Diet With An Attitude

An approach to weight control that delves into attitudes about weight, shape, appearance, and health. It requires a re-alignment of America's infatuation with food and painless dieting.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July -- Food For Thought

Independence Day has long been celebrated by parades, flag flying, and most wonderful and ethereal of all, fireworks. Due to a record of accidental burns and the behavior of a few hooligans, home fireworks are now banned in most communities. The number of parades is dwindling as downtown Main Streets become replaced by suburban malls.

So what is left?

What is always left?


July 4th now means barbeques - look at the holiday food sections of the major newspapers that teem with recipes and cooking tips. Our traditional holidays have become one feast after another.

Thanksgiving, by its very nature, was always about food although the scrawny wild turkeys of the 18th Century wouldn't recognize their current hormone-hulked cousins, poultry on steroids, and the fresh bounty of the earth has been pretty well enveloped by candied toppings, greasy gravies, and butter-dripping fiber-free rolls. Other holidays have torn away from their past to land squarely on the dining tables of the fattest nation on earth.

What happened to Christmas caroling and sleigh rides? There was no time left after the gluttonous family feast. What happened to gaily painted hard boiled Easter eggs? They morphed into rich, beautifully decorated and virtually impossible to resist, chocolate monstrosities. The hand-drawn, heart-felt Valentines we produced thirty years ago are replaced by the ultimate gift of the heart, a box of Godivas.

We are a food-in-your-face society. The world of endless sales pitches and cutthroat marketing has made every occasion commercialized to death. Over 40 billion dollars a year is spent by Madison Avenue on putting new spins on what we eat.

Trying to buck the relentless focus on eating is like a salmon fighting its way upstream. Starting a strict diet is akin to paddling a kayak into Niagara Falls and wondering why it overturns. It is not surprising that our weight loss attempts fail. What is truly astonishing is that 40% of us are NOT overweight!

Kudos to those who manage to dodge the slings and arrows of our outrageous food focus - please share your secrets with us.


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