Today is Science Day at Deonandia. We begin with a submission from Anju G, this one titled, “Abdominal fat greater health risk for Chinese and South Asians“. Here’s the deal: we all know that fat is bad, despite what the busybodies advocating for “average” looking models might tell you. Fat increases your risk of a host of ailments, many of them life threatening. We also know that all fat is not created equal. Abdominal fat is far far worse than, say, chin fat or hip fat. People with “pear shaped” bodies are better off than those with “apple shaped” bodies. The worst fat is that deposited between the abdominal mesenteries, these membranes that cobweb through your peritoneal cavity (i.e., torso). The harder your fat, the worse, because hard fat is denser fat and therefore more abundant and unyielding, putting all sorts of untoward pressure on your internal organs.
Now, according this study, the effects of this deep, mesenteric fat are ethnicity dependent. South Asians and East Asians (i.e., Indians and Chinese people, for the most part) suffer more deleterious effects from this deep mesenteric fat than do Caucasians. Why is this important? For two reasons: first, all of our scales of risk are calibrated to the Caucasian case, because most Western medicine has been done by Caucasian scientists on Caucasian subjects, with the reasonable assumption that all races are physiologically identical. Second, this is important for the very reason that it reminds us that, despite our deepest political desires, all races are not physiologically identical.
This should be inherently obvious on a first-pass assessment. Different races look different, have different distributions of blood types and different prevalences of ailments. These data are confounded by social, economic and geographic factors, but there’s no denying that some biology is raciallt differentiated. Our peripheral blood vessels’ response to cold, for example, falls along a racial gradient, with Inuit people unsurprisingly having the most efficient heat-retention control with respect to peripheral circulation, Caucasians having second best, and those people originating in more temperate climes having the poorest control.
I don’t think this realization it hurts the basic premise that all human beings are created equal, just as an acceptance that men and women are biologically different should affect our supposition that both genders have equal intellects, contributions and rights.
On an entirely different topic is the story of this guy, who donated sperm throughout much of his 20s, and is now the acknowledged father of scores of children, all of whom call him “Dad”. As a fellow who has been approached on numerous times to be a sperm donor for either single women or lesbian couples, this story has special resonance for me. In the past, I’d said no, partly because of the inherent sadness of knowing there would be children out there with my DNA whom I could never claim as actual, functional family. Now comes this superhuman sperm machine to turn this supposition on its ear. Hmmm, thinks me….