So here is the weekly Random Research post. This was a tradition started on weekends, but Friday is a good day for randomness too, isn't it? After all, by Friday, who can think clearly and pay attention to a single subject for more than a paragraph or two? Certainly not Crabby. So fasten your seat-belts and watch in amazement as we descend from health-related studies into truly random and chaotic linkage!
First up is an article about the general health of truck drivers in the U.S., and guess what? It's not encouraging.
Some specifics, from an upcoming study by the Transportation Research Board:
Nearly half of truckers are regular smokers, compared to about one-fifth of all Americans. Only about one in ten get regular aerobic exercise. There are also high rates of obesity and sleep apnea.
Add to this the fact that the trucking industry has the most fatalities any industry and that truckers also report more injuries than any other occupation, and you have a good reason to worry for these (mostly) guys. The article goes on to highlight some efforts being made to improve trucker health, but given the scope of the problem, Crabby's not laying down money on dramatic improvements any time soon.
So truckers tend to be smokers? Perhaps we'll use that as a crude transition to a trio of studies that involved smoking. Somehow it seems doubtful that many readers of Cranky Fitness are big smokers, but what the heck.
So one good news items for smokers: there's at least one disease you're less likely to get than nonsmokers are. A recent study suggests cigarette smokers are at reduced risk for developing Parkinson's disease. Crabby hopes she doesn't need to point out that you'll be at higher risk for a bunch of other more common deadly health problems, like cancer, stroke, and heart attacks. Because you knew that already, right?
For those who are trying to quit smoking, and also struggling with a drinking problem, it looks like there may be one medication that helps for both addictions. It's called varenicline, and it's already available to help people stop smoking. But it may also help heavy drinkers and people struggling with other addictions by targeting a "pleasure center" in the brain.
Also, on the smoking front, there's this research concluding that smokers lose more muscle mass in old age, which then "predisposes smokers to an accelerated decline in physical function and loss of independence." Which means some earnest underpaid nurse's aide in your nursing home is going to be snatching those cigarettes out of your weakened grasp anyhow. So you you might as well quit now while the quittin's good.
And for those who might be partial to a bit of Friday Beefcake, Diet Blog has a great run-down on a recent study claiming that women really do go for brawny guys with lots o' muscles. Crabby's stereotype was that the shallow preoccupation with superficial aspects of physical appearance was a male vice, not a female one. But she discovered she was Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
Diet Blog, unlike many other health reporting sites, actually showed the blob-headed but strangely studly pictures used in the studies, and went beyond the headlines to actually analyze the data. So gals (or guys) who have an opinion on Male Physique may want to check this out and report back to Crabby what they think about the whole thing.
And our good friend Martha over at That'sFit has a review of Fat Girl by Judith Moore that made Crabby eager to read it. Have any of you gotten to it yet, and if so, what did you think?
And finally, were we speaking of largeness? (Crabby is not even making a pretense of logical connections anymore). Here is a gratuitous picture of a Very Huge Cat. Seriously, do click on the link; you have to see this; scroll down a bit to get the full impact. This then allows Crabby to mention a favorite blogger, Penelope, Who Does Not Pretend to Be An Ordinary Cat. She has opinions about politics and all sorts of things, and has been rated NC-17 because of her use of objectionable language. Her sidebar is frequently updated and not to be missed.
Have enough random subjects been mentioned for now so that everyone might have an opinion about something? Crabby hopes so, because she loves to hear what you all are thinking!