Friday, December 4, 2009

Our National Eating Disorder

Any of you who have been reading Losing Weight after 45 is a Bitch for a while knows that I'm a huge fan of Michael Pollan. One of my commentators directed me to this excellent 2004 article by Pollan:

I actually read this article when it was originally published in the New York Times but it was great to read it again.

No country obsesses over food the way we do here in the US. And, what has it gotten us? We are the fattest country on the planet.

That's because our obsessing leads us to crazy fad diets and eating synthetic over processed foods that promise to make us skinny, but only lead to making us fatter.

The message is clear, if you want to lose weight, eat sensibly. That means focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and leave the overly processed foods behind.

It's simple. There's no need to obsess over carbs or fat, just eat real food. As Pollan says, food your great-grandparents would have recognized.

Eating a bunch of grapes will do a whole lot more for your weight-loss/weight-maintenance efforts then a bag of low-fat, low-calorie, low carb cookies.


  1. Pollan is one bright dude. I give a lot of credit to his IN DEFENSE OF FOOD book for encouraging me to clean up my own eating.

  2. I tend to agree with Nigella Lawson. If you're using real ingredients, it's healthy.

    It's no big secret -- well, at least I don't think it is -- that vegetables are low in calorie density and high in nutrient density. Animal products and fat are high in calorie density and lower in nutrient density. That doesn't mean, however, that we exclude one in favor of the other. Though I know a number of people who embrace that extreme view and am aware of those who teach that as the best way to eat.

  3. Great points wosnes.

    I say, eat food as God intended you to eat it. It it comes from a box, can or jar and has corn syrup in it, don't eat it.

    And, going to extremes is, just extreme. Not to mention that people tend to view you as crazy (and you can forget dinner invitations!!)

  4. I think relying on taste is the way to go. It certainly leaves me feeling more content when I eat simple wholesome food.

  5. I always find that if I want something sweet, if I eat something really decadent I'm satisfied with very little. E.g, one really good chocolate truffle is way more satisfying than a whole Kit Kat.

  6. I agree totally, I think I had so many weight problems due to trying to eat "non-fat". Now I eat food (mostly). It's much easier, much tastier, much more satisfying, and I don't have to count anything.