Linkfest March 15, 2017

Watch a professional cyclist's carbon wheel melt before your very eyes:


Some people think going gluten-free may be risky for diabetes. Hmmm. Gluten-free diets are, for the most part, a waste of time and effort unless you have celiac disease. And whole grain intake is generally associated with a decreased risk of diabetes, which is consistent with the alleged findings of this study. And this paper (not yet published) comes from Harvard, which gives it a certain cachet, but I'm always skeptical of big, splashy pronouncements like this when they're made ahead of publication. Too many of these studies end up having fatal flaws.

Bikes now officially outnumber cars in Copenhagen. "When Copenhagen first began manually counting cars and bikes in 1970, there were 351,133 cars and 100,071 bikes on the roads—a ratio of about 3.5 to 1. That's important, because it means not only are more people riding—about 150 percent more over 46 years—but also, fewer people are driving."

How the world's heaviest man lost it all. "The only thing that gave him comfort in life was food. It was a drug of abuse, freely available, heavily marketed."

Is loneliness the biggest threat to middle-aged men? Well, Vivek Murthy is definitely qualified to say so, and I think we're self-isolating ourselves with suburban homes and gadgets, but "biggest" is a stretch when we still have tobacco and obesity/diabetes to contend with...

Big pharma is very nervous about possible Trump FDA deregulation. This one cuts both ways. On one hand, I'm afraid that ineffective drugs are going to start coming to market if deregulation goes too far. On the other hand, any deregulation that is opposed by big pharma is inherently attractive.

The ADA 2017 Standards of Care in Diabetes are out. "To help providers identify those patients who would benefit from prevention efforts, new text was added emphasizing the importance of screening for prediabetes using an assessment tool or informal assessment of risk factors and performing a diagnostic test when appropriate." It's a start.

Link dump - March 8, 2017

Fewer and fewer Americans report trying to lose weight. We may be settling into our role as the one of the fattest countries on earth (we're coming for you, Tonga...). I can't help but think this is because of the many, many, many shitty options that people have had pushed on them that didn't work. Now they've given up. *sigh*

The search for the perfect artificial sweetener continues

"Let us pause here to acknowledge the sugar-frosted codependent embrace of Big Food and the American consumer. You could rightly fault consumers for their insistence on an oxymoronic product. But who has been indulging their fantasies for decades now, promising sweet, satisfying taste and no calories? Big Food, of course. Now customers are upping the stakes—and it’s not at all clear that companies can pass the test."

In what seems like a just reversal of a law that had the unintended consequence of highlighting the law of unintended consequences, after 60 years, street hockey will once again be legal in Hamilton, Ontario, under the following conditions:

  • The roadway has a speed limit of 40 km/h or less and is a local road.
  • Play happens in a place that is "safe and suitable."
  • People play no earlier than 9 a.m. and no later than 8 p.m.
  • No one plays during periods of limited visibility from fog, snow or rain.
  • Play is stopped for any vehicles. ("Car!")

Having robot minions control the lights for them may be turning kids into a bunch of lazy, entitled monsters.

No one can get you to take your medicines but you. Three reminder devices to take your medications were no better than no notification or device in a randomized controlled trial

Go. To. Bed. People who get out of bed in the morning tend to eat better and earlier in the day than night owls. Original paper here.

"We found that night owls had postponed timing of food intake, and less favorable eating patterns with higher intakes of sucrose, fat and saturated fat in the evening hours than early birds," said Maukonen, a doctoral candidate in the department of public health solutions.