Obesity in America

After a two year loan to the United States , Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy…

I’ve seen this before and think I might have years back posted about it, but I thought it was worth posting again since I have been hearing so much about the HBO 4 part documentary: The Weight of the Nation.

Certainly not a topic most food sites want to take on in between crumble recipes, but one that really is of concern to all of us and that needs to be addressed, but how?  Everyone seems to have different ideas.  Yes, being active is important, not eating processed foods is  essential, no one ever lost weight eating big Mac’s and Twinkies, but there is more to it than this.  The only time I  have ever lost a lot of weight (25 pounds) was when I was told, about 6 years ago, that I was a type 1 diabetic.  I didn’t think it was possible for a man in his forties to become a type 1 diabetic: I was wrong.  It so freaked me out I thought by starving myself I could reverse the disease.  What I did to lose this weight was to seriously eliminate carbohydrates from my diet.  The nutritionist told me I had to eat 130 grams a day as a baseline.  I had days where I ate 30 grams.  No fruit, no root vegetables, no bread…it was hell, but I lost a lot of weight.  Then I went on insulin and gained it all back and then some.

Gary Taubes in the Daily Beast writes a provocative article about how the anti-obesity campaigners are missing the point, that not all calories are created equally and goes on to discuss how much energy is required to burn a calorie and just how much exercise you would need to do in order to burn off those fries. He makes some very good points that remind me of my struggle to lose weight and what it took.  Unlike type 2 diabetes type 1 doesn’t repsond to weight lose so insulin was in my future no matter how stubbornly in denial I was.

What that taught me was the power of sugar and carbohydrates and the impact they make  on making you fat.  Next time you go for a glass of orange juice think about the 6 oranges it took to make that glass and how you would never eat 6 oranges in one sitting, and how can drinking all that sugar without the fiber the fruit naturally provides if you eat it whole, be good for you?

It’s a fascinating conversation and one so essential to be having right now, here is the trailer for The Weight of the Nation.  I’d love to hear your stories, struggles and thoughts in the comment section.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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