Thursday, April 21, 2005

No Time For Blather, Boob Links and Blurbs

I've got to run even as I write this, so here's what interested me. Public Health again. I'm on a tear.

An FDA advisory panel has recommended that silicone breast implants be approved for sale. Forget the wacky ravings about women oozing silicone strings from their eyes. Read a more fact-bound acconut that laments the "black magic" accusations by Michael Fumento.

(UPDATE: Michael Fumento is a discredited creep. Your humble author still agrees with the conclusions he draws as this data's been published in other forums. However, I must alert you that this article link may be dead, as this man was, quite unfortunately, a paid mouthpiece.)

Connected to that, the FDA advisory panel has also recommended that only board-certified plastic surgeons be allowed to purchase the implants. The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (a distinct, aesthetic subspecialty) is hopping mad that they're being excluded from considering silicon implants when "there is no proof that a board-certified plastic surgeon is better qualified to perform a breast augmentation with these implants than a board-certified cosmetic surgeon," the AACS president says.

My musings: Plastic surgeons deal not only with appearance-based goals, but also with reconstruction which almost everyone likes as a defensible use of this medical technology and procedure. I was surprised by the FDA panel's recommendation, and couldn't locate their resaoning online. However, it got me wondering whether the divide derives from our society's discomfort with and tacit judgement of this "elective" procedure performed most often for vanity's sake. From Hollywood or Vegas, you wouldn't get the idea that there was anything unusual or unwonderful about optionally fake boobs. So why do so many women who've got them lie? Even when it's dang obvious. If you're interested, Awful Plastic Surgery has pictures of plenty of celebrities who disavow their falsies, including Lindsey Lohan who had them done at 17. If it's so awesome, why all the frontin'?

Signs of Progress: Now, instead of one goofy food pyramid, there are 12. Many people are calling the new pyramids, which outrank those at Cheops in number and complexity, a poor reform. To be fair, some of these naysayers also bother to blame the old food pyramid for American obesity because of its grains emphasis. From complaints about not enough detail to overmuch to the vertical striping to the exercise limits, people have axes to grind. Read the WSJ article here:,,SB111392026186410692-email,00.html

I fear these irate naysayers may have assumed that people outside nutritionists and goverment agencies give a rat's rump about food pyramids. I've never known anyone who directed their eating from the old version, versus the South Beach Diet, for example. But in one important sense, I see this new development as a boon. I still have painful memories of walls painted in institutional pastels, bare of any artistic stimulation save diagrams of internal sexual organs to subliminally encourage abstinence. Finally, there's NEW school-friendly, vivid graphical content in glossy poster format. Furthermore, there are a dozen different versions, providing visual variety within a single aesthetic scheme! For Health classrooms and school nurse's offices everywhere, this panoply will provide modern students the enlivened, unified decor that I fairly screamed for during my school days. Right on, USDA!

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