Thursday, June 21, 2012

Everybody Loves Line Graphs

I like visual aids.  30 years ago, the ADA implemented new guidelines for healthy eating.  The goal was to reduce obesity in the American population.

How well did that work?

Now the "experts" will tell you that the fault is ours; we Americans are too rich, too lazy, too gluttonous to bother following the approved guidleines and are being punished for our sins by growing ever fatter.  But is that really the case?  Are we any less lazy, rich, or gluttonous than we were before the ADA began it's high-carb, low-fat propaganda?  Are were really any less motivated to be healthier, to live longer, to avoid illness than we were 30 years ago?

I don't think so.  As much as our society has changed over the years (and no necessarily for the better, but that's a topic for another blog), we're all still human.  We don't generally want to be sick, fat, and unhealthy.  We're not completely devoid of all self control.  I don't know any overweight people who don't care that they're overweight; they may treat it with glibness in public, but they also nibble delicately at lettuce leaves sprinkled with low-fat vinaigrette and diet boxed foods, hoping the weight will someday start to shed just like the ADA assures them it will.  With few exceptions, fat people don't want to be fat.

So, why do we keep getting fatter?

Yes, I'll grant you, Americans overeat.  That goes without saying.  But the underlying question is: WHY do we overeat?  Is it a lack of caring on our part?  Or is our information wrong?  Does a high carb diet actually make us lose weight, or does it fuel the feeding frenzy that makes us gain?

Maybe we're not just a bunch of fat slobs who deserve what we get.  Maybe we've just been taught wrong, and the people who taught us are too ashamed to admit it.  Maybe they're too busy making money off our obesity to care to set the record straight.  Maybe a lot of things; but the bottom line is, what we've been taught DOES NOT WORK.  In fact, it's generating the exact opposite of our goals.

So......what are you gonna do about it?

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