Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Food Police

I always say it's a slippery slope when you start having the government or any other organization tell us what we should be doing, believing, wearing, etc. Well, how do you like being told what you should eat? The city of San Francisco is moving toward banning toys in childrens' meals at restaurants, if they don't conform to a certain "standard", because truly, as a parent, you aren't fit to make decisions for your children. I think it's an appalling situation when a small group of people can take all the fun out of life. I suppose that's what happens when you found a country with Puritans. If it tastes or feels good or is fun, then by god it must be bad for you and you must be saved from yourself!

I suppose on the face of it, urging children to eat "healthier" sounds like a good thing. Except you have one problem. And that is that the government's current suggestions for how to eat healthy are anything but. Read Gary Taubes book "Good Calories, Bad Calories", if you dare, and you will see why. It is a book that will make you so angry you won't be able to see straight. These "scientists", (and I use that term very loosely), researchers, dietitians, and doctors have had evidence for the entire last century that sugar is what makes you fat and causes diabetes, and that fat is what we should mostly be eating, but since Ancel Keys decided to publish his absolutely skewed results that fat is bad for you and causes heart attacks people have cut back on the fat and increased consumption of carbohydrates, and have gotten heavier because of it.

In fact, hunter-gatherer type people who do not consume sugar and carbohydrates, and get most of their food from animal sources, have no evidence of heart disease, diabetes, or get this, cavities. I knew that ages ago and wondered why. I remember reading that paleolithic people didn't have cavities, or dental caries, but that agricultural people who ate grains did. And people knew this a hundred years ago! And if you think about it, it makes sense. Ten thousand years ago, what do you think people ate? They ate meat most of the time. They didn't have refrigerators or grocery stores. They didn't wander down to the market and buy leafy greens and fruit. They only ate vegetables and fruit when it was in season, well, actually, IF it was ever in season.

In 1908, a man named Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent ten years living with the Inuit* who did not eat anything but meat (because they had nothing else) and they were all very healthy people. When he returned to New York the doctors didn't believe him. He spent an entire year eating nothing but meat under observation to prove that it was healthy. There are also various accounts of doctors who lived among native populations in Africa and South America, who saw that the native populations did not have any evidence of any of the "Diseases of Civilization" (meaning heart disease, diabetes, etc) until they adopted a western diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

After the McGovern committee on the Nutrition Guidelines in 1977, it pretty much became gospel that fat was the cause of heart attacks and any researcher who dare say otherwise was pretty much tossed out on the street. Kilmer S. McCully was one such researcher. He insisted it was an amino acid deficiency that caused heart disease. For his trouble, he was denied tenure and had trouble finding another job because Harvard had blacklisted him.

And another reason the government shouldn't tell us what to eat (as if you need another reason), is because their definition of "obesity" is absurd. Most of us think that people are obese when they're very round, like a woman who weighs say, 300 lbs. Well, the government has a different idea. You're probably considered "obese" if you're a pant size too big. That's because they grade obesity and overweight by the BMI index, which doesn't take into account muscle mass or bone structure. So if you lift weights, you're probably obese too.

What all this boils down to, is that your health is your business. If you want to eat McDonald's every day (and lose weight LOL), that's your prerogative. If your children beg you to go to McDonald's on a regular basis and you cave, it's not the government's responsibility to babysit you as you let your children eat junk. But I suppose that's California for you.** As a commenter on a forum said, and I found it quite amusing, "they don't call it the land of fruits and nuts for nothing." Sorry if you're from there. Really, I am.

*A wacky site I know, but they have posted the original article from Harper's by Stefansson LOL

**My mother-in-law bought a handgun, and it had a warning on it put there by the State of California that "children are naturally drawn to guns". Naturally? Really? Maybe they're drawn to a hot burner on the stove too. Are you going to put warnings on everything? Or should parents teach their children not to touch things they shouldn't. What this is, is an abdication of parenting and the teaching of your children about what is allowed, or not allowed, and what is safe or is not safe. It's also an abdication of common frickin' sense.

1 comment:

  1. Regulatory agencies only work if their agents are not on the take. And I observe that it is painfully clear at this point that most agents are busy padding their resumes for their civillian post at companies in industries that they regulate. I have a sollution for people with overweight kids: Help them make better choices in food, and if you can test them for food allergies and sensitivities. I dont feed my kids happy meals if at all possible. I avoid McDonalds. But my kids do get to have an occasional soda and french fries. [note occasional] because French Fries and sodas should be treated like ice cream and candy. The idiocy of our government is only outdone by the idiocy of it's people. Feeding a child well isn't rocket science. Only at times, time consuming.