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FatPhooeys Score Big Against FiberFabs

Reports from the sporting fields of science and medicine

by Kurt Vial, AIR staff

April, 2000

After years of being chewed up by their anti-fatty, up-with-fibrous arch-foes, the FatPhooeys bit back with a pair of big, fat wins in their long-running series with the FiberFabs. The Phooeys managed to get two giant studies published in a place that fans care about, the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the first contest the FatPhooeys, captained by Elaine Lanza of the National Cancer Institute and M. Robert Cooper of Wake Forest University, mounted a massive, sustained investigation that involved seven different institutions and stupendous amount of eating and rectal examination. The second game was skippered by David S. Alberts of the Arizona Cancer Center, and involved heaps of cereal.

The battle for bragging rights has always been, at its heart, a contrast in styles. The FiberFabs follow the less-is-best tradition of eating lean and fibrously. The Phooeys have always lived up to their own name, insisting that fat tastes great and fiber is less than fulfilling.

Immediately after the doubleheader, fans filled the night with shouts and cheers. Many casual spectators joined them. No one could mistake their clear, in-your-face message: that a high fiber, low fat, yucko diet may not, after all, do anything to prevent cancer.

Tradition and the Purity of the Sport

Neither side would think of quitting the series because of one or two simple wins. Both have rabid backers who will keep the fires stoked no matter what. Despite their traditional enmity, both teams do agree on one point: that the sport comes first. They would defend it to the death against anyone who wants to examine the rules or perhaps even (heaven forfend!) redefine the sport.

A spectator at this week's drubbing put it well: "Our sport has a storied history, and a simple set of rules. These hooligans who heckle the sport -- why, they question everything. They don't even care which side wins."

Detailed Game Report

The official game records are on file with the league office, under the titles "Lack of Effect of a Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet on the Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas," and Lack of Effect of a High-Fiber Cereal Supplement on the Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas, NEJM, vol. 342, no. 16, April 20, 2000.

Related Sports Features

For related reports about this series of contests, see:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/coloncancer000420.html

http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/cancer/04/19/colon.cancer/index.html

 

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