Feast Your Eyes: Gout, Not Just for Kings Anymore Gout, Not Just for Kings Anymore

How the "diseases of affluence" manifest themselves, painfully, in our body's joints.

It's more than obesity that's taking a toll on our health. Obesity can alter our body's insulin response, creating a metabolic syndrome that basically spurs us to keep ordering more burgers and fries. In other words, getting fatter stimulates our appetites even more.

Now, you can add gout—a painful build-up of uric acid in the joints, often affecting hands and feet—to the list of more commonly known "diseases of affluence," like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. As Jane Brody reports in today's The New York Times:

Long regarded as a “disease of kings” for its association with a diet rich in meats and alcohol, gout in modern times has become a decidedly more plebeian disorder. More than six million adults in the United States have had it, and the numbers are rising steadily as the population ages, becomes heavier and is exposed to foods and other substances that can precipitate the disorder in susceptible people.


Perhaps it's another warming sign that our diet is too rich. What's interesting is the best treatment is reducing meat, alcohol, and soda consumption. One only needs to look at these images to get a sense why living leaner in the long run might be a wise choice.

Image via "The Surgical Treatment of Tophaceus Gout," 1943.

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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