Friday, November 7, 2008

Whales and weight loss

Warning to all weight watchers. The Japanese have just published a scientific report in Polar Biology - another of those must-read journals. Kenji Konishi, who works out of the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, said August 27 that killing was the only way to accurately measure factors such as body weight or fat thickness! So if you're holidaying in the polar regions this Fall and see a Japanese researcher coming towards you with one of those big samurai swords, you may decide that you don't want to be a part of the research. Except that he's talking about Antarctic minke whales. OK, so when did you last see a minke whale on your bathroom weighing scales? He's got a point. It's hard to get a whale to stay still long enough to get an accurate reading. And then there are those caliper things, the "fat pinchers". Where would you get pinchers big enough? Seems hard to have to kill them to find out whether their diets are working. How would you like it in a clinical trial? Take these Acomplia tablets for six months and then we'll kill you to find out how much adipose fat you've lost. Can't they just guess? Actually, when it comes to human clinical trials, they use advanced science like tape measures for waists.

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