Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday crisis of faith

Every now and then you're introduced to something that totally challenges your belief system. This MSN news story did just that. It reported on the results of studies indicating that "repeated infections may damage a vital taste-sensing nerve in kids, perking a preference for rich foods and making them prone to weight gain later." The studies identified a 70% increased likelihood of becoming obese attributed to "the allure of food" felt by those with suspected taste-nerve damage. This series has limitations, like the fact that no subject were ever tested for nerve damage, but its findings are significant, and continue to contribute valuable insight into one of the possible contributing factors of obesity.

The reason this story has so intrigued me, is, if you haven't already guessed: I was a childhood sufferer of chronic ear infections. And, I love food. And, I'm very tough food critic. Could my foodie lifestyle be caused something as arbitrary as nerve damage?! Could this all just be the result of an accident? Scary thought.

On a related note, in this month's issue of Bon Appetit, food writer and recipe developer Melissa Clark shares her secrets for staying slim while living a food-focused lifestyle. It's a very good though jealously-inspiring read. (Read the first paragraph to see what I mean.) In sum: eat only food that you truly love and exercise all the time; seems to me that I've been doing that for some time now. There is something in there about portion control as well, but I'd hate to think that that would have any bearing on weight.

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