Thursday, May 26, 2011

Response to Genie on her Story: Lap Band Download

 Comment problems on eblogger aside, Andrea's comment to Genie's story deserves its own post.


"Genie,  I admire you and hope you regain your health.  I remember those open 'weigh-ins' in school and was embarrassed by the 'skinny police' teachers – they considered me underweight and less than perfect, but my pediatrician told my mother not to listen to the amateurs and that I was good at where I was because I would never have a stroke.  That’s why till this day I watch the vitals, such as blood pressure and I do not let anyone define me by appearance or eating behavior.  I am not in competition.  I think the Blog is well written though I find the American obsession with this subject matter is somewhat nuts, especially with all the real problems of the world needing creative solutions.  All the books, etc make it either a great hustle or an extreme form of self-absorption.  Everyone thinks they have "the answer" for acceptable public habits.

Carole, people such as Genie and friend Michael know that their weight is affecting their health.  They should not be made to feel less than adult if they cannot drop it immediately.  It must be done slowly and with balance and with exercise.  I hate hearing people state that when they see someone overweight they consider the overweight a drag on the national budget.  Getting thin by unnatural means can also cause illness and naturally thin people can (and often do) get the same cancer and heart disease as the overweight. 

All this obsession leads to “food tyranny” and a moneyed elite scolding the rest of the population. An example of what I'm referring to is in an op-ed piece from the NY Daily News – Dr. Neal Bernard wants to restrict the use of dairy products.  Naturally, Dr. Neal Bernard, is also selling a book. The doctor is a vegan who wrote a vegan cookbook. That is all fine and good, on the other hand he strongly agrees that Bloomberg should set a precedent for banning food stamps from being used to purchase sugary drinks. Then he emphasizes that Bloomberg is not going far enough. that he should ban unhealthful animal meats and animal products which have contributed to the "rise in obesity rates." Certainly, he makes the dubious and convoluted argument that if these items are eliminated from our choice to purchase, the more consumers will be forced to make the right healthy selection and grocers will be less interested in stocking unhealthful products on their shelves.  

Whichever way you slice the cheese, pour the milk and cut up the pork chops, Barnard's argument represents food tyranny. It's the pompous attitude from a moneyed elite promoting the sale of a vegan, not vegetarian, no less, but vegan, cookbook. Is anyone ready to face-off and do verbal battle with this self-serving hypocrite?"


Andrea, Bernard's rant sounds like Junk Food Science. There are so many contributing factors to obesity that we haven't even begun to recognize. Thyroid conditions, for one (which may be caused by increased X-ray use.)  Gluten allergies. I was raised mostly on pasta, not meat and cheese. I ate a Mediterranean Diet Dr. Barnard would have been proud of, mostly veggies, but so high carb it was ridiculous (pasta three times a week). The easy correlation he makes is just that easy. And herein Murphy's Law is appropriate: Tough problems have easy to explain wrong solutions. If you check out the NY Times front page article this Wednesday, it attributes obesity rates to lack of physical exercise and sedentary lifestyle. No, a lot more water will have to flood the Mississippi before we begin to understand obesity, if indeed the rates are as high as we are led to believe.


Margo Dill said...

You make some great points here, Carole. There's no way a problem like obesity can easily be explained away like these people are attempting to do.

Carole Di Tosti said...

Right? I think sometimes I become so annoyed because obesity is not just about the mechanics of how overeating; it's about why overeating and when overeating. The why and the when have so many additional components: spiritual, emotional, mental, social-cultural, etc. Doctors tend to treat just the mechanics of the physical; but that's no surprise. It's alleopathic medicine no wholistic or homeopathic which treats the whole person.
Thanks for commenting.