Wednesday, July 09, 2014

2264 Paleorific

We all know that health and diet are intertwined. And that the quickest way to a best seller is to write a convincing book about the next great diet craze. Good sex and good eating compete for satisfactory reading sensations and publishing success.

So it was with interest I read an article recently about a guy named Roland Sturm, a senior economist at the RAND organization. He postulates we're all obese because food is so cheap. 

RAND researchers concluded that Americans spend a smaller portion of their income on food than in previous decades. In the Thirties, 25% of Americans' disposable income went for food. Now it's just 10%. But we're eating 20% more calories.

The answer, Sturm says, is not to make food more expensive, but to make healthier food, like vegetables and such, less expensive than junkfood. Then again, if other scientists are right, (I don't know I'm not a scientist) global warming should take care of the food cheapness problem as crops fail worldwide from shifting regions of droughts and floods.

Another recent anti-obesity craze has been the paleo diet. Essentially a riff on the Atkins diet, it says that eating the way we did when we were cavemen will lead to better health. Oddly, recent science indicates that previous science was wrong about the no-fat diet. At last as far as eating no fat meant adding sugar to compensate for the lost flavor. 

The paleo diet has a certain appeal. Why not eat hanks of smoking fire-roasted animals dripping with fat? And a gather or two of fruits, roots and nuts? Personally, I'll embrace the paleo diet, as long as someone will assure me that cavemen ate Oreos and Doritos. 

But remember, paleo-anthropologist scientists tell us the average lifespan of a caveman was 37. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

No comments: