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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Joe Don't Know Nutrition

Quick do you know a recipe for a know nothing self appointed role model? Mine is easy just add one celebrity and take off 100 pounds. Such is the current case with Joseph Antonio Cartagena aka rapper Fat Joe. He like many celebrities who have lost weight has become a self appointed prophet of nutrition and health. His marked weight loss is laudable and remarkable but his knowledge of food and nutrition and the impact they have on health is ridiculous.

A recent feature on the Fox News Latino website attributes the following quotes to rapper, nutritionist and role model Fat Joe. First he said “Restaurants can be an anathema to eating the right foods, they give you like a pound of rice and think they are looking out for you but they are killing you”.

Joe then implies that people are dying young from eating fried foods and a lot of rice.

To crystallize his message as a newly crowned food guru Joe declares that “The biggest killer of people is food”. Food he says kills more people that AIDS, gun violence or war. 

Finally while on he was still on a roll Joe cleared the air instructing us that “Carbs is what’s giving you the diabetes and what’s giving people heart attacks!


Allow me to respond to each claim in order. First restaurants are not in the business of looking out for your health they are in business to make money. Also consider that when you make rice at home it is next to impossible to make only what is needed for the ½ to 1 cup portion recommended by nutrition experts. In both cases nothing stops you from only eating what you need! If you get a pound of rice at a restaurant or happen to cook a pound at home if you don’t need it don’t eat it.  I wonder if Joe would consider his mother an anathema for serving too much rice.

Next if people are dying from eating fried foods and too much rice and that fact were obvious to the rest of us wouldn’t we stop eating those foods? People don’t tend to do things that are obviously harmful to them. So if eating an order of fries or a doughnut is going to kill me today then no thanks. If I eat fries and live to 80 can the fries be blamed? Sorry to inform Joe but on the whole we are living longer and healthier lives despite eating fried foods.

Then we learn that the biggest killer of people is food. Hmmm even I am at a loss for words to write at that statement. The fact is that most people, no matter what they eat live into old age. The Centers for Disease Control reported recently that 3 out of 4 deaths occur in the elderly. Furthermore that same CDC report said that death rates from heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes have all fallen in recent years. So if someone lives to the ripe old age of 85 or 90 and get sick and dies is this caused by the foods they ate? The fact is we all face death sooner or later and to try and blame everything on supersized fries is a stretch.

Finally if “carbs” give you diabetes then fruits and vegetables of every sort, oatmeal, brown rice and a host of other healthy foods which just so happen to be carb’s should be eliminated from our diet, right. Wrong! Carbohydrates do not cause diabetes or heart disease either for that matter. If you don’t mind sound science crowding your opinions then the fact is all foods can be eaten on a diabetic meal plan. The meal planning manual published by the American Diabetes Association allows for all foods to be a part of an individual meal planning. The part that really must be managed is the amount of carbohydrate. But hasn’t moderation long been the real tenet of maintaining a healthy diet?

The American Diabetes Association website points out that being overweight is not a guarantee of developing diabetes.  In fact the ADA asserts that most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes and many who have the disease are at a normal body weight.

Interestingly the ADA implicates no one food as causing diabetes. In fact the ADA’s myth busting page points out that a diet high in total calories can lead to weight gain whether those calories are from carbohydrates of fats.


Joe I am not trying to rain on your parade. I really admire your efforts to lose weight and live healthier. Yet since you will be a role model to many given your celebrity status I believe you should have the facts concerning health and nutrition. From now on you stick to rapping and I will cover the nutrition stuff, agree?


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