thanks for the old wives tale, AC.

Re:Well... yeh. (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670369)

"That usually (YMMV) means you're eating the wrong food. Your body tends to stay hungry until it has got what it needs. Eat something else and the craving remains."

Thanks for the old wives tale, AC.

Eh? Thats the truth really. If you havent tried yet, try eating just foods with low amounts of carbs. Instead eat meat, fish and chicken. *without something that comes with carbs*. You'll notice how much longer you stay full. You can start by googling for "low carb diet". But dont just keep it as diet, keep it as a lifestyle. You'll notice the difference.

Re:Well... yeh. (0, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670363)

That usually (YMMV) means you're eating the wrong food. Your body tends to stay hungry until it has got what it needs. Eat something else and the craving remains.

I wonder how many more trolls are going to post as AC and refuse to acknowledge the fact that different people's bodies process food differently, or that different people's bodies have very different hunger mechanism.

That seems a little farfetched, unless you ate one of those things she is allergic to because you wanted her to die. I suppose you could be looking at involuntary manslaughter.

Well yeah that's much better, isn't it. If my wife died I'd feel so much better about being up on manslaughter instead of murder charges. What an asshole!

Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (4, Insightful)

EQ (28372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669847)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (2, Funny)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669883)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

So are you telling us that you are just big boned?

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669919)

"I'm not fat I just haven't grown into my body yet!!" - Eric Cartman

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (3, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669947)

Or big muscled. According to this site [supernifty.com.au] , Hulk Hogan has a BMI of 31.9 The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has a BMI of 34.3 Both of them fall under the BMI obese category. Seriously, The Rock is not fat [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

nevurthls (1167963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670417)

Glad they set the cut-off at 40 then, honestly there is nobody in the world with a bmi that high who is not extremely fat.
There are no borderline cases anymore when you get beyond 35.
Bmi is a bad measure for individual cases, because healthy muscularly people might fall into the wrong category, but when we are talking a population and we are talking a bmi of 40 there is no discussion.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669969)

Nah, they're going to blame it on the economy - you know ... inflation.

Or they'll just say that it's environmental - they live in the South [time.com]

Why Are Southerners So Fat?

People from Mississippi are fat. With an adult obesity rate of 33%, Mississippi has gobbled its way to the "chubbiest state" crown for the fifth year in a row, according to a new joint report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee aren't far behind, with obesity rates over 30%. In fact, eight of the 10 fattest states are in the South.

Another example of how you are what you eat ... and another reason to keep your BMI below 25 [nhlbisupport.com] .

The BMI is a useful tool in the sense that it helps get people to actually discuss the issue. Of course, the real test is with calipers. Can you "pinch an inch?" If so, you're carrying excess fat. If you have to use the jaws of life to remove the calipers, you're obese. If the calipers strike oil, you're a Southener.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670033)

"It's a huge problem." according to TFA. Only person in the UK has died from Swine Flu with no 'underlying health problems' - perhaps they were being polite and they were lettuce dodgers?

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (2, Interesting)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669911)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

What is the correlation between BMI and fraction body fat?

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

Hillman (137883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670147)

"The BMI can also be used as a predictor for BF%. Several studies have demonstrated a good relationship between the BMI and the amount of body fat if age and sex are accounted for. When using such age- and sex-specific equations perfect body fat can be predicted with an error of 3-5%, an error comparable with the prediction error of skinfold thickness of impedance measurements."
Handbook of obesity: etiology and pathophysiology
George A. Bray, Claude Bouchard

I don't know if the BMI in the article accounted for sex and age. But the correlation between BF% without age sexe varies between 0.6 and 0.8. High enough to take in consideration.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670267)

Correlation does not equal causation.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670445)

There aren't correlation. BMI is the relation between your weight and the square of your tall. Muscle weighs more than fat, because of this somebody can have more than a 25 BMI and not be obese.
On the other hand fraction body fat is, obviously, the fraction of your weight that is fat.

Sincerely, sorry for my English. I hope nobody want to kill me before this comment...0:-)

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669941)

Actually in this case it's a perfectly valid way of looking at it. BMI was created for statistical analysis. And that's what it's being used for.

With the relatively small number of people that have died as a result of the H1N1 it's much easier to detect whether or not it's accurate for the group. But when doing models of how this is likely to shape out, the BMI is a perfectly legitimate way of doing it. The only other measure that's reasonable to consider is the waste to hip ratio, and that's not really designed for this.

waste : hip (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670175)

"waste to hip ratio?" Is that measured in grams of feces per day over number of Apple products owned?

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (3, Funny)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670229)

You mean waist [reference.com] .

Waste to intake ratio might actually be be another way to chart it. We'd have to do it, to find out. ;)

Oversensitive, in this case it works (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670015)

Come on, the BMI they are recording is over 40 - categorized as "morbidly obese". The only people not actually very overweight that would hit that would be professional weight lifters...

For just seeing if someone is a touch overweight it's not a great tool. But in this case the observation is perfectly valid.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

shadylookin (1209874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670019)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

for the vast majority of people who aren't body builders it's fine and it's easier to calculate than body fat percentage.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670117)

Right, in all cases. Meaning measuring BMI isn't necessarily useful for an individual(esp. very short and very tall individuals), however for macro evaluations of a population's obesity rate BMI can be very useful, largely because its incredibly simple(and cheap) to measure.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670119)

True, but one would probably know whether one's high BMI is due to much muscle or not.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670161)

BMI is a perfectly equitable measure for a society which predominantly sedentary, however it has been misused and abused on a regular basis.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670191)

BMI is a good measure of a population as a whole, but not necessarily applicable to individuals. Body fat is a better measure, but is significantly more difficult to measure accurately, and accurate methods are not economical for regular (semi-weekly) tracking of your condition.

It is, sadly, fairly accurate for most people (I'm presuming better than 80%), but it has been modified for many reasons. Most people would say that (as of a year ago) my BMI of ~27 was far from obese (6'-0", 202lbs, 35"-36" waist). I was not in good physical shape, but was moderately healthy and I ate reasonably well (for an American). I was incredulous of my obese status. Now, over a decade ago, that was considered normal. About ten years ago, I became "borderline". Four or five years ago, I was reclassified as obese. As I understand it, the traditional BMI crossover from normal to obese was 27.2, but that's "too hard a number to remember" so they (WHO, I think) changed it to 25 so that the health care professionals could remember the right number easier. I feel feel sorry for all the doctors and nurses who can't seem to memorize a number of equal difficulty to their area code.

About 8 months ago I started working out. Slowly. In those 8 months, I've dropped 15 pounds, increased my stamina to swimming a mile twice a week, and do light lifting (my 7 year old likes to sit on my back and have me do push ups). I'm still overweight by BMI standards...and I've realized that I _am_ still a bit overweight. I've still got a roll around my middle that's not exactly attractive. An "ideal" weight for me, I think, would put me close to 180, or a BMI around 24.5. When I drop another 7 lbs (prob 8 lbs of fat and add a lb of muscle), I'll be pretty happy. My wife's Wii Fit wants me to be 162 (BMI-22). 162lbs would likely take some hard training and I'd be back to doing triathlons on a regular basis (which I did at 195lbs 15 years ago). At 40, that's not going to happen.
almost certainly overweight. If you're over a BMI of 25 and you think you're in such good shape that BMI is bullshit, you probably know your body fat percentage, so BMI doesn't matter since you have a better index.

Sadly (for most people), the BMI is a valid statistical tool for judging populations. It's taken me almost a year to open my eyes and realize that I fall withing the typical body type demographic.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (3, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670195)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

Bogus, no; misleading, sometimes. Someone with a BMI over 40 is always fat, however. Even a 7-foot tall, heavily-muscled man cannot achieve that without huge rolls of fat or a stomach full of ball bearings.

Re:Dammit, BMI != fat in all cases (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670273)

BMI is a bogus and misleading measure. Try percent body fat instead.

I generally agree that body fat percent is way more sensible, but at BMI of 40, we're talking about evident obesity. That, or phenomenal muscle mass, which wasn't the case here.

Newsflash (1)

Mendoksou (1480261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669849)

Obesity is bad for you. More news at 11.

Re:Newsflash (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669987)

Indeed; this is 'Calling Captain Obvious' material.

Morbid obesity is called morbid obesity precisely because there are one or more co-morbidities exhibited by the patient. That means there's already something wrong with you as a result of the obesity; combine that with yet another risk to the system and it's no surprise people have a higher incidence of greater illness.

This isn't just because the patients were overweight - it's because they're so overweight that they were already sick. A BMI of 40 isn't a bit of chub, it's pretty severe.

Shit (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28669851)

Protect Stallman at all costs!

No worries (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28669865)

I'm perfectly happy eating nachos and playing WoW in my safe seclusion, far from the public entity known as The Swine Flu Epidemic.

This is just wrong... (4, Funny)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669875)

"Morbid obesity is one of the most common findings turning up in severely ill patients," said Nikki Shindo, who is leading the investigation of swine flu patients at the WHO in Geneva. "It's a huge problem."

That is just wrong.

Re:This is just wrong... (1)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669913)

I *ROFLed*. /i got my ticket to hell looooooooooooong ago

Re:This is just wrong... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670039)

seriously, that's funny... but i have to say, the only "informative" thing about your post for me is that you noticed it ;)

Re:This is just wrong... (3, Funny)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670059)

Sounds like you got the skinny on the whole situation.

Re:This is just wrong... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670137)

They got down to the meat and potatoes. Everything else is all gravy.

It's called "swine flu" for a reason ... (1, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670129)

It kills people who eat like pigs.

Re:It's called "swine flu" for a reason ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670209)

Actually, step out of America and some of the west, and it is called the Mexican Flu, since that is where it was first detected. Of course, enough evidence has come forth, that it appears that it originated in China, but that is a different issue. That matches up with earlier naming conventions:
  1. Spanish Flu
  2. Asian Flu
  3. Hong Kong Flu

Or they are labeled by the year (1918 flu, 1956 flu, and 1968 flu).

Re:This is just wrong... (1)

univalue (1563403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670285)

Those insensitive clods.

Makes Sense (-1, Troll)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669931)

Not for no reason are the fat known as porkers.

Darwinism is Finally Back! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28669943)

After a long stretch of reverse Darwinism, it's good to see natural selection finally culling the herd as it should.

Re:Darwinism is Finally Back! (1)

VMaN (164134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670105)

Please don't use "Darwinism" when referring to evolution.

Re:Darwinism is Finally Back! (3, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670249)

I agree. We've used science to keep people alive that just should have died off a long time ago. People like Stephen Hawking, for instance. What a drag on the gene pool he's been.

Re:Darwinism is Finally Back! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670257)

I think you intended to say evolution rather than Darwinism. Darwinism implies a social policy of letting evolution run its course in human society unhindered rather then the natural process of evolution itself. Darwin probably would not have supported such a policy himself.

I also take issue with your implied assertion that the process has been running in reverse. I don't think the process can run in reverse. The fittest always are more successful at procreation than the unfit. Its a matter of being fit for the particular situation. It so happens that I and again I would suppose you based on your comment don't approve of the results. Sadly I think living in our society makes a your typical lard ass perfectly fit or at least no less fit as a result of their obesity.

Now if some new forms of disease we can't easily and cheaply treat start attacking people with more fat cells then the obese will again be less fit in the new situation, and we probably will see a trend to slimmer folks again.

Yes, that's you! (0, Flamebait)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669961)

Put down that nacho. Now!

Hm... How many fatsos does it take to make a pig fly?

Makes me hungry.

It's not news that fat is harmful (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669967)

So why is this considered news, let alone for nerds? I understand the nerd appeal all too well, although crawling under my truck to install my lift kit (half done so far, my back is killing me dead) led to the realization that I can fit into my coveralls again... so I'm in about the best shape I ever have been, since childhood anyway.

It is interesting to me however that fat cells secrete nasties. I wonder if there's any benefit to those secretions, perhaps helping you live through winters or something.

Re:It's not news that fat is harmful (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670143)

News for nerds. Stuff that Matters.

Swine flu kills porkers (0, Troll)

bitemykarma (1515895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669973)

Isn't that redundant?

Overweight is symptom, not cause (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28669989)

This surprises me not at all - people who are overweight generally are not eating that well, and also not exercising a lot.

I've been lucky to have a good metabolism and never really had weight issues. But I used to drink a ton of soda, and not eat that great... I was having combing down with the cold and flu multiple times per year.

Now I'm eating much better, drinking mostly water, and exercising a few times a week. I get at most about one cold a year now, and even that is not as bad as the worst of the colds I used to get.

One aspect of the flu I did think was odd was how so many cases were in Mexico... when I feel like I'm perhaps going to get a cold, I often eat spicy food and it seems to knock it out of me. I would think they have a lot spicier stuff in most Mexican's diets than elsewhere.

Re:Overweight is symptom, not cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670123)

This surprises me not at all - people who are overweight generally are not eating that well, and also not exercising a lot.

You can't assume that. People who are fat shits are eating more than they burn off, in general. Chances are it's a diet of aspartame "diet" sodas and other crud, but clearly there are lard-asses that are very wealthy that eat quality food every day. They just have an inability to stop, and are bone-idle they never exercise.

Re:Overweight is symptom, not cause (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670231)

Now I'm eating much better, drinking mostly water, and exercising a few times a week. I get at most about one cold a year now, and even that is not as bad as the worst of the colds I used to get.

I too have been through years without so much as a sniffle, and had years where I've been struck down repeatedly by colds and flus. It hasn't correlated with what I ate. Correlation isn't causation is overused on /. but in this case I think it's appropriate. That doesn't mean that you're wasting your time eating and drinking better. In the long run it will probably make you live longer and healthier. It's just your use of colds and flu as an indicator that I find completely bogus.

Re:Overweight is symptom, not cause (1)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670323)

I dunno... The obese *do* have greater rates of illness. However, if there is a particularly bad flu season, even if you're an Olympian, you're not guaranteed to be save.

Cost of subsidies (5, Interesting)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670047)

Makes you wonder just how much this nations spends annually on corn and soy subsidies and just how much we will pay in the future as more and more people become sickly due to the low price of the poor nutrition that they are often offered. What if we got rid of those agricultural subsidies? How will that affect the cost of McDonalds', Wendys', etc. foods?

Re:Cost of subsidies (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670213)

Silence! Obesity is caused exclusively by poor character, and our gigantic farm subsidies are there to Protect America's Family Farms(tm), not Archer Daniels Midland.

How dare you question America? Also, while I'm at it, corn is by far the most efficient source of ethanol, unlike sugar cane, which is for communists.

Re:Cost of subsidies (1)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670313)

Err... lets not do either. Look at Brazil's sugar cane farms and see how many piss-poor agricultural workers are needed to make your ego-pleasing 'green' utopia. http://www.grist.org/article/slave-ethanol/ [grist.org] I want a nuclear reactor in my back yard (the French deserve accolades for doing this) and a car that I can charge at night (gimme a range of over 300 miles while I have the AC on full blast and not driving 'optimally'.)

Re:Cost of subsidies (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670413)

Not very much. The actual ingredients aren't that big a chunk of the overall cost of prepared food.

Some sort of estimate is possible; assume McDonald's pays $3 a pound for beef (I expect they pay quite a bit less than this, $3 is close to the retail price for 80/20, which is apparently what they use). Assume that they make each regular hamburger with 1/10 of a pound of meat (it is probably closer to 1/12) and the cost of the most expensive ingredient is $0.30. Double the price of beef and the cost of the burger goes up $0.30 (at most, probably less).

So how does the price of corn effect the price of beef? It looks like 20 pounds of corn for 1 pound of beef is a nice safe high estimate of the amount of corn involved, so at $0.066 per pound of corn (56 pounds per bushel, $3.67 per bushel, the July), each pound of beef consumes about $1.30 of corn. So if the price of corn tripled, the $3 beef might then cost $5.60, pushing the price of the burger up $0.26.

That's probably a pretty simplistic view of how the different parts are interrelated, but I don't think it is completely ridiculous, and there is a good chance that it is an overestimate (because I tried really hard to make it an overestimate).

Re:Cost of subsidies (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670489)

I completely agree with you; the subsidies the US provides do not encourage a healthy American diet. They have drastically affected the supply/demand for a lot of commodities, like sugar VS corn.

But to put it into perspective, US subsidies only equal about 15-25 dollars per person per year (it varies every year, as different farm bills are passed), or about 1% of total food expenditures in the country. Corn and wheat are cheap for several reasons. First, they grow well in the US. Also, the farming system is highly efficient; the sheer magnitude of food that is grown and transported is amazing. For example, a bushel of corn (which I think is around $3.50 right now) weighs 56 pounds. And yes, they are cheap because the US does provide some subsidies, but these subsidies are less than 10% of the current costs.

Confuses cause and effect (1, Informative)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670055)

Swine flu is a serious thread to people who are already chronically ill. If you are seriously ill, you are likely bed ridden and pumped with cortizone, steroids and other drugs. And as a result, of course you have a poor body mass index. Its a miracle you are even alive. Swine flu comes along and is the final straw, your body can't take another illness.

 

Re:Confuses cause and effect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670125)

No, it doesn't. Read the article.

They ran tests on mice and proved that it's just being overweight that's the factor. If you read the article, you'll note that all the deaths that didn't involve chronic illness have one common factor: the people who died were obese.

Sorry not newsworthy. (0)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670071)

Newsworthy? Morbid obesity increases chance of death or a serious brush with it for, well gee, just about any disease. High body fat messes with a long list of metabolic processes which have to do with staying alive. Being overweight can be considered a merely symptom of the actual metabolic problems going on.

Obesity = Bad general health? (2, Insightful)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670077)

Perhaps it's not so much that H1N1 affects obese people more than others, but that obesity is a sign of bad health generally?

If so, then the correlation would be "unhealthy people more likely to develop respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal".

Doesn't roll off the tongue like "swine flu kills fatties" though.

Karma? (3, Funny)

WoRLoKKeD (1142351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670107)

Well, this is just helping back up my ideas.

I previously believed Swine Flu was created by pigs to get revenge for people eating too much bacon. Now it's confirmed. Can I have a Nobel Prize now?

only one thing to say (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670131)

I've got only one thing to say: pigs.

A reasoned discussion (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670141)

I would be going to be very politically incorrect here, but people that are medically obese suffer a wide variety of ailments. If swine flu is what finally motivates these people to seek and complete treatment, why is this a bad thing? Or shall we continue to scream about the oppression of our right to be fat, forgetting that the virus doesn't give two sh--s either way.

Re:A reasoned discussion (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670271)

If swine flu is what finally motivates these people to seek and complete treatment, why is this a bad thing?

Well there's a long list of reasons, but here are 2:

1) It takes a long time to lose weight if you're morbidly obese. Months or years. Forget the "biggest loser" style shows designed to sell weight loss products. That kind of weight loss is much less healthy than having the weight on in the first place. Epidemics on the other hand move much more quickly.

2) Some of the people we're talking about are morbidly obese because of other underlying illnesses. If you're expecting someone with chronic respiratory problems to get up and jog 5 kilometers every morning you're smoking crack

Or shall we continue to scream about the oppression of our right to be fat, forgetting that the virus doesn't give two sh--s either way.

How about you walk a mile in the shoes of someone fat before you start mouthing off? This isn't a case where a few extra kilos in most cases makes the difference between life and death. We're not talking about the beauty and fashion magazine kind of fat you're thinking of. The virus might not give two shits either ways, but perhaps we or more specifically YOU can. It's not about being politically correct. It's about having some god damn compassion instead of an attitude that those disgusting fatties can go lose some weight - it's all their own fault.

Re:A reasoned discussion (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670383)

1) It takes a long time to lose weight if you're morbidly obese. Months or years.

It takes months or years to become morbidly obese in the first place. Cry me a fricken river. The longer you wait to take action, the longer it'll take.

2) Some of the people we're talking about are morbidly obese because of other underlying illnesses.

And that's a valid reason. However, since that's a fraction of a percent of obese people, it's really not worth considering.

If you're expecting someone with chronic respiratory problems to get up and jog 5 kilometers every morning you're smoking crack

How about walking 10 minutes every couple of hours, then? There are low-impact ways to exercise. Find them out.

It's about having some god damn compassion instead of an attitude that those disgusting fatties can go lose some weight - it's all their own fault.

Maybe because for the vast majority of obese people, it in fact is their own fault?!

It takes years to go from a bit chubby to morbidly obese. That's years of ignoring the problem, years of refusing to take action. It doesn't just suddenly happen.

I don't have compassion for people who whine about how tired they are after staying up watching movies and drinking all night. Their choice, their consequence.

Re:A reasoned discussion (1, Troll)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670437)

It takes months or years to become morbidly obese in the first place. Cry me a fricken river. The longer you wait to take action, the longer it'll take.

Well I got obese around the age of 3 asshole. You going to hold a child accountable for that? Even holding the parents accountable has its problems. Not all our bodies work the same way dipshit.

And that's a valid reason. However, since that's a fraction of a percent of obese people, it's really not worth considering.

Of course you know everyone's complete medical history and have statistics to back up your abhorrent decision that this "fraction of a percent" of people isn't "worth considering". Your choice to ignore those who most need help is repugnant and a general indicator of your lack of compassion. Fuck you.

How about walking 10 minutes every couple of hours, then? There are low-impact ways to exercise. Find them out.

Yeah that'll work. You wanna be the one to explain to my boss what the fuck I'm doing. Asshole.

Maybe because for the vast majority of obese people, it in fact is their own fault?!

So what you're saying is that a huge percentage of the population are just weak willed. Doesn't the fact that it's such a wide spread thing that goes across all demographics when it comes to socio-economic status and education tell you any fucking thing? Are you really that obtuse?

It takes years to go from a bit chubby to morbidly obese. That's years of ignoring the problem, years of refusing to take action. It doesn't just suddenly happen.

I don't have compassion for people who whine about how tired they are after staying up watching movies and drinking all night. Their choice, their consequence.

Well it's clear that you have no compassion period. Why don't you post with your actual name instead of being such a coward to boot? Trying to explain anything as complex as how to change a tyre on you is clearly wasted, let alone how and why people "allow" themselves to put on weight.

someone had to say it... (1, Funny)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670153)

God hates fats!

It hasn't been found in pigs (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670193)

This particular flu hasn't been isolated in pigs, or any other animals so far.

http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_090427.htm [oie.int]
and
http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_090611.htm [oie.int]

So it's origins are currently unknown.

e.g.
http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/05/14/swine-flu-shock-claim/expert-says-virus-created-in-lab-by-vaccine-scientists.html [www.bild.de]

 

By Neruos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670201)

BMI is an incorrect way to deteremine a persons immunity defense and state. A immunity, white blood and t-cell count is the correct way.

You can be skinny and have a poor immune system just like you can be fat (not morbidly obese, less then 30lbs over weight) and have an extremely healthy immune system.

Re:By Neruos (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670335)

BMI is an incorrect way to deteremine a persons immunity defense and state. A immunity, white blood and t-cell count is the correct way.

Whether they're DEAD (like in the article) is the correct way. The article never said BMI was the way to determine whether their immune systems worked or not.

Not all (4, Informative)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670207)

Summary: "They are all fat."

Article: "They are fat. [...] In Canada's Manitoba province, three out of five people treated for the new flu strain in intensive care units are obese."

If this virus killed only fat people that would be astounding. If it kills more than it's share of fat people, that's still interesting (despite all the "being fat is bad duh!" comments here) but less flashy.

FUD? (-1)

Lilo-x (93462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670215)

this is just FUD around swine flu

this isn't disproportionally to other flus, if you are over weight when you are ill with respiratory problems it is fact you will have more complications and a higher chance of death.

1) eat burgers
2) get fat
3) catch flu
4) disproportionally die
5) profit??

Not such bad news, since i'm thin (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670225)

Wouldn't you hate it if, Swine Flu killed models but left fat people alive.

In Other news the mortality rate of H1N1 [wordpress.com] has apparently stablised at 0.45% so it not that deadly really.

--

Flu Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Not such bad news, since i'm thin (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670367)

Wouldn't you hate it if, Swine Flu killed models but left fat people alive.

Good thing that swine flu isn't democratic - there are more fatso's around than skinny models.

Now, since swine flu kills fat slobs, we could say that it's actually anti-entropic (fewer slobs around == less disorganization == lower entropy)

Lower entropy means more energy potentially available to be converted to work ...

Swine Flu is the new perpetual energy source!

without dying? (1)

eyeverve (1398151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670247)

The ad to the right of this article said "Lose weight without dieting." I read it as "...without dying." and had to do a double take. Fitting nonetheless...

And cue the fatty bashing (0, Flamebait)

JakiChan (141719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670269)

Here they come out of the woodwork, those who like to improve their low self-esteem by bashing on fat people. I'm sure we'll get plenty of quotes of the laws of thermodynamics and the like. Anyone want to place bets?

But while you're sitting on your high horse, you might want to go read something like _The End of Overeating_ so that instead of just assuming fat people are morally inferior you might get a clue about what's *really* going on out there. Just a thought.

"Swine" flu targets the obese? (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670275)

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Hold on a sec, Captain Obvious (5, Interesting)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670349)

What isn't clear from TFA, and seems to be the crux of whether this is a story or not, is whether this particular flu is affecting obese people disproportionately as compared to similar influenzas. If all strains of flu have the same pattern and are more severe (by whatever measure) in obese people, then there's nothing interesting here. If, on the other hand, the correlation between BMI and severity is much higher for this H1N1, that's a potential clue, one that might tell us something about (a) how this particular virus works, which could be useful in developing treatments for everyone, and/or (b) how obesity affects immune response, which could be helpful in the treatment of other infectious diseases. But, alas, TFA gives only anecdotal evidence so we can't even speculate.

I have one word for it........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670357)

Darwin

Linux users beware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28670393)

Swine Flu was created by Microsoft to rid the world of Linux users.

Genius! (5, Funny)

jaypifer (64463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670407)

Clearly this is a terrorist act targeting Americans!

Re:Genius! (1)

yoursurrogategod (1393515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670419)

Yeh and big agriculture is the new Osama.

ACLU to sue.. (1)

devleopard (317515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670433)

the virus. For being bigoted. Also on the same docket is the sickle cell case.

stop using the term swine flu (3, Insightful)

Eugene (6671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28670485)

the term itself is misleading, the virus strand might have originated from swine, but the current flu has nothing to do with pigs. The proper term should be Influenza A (H1N1)

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