Tempest in a Tea Cup, Wisdom in a Sake Cup
What an oxymoron the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has turned out to be. This vegan organization has one colossal ax to grind with their archrival, Darth Atkins. This is an old score that they've unfairly flung in front of the public before, all in the effort to squash the low carb idea and its adherents.
The first time was when Robert Atkins suffered his fatal accident, a cranial blow that caused edema - when water accumulates within the tissues. This tragic condition, obviously, caused his body to fill with fluid and thus, his overall weight to rise.
The so-called "Responsible Physicians" seized on this dying man's condition by calling Atkins obese - which he was not - and telling everyone who would listen that his diet killed him - which it did not.
In the end, all they accomplished is to add bitterness and confusion to nutrition science by their shrill, unfair attacks on those who happen to disagree with them.
So, after maligning a dead man, they've now put up Florida businessman Jody Gorran to sue the Atkins Corporation. Gorran - channeling those Responsible Physicians - made the following claims. First, Atkins was a doctor and Gorran was on his diet. Second, he had to have heart angioplasty to clear his arteries after 2 years on the diet. And third, he reasoned, of the 40,000 factors that affect weight and health ? the Atkins approach must have been the very one to have done it to him.
Of course, I'm no low carb acolyte, and do anxiously encourage the lemmings to rebound back from the intoxication with this high protein approach. But you still have to be fair, or you lose integrity, credibility, and confuse everyone in the process. That's why the Responsible vegans need to go sit in time out, before heading off to their anger management therapy.
But from our perspective, their messy food fight is about more than one group flinging their high carb carob at Atkins' sausage-n-cheese omelet. It's about hearing an off-key chorus of competing messages from different camps of experts. In the midst of all this confusion, dietary decisions get left in the hands of you and me. We could pick the Krispy Kreme diet if we wanted, or low fat, or low carb, and find some scientific validation for any of it.
So what's the sane middle ground? What lies between low fat and low carb? And most importantly, what rational guidance are we supposed to draw upon when planning dinner or a grocery store trip?
The best solution is to step back out of the niggling experts and think more intuitively about a healthy lifestyle approach.
For example, browsing through the import store this past week, on the hunt for a Sake set for a birthday present, one particular set bore a list of ten rules for living. I would love to see these simple maxims advised as basic common sense strategies.
- Eat less sugar, more fruit
- Use little salt, more vinegar
- Put less food in the mouth, chew more
- It is better to give than to receive
- Control your temper, laugh more often
- Speak fewer words, take more action
- Worry less, get plenty of sleep
- Sit less, walk more
- Wear only as much clothes as you need, bathe often
Rules like these work, have as much to do with your lifestyle as anything else, and ultimately improve your weight and health. The various diet experts may gnash their teeth at some pet idea mislaid, but you and I will find it hard to disagree with such basic common sense.
Will Clower, Ph. D.
Dr. Will Clower is the award-winning author of The Fat Fallacy and founder of The PATH Curriculum, The PATH Online, and Newsletter.
The PATH: America's weight solution.