Sunday, April 28, 2019

Type 2 Nutrition #482: “What are you teaching these kids?”

In the Schwab TV commercial, Carl, a salesman for a rival stock broker, is addressing an elementary school class. When one of the students asks what his firm has to offer, Carl says, “Good question!” But when the kid replies to the broker’s answer with what Schwab has to offer, Carl asks, “What are you teaching these kids?”
Now THAT’S a good question! Both kids and adults in the U. S. have been subject to the government’s ideas about nutrition for over half a century. It all started in the 50s and 60s and got much worse in 1977 with the McGovern Committee’s Dietary Goals and then in 1980 with the very first Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The result is plain to see. We for the most part have followed the government's advice. Many have no choice. The military eats what the government cooks for them, and they are getting fatter and fatter. You can’t blame that on a lack of exercise, can you? Our schools and hospitals are subject to these HHS/USDA guidelines too.
So, what have they been teaching us and our kids? To lose weight and be healthy: eat less and move more. Don’t eat red meat or processed meat. Don’t eat meat! Or cholesterol or salt! Don’t eat saturated (solid) fat, found in animal products. Instead, eat processed “vegetable” oils (soybean, corn, Canola, etc.), all of them UNHEALTHY polyunsaturated fats manufactured by Agribusiness and subsidized by the USDA!
Doctors too are having an increasingly difficult time under the influence of government Dictocrats. To survive they are now part of large groups and hospital practices where corporate number crunchers are monitoring your personal medical records to see that the clinician is recording that he advised you to eat a mostly plant-based diet and get the recommended amount of exercise. If your doctor hasn’t advised you to do this, you’re lucky; he or she is still in private practice but is at risk of HHS sanctions and increasing “negative payment adjustments” if this is not in your patient notes. Their Medicare reimbursements will decrease by 9% by 2022.
So, what’s to be done about it? Obviously, the macro solution is to get legislators out of the business of telling people what to eat, but that is not going to happen. There will always be politicians who think they know what’s best for everyone. They will always want to impose their will on the rest of us, by legislation. They will argue that it is the proper role of government to look after the “general welfare” of the citizenry, to justify with legislation anything that is not expressly “enumerated” as powers granted to them by the Constitution.
In this they have been abetted by a Supreme Court which has leaned slightly left and extended power to Congress to legislate away your freedoms, all in the name of the “general welfare.” Some, who espouse a civil libertarian point of view, objected, but others, to right of center, relented to pressure for the “general good.”
Today, however, the tide is changing. In 2002, on the advice of my doctor who just wanted me to lose weight, I started to eat Very Low Carb. He had been nudging me for years, telling me to eat a “balanced” diet, but “eat less and exercise more.” I even worked with his dietician, all to no avail. Then in July of that year he read a NYT Sunday magazine cover story, “What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie.” He followed the diet himself, quickly lost 17 pounds and suggested I try it. I lost 170 pounds and abruptly stopped almost all my diabetes meds early on.
More and more people (and many doctors) are discovering this Way of Eating. There are now thousands of practitioners worldwide who publicly practice this way, and 10s of thousands more who would tacitly support your decision to change the way you eat. After all, doctors and related health professionals are interested in results and are persuaded by evidence. Not only will you lose weight easily this way, and do it without hunger, your blood tests of metabolic markers, BP and inflammation, will improve dramatically. That’s real evidence.
The tide is also changing on the Supreme Court. The balance of power is now 5 to 4 for a more conservative interpretation of the “general welfare” clause. And soon it could be 6 to 3. Personally, I will be much happier if and when Congress and the Courts decide that government should have less to say about what we eat.

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