Tuesday, May 24, 2011

William James Sidis Dead At Age 46

I just turned 46 this month and I'm very curious about how William James Sidis died at this age.  He was a child prodigy and traumatized by society for being such.  He graduated from Harvard at age 16.  He died at the shockingly young age of 46 from "a cerebral hemorrhage leading to pneumonia" per his biographer Amy Wallace.

I would not presume to know what lead to his stroke.  However, in the book "The Prodigy" there are some foods mentioned he was said to have eaten.  What his daily diet consisted of is pure speculation.  He is said to have been gaining weight in his final years.  Here are foods that were mentioned he had consumed:

Milk (a quart following a meal)
Black tea (occasionally)
Vegetables
Potatoes
Meat
Candy (it is said he had a sweet tooth)
Cake
Soft Drinks
Peanuts (there were particular memories associated with his peanut consumption)

The book also mentions his high blood pressure.  Also of interest were the things he is said to have abstained from:  smoking, alcohol, coffee, and sex.  He is said to have made a vow of celibacy in his teens and was never known to have broke it.   Asexuality is common with Aspergers syndrome.  I don't know if he had Aspergers, I'm just mentioning the association.

Of interest to this blog is the peanut consumption.  Could peanuts have killed William James Sidis?  Especially when combined with his sweet tooth?  It is a theory.

Remember how the scientists in Oregon made the monkeys obese?  They added a peanut butter treat and a high fructose corn syrup sweetened punch drink to their regular food.  Just a coincidence?  Possibly.

Perhaps it is also a coincidence that they treat emergency malnutrition in Africa with a product called Plumpy Nut.  It is made with peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins and minerals.  They are also developing a soy based product for the same purpose.

PUFAs and fructose to fatten up starving children? Of course!  But what are those ingredients doing to the rest of the world that is not starving?  Is it conceivable that PUFAs and fructose are a dangerous long term combination?   Is it possible that if PUFAs and fructose can fatten up monkeys and starving children then they might be dangerous enough to be suspects in the death of William James Sidis?

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