In 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.