Early in my children’s lives, I was a no-sugar, no-fat mom, the legacy of my own childhood with a constantly dieting mother. I thought I was doing the right thing, until a friend told me that every time my children stayed at her house, the first thing they did was ask for ice cream. With sprinkles. And chocolate chips. And gummy worms. By rigidly restricting their sugar intake, I had made it a highly sought out pleasure — the last thing I’d intended.
So writes Harriet Brown in another fantastic essay, penned for today’s New York Times. Earlier this year Brown wrote on the connection between nutrition and enjoying one’s food, a point that became especially relevant in light of the fact that Americans are enjoying their food a lot less. Brown’s most recent effort takes the food police to task for twisting perceptions about food and obesity to the detriment of both pleasure and health. Some highlights: On BMI report cards: “‘You’re setting kids up to feel bad about how they are,’ says Dr. Nancy Krebs, chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado.”
On the overstated health importance of obesity: “[N]ew research shows no significant difference in death rates between ‘normal’ and overweight Americans; mortality rates rise only for those with a B.M.I. exceeding 35 — only 8 percent of the country.”
On crash dieting: “One Harvard study showed that 39 percent of nurses who lost weight through dieting regained it, and in fact wound up 10 pounds heavier on average than those who didn’t lose weight.”
Of course, any newspaper article can only scratch the surface of a problem as widespread as the obesity hysteria running rampant in America today. Check out our website ObesityMyths.com for more help in separating fact from fiction.