Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Viewers like you

The Superbowl broke a viewing record of 111 million viewers according to Nielsen. That is more than a third of the American population. It also the number of households in the US so I suspect it could be a tad optimistic. However, combined with record temperatures that shot up in the high seventies (close to 25C)  I had a gas riding my bike on Sunday. It was awesome weather and nobody was on the street. As an additional benefit, I also missed those million dollar commercials that everybody is ranting and raving about.
The one that started it all

During the Superbowl most Americans practiced overeating and overdrinking and so much of the country is now overweight that the USDA (and HHS) started recommending that people eat less. USDA and HHS (Health and Human Services) form an odd couple but that is another story.

All that is good for you 

The agencies recommended that people eat fish, not exactly a product the USDA constituents in the agribusiness benefit from. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Don't worry too much about the future of agriculture though. The first reason is that fish will soon be history; and two, USDA may well say the right things but behind everyone's back they put real money to work to do just the opposite.

In any case, the latest recommendations capture all there is to know about nutrition, or nutrition science as it is often referred to. The latter, like all disciplines that add the word science to their name is not very scientific. The correct wording is nutritionism, which like other -isms is really an ideology.

Eating less is something most masters athletes should take to heart. A substantial number of them are overweight and instead of investing serious money in lighter carbon fiber frames, they should consider eating (and drinking) less. A whole lot less. Even some juniors with competitive aspirations would do well to eat less. Cycling is above all a sport of very skinny, large chested, not-too-tall individuals sporting oversized leg muscle. All other accumulations of fat or muscle are to be avoided at all costs.

When it comes to food, the more you try to eat normal food the better. That means stay away from processed or prepared stuff and avoid all supplements, minerals, anti-oxidants, vitamins and other chemistries. At best these will just cost you a lot of money. At worst, you may test positive for one of the many forbidden fruits that WADA has on its lists. And when that happens good luck to you!

Remember you are responsible for what goes into your body. Although at first glance this may appear sensible, however in this day and age it is anything but. Nearly everyone has to buy their food in the store and nearly all foods in the store are manipulated to some degree or other. Most manipulations are fairly minor, such as spraying water (and pesticides?) over vegetables to make them look fresh, but some are not. And when it comes to packaged foods, all bets are of. The worst are of course the health food stores. Here people actively add substances they think are missing from real food. No wonder food labeling is becoming such a difficult matter.

Ricco, off to a good start

And in more shocking news, Riccardo Ricco was taken to the hospital yesterday with what appeared to be an infection. Today however, we learn that the Italian Judiciary has opened an investigation because they suspect Ricco landed in the hospital as a result of a botched blood transfusion. Another Italian Lorenzo Bernucci just received a five year suspension effectively terminating his cycling career. Yes it is that time of year again so brace yourselves for more good news. As long as this bone-headed doping policy is in effect, the news will keep coming.

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