What We Eat Really Does Matter

FrankBruniIn Diet Lures And Diet Lies, New York Times, 26 May 2014, Frank Bruni, says that marketers of supplements and diet plans are selling dreams:

“We should take care that our intensifying alarm over all of the aggressively marketed junk that makes us fatter doesn’t crowd out a measure of sustained pique at all of the aggressively marketed pills, products and plans that fail to make us any thinner, despite their lavish promises and the money we plunk down.”

In a broad sense, I agree. But I think he holds too tightly to “calories in, calories out.” (Although he did qualify it, “Yes that maxim oversimplifies.”) It’s more complex than that, although that’s part of the equation. What makes up those calories matters. And it’s about more, a whole lot more, than weight. It’s about health. You can lose weight on a diet of lard, or twinkies, or rice, or potatoes, or bananas; it won’t make you healthier.

I see people throw up their arms and say, “What does it matter? One week x is good for you, the next week it’s bad. I’ll just eat whatever I want … in moderation.” This is where that phrase “in moderation” fails us. What we eat really does matter.

2 thoughts on “What We Eat Really Does Matter

  1. RB

    Bix, you make a very important point: “And it’s about more, a whole lot more, than weight. It’s about health.” It seems a diet’s goodness is determined only by weight loss by most people. It seems to me a diet’s goodness should be determined by its effect on a person’s overall health first. I think one thing that would improve all diets is to change the emphasis from weight loss to health. Of course to change the attitudes of everyone from diets for weight control to diets for health is a monumental undertaking.

    Reply
    1. Bix Post author

      Monumental!

      This is what I see … People eat, or say they eat, eggs and yogurt and cheese in moderation, a slice of pizza a week, a donut at a staff meeting, ham sandwich for lunch, candy with their child, chicken kung pao when they get home late from work, gravy soaked potatoes while visiting relatives, grilled steak or a burger and chips at a picnic. It’s all “in moderation.” They’re not overweight. Maybe none of these foods are harmful if eaten once in a while, but by the end of the week they all add up to a diet that’s not so healthful.

      I think your oatmeal with berries and flax is a great breakfast.

      Reply

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