Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Study: Eating ice is good for you

After a ten year study scientists and dentists alike from the Smile Happy Council have come to the conclusion that eating ice is not so bad. In fact, eating ice can be a good thing for your health. Some of the reasons cited were as follows:

* Eating ice reduces boredom 
* Eating ice also improves jaw strength
* Eating ice reduces stress
* (Most dentists agree) Even if the ice breaks your teeth, they can be fixed for a nominal fee 
* Eating ice can be a good way to start social interactions with people you do not know
* Eating ice can be a good way to get people's attention
* Eating ice is great for movie sound effects
* If you are agitated at a loved one, eating ice near their ear is a creative way to reprimand

The study had a sample size of 15,000 ice eaters and 15,000 non-ice eaters and was carried outfrom 1999 to 2009. Dr. Klenners, who led the study, had this to say:

"Ice eating has been in my family for generations. It's a family past time really. I started the study to see if it had benefits and to dispel myths about eating ice. I think the results are going to surprise some people. Now instead of 'an apple a day' people might start with 'a tray of ice cubes a day.' It's just wonderful. And such a social activity. I even do it with my dog."
The team who worked on the study highlighted the importance of social interaction with ice eating. Of all the 15,000 ice eaters studied, only 5% said they did it in private. One such outlier, Bob Barnes had this to say:

"I'm ashamed of the way it crunches. Everybody stares at me. I usually just grab a tray of ice and munch it in the closet. That way their beady little eyes aren't glaring at me or my ice."

It was also determined that Mr. Barnes is somewhat of a schizophrenic. Most people who ate ice did so in public so they could share with friends and "spread the joy" of eating ice to those they loved. Some scientists thought this might be a subliminal type of indoctrination strategy, but Margaret Johansen, ice eater extraordinaire, had this to say:

"Eating ice takes the edge off for me. It's like eating something and punching a wall at the same time. That, and if I eat it just before eating super frozen ice cream it makes the experience so much easier. I also love having friends over when I eat ice. We can all sit around in a circle and vent with a bowl of ice in the middle. The crunch soothes as we let it all out."

Margaret's story was in fact not all that uncommon. While women in the study connected their ice eating to stress reduction, men tended to do it because it was "fun" or "crunchy." Sam Steuer, a Packers fan, said, 

"Eating ice is awesome. It's like eating rocks made of water....frozen water. And, when me and my buddies get together for tailgating at Lambeau field sometimes all we have to is buckets of ice. It's what makes us men."

The new evidence of the social, physical, and psychological benefits of eating ice are astounding. Over time the Smile Happy Council hopes to push more ice onto the menus of public schools, local franchise restaurants, and make it more available at grocery stores. Certain wholesale food companies are already toying with the idea of novelty ices with fun shapes like penguins and balloons. Where it all will lead, nobody knows, but, happy chewing!

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