Fat times

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

At the risk of pissing off half our readers with speculations, generalizations and mischaracterizations, I’m feeling kind of irritated at this moment, and I want to take it out on my keyboard.

Driving back from the gym at lunchtime, I saw two women, single file, in individual electric wheelchairs. Both were fat, each was missing a foot below the knee. They looked disadvantaged, judging from the clothes they were wearing and their demeanors, and I’d also hazard the guess that they were relatives, maybe mother and daughter.

I’d bet sodas to doughnuts they’d each lost a foot to diabetes. I can’t say for sure that they were poor, or even that diabetes was their ailment, but poor people get worse medical care and therefore lose more limbs to diabetes. And if the average someone is not poor but loses a foot to diabetes, they’re likely to end up poor.

Look. More than weight, more than genetics, diabetes is caused, affected and worsened by what we put in our bodies. It’s processed carbs: beers, breads, pastas and sweet drinks and sweet snacks. It’s refined potatoes, grains and sugars.

There was a report last week based on a New England Journal of Medicine article that blamed potato chips as the No. 1 cause of weight gain.

Another report based on a study presented to the American Diabetes Association said “low-fat, high-protein diet and a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet may be equally effective for long-term weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

The bottom line for me is that it almost doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. Something, that is, besides eat every goddamned thing that’s laid in front of you. I’ll tell you something else that I’ve learned through tough experience: Exercise is nowhere near as important to weight loss as what we put into ourselves. A guy my size only burns 600 calories in an hour of aerobics. A few extra snacks per week can easily double that.