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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

OK, Paleo Advocates, Can We Get Real?

Some paleo diet advocates, like this guy, contend that obese and diabetic people have been "deceived" by the government into eating the way they do.

In rural Pennsylvania, I see quite a few obese people. I even see them in the check-out line at the supermarket. ("Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're obese.") When I do, here is the "ideal type" of what I see in their carrello: pork spare ribs, hot dogs, white bread, doughnuts, cheese doodles, fried chicken, marshmallows, quart bottles of Pepsi-Cola, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, Slim Jims, jello, pork skins, gummy bears, pound cake, and a carton of cigarettes.

So, exactly which government agency has been "deceiving" these people into thinking that this is a good diet?

9 comments:

  1. Reverse psychology, duh

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  2. Good afternoon, Dr. Callahan.

    I think that you are lying. Do you really expect me to believe that these people have jello in their carts?

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    1. I saw a couple the other day checking out with their cart filled about halfway up with only jello and pudding.

      True.

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  3. I think the argument is more subtle than that. I'm pretty sure just about every obese person in America has at least thought about losing weight, and most have tried dieting. The problem is that conventional wisdom (USDA recommendations, among others) tells people to eat a high-carbohydrate diet with lots of complex carbohydrates (conveniently subsidized by Uncle Sam) with a steady calorie deficit and hours of chronic cardio (slaving on the treadmill) to lose weight. The USDA guidelines aren't 100% bs - Americans ought to eat less sugars and refined grains - but evidence clearly shows that ketogenic, paleo-like diets are far better for fat loss and overall health than glucogenic ones.

    Obviously the problem has far more to do with culture and business than government. Big business and the media feed people with a get-rich-and-beautiful-fast -mentality ("Forget that cardio - get shiny new abs with our Magic Vibrating Belt and 'low-fat' chocolate chip cookies!") that is unrealistic and unhealthy, but couple that with USDA's bad advice and it's no wonder permanent fat loss is a statistical anomaly. I don't believe the USDA website is the first place people go to for dietary guidance, but even if the government isn't completely complicit in the obesity epidemic, it certainly isn't helping matters.

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    Replies
    1. "sorry to be so blunt"
      "sorry to use such harsh language"

      You're sorry, but you do it anyways. And then you follow it up with, "but this is truth", as to say, "I'm sorry I have to call you an idiot and a moron but I'm compelled to because I think its the truth, and so I just have to do it." Gene, that is an incredible level of jerkery. I know this is your blog, and so you can do what you want, but my goodness, can you at least just tone it down a bit?

      And the only reason I ask this is because I enjoy your blog and respect your point of view, but I think you'll agree the DeLongian reply method won't necessarily increase viewership.

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    2. How about some middle ground: advising people to eat 11 servings of grains a day is pretty stupid.

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    3. Yes, Jason, those comments were too harsh.

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    4. Silas, there is a reason that graphic you link to is called "old food pyramid"!

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    5. Were you being a bad boy again, Dr. Callahan? Tisk tisk.

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