Thursday, 3 April 2008

Cigarettes & Coffee & Chocolate

Every year my new year resolutions are to cut back on smoking, drinking coffee and eating chocolate or rather i should say my old new year resolutions because a new study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation have found that coffee could play an important part in preventing neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
That's a third of my guilt banished so as i pour myself another mug of Nescafe, let's see what we can do about the other two.
Eating dark chocolate could help control diabetes and blood pressure, Italian experts say. Wahey. Researchers found eating dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure.
Ok, this is going to be a toughie but any benefits from smoking doctor?
According to a report in the journal of Psychopharmacology, nicotine absorbed from cigarette smoke shortens reaction time and improves short term memory in a wide variety of cognitive tasks.
There we go, i am not just drinking coffee, eating chocolate and smoking from now on but actively improving my short term memory, reducing my blood pressure and taking preventive action against neurological disorders.
Ok, so i am also spotty, wheezy and twitch constantly but it is a cross i must bear for my new health regime.


Miz UV said...

All you need to do now is write your book and go on tour.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

There's a study out there that will support anything imaginable. I'd image some kooky scientist has shown that it's good to eat babies because they have a high protein content (which they probably actually do). There's probably some other study that says we should all jump off cliffs because the free fall reduces the stress on our joints and muscles which will prevent back problems, osteoporosis, and stress, and will make us live longer. "A cliff every day keeps the grave digger away!" or so they might say.

We must keep in mind when reading these things who's writing them and for whom they are being written. People generally like to read magazines and watch news channels that don't ridicule and depress them. There's a lot of money in telling you that McDonalds fries and chocolate bars are necessary parts of a balanced diet.

Several years ago, I was much heavier (50 pounds) than I am now and I was a lot shorter (I was still growing). It wasn't fun being "the fat kid".
I managed to bludgeon some moderation and discipline into my life and learned a bit about diets and other moderation programs of that sort along the way.

There's a phenomenon that I call "progressively degrading standards". Lot's of folks claim to know some secret way to lose weight on the "fudge" or "red meat" diets. Unluckily I never found any other way than grueling exercise and restrictive dieting. Discipline is a struggle of the mind.
When we don't really have it in us yet, we often still don't want to admit failure so we, slowly at first, downshift our standards. One person I knew who was dieting on a low carb diet slowly sank from "wheat bread is healthy" until finally she fell so low as to say "brownies and cookies are good for you because they have grain and the food pyramid says you should eat lots of grain" and "CNN says dark chocolate is good for you so it's okay for me to eat as much as I want". I'm sure some drunk somewhere has said "a study says that wine every day is good for you so I'm going to get drunk on wine every day".

If a college boy like me has ever learned anything in his short years, he might tell you "chocolate, coffee, beer, and cigarettes are all very bad for you". If any of these things are "good for you" in limited quantities, we almost certainly consume them so much over what is moderate and good already that we shouldn't take some study as license to consume more.

I'd advise against taking the drunk's logic. I want to be a winner and a hero, and if I believed a tenth of the "studies" or "reports" out there, I might run off and join the army because Fox News says "America is winning the War in Iraq" and "the soldiers in Iraq are all heroes". And we all know that whatever Fox News says must be true because they are "Fair and Balanced".

Anonymous said...


You smoke. Yuck.

Do crossword puzzles or sudoku or something else to keep your mind sharp.

Dump the cigs.


annie said...

as gilda radner used to say, if it's not one thing, it's another.

live your life as you wish, i say. i still miss cigs sometimes.

Lucy said...

I'm afraid i do smoke and have stopped a few times but have always found it shockingly easy to start again. The grip it takes on a person is frightening.

Jefe said...

I quit smoking some years ago, but damn if I don't miss cigarettes every so often. Especially when Hollywood makes smoking look so cool.

Jodie K said...

The business in chocolate apparently gives you the same feeling as really good sex, so I'm all for chocolate. All the time.

Kvatch said...

The smoking thing hasn't ever, and won't ever, appeal to me, but I'm jazzed about the coffee findings!