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Monday, December 5, 2011

Survival of the Fattest

Entering the terms obesity and epidemic into any search engine will get you thousands of pages devoted to the latest problem experts say faces our country. I qualify that by saying “experts say” because every self-appointed pseudo-science expert has an opinion on this epidemic and their predictions are usually dire.

Of these experts I have had occasion to discuss these issues with a good number believe somewhat in the Darwinian theory of evolution and his “survival of the fittest” mantra. In short Darwinian disciples believe that man has evolved over millions of years into the form we are currently by a process of natural selection. Natural selection is the idea that the strong survive and the weak die off.

If it is true that we are getting fatter in epidemic proportions and it is also true that there is a process of natural selection at work are the two connected? If what the experts say is true that obesity is on the rise which must mean that skinny is on the decline then obesity must be winning the game of natural selection. If this is true then every intervention promoted by the experts for weight loss and health must be reconsidered immediately lest they be found to act against nature even Darwin himself.

I recommend to these experts a cooling off period of 25 to 50 years and perhaps longer. Give your ideas of weight loss and improved health some time on the sidelines to see of what you are really doing is for or against the natural selection process. If evolution is true and the strong survive then eating less and exercising more may only be standing in the way of nature and do you want that on you resume?

If after the cooling off period all of the fat have died off then your job has been done for you by your god Charles Darwin. Imagine the utopian scene of scores of thin healthy people living life unencumbered by high BMI scores or pant sizes. Imagine all of the fast food industry out of business because there will be no fat people to eat there. Just think of how much time you will have to focus on really important issues without all those fat Twinkie eating people to pull you away from real science.

While I try to be encouraging by foreshadowing your utopia you must also be prepared for the opposite eventuality that all the skinny people die off. Who knows what the turns and paths this natural selection process may take and it may lead to a world full of fat people. A world where lettuce is banned, walking is frowned upon and Ronald McDonald is president. A world where anyone below a size 6 is taken to fat camp to learn how to be fat so as not to be ostracized and ridiculed as all of the other skinnies are.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Who Are The Elitists?

There are a growing number of public health advocates and government bureaucrats who seek to rob our freedom to choose how to live and what to eat. In fact those who have read Eating Right for long will recognize these types as the villain in my essays. Who are they by name?

One of the finger wagers is none other than surgeon and talk show host Dr. Oz. As a cardiothoracic surgeon I have no doubt that Mehmet Oz is effective in treating disease. As a television talk show host spouting opinion with two scoops of hyperbole his prescriptions seem to contain plenty of production value. Why is Dr. Oz lumped in with all of the other food police?

Dr. Oz along with most public health and government health bureaucrats espouses the position that to be healthy we have to be thin and eat according to their menu choices.  Their popular refrain is that we collectively eat too much junk food, too much fast food and get too little physical activity. Therefore they indict the Western world as a nation of obese couch potatoes unlearned and untrained in the right ways, their ways, of health.

On a recent episode of the Dr. Ox Show Dr. Oz has as a guest Dr. Glenn Gaesser. Dr. Gaesser is Associate Director of Health Promotions at Arizona State University and author of Big Fat Lies: The Truth about Your Weight and Your Health. Dr. Gaesser presented Dr. Oz with scientifically sound information on the fact that weight is a poor predictor of health and that good health is possible at any body size. If you didn’t see the show the calm learned manner of Dr. Gaesser put Dr. Oz back on his heels.

What Dr. Gaesser has found in his academic research has supported what we the people have known instinctively for a long time that being a little or even a lot over weight is not always a death sentence. Unfortunately Dr. Oz given his highly visible platform is not persuaded by this common sense message and therefore not likely to begin supporting it. Why?

Health at every size is not glamorous and doesn’t sell as well as does the typical message that thin is in and thin means health. To take away the golden goose of obesity and its epidemic status from health elitists would bring an end to more than a few lucrative careers.   

Finally and perhaps most telling is how the health elitist community revels in the substantive science that undergirds their points of view. They love citing the government agency or commission or academic institution whose findings give legs to what they believe. They though turn a collective blind eye to any information that would overturn their apple cart.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dr. Glenn Gaesser responds to Dr. Oz

Ronald 1-San Francisco Nanny State 0

 Ronald puts the McSmackdown on San Frans Food Police!

If you have not heard the news the city of San Francisco voted to ban the toys in McDonalds Happy Meals as of December 1, 2011. Ronald McDonald demonstrating his razor sharp capitalist prowess has decided to charge 10 cents for each Happy Meal toy and donate the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House.

In honor of the victory over the liberal do gooders who currently govern San Francisco I will be eating at McDonalds soon and buying a Happy Meal toy.