Friday, September 03, 2004

The Presidential Aorta 

I was a bit surprised by this whole Bill Clinton quadruple bypass thing. I mean, he's not known for being incredibly fit, but he's never struck me as incredibly unfit either, and he's fairly young. Then in reading an article about it, I see this:

Clinton, 58, has been in good health with no known history of heart problems. A medical report in January of 2001 showed he had an above-normal cholesterol level and borderline high blood pressure.
Since leaving office, Clinton has lost weight and he told talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he had gone on the South Beach diet.

So he was previously in good health, but had borderline cholesterol and blood pressure, and then went on a low-carb diet. How interesting.

It's a scary thing, and I hope he's OK. So far, 2004 has just not been the year to be a former president.

Woah, interesting. I remember in 2000 that Gore was on the "Zone diet" at which point I thought "what a dumbass."

This is particularly telling given the "latest study" that says after a year Atkins can cause problems. But, I dunno, maybe he just had too much salt?
The, uh, Zone Diet, despite being lumped in with other popular diets in conversation and the media, isn’t exactly a low carb diet in the same way that Atkins, South Beach, et al. are. It’s true that it recommends taking in fewer carbohydrates than, say, the FDA’s recommendation, which with its food pyramid seems to advise a nearly limitless upper bound on bread and cereals. Still, the largest share of calorie intake under the Zone diet is still carbohydrates, whereas Atkins recommends eliminating carbs as much as possible.

I’m not an adherent of any diet, so I have little stake in this. However, the Zone strikes me as a way more rational system which emphasizes balance between carbohydrates, fat, and protein, whereas Dr. Atkins has recommended cutting out vegetables in favor of cheeseburgers. I’m no nutrition expert, but simulating diabetes to lose weight just doesn’t sound healthy, whereas The Zone is designed around the non-insane notion of healthy insulin control.

And, regardless, best of luck to Mr. Clinton, who, without that pesky 22nd amendment, would be sailing into his fourth presidential term right now.
I'm not a big fan of Atkins etc., but I think it's more accurate to categorize it as: "So he had previously not had symptoms requiring the only tests that can determine arterial blockage, then went on a low-carb diet, and then had symptoms of heart trouble that were checked out and resulted in pre-emptive surgery." Not as catchy, and there's certainly still a degree of suspicion there, but still. If there's a smoking gun, it's probably the cheeseburgers he ate in the '80s and '90s.
i'm just amazed that you consider "58" to be 'fairly young.' the dude is practically in his sixties. that's not exactly young - that's senior citizen discount time.
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