Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re: Smartphones have problems too (Score 2) 410

This is not true. Assisted GPS doesn't rely on cell networks, it makes use of cell networks for faster fixes. They still work fine without service, but they do take much longer to get a fix. This is evidenced by the fact that you can put your phone in airplane mode and hold it near the window of an airliner and still get a 10-satellite fix.

Now, that said, you may be able to have maps downloaded for offline use, but in Google Maps searching and route-finding still require a data connection, limiting its usefulness.

Comment Re:another vaccine (Score 3) 96

It's usually spread through the air. And it's not a big deal for a young healthy person to get it... the problem is that this one young healthy person will spread it to many other people, some of whom will be elderly or otherwise sick or immunocompromised.

The flu kills something like 30,000 people every year. The flu. Thirty thousand deaths. No one cares if *you* get the flu, but they might care about the person you give it to who ends up dying from it.

The reason for everyone to get vaccinated is because high vaccination rates go a long way to preventing transmission, and thus preventing deaths.

tl;dr Get your flu shot.

Comment Re:Nothing open to the sky (Score 2) 114

County "prisons" are usually jails and reserved for terms of a year or less, though there are exceptions.

In prisons, where people can spend decades, we owe it to ourselves as a society to have some degree of humanity. There are a lot of people fighting for the cruel and capricious use of solitary confinement.

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 1) 380

Those doctors and scientists aren't disagreeing with what I'm saying. I will totally concede that serious medical conditions such as sleep apnea contribute greatly to metabolic rate differences.

My post was about typical people without medical metabolic disturbances.

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 1) 380

I'm sorry about your illness. That sucks. There are, of course, a number of diseases and disorders that greaty affect the calorie out side of the equation directly. These aren't really very common, however, and cannot even come close to explaining the "obesity epidemic."

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 1) 380

I took for granted that people would understand I meant that BMR doesn't vary much between people who are otherwise physically similar. Anyway, from your links, it's only a quarter *of the individual variation.* Did you look up to see what the total between-subject variation was, and therefore how much a quarter of that variation is? Hint: it's not that much. It amounts to about half a candy bar.

As for the second: "However, this study did not account for the sex, height, fasting-state, or body fat percentage of the subjects."

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 1) 380

It doesn't vary much from what can be expected based on known variables: namely, age, gender, fat mass, fat free mass, age. That is, given two people who are otherwise equivalent in terms of age, gender, and body composition, BMR is not going to vary much between them.

In other words, BMR is largely determined by body composition, age, and gender.

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 3, Interesting) 380

I never said "deserve." I was a fat guy, and now I'm not a fat guy. I did it the same way everyone ultimately does it: eating less and moving more. There is some, but not much, person to person variation in BMR. You can calculate your own BMR to a reasonable accuracy using your age, mass, gender, and body composition. From there it becomes an engineering problem: energy in and energy out.

It's a simple problem, but not an easy one. The energy in part is extremely difficult to tackle. Hyperpalatable foods - foods with a combination of fats, salts, and simple carbs or sugars - are a huge problem. They are cheap and make it easy to eat far far more than one needs. It's very difficult to maintain the energy in side of the equation when we spend our days surrounded by calorie-dense, delicious food that is essentially free.

Satiety is strongly affected by hormones and genetics - some people can "eat whatever they want" and maintain their weight while some people can't. If you're really strict about observing these people (who often claim they eat 3000+ calories a day and don't exercise), they eat far less than they think they do. I've observed a number of those people, and counted calories on them. It never fails. The energy equation always wins. You can put someone on an isocaloric diet, measure their mass change over time, and calculate their average calorie expenditure.

Satiety is also strongly affected by the food you eat, which is why low-carb diets are often so effective. It's really rather difficult to eat 3000 calories worth of meat and vegetables a day, while 3000 is no problem when you include bread, chips, ice cream, soda, juice, etc.

On top of that, our society is getting fatter and fatter. It's not because BMR is changing.

tl;dr Variability in BMR from person to person can be explained almost entirely by the known predictors (gender, age, height, fat mass, and fat free mass), and the obesity epidemic is not caused by differences in BMR.

Comment Re:Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score 1) 380

Yes, I read the article, and my comment stands. Obesity is, in general, not caused by variance in BMR. Far from it. It's caused by an imbalance between eating and activity habits. There are a lot of factors that go into both the energy in and energy out sides of the equation, from hormone levels to satiety levels to calorie-dense and hyperpalatable foods, etc.

But the bottom line is that obesity in the western world is a factor of overabundance of extremely tasty, calorie-dense food combined with increasingly sedentary lifestyles, causing massive energy imbalance. The person-to-person variation in BMR, which accounts for something like 200 calories 25th-75th percentile, is dwarfed by the energy imbalance caused by dietary habits and lifestyle.

Comment Metabolic rate doesn't vary that much (Score -1, Flamebait) 380

BMR (basal metabolic rate) really doesn't vary much person to person. What does vary is calorie intake and activity levels.

For the most part, people who are obese aren't just eating the extra 100, 200 calories a day above their potentially low BMR. They're eating hundreds of calories above that, and getting little to no physical activity.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein