Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 2002 / 27 Kislev, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
Nutritionally incorrect … and right!?
Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey, stuffing, gravy,
mashed potatoes and the most served dish of all in
America ... guilt.
Every newspaper reader knows it. Americans are growing
wider. According to the federal government, 61 percent of
American adults are overweight -- 26 percent are obese.
Scolds blame McDonald's, bad parenting and big portions.
Fat and happy? Fuggedaboutit.
The scolds conveniently forget another culprit in America's
fat figures: U.S. government weight tables don't set
different standards by gender. The feds calculate that a
6-foot male shouldn't weigh 190 pounds or more. With
standards like that, even the trim can fall into the category
Now the Fat Police are grousing not only that Americans aren't losing enough
weight -- but also that they're not shedding their pounds in a nutritionally correct
A new Duke University Medical Center study found that the infamous high-protein,
low-carbohydrate diet named for its creator, Dr. Robert Atkins, was more
successful than the American Heart Association low-fat diet in helping 120 human
guinea pigs lose weight. Rather than applauding, the Fat Police had a cow.
Apparently, you have to suffer when you diet, or the lost pounds don't count.
In fact, the Atkins diet is not fair. Ask any woman who watched her husband shed
40 pounds while eating bacon and eggs every morning. What's more -- and this
drives the Green Veggy Patrol crackers -- Atkins dieters' cholesterol often
I could never do it. I'd go mad if I couldn't eat pasta, bread or potatoes. When I gain
pounds, I lose weight the old-fashioned way, by starving for weeks on end.
It's clear that Atkins isn't for every one. It's for people who really, really like meat
and can go without starch. Thanksgiving? The Atkins website suggests turkey,
shrimp-stuffed eggs and broccoli puree.
So when the good news on Atkins came out, the Diet Czars simply could have
opined that it's not a diet everyone can stick to.
Instead, one expert told The San Francisco Chronicle, the Atkins diet "makes
money for Dr. Atkins and not much more than that."
That's a misdirected dish when you think of all the snake-oil weight-loss programs
featured on TV that entice the gullible to send in their money for pills and devices
that will allow them to shed pounds while eating what they want -- and those
products don't help consumers to slim down.
Another nutrition expert noted, "Hepatitis C is effective at helping people lose
weight, too," as if shedding pounds while lowering one's cholesterol is synonymous
with getting a debilitating disease.
Hello. There are millions of Americans who daily wolf down a double-cheeseburger
and large fries for lunch, and wash it down with a super-size Coke. Their vegetable
intake for the day will be a pickle, lettuce and tomato slice.
Yet some food purists have nothing better to do than attack a man who tells those
people they can lose weight by dispensing with the bun, the fries and sugary soft
Why? Because the Atkins diet limits intake of fruits and some veggies.
You know, there's a word for people who oppose the healthy shedding of excess
pounds accompanied by a salutary reduction in cholesterol: Twinkies.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate