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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Skinny Isn't Always Healthy

The drum beat sounding the march that everyone should be thin for better health is never ending. For decades now the mantra of maintaining a healthy body weight leads to better health has been the clarion call of health elitists. Yet statistics show that though we are getting fatter as a nation we are enjoying better health and longer lives than ever. What can we make of this dichotomy? Could it be that the weight loss mantra is meaningless?
Consider a few questions from the other perspective on the topics of skinny and healthy. First when is the last time we heard of someone in our country starving. Not just missing a meal or two but really on the verge of death from a lack of adequate nutrition? I contend that such is rare in our bountiful nation. The fact that we are obsessed with losing weight to achieve better health should be counted as a great blessing rather and a persistent plague. Billions of dollars are spent annually by thousands trying to get healthy when for all practical purposes they already are.
Next try and recall the latest news report on rampant vitamin deficiencies in America. Google all you want but you won’t find such a story because none exists. It has been over 70 years since there were issues on a large scale with lack of adequate vitamin and mineral intake in this country. Such problems were long ago solved with laws requiring the enrichment and fortification of the food supply with nutrients. Many of those strange sounding ingredients on a food label such as riboflavin and pyridoxine are simply the proper names of common vitamins and minerals. The idea that our food isn’t as nutritious as it used to be is flatly false.
Finally think about the last time you had trouble locating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean meats to eat. The short answer is that no one ever has real difficulty finding such foods. Those pesky health elitists would have us believe that many have trouble locating these foods relegating them to consume a steady diet of easily accessible junk food. The only junk is this theory is this theory. It may be accurate to theorize that a lot of people choose to eat junk foods instead of fresh fruits and vegetables but certainly not due to availability.
The bottom line in this eating right and exercising are not a guarantee of good health. Not that they are inherently bad or wrong but why should anyone be guilted into doing them. Observation alone reveals that dieting has little if any long term benefits as most gain the weight back. Perhaps the health utopia that is being sought is just pie in the sky, pun intended!

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