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April 2004 Issue
It’s Pop Quiz Time
by Michael Fick
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No pencils, no score, no sweat … just fun, knowledge, and health … win, win, win.

Enjoy, but don't peek ahead. The idea is to learn by thinking through the choices, so the answers are on page 2.

  1. What effects does a substantial, balanced breakfast have on our lives?
      a. Adds a little weight, but other improvements outweigh the modest weight gain.
      b. Leaves us groggier all morning, but helps lose some weight, so the tradeoff is a personal choice.
      c. Double whammy: some weight gain, some morning nappies.
      d. Weight loss.
      e. The primary effect is making us late for work.
      f. Pleasurable, but little effect.
      g. Double bonus: lose weight, livens our whole morning.
      h. Yechhh! Who could eat before noon?

  2. Which should we choose, margarine or butter?
      a. Neither is harmful. Eat them interchangeably and moderately.
      b. Both are unhealthy. Eat neither.
      c. Restrict yourself to the softer tub versions of either.
      d. As long as they aren't carbs, it matters little.

  3. Re hamburgers, e coli, and them angry cattle:
      a. Hamburgers are safe when cooked until thoroughly brown in the center and the juices run clear.
      b. They're unsafe when pink in the center.
      c. You must use a meat thermometer to determine their safety.
      d. If you use lots of ketchup; the acid in the ketchup kills the germs as long as the burger's cooked past pink.
      e. If the outside is partly charred and the burger is still hot, it's safe.
      f. Anybody who still eats hamburgers deserves e coli.
      g. Don't sweat e coli; the real risk is mad cow disease.
      h. Don't sweat the e coli or the mad cow disease; the biggest danger is the sat fat in the burger.

  4. What's the best way to sweeten your cereal, tea, etc.?
      a. Aspartame (aka Equal).
      b. Table sugar.
      c. Brown sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup, turbinado … anything more complex than table sugar.
      d. Saccharin.
      e. Fructose, glucose … the sugars ending in "ose".
      f. Gobs of ice cream.

  5. What modifications are required to make the Atkins diet safe and effective for the long term for the general population?
      a. None. Recent studies proved it safe and effective.
      b. Greatly reduce its saturated and trans fats, i.e., meat, cheese, margarine, butter, dairy, etc.
      c. Add whole grain bread and pasta.
      d. If we made it safe and effective, it wouldn't be the Atkins diet any more.
      e. Why bother? Dr. Atkins' cardiovascular system was a disaster.

  6. What's the verdict on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal women?
      a. Great stuff for hot flashes during the transition, but little help after the fat lady has sung, The Monster is dead, The Curse has ended.
      b. Helps reduce hot flashes during the transition, reduces death rates later. Count on using it the rest of your life.
      c. It's the best solution for severe hot flashes, but downright dangerous after the transition is over.
      d. Ain't my problem (I'm a guy). Do what you want.
      e. The herb, black cohosh, is a safer and equally effective alternative.

  7. How healthy is chocolate?
      a. It is high in antioxidants, which help prevent disease. Moderate amounts of chocolate candy will help our health.
      b. Its fat content does more harm than its antioxidants do good, so every little bit hurts.
      c. As long as your weight is under control, chocolate's calorie count isn't an issue. Enjoy, and reap the benefits of the antioxidants.
      d. Only dark chocolate with no milk has effective antioxidants, antioxidants have not been proven beneficial anyway, and few chocolate candies have no milk. Eschew, not chew, chocolate.
      e. Only milk chocolate helps prevent disease, because its antioxidant benefit outweighs its fat harm.
      f. Who cares? You only live once.

  8. How do the new arthritis/anti-inflammation meds such as Vioxx, Bextra, and Celebrex improve upon the old ones like Motrin, Advil, and aspirin?
      a. They eliminate or greatly reduce the stomach bleeding common with the older NSAIDS.
      b. They are quite a bit safer and more effective than older versions as long as they are taken with meals.
      c. They don't reduce the bleeding, but fight pain significantly better.
      d. They cost eight times as much as Motrin,, but are worth it if you have had ulcers in the past.
      e. The only differences are in the label and the cost, not the risks and benefits.

  9. Which kills more Americans, cigarettes or obesity?
      a. Duh.
      b. Obesity.
      c. Cigarettes.
      d. Cigarettes today, with obesity closing fast and about to "win" the race within a year or two.
      e. Heart disease and cancer.
      f. Neither. Diabetes.

  10. Kerry or Bush?
      a. The answer is SO obvious it's not even worth discussing.
      b. It's a real dilemma except for dedicated party hacks.
      c. This isn't a health issue.
      d. Sure it is: Medicare, prescription drugs aid, socialized medicine, the terrorist threat, abortion, etc.
      e. It's just one person, so who cares? The balance in the Congress determines which way the wind blows.
      f. The Congress blows.
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