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Seriously? Donuts + High Blood Pressure? Related?

This has nothing to do with finance, marriage, or families, and probably belongs over at Building Nutrition, but I just had to rant about a woman in the Washington Post article about outages on the DC Metro today.

I was one of the people stuck on the train for an extra 45 minutes (took twice as long to get to work this morning) thanks to fires in the track wiring insulation at the Metro Center station. I watched the news report and then read the 3-page article, but the last few paragraphs really agitated me:

At Dupont Circle, one of the passengers treated for shortness of breath was Gainna Ellis, 42, a receptionist whose morning ordeal had started hours earlier. She commuted by Metro from her home in Greenbelt to her office near Metro Center, only to find her building–and the whole street–without power. Told that the backup generator was about to go off, she decided to head home.


Then, “I got a bright idea to come to Krispy Kreme,” a doughnut shop near Dupont Circle, Ellis said. She made it to the store while the Dupont Circle station was still operating, bought a dozen doughnuts and a cup of coffee, and walked down the immobilized escalators — apparently ignoring Metro’s strict no-food rules.

Inside the station, she learned it had just been shut down. “So I had to climb up all these stairs again. That was too much,” said Ellis, who suffers from high blood pressure. “. . . Then I started feeling sick, like I was about to throw up.”

A firefighter helped her up the stairs, walking with her and urging her to take her time. Emergency personnel gave her water to drink and took her blood pressure four times, until it came down.

An hour later, Ellis was still near the station, hoping for a shuttle bus to take her to the Green Line.

Ok, you suffer from high blood pressure, so on your way home, knowing there’s problems, you decide to go up the longest DC escalator (not the longest overall though) to get a dozen friggin doughnuts??? Seriously, you couldn’t put 2+2 together and realize the doughnuts probably aren’t helping your medical problem of high blood pressure?

I congratulate you for making the effort to climb the very long escalator, but would you have even attempted the climb if a dozen doughnuts weren’t dangling at the top, just waiting for you to claim them?

I don’t know what else to say.

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Clever Dude


  • Maybe I’m missing something, but from the piece of the article you quoted, she only went down the escalator AFTER she purchased the donuts. She climb them to get the donuts, she already had the donuts. She climbed the escalator when she discovered the trains had been shut down. Probably not an important distinction in the scheme of things, but still.

  • I used to live in DC, and the Dupont escalator is SO FREAKING SCARY. Regardless, I’ll say again that people are stupid, especially people with health problems that turn a blind eye to WHY this happens to them. It’s not karma. It’s not bad luck. It’s what they put in their bodies.

    This is why I, myself, cut out the extra processed sugars, empty carbs, fast food and snack foods. Happier, healthier, and able to walk an escalator without huffing and puffing. Count your blessings, folks, and remember that there’s a reaction to every action.

  • In her defense, when the power’s out on that escalator it makes me want to throw up too. 120 steps or so (when stopped…when moving it’s more like 80 at the rate I walk). But I agree about the donuts. Seems like a bad move.

    And if she had to wait that long for the shuttle, why not start walking home? It’s a mile between Dupont Circle and Metro Center. Takes me maybe 20 minutes. Not one of the worst miles in DC, either.

  • I’ve thought about this for a few days now, and I think you’re being a little presumptious, Dude. :o)

    The portion of the article you quoted does’t say she ATE the doughnuts, but rather BOUGHT doughnuts. There is no connection between BUYING doughnuts and having high blood pressure. We don’t know if doughnuts are a regular part of her diet or not. We only know she bought them. It’s possible that she either eats something like this rarely, or even that she was buying them for her family and not herself. My wife and I regularly buy food items for each other that we don’t care for ourselves. There really isn’t enough information here to pass this kind of judgement on her.

    We do know that she drank some water. I think it’s also a safe assumption that she drank the cup of coffee. Now if it had caffeine in it, that may have affected her high blood pressure as well, but it may have been decaffeinated too. We just don’t know.

    Then again, your own first instinct may have been accurate–who knows? I just wanted to level the playing field a little. :o)

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