"thin" does not equal "healthy"

So yesterday, Salon magazine online ran a story about packaged low-carb foods and how awful they are taste-wise. Lately, there have been a number of articles about the “new low-carb” trend and what people are eating to satisfy it – and really – this whole Atkins/low-carb thing is getting more and more twisted every day.

It’s one thing to cut out white sugar and flour – highly refined foods are stripped of nutrients and provide mainly empty calories – but to replace those processed foods with new ones even more loaded with chemicals and by-products but “low-carb” seems bizarre. Even worse is the fact low-carb diets are not conducive to exercise since carbs are what help our muscles to function properly.

Reading the ingredients in the packaged products discussed in the article – it really makes one question the health-value of them, and whether anyone could subsist on such food for any length of time…. Not to mention the new fast-food lettuce wraps which feature two patties of greasy meat wrapped in lettuce leaves – oh yeah, definitely an excellent alternative to those unhealthy fruits and whole grains.

This is without a doubt one of the saddest diet crazes to hit, offering people poor tasting, high-fat entrees and snacks – with little evidence that this plan works better than any other in the long-run. Not only that, but there is plenty of evidence that high-protein and high-fat diets over time can cause all sorts of health nasties. Of course, most people don’t stay on the diet long enough to encounter these problems – but then again most people don’t stay on it long enough to lose any significant amount of weight either.

The problem here is of course our societal messaging that says – “CONSUME” and “BE THIN” and “YOU’RE A NORTH AMERICAN, LIFE SHOULD COME EASY” – making for a combination of conflicts that diets such as Atkins make a lot of money on – coaxing people into believing that they can eat as much of their favourite foods as they want, without having to exercise – and this will bring them to their desired shape.

“Thin” does not equal “Healthy” – as these are two very different goals to work towards – and it’s a shame to see corporations encouraging people to destroy their health in a quest to be thin – just to fill their coffers.

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