A cautionary tail

Best opening to a New York Times article in recent memory:

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Like many these days, Shiva sits around too much, eating rich, fatty foods and sipping sugary drinks. He has the pot belly to prove it, one that nearly touches the floor — when he’s on all fours, that is. [Link]

They should hold an essay or short story contest for NYTimes readers that continues this story. Or, our readers can in the comments.

6 thoughts on “A cautionary tail

  1. Abhi: On our recent trip to India, we saw tons of peolple who would make “Shiva” look like one in a real good shape and athletic. As you know Gujarat is the world capital of Diabetes. May be Razib can crunch in some numbers, and do his thing (you know the genetics thang) with Gujaratis of Gujarat – and forget about Gujaratis of Houston. It may be eating too much sugar and pure ghee, I guess! May be all Gujaratis should switch from “Kadak Amdavadi Baadshahi Chai” to black coffee with mo milk or sugar! I am just saying!!

  2. . May be Razib can crunch in some numbers, and do his thing (you know the genetics thang) with Gujaratis of Gujarat – and forget about Gujaratis of Houston. It may be eating too much sugar and pure ghee, I guess! May be all Gujaratis should switch from “Kadak Amdavadi Baadshahi Chai” to black coffee with mo milk or sugar! I am just saying!!

    england has some data on south asian ethnicities. i know that bangaldeshis are worse off than punjabis in type 2 risk. gujarat’s diabetic aspect may simply be that it’s wealthier and more well fed than other parts of south asia right now. the biomedical data on south asian risks for type 2 and other related disease are so copious i don’t even need to review it. basically we distribute fat in a very very unfortunate manner. skinny guys with paunches are common, and that’s probably worse than being fat all over with less of a paunch. in other words, we’re fat in “all the wrong places” :-) if you’re brown, keep track of your blood sugar in yearly visits (ask if the doctor has that in the panel, no matter your age or family history). second, be lighter than “healthy BMI” as per american recommendations. finally, probably increase the risk if you are bengali or south india.

  3. I think it doesn’t help that India is the home to both cane sugar and date sugar. People put sugar in everything, even dahl and sabji. And brown rice is apparently not considered fit for human consumption. Personally I think there’s a business opportunity to open up more healthfood stores and healthfood eateries.

  4. Hmm, I’ve always wondered why it is that us ‘browns’ have such monumentally high risks for diabetes and heart disease/heart attacks even if the given individual is thinner and healthier than someone from outside the population group.

  5. “And brown rice is apparently not considered fit for human consumption.”

    that’s true…try telling one of your indian aunties you want brown rice..I did…bad mistake.

    “I’ve always wondered why it is that us ‘browns’ have such monumentally high risks for diabetes and heart disease/heart attacks”

    narrow arteries….plus a lethally efficient tendency to produce belly fat. Even the thinnest indian over 40 will have the pot belly going.

  6. People put sugar in everything, even dahl and sabji

    Sacrilege! I cannot imagine anything worse than sugaring up a writer whose genius was weaving the macabre into everyday life.

    Although seriously, AFAIK, it’s Gujarati food that’s known for adding sugar to items like dal and sabzi, not all of Indian cuisine.

    Like many these days, Shiva sits around too much, eating rich, fatty foods and sipping sugary drinks. He has the pot belly to prove it, one that nearly touches the floor — when he’s on all fours, that is. Shiva belongs to a colony of monkeys who have been fattened up

    Sounds like a good life. Lounging around, and getting featured in the NYT! Our Razib seems to have had to work much, much harder for a similar recognition, and didn’t even get his photograph in the papers for his troubles. Indian Jones wasn’t lying when he explained to the little kid what Sankara (as Shiva is known to his friends) meant. Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.