Starving Dietitian

(Un)Healthy Showmanship

Hey Foodies! Sometimes picking my fingers back up feels like waking from a long nap, slightly creaky, a little groggy. Part of my quiet has been a major life change, a move, closer to family and childhood friends. But the other part is simply a lack of inspiration.

I have always held that I didn’t want to write about something that I didn’t feel strongly about. I’m not in this for the views, I’m just looking to provide a reasonable perspective on this side of the World.

I see life as a cycle of building and trimming. Build the muscle, trim the fat. Build the foundation, trim the scrap. Rinse, repeat. Sometimes my periods of silence are building new opinions, or adjusting old ones.

Today I’ve come to crack down on a seriously harmful presentation of nutrition that I think is damaging the whole foundation of nutrition.

The showboaters, the gloaters, the nutritional elitists.  These are the people killing your motivation, making it seem like nutrition is impossible or uber complicated.

The fact that our ancestors were (mostly) able to survive and reproduce for literally thousands of generations is proof that nutrition isn’t that difficult. It might have become difficult, through marketing and false witch-hunts, but make no mistake that doesn’t mean it is difficult.

Back to the point.

The problem with modern thinking about health and nutrition is the asterisks that come along with it. “*Local, *Organic, *Grass Fed”, you name it. For all I know each word added to the package costs the consumer an extra 20 cents.

It has long be known that the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity belongs to the so called lower classes. It seems that as much as we know, cheap food, not the type or amount of food, is the real cause for blame.

Let’s rewind to the 20th century; better yet make it the 17th century; when the majority of people were malnourished and only the upper class could afford excess. A plump rump to put it kindly, was a sign of prosperity – much like pale skin signifying you didn’t need to work in the sun. Flip to today and we seemed to have spun this 180 degrees, now tan skin and and a slim physique signify free time and thus prosperity. I think it speaks volumes that one of the prevalent diets of today; paleo – is so committed to upper class foods. It’s a diet that proclaims, “Look! Everyone can be skinny if they can just afford steak and lobster for breakfast, caviar and bison for lunch, etc. etc.

This way of thinking is not wrong; I think the nutrient density alone speaks for itself, but parading it as an attainable solution for everyone is elitist self-indulgence. If we really want to change, we have to focus on what can be done at the extremes of societal eating at the wages of the every-person. Until we solve that dilemma, we’re only kidding ourselves into ignoring the larger problem at hand and pretending we have it figured out.

pale_starvingrd

 

People who say they eat like this each and every day are one of two things. A) Super rich or B) Lying to you.

The way I see this is the equivalent of eating exotic meats. Is it cool to say you’ve eaten Arizona snake meat or endangered white tiger meat? Perhaps, but it has nothing to do with the central tenets of nutrition. It’s nutritional showmanship, plain and simple.

I see a lot of Dietitians post pictures like this and can’t help but imagine them trying to explain to someone on foodstamps how they can go about affording walnut kale smoothies each morning for a family of 6.

Worse yet I’ve seen so many fringe-healthy foods on these peoples pages I have to wonder whether they’re being sponsored by these companies. Something to keep in mind next time you feel like you just can’t live up to their expectations.

Again, I’m not saying these are unhealthy foods. If you have the money to afford it more power to you. I’m saying there’s more than one way to achieve a healthful diet and the real solution to obesity isn’t going to cost $20 a meal. 

<End Rant>

Be Good to Each Other

Joshua Iufer, RD

 

 

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