External threats are fun to assess and decry. Preparations can be made and gates barricaded (if we have a flue fire that spreads this place will go up like an ammo dump cooking off). What might be resolved for the New Year that will save lives, prevent the Chinese from earning any more interest, and slow our slide into an ever more `mixed' economy? Yes, this is diet related (New Years and all): Four simple rules: Get rid of all sugared liquids-only water and milk Eat your carbohydrate with fiber Wait 20 minutes for second portions Buy your `screen time' minute-for-minute with physical activity Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology runs a clinic for obese teens. By having them follow the above recommendations their BMI's dropped thusly: The link to his lecture on the matter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM If you want to take a clear look at the charts he uses during the presentation: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/events/pastmtg/2007/cehr/docs/metabolicsyndromelustig.pdf And, of course, the USDA's point of view on ancillary matters : http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/2009_Speeches/Presentations/Hentges.pdf If we could cut down on the self induced chronic diseases we'd have more cash on hand to requisition more submarine launched ballistic missles making me very happy (better to be feared than loved).