Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Denial, deceptions, and other dietary fads

I am starting a movement. Well, I'm not exactly sure if one "starts" a movement; they're probably more organic and start of their own volition. Nonetheless, I'm going to do my gosh-darn best to quash the ridiculousness of some of the dieting trends that have invaded society. It is my duty as a professional dieter. I have a voice; I must speak!

I was silent when the low fat movement hit its zenith several years ago. C'mon folks, not everything low fat is healthy. Some candies tout "no fat." Health food? I think not. Vodka is made from potatoes. Can we possibly imagine the absurdity of Mom coaxing her unwilling child with, "Drink your vegetables or you don't get dessert?"

Then came the seemingly unending low-carb epoch; a time in history where even beer promoted net grams. They didn't blatantly say "healthy," but at the height of that craze - when people were frying lard in butter and proclaiming it health food - "low carb" was translated into "keep eating; it's good for you." I almost protested then, but my mouth was too stuffed with bacon, steak, ham, and eggs to speak.

With that fad fading, we now find ourselves adrift in search of the next "eat-all-you-want-but-don't-change-a-thing-and-still-lose-eight-pounds-a-day" miracle diet, soon to be splashed on magazine covers in screaming red bold type. Be wary. The other night a commercial caught my attention because the announcer was talking about balance being the key to long-term health.

"A lighthouse of sanity appears through the fog," I think. Alas, my delicate dietary dinghy was depressingly dashed among the rocks of dopiness as images of sugar-laden, chocolate-covered, peanut butter marshmallow bars attached to descriptions of "nutritious, sensible, and healthful" flittered across my TV screen. I know I'm spending a lot of time perched on this soapbox but simply slapping a label of "healthy" on a product does not make it so. Painting my bicycle red and sticking a bell on the handlebars will not make it a fire engine.

I have kept my mouth shut too long (um, except for that late-night eating issue). It is time to rise up! And as soon as I finish my low-fat, high-fiber, all-natural, zero calorie, polyunsaturated, sodium free, no-carb, lactose-reduced, sugarless, cheese-flavored diet nutrition bar, I've got a good mind to write a letter.

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