Friday, March 11, 2011

Huge Earthquake in Japan

I woke up this morning to news of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Seismologists report the quake was a magnitude 8.9! My jaw dropped when I heard this. Why? I experienced the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Everything shook for about 15-20 seconds and it caused significant damage. The earthquake that hit Japan today measures about 900 times stronger. Yes, 900 times stronger! It appeared to last about 30 seconds, and then the area was hit by tsunamis. Several aftershocks measuring greater than 6.0 were reported. Keep in mind that earthquakes measuring 6.0 and great are considered significant.

Several major earthquakes in the span of a few hours, and yet many buildings remain standing? This is a testament to advanced engineering. But science aside, I truly hope the Japanese people recover quickly from the devastating effects.

Dr. Dave

Posted via email from Dr. Dave Science

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Overweight: Been There, Done That

Although currently I don't look like it, I struggled with my weight as a child and teenager. Rotund is a good word to describe my former physical appearance. It was difficult being overweight, as most kids teased those who did not "fit in"; being a nerd only served to compound my problem. Frankly, I'm glad I did not "fit in" because I imagine it must have been boring to be the same as everyone else, but I must admit that I'm glad I am no longer overweight.

Where Did They Come From?
I don't recall seeing as many overweight people 10 or 15 years ago as I do now. I am puzzled. Seriously, why the sudden increase in the obesity rate? I only ask because being overweight or obese is associated with a host of significant secondary health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Both require medication to maintain a patient's health, but for most overweight people, a proper diet and exercise (eat less, move more) could help them to reduce their amount of medication. In fact, some folks may no longer require medication once they reach a healthy weight. Common sense tells me a healthy diet and exercise could reduce the cost of health care!

A Food Philosophy That Works
I have been able to maintain a healthy weight for 10+ years through proper diet and exercise. My philosophy is to eat less and move more. When I dine, I eat until I am no longer hungry rather than eating until I feel full. It was difficult at first, but after a few weeks I adapted. After each meal my hunger is satisfied and I don't feel stuffed. Yes, I eat frequently (mainly snacks), but I see it as a bonus since I get to sample many flavors throughout the day. I don't cut junk or fast food from my diet, but I do limit my portions. I guess the bottom line is that a healthy diet does not mean cutting the foods you like. Instead, go ahead and eat the foods you like, but eat less of it.

I ultimately hope the American public attacks the obesity epidemic head-on. There's too much at stake!