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Probe, June 6, 2001

June 06, 2001

TAKING IT OFF — I have been taking the apple cider vinegar capsules since March and I have lost 43 pounds! I also take a sea shell abstract capsule and every day or two, I drink a cup of Korean Slim Tea.

My waist is down from 43 to 38 inches. I do my own yard work and every day I walk two or three blocks. I think this saved my life.

I went to see my doctor. He said, "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. You're in better shape than you've been in years." — Determined, Calexico

There's some other elements to your experience that could account for at least part of your success.

Last winter you spent 27 days in the hospital with pneumonia and severe edema. In March, you were diagnosed as diabetic with a life-threatening blood sugar reading of 495.

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That meant cutting out all sweets and sugars. We think cutting out sugar and the addition of the laxative "slim tea" to your regimen contributed to your success.

But you can't rule out motivation and just sticking to the program.

ANOTHER WAY TO GO — I am following the Dr. Atkin's Diet. You eat only meat, fat and vegetables. No cereals, no grains, no sugar. I can have a carne asada burrito. I just can't have the tortilla. I lost 20 pounds in two weeks. It may not work for everybody but … — Getting Buff, El Centro

What's a burrito without a tortilla? You're right, the Atkin's Diet may not work for everybody, mostly because most people have too much body wisdom to stay on it. It does seem to work for some people.

While we are on this subject, let's talk about obesity, the No. 1 health problem in the world, including the third world, according to the June edition of Atlantic Magazine. Although over 2 billion people are malnourished, only half of them are suffering from too few calories.

Just as many suffer the "New World" disease of obesity. They are eating too many processed, high-calorie foods, not enough fruits and vegetables and getting too little exercise.

In one of the more affluent islands of Micronesia, the people are grossly overweight and dying young of heart disease and diabetes.

The most common surgery in the island's hospital is the amputation of limbs due to the ravages of high blood sugar. The average life span is 57 years.

The indigenous people have developed a taste for Spam, canned sausages, marbled steaks, soft drinks, white bread and other imported delicacies of the "New World."

QUESTION: My job requires driving to Mexicali every day. Since last year, I have noticed an increase in traffic. Having lived in Miami, I am used to heavy traffic. What I can't get used to the rudeness of the Mexicali drivers in this area.

It's incredible to watch women with children speeding or blocking intersections at Imperial Avenue in Calexico. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to have police cars watching in the morning. Can U.S. police give tickets to drivers with Mexicali plates? — Border Crosser, El Centro

OK, PROBE readers, do you think the Mexicali drivers are ruder than Calexico drivers — or our winter visitors from the North?

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