Interesting editorial yesterday (diabetes related sort of)

Yesterday in the Seattle paper there was an interesting editorial about Social Science studies.  Here's a link to the article:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks

The following paragraph in the paper I found a little odd:

"Self-control consumes glucose in the brain. For an article in the journal Aggressive Behavior, Nathan DeWall, Timothy Deckman, Matthew Gaillot and Brad Bushman found that research subjects who consumed a glucose beverage behaved less aggressively than subjects who drank a placebo beverage. They found an indirect relationship between diabetes (a disorder marked by low glucose levels) and low self-control. States with high diabetes rates also had high crime rates. Countries with a different condition that leads to low glucose levels had higher killing rates, both during wartime and during peacetime. "

Diabetes is "a disorder marked by low glucose levels"?  I would have thought it the other way around.

However, if you look a the aritcle online the wording is a little different.  Online it has in the parenthesis is "a disorder marked by poor glucose toleration".  Not sure what that means.

I must admit though that self control is not my greatest asset :)

Huh??? That whole selection is rife with wrongness!

And "an indirect relationship" doesn't mean much. This just sounds like an insensitive, and ignorant, linking between type 2 and poor self control....

Yikes. Sorry but this tiny abstract isn't about us. 

David Brooks's wording on that quick review was confusing, yes, but this study is more then likely using diabetics as an available controlled means to study brain starvation (fairly common and easy to manipulate condition in diabetics) and what starvation does to effect aggressive behavior.

The later statement "Countries with a different condition that leads to low glucose levels had higher killing rates, both during wartime and during peacetime." Is the hyper sterile way of stating "People in countries where starvation is the norm had higher killing rates, during wartime and during peacetime."

So the article isn't really off or wrong, but points to the abstract issues of English. We have the ability to say so much without ever saying anything at all. We may even confuse something to be about us when it isn't. At first glance I thought it was about diabetes and aggression, but after reading it again, I don't think it is about diabetics at all. I'm just inferring here, but from the point of Social Science, this study was designed to look at people's behavior in regions burdened with prolonged starvation. =(

Yeah, that article was basically incomprehensible -- it made no sense! But, I have to say I DID hit my husband once when I was having I really bad low!!!

In my mind, the way that he so nonchalantly refers to that "different condition that leads to low glucose levels" in the same breath as diabetes - as though, like diabetes, it is a naturally occurring phenomena that no scientists have yet fully been able to understand or explain - kind of says it all about this article, and David Brooks as a journalist.

Again abstractions of English. I found the original article. I had infered that Countries with a different condition that leads to low glucose levels had higher killing rates, both during wartime and during peacetime, was not talking about starvation like I thought. Turns out it was talking about a condition called  Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency it is the trigger to the condition called  favism. A real nasty condition effecting some 400 million people worldwide.  http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase-deficiency

I wish I could get my hands on the full article but it costs money! It looks amazing!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ab.20366/abstract

This is the link to the actual abstraction, not David Brooks gobidyyuk one.

David Brooks has a disorder that makes an otherwise intelligent man understand almost nothing and get paid to write about it. 

I think he wants people to think overweight type 2's on reality TV shows are causing all the violence. Fat people are murderers!!!!

Oh wow, I've never heard of that either.  I assumed Brooks was talking about hunger, as well.  That said, it's still a completely bizarre and untenable parallel that he attempts to draw, and I stand by my general assessment of the article and its author.  He also apparently couldn't be bothered to do enough research to get to the part about 1 in 10 African-American men in the U.S., or he wasn't thinking of African-Americans when he implied that this condition does not exist in the U.S.