Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Fat Impairs Fertility?

Today’s (March 10) Kuwait Times

Fat lovers face slimmer chance of parenthood
PARIS: Love handles might help couples get a better grip but all that excess fat could dampen their chances of having a baby, a new study has shown. Researchers monitoring nearly 48,000 couples in Denmark between 1996 and 2002 found that when both parents were clinically obese, the risk of waiting more than a year before conceiving nearly tripled. The odds improved somewhat when the prospective parents were simply overweight, but even they had to persist in their efforts longer than their leaner counterparts. Obesity could even have a demographic impact in countries where the problem of fat has taken on epidemic proportions, said the study published this week in the British Journal of Human Reproduction

“If obesity is a cause of sub-fecundity . . . this reduced capacity to reproduce could become a serious health problem.” said lead author Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen, an epidemiologist at Aarhus University in Denmark, in an interview. “The heavier the population gets, the more problems we would see with infertility,” she said. Earlier research had already established a clear link between too much fat and levels of fertility hormones. In women, excess body fat has a negative impact on ovulation and conception; in men, it is linked with decreased semen quality and the level of reproductive hormones.

But this is the first study, which looked at the conception rate among obese couples, who are increasingly common. In the United States, 30 percent of the adults – some 60 million people – are clinically obese, according to the US National Center for Health Statistics. Within certain demographic groups, such as African-Americans, the rate is even higher. In Europe, Britain tops the list with 23%, nearly twice the rate in Germany, where 12% tip the scales into obesity, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The benchmark for obesity is the body-mass index, defined as one’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of one’s height in meters. A BMI from 18.5 up to 25 is considered in the healthy range, from 25 up to 30 is overweight, and 30 or higher is obese. The authors add a word of caution, saying they did not know how often the couples in their study had sex.

“We cannot exclude that infrequent intercourse has delayed conception in overweight and obese couples,” they say, delicately. In other words, more fat may mean less sex . . . so the fertility problem could lie elsewhere.”

March 10, 2007 Posted by | Cooking, Family Issues, Health Issues, Marriage, News, Relationships, Social Issues, Statistics, Uncategorized, Women's Issues | 6 Comments

Lenten Update

As you know, I gave up bad language in my car for Lent. Yes, I could have given up chocolate. It would have been easier.

I’ve done fairly well. I totally slipped up once, my husband was driving. At first I thought, “well it doesn’t count because I am not driving” but – it does. It counts.

I have not succeeded in not thinking the bad word. I ask forgiveness, and I ask for help not even thinking the bad words. He IS helping. My language is getting better. Alhamd’allah.

For my non-Kuwaiti, non-Middle East friends and readers, you can actually get in more trouble here for bad language than you can for crashing a car.

True story: in one country, a man was trying to get into a gated community and was refused. He was angry and wanted to back up, rather than going forward and turning around, so he put his car in reverse and gunned the engine and smashed into the car behind him. The woman driver was shocked, and just sat there. So he moved forward, and gunned the car in reverse, and hit her again! He did it a third time. She got out of her car and screamed at him “What are you doing, you a$$####???” and he had HER arrested for bad language. He stoically paid for the damage to her car, but SHE had to go to court and through a lengthy humiliating process of finding a lawyer, etc. She also had to pay a huge fine and listen to a lecture from the judge.

A wise person NEVER makes any hand gestures, either.

Giving up bad language on the highway is not only a spiritual improvement, it could also save me a lot of trouble down the road.

March 10, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Language, Lent, Random Musings, Spiritual, Words | 7 Comments

Kuwait Youth Arrested for hitting 305 km/hr

Today’s Arab Times:

As many as 117 people were caught over speeding in just three hours on the King Fahd Motorway.

Traffic men fixed a radar on the motorway near Al Nuwaiseeb area from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and issued citations to 117 violators.

A Kuwait youth has been detained for driving at a speed of 305 km/hr in his Porsche car. He was referred to the Traffic Court and his car has been impounded.

Traffic men have started a campaign against reckless drivers and riders performing stunts on their motorbikes.

My comment: Have you been following EniGma’s blog, where she proposes what she will do as the new Minister – a different Minister each day? I think someone was listening to her when she wrote her post on Ministry of Interior For a Day.

I am also hearing strains of the old Beachboys song about “fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-bird away” only substituting Porsche for T-bird. I think a huge fine would be appropriate, 30 hours of supervised remedial driving lessons and three months working with accident victims in one of the local hospitals. That’s the rehabilitation/punishment I would give.

March 10, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Political Issues, Social Issues | 8 Comments

Amer Al-Hilal Steps Up to the Plate

He eyes the pitcher. He swings the bat! He connects! He hits the ball out of the park!

OK, OK, sometimes I carry an analogy too far. But seeing our fellow blogger Hilaliya: A Kuwait State of Mind on the front page of today’s Arab Times, taking a swat at the recent ban on internet phone services made me feel like dancing.

He encourages all of us to raise the cry against this ban, a ban which is unenforceable (think of all the IT people running around Kuwait who know just how to get around this blockage) and counter to the best interests of the state of Kuwait. As Amer says – Kuwait needs a Minister of Communications who looks toward the FUTURE, and makes policy decisions for the long term good of the state and community, not one who barely comprehends the new technologies and is unwilling to go with the times.

You can’t hold back technology. The genie is out of the bottle. So how can you use the new technologies to better serve the needs of the wealthy state and its inhabitants?

March 10, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Communication, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Technical Issue, Tools | 5 Comments