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Monday, October 1, 2007

Never Trust a Fat Cook, Either

posted by on October 1 at 9:43 AM

She may have been gorging on tonic water:

Ironically, in the end, it wasn’t the alcohol that damaged [Clarissa Dickson Wright’s] health. It was the quinine in the tonic water she added to her gin - two pints of gin a day for 12 years, which I calculate as roughly 9,000 pints of gin, and over 50,000 pints of tonic water.

The quinine destroyed her adrenal gland and now she can’t lose weight, even if she lived on lettuce—which I doubt she ever would.

This friendly health reminder brought to you via the New York Times.

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Posted by Go back to Europe | October 1, 2007 9:46 AM

That's why I mix my vodkas with cranberry juice—it's delicious and prevents UTIs!

Posted by Carollani | October 1, 2007 10:00 AM

I love gin and tonic but I've known for a long time that the quinine in tonic water is not good in large doses.

My grandmother had told me years and years ago that they used to give quinine to girls who got pregnant out of wedlock quinine to cause a miscarriage.

Posted by monkey | October 1, 2007 10:21 AM

That was very fun to read and I will be buying that book.

Posted by mj | October 1, 2007 11:34 AM

Is quinine still used against malaria? I never herad of it making people fat.

Posted by J | October 1, 2007 11:36 AM

Two fucking pints a day! Holy shit. Two pints of any booze other than beer can't be good for you, particularly two pints of gin. Can we read about her liver?

Posted by Gitai | October 1, 2007 11:37 AM

Gin is the drink of choice for malarial sufferers - which kills a lot more people than have problems with this "fat" disease.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 1, 2007 12:03 PM

I think this claim is bogus. My dear mother has been drinking a gin & tonic every day for 40 years, and as far as I know, her adrenal gland is still functioning normally.

Mind you, mum drinks a single gin & tonic a day, not two pints of gin a day. I'm surprised this woman didn't drown herself drinking that much. Holy crap!

Posted by SDA in SEA | October 1, 2007 12:33 PM

Two pints of gin? Someone doesn't know jack about moderation; no wonder she's heavy.

Posted by brappy | October 1, 2007 12:51 PM


If she was following a standard mix ratio of say 2 oz. gin to 5 oz. tonic, she would have been sucking down more than a half gallon of tonic water per day. The FDA limits the amount of quinine in commercial tonics to about 80 - 83 mg per liter, which is about 1/2 the standard daily medicinal dosage.

Keep in mind, even in cases of severe malaria, the normal treatment regimen using quinine would only be about one week - this woman was dosing at essentially full-strength for more than 600 consecutive weeks.

Posted by COMTE | October 1, 2007 12:57 PM

@5: Yes quinine is still used to treat malaria, although it is no longer the frontline treatment because some strains of malaria are resistant to it.
It was made originally from the bark of the cinchona tree and is very bitter. Tonic water was originally developed to provide a way to take your daily dose in a more pleasant manner. It is possible to take to muck by drinking it. I agree with the other posters that the large amount of alcohol is the actual source of her obesity. Her liver must look like a burnt shoe.

Posted by inkweary | October 1, 2007 1:36 PM

2FL was bomb.

Posted by K | October 1, 2007 2:49 PM

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