More on that eating stuff

AtJust One Minute.

The New York Times summarized Taubes’ wisdom on diet and exercise:

We’ve got the whole thing backward, he argues. The overweight are not lazy hogs who eat too much and exercise too little. The thin are not virtuous and disciplined. Rather, all of us are fulfilling a fixed biological mandate, just as growing children are. Our bodies have a nonnegotiable agenda, and our behavior evolves to make that agenda happen, he writes: “Eating in moderation and being physically active (literally, having the energy to exercise) are not evidence of moral rectitude. Rather, they’re the metabolic benefits of a body that’s programmed to remain lean.”

I imagine that’s a somewhat attractive theory. We’ll call this the “it’s not my fault” theory of obesity. It’s all the fault of your regulatory enzymes and hormones. It’s all the fault of those low-fat diets we were told were good for us. Yes, we all got fat because we switched to low-fat diets.

And, of course, thin, fit folks just won some sort of life lottery. They’ve just got skinny enzymes.

Taubes argues that in the late 1970s, health authorities started telling Americans to cut back on fat, and that we did. Wrong.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, added fats (oils, shortening, lard, and beef tallow) have gone up steadily since the late 1970s (see “Hardly a Low-Fat Diet”). Total fats (which include the fat in meats, cheese, and other foods) have also gone up, though not as steadily.

So how can Taubes write that “the major trends in American diets, according to USDA agricultural economist Judith Putnam, have been a decrease in the percentage of fat calories and a ‘greatly increased consumption of carbohydrates’”? The key is the word “percentage.” The percentage of fat calories in our diets declined because, while we ate more fat calories, we ate even more carbohydrate calories.

Remember how we all ate nothing but low-fat stuff? NOTHING. BUT. Yes, we were slavishly ridged about consuming nothing but low fat foods. That’s why all the fast food joints went out of business.

The reality of the situation is that studies show that there has been a jump in daily calorie consumption since 1995 of 300 calories. 300 Calories. Not 20. 300. Low-fat diets didn’t make us fat because people 1) weren’t really eating low fat and b) low-fat doesn’t matter if you are simply eating MORE calories of that low-fat stuff.

Low fat. Low Carbs. What matters is LOW CALORIES. Balanced diet. Healthy food.

Personally, I follow South Beach, which is a low carb diet. Healthy carbs, should I say. None of that white stuff. Carbs are easy to cut out of a diet, because they are so easy to identify. And, they are often (no coincidence) LOADED with (empty) calories. Fries. White bread. Mashed potatoes, which are usually covered with gravy. Eliminate those, and simply replace with more veggies or salad.

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4 Comments on “More on that eating stuff”

  1. Hotspur Says:

    You’re not my real mom.

  2. Car in Says:

    Hotspur solutions. Ever think of changing your screen name?

  3. MJ Says:

    Do you ever get the idea that people just don’t want to exercise and eat less? Its really not a difficult theory to understand, unless you don’t want to actually do it.

  4. pajama momma Says:

    Do you ever get the idea that people just don’t want to exercise and eat less? Its really not a difficult theory to understand

    I’m living proof.


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