The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Running, Aspartame, Dental Health, and Risk
Ah, 8 pain free miles today. That makes me very happy. Of course, it was well over 80 degrees by the time I was done, which is a bit toasty for me, but I felt good nonetheless.
I have a confession to make. I'm a sociologist and I think about things like risk. I just read this article on aspartame (the stuff that make most diet food diet.) Yeah, it probably causes cancer. I believe Dick Cheney had a role in getting the FDA to approve the stuff back in the day, but I can't remember for sure. I have a love/hate relationship with artificial sweeteners as I debate the risk of cancer against the risk of heart disease and obesity.
I recently read a post about the potential impact of long distance running on your teeth. That got me thinking about this. Exercise is good for you and all that, but it does carry with it some risks. Tooth decay is perhaps minor compared to risks of injury, whether due to the wrong shoes or the getting hit by a car. There is even some psychological risk. I haven't read the female ultramarathoner Pam Reed's recent book, but I understand part of it discusses her struggles with an eating disorder.
Ulrich Beck argues that we live in a risk society where many of our decisions are based on assessment of risk. I think that's a reasonably fair description. We are becoming more aware of the fact that risk is inevitable and, in many ways, struggling as a society to deal with the realization. Because of this, however, I think it is important that we avoid simplistic perspectives of risk which see it as something that should be avoided. Risk decisions are really issues of which particular risks you are willing to trade against others. Maybe I'll just stick to iced tea. Make sure to brush your teeth after those long runs.
(Can you tell I've been working on my dissertation?)