Wednesday, February 25, 2015

For The Health Of Freedom

Imagine that its 1787 and you have been appointed to be a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. As you enter Independence Hall you take a seat near James Madison, Father of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton coauthor of the Federalist Papers and the Father of our Nation General George Washington of Virginia.   

As the delegates or “demi-gods” as approvingly described by Thomas Jefferson commence forming a new nation the honor could not be more palpable.  The God given freedom that had been declared just over a decade earlier and subsequently won from the British crown in a bloody war was about to be inscribed in perhaps the greatest document ever penned by man in all of human history.

While picturing this scene then also try to imagine this. What if in the midst of debating the three branches of government, separation of powers, qualifications for the office of the president and so on a delegate rose to suggest that this our founding document include limits for daily intake of cholesterol, recommended levels of daily sodium, a tax on food products with added sugar and a litany of other dietary guidelines and rules that each citizen should adhere to. What do you suppose would be the reaction of the 55 delegates gathered there?

I suspect that those men who had only recently cast off the shackles of a tyrannical government through a costly war would not stand idly by to allow the government they were forming to exact similar control. Yet today a mere 228 years later the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee 2015 has made recommendations that our government do just that.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in its recent report stated that 117 million of our fellow citizens have a preventable diet related illness. The root cause of these illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are laid squarely at the feet of the typical American diet. That diet they say includes too few fruits and vegetable and too much fat, sodium and processed foods. What is their prescribed fix is a cadre of nutrition related policies, standards, programs and services that will “promote population wide healthy dietary patters and physical activity”.

At issue here is not whether we eat too much fat, too few vegetables or more that our share of sweets. The issue is not even one of health or of healthcare. Moreover it is not about minutes on the elliptical, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol level or any other health related metric. What is at issues if freedom.

Our government has no business what so ever commenting on, recommending, regulating or prescribing what when and how we eat. The Constitution and its subsequent amendments are still the supreme law of the land and ultimately that law provides for the protection of individual liberty from the clutches of an over reaching government. 

It is our duty and must be our aim as citizens of this great country who understand the delicate nature of freedom to seek to protect it as diligently today as those men did in 1787.  Health and its maintenance is a personal matter that should in no way  involve government at any level. What has made ours a great nation is freedom. Let is seek to maintain the health of that freedom. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Have You Noticed?

The picture of my grandparents standing side by side on their 25th Wedding anniversary is one of a handsome, happy and healthy couple. Both in their forties they are dark haired, rugged and able bodied. The photo of their 50th anniversary is much different. She is bound to a wheel chair, he walks with a stoop and both are but shadows of that strong stalwart pair of a short quarter century before.

To say that aging changes us is a profound understatement. Think of your own grandparents, parents or even yourself: dark hair turns gray, smooth skin becomes wrinkled, eyes once clear and sharp grow blurry and dim and strength gives way to weakness. With age comes change and these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Aging changes every conceivable attribute of the human frame and yet we are constantly told that we should aim to stay thin throughout our lifespan. Why is our weight the one facet of aging that should not change? What if weight gain is simply a natural part of the aging process? And if it is then why does medical science insist that we maintain our college freshman weight into our senior years?  

Simple observation points out that almost everyone gains weight as they age. Some gain a little while others gain a little more. Even those who are naturally thin in their twenties will weigh more as they enter middle age and beyond.

This simple observation seems to be lost on those in the government/medical/nutrition establishment. From them we constantly hear that maintaining a healthy weight is within our grasp and that weight gain is a factor that we can and should control. Moreover they assert that maintaining a healthy weight (insert your definition of that concept here) will stave off many of the associated ills of aging.

The traditional point of view on weight and obesity says that it results from laziness and is the root cause of every major human malady from hypertension to diabetes and stroke to heart disease. In truth these are by and large diseases of aging.  Once a person reaches the age of 60 then their likelihood of succumbing to one of these major contributors to mortality increases no matter what the scale says.

As long as researchers can rake in the cash, politicians can pontificate and doctors can dictate to us about our weight nothing will change. It is a racket giving those in authority, only by nature of position, to tell us, the huddled masses, what is good for us. Maybe its time to rethink who the experts are because they are so often wrong. Have you noticed?  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Here's Why

Do you know the one missing ingredient in the discussion of health and nutrition? There is one side of this discussion that is avoided by experts and diet doctors alike. What’s missing is common sense.

There are some common themes that ring out whenever the subject of nutrition and health come up. These themes include eating healthy, getting healthy, avoiding obesity, losing weight and on it goes. Every diet plan and prescription hinges on these ideas in some way.

The common sense questions that I think of when this subject is raised are what does it really mean to eat healthy and who defines it? What does it mean to be healthy and isn’t that different for different people. Is everyone supposed to weight the same and is there no variability between people? Also why do most who lose weight end up gaining it back and then some?

These questions have come from observations I have made through the years working in the food and nutrition arena. Such questions stand in stark contrast to what passes for modern expertise on the subject of health and nutrition.

The diet industry with all of its celebrity experts in cahoots with the government/medical/nutrition complex promote and publish lots of opinion pertaining to healthy eating. Most of what is promoted as truth in this arena amounts only to conjecture on the part of experts seemingly aiming to preserve and promote themselves.

That is the reason for the Eating Right blog because nutrition and health information should be based on the truth not opinion. Also because the establishment needs to be challenged on the assumptions it makes regarding our health.

Therefore Eating Right will hopefully be a regular stop on your daily web travels a stop that heralds common sense truth and exposes the darkness of error to the light.  

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