Tag: diet recommendations

Nutritional Guidelines, Fake Science, and My Decreasing Waist


In the spring of 2015, my doctor diagnosed me as clinically obese, with a Latin term that roughly translates to “fat in the belly.” As Rodney Dangerfield joked, “and when I asked for a second opinion, he said I’m ugly.” Anyhow, I’ve long struggled with clinical obesity. I’ve also held, since the 1980s, the habit of daily exercise, alternating between weights and cardio, as well as carefully cataloging my dietary intake, most recently adding MyFitnessPal to my daily habits. My obesity isn’t the fruit of sloth, or lack of self-control, as is the favorite diagnosis.

After months of stewing over the sting of my diagnosis, I decided to launch, yet again, diet #2454. This time it would be a high protein, medium carb, and low fat, a la South Beach. Watch my calories in, calories out, I’ve done this before, I’ve got this.

And yet … after an initial weight loss of about 20 pounds, Thanksgiving and Christmas snacking soon laid waste to my waist, reversing my losses. Just like every other stinkin’ time.

Feds: No Steak For You


shutterstock_93064210Every five years, the federal government comes out with dietary guidelines. 2015 will see the next set of recommendations. Hamburger lovers should worry, but a quick perusal of notes from the year-long series of meetings show that the committee will likely not break too much new ground: eat less red meat and more vegetables, fruit is good, soda pop is evil, etc.

Well, there is one big change: the assorted nutritionists, cancer specialists, and pediatricians have weighed in on agriculture and found it wanting. We farmers need to be more sustainable. No one could argue with that, although I’m not sure that their definition of sustainability and mine would line up.

Their mistake here is sort of interesting. When the dietary mandarins talk about sustainability, they mean agriculture should use less energy and fewer resources. Well, actually, they don’t know a darned thing about farming, but they know they’d like us to eat less red meat, and surveys of greenhouse gas emission usually credit cows as being large contributors. Although red meat consumption has been dropping like a stone, it hasn’t been fast enough for the dietary panel, and they’ve decided to give their recommendations a decidedly green cast.