From the New York Times (free registration required):
Yep, that’s it. They’re fuckin’ with us.
They’ve been running around in circles on nutrition issues for years now. “Fat is bad for you! Eat lots of carbohydrates!” “No, wait, fat’s OK–avoid carbohydrates at all costs!” “Eat from the Four Food Groups!” “No, use the Food Pyramid!” “Eat lots of rice, like the Asians!” “Eat like the French: lots of heavy cream sauces, and wine, and wear black all the time!” “Drink fresh cow’s blood, straight from the vein, like the Masai tribesmen–hell, they’re all skinny.” “Chocolate is junk food!” “No, Chocolate is good for you; it’s an ‘anti-oxidant’.” (Of course, we’re all clinging to that last nutritional factoid like the Catholic Church is to orthodoxy; they could come out with 900 additional studies showing that in fact, Chocolate Is Death, and you might as well eat cyanide as eat a Hershey bar, and we’ll all stick our fingers in our ears and say “La la la la la”. On the other hand, if they came out with a study of 90,000 Swedish nurses or whatever that showed that eating lots of Brussel sprouts will add ten or twenty years to your life, we’d all be saying “Great! When can we get essence of Brussel sprout in a little pill that you don’t have to chew or taste?”) So, apart from “Don’t take in so damn many more calories than you burn”, it’s been painfully obvious for a long time that no one has a clue what sort of diet we should all follow.
But “y’all could stand to lose a few pounds”; that was bedrock. Everyone agreed with that one. What’s next? “A new study indicates that exercise is bad for you, and you’re really better off sitting on your ass and watching TV. Hey, Lost is really good.” Or maybe:
(And what the hell does “lower risk of death” mean, anyway? I thought the “risk of death” was pretty much 100%. Is there some magic weight–182 pounds, 6 ounces, 37 drams–where if I can just attain it I’ll live forever?)
Well, I’ve got to drive over to the grocery store and pick up some Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. It’s for my health, y’know.