Thursday, November 08, 2007

Do we understand ANYTHING about diet and health??


I've blogged before about the weak relationship between eating fat and death (http://jimdavies.blogspot.com/2006/08/ok-im-serious-this-time-now-does.html). It seemed to me that as long as you were not getting obese, you can eat however much dietary fat you want.

Well, the world just keeps getting weirder.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/health/07fat.html?ex=1352091600&en=df140405014189b6&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Turns out overweight people have a lower death rate than people with "normal" weight.

Now, I'm not a nutritionist. It just seems to me that the evidence for the relationship between diet and health is extremely tenuous. How confident can we be in the so-called facts when studies like this come out? Are we really so confident in our opinions about how diet affects health that it's rational to suffer as people do, eating the disgusting diet food they do, like whole-grain pizza crust and soy cheese?

We used to think that eating fat made you fat. Atkins changed all that.

Then we thought that eating fat made you die of heart disease. The evidence doesn't look good either.

And now it turns out that being overweight might not even make you die sooner.

And I have to eat these God-awful lean hamburgers at restaurants?

I'll give you my opinion on nutrition, for what it's worth: The relationships between diet, genes, stress, exercise, and health are so poorly understood that you should not drive yourself crazy trying to "eat right." That is to say that eating right for me might be different from eating right for you, and we have no idea how to know.

If you want to be thin to be attractive, fine. But in terms of health, yes, LOLCAT, you CAN has cheezburger.

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