In the past few years I've received a few magazine subscriptions for free, but having read their diet and exercise advice I found myself glad that I hadn't paid anything for them!
Of course the routine offenses include recommendation of healthy whole grains, soy milk and soy formula, celebration of "real sugar" over HFCS, etc.
So, this morning I decided that my eye twitch hadn't been activated in a long time, therefore I ask you:
Post a quote of the most cringe-inducing New Year's Resolution geared nutrition/exercise/health advice you've read, heard, or watched in the mainstream press. I'll leave it to you whether or not to name the source, but really the interesting thing for me to discover in your responses is how over-the-top bad such advice could get.
The most jaw-droppingly egregious offenders when listed with a brief but valid rebuttal of your own (can link to another PaleoHacks question or sources as relevant) should get the most votes.
Edit to add (01/20/2011): These submissions have blown me away. Having read them, I've graduated from reactivated eye twitch to full body shudders and hives, so thank you to all who participated with these appalling examples. Get in your last votes tonight as there were some very good latecomers - the bounty deadline is tomorrow. :)
The menu at schools might get revamped to offer healthier choices. I think this is a great idea, but of course, the changes are not all great.
The proposed rules are far more wide-ranging and would gradually reduce sodium, limit starchy vegetables, ban most trans fats, require fat-free or lowfat milk, increase whole grains, add more fruits and vegetables, and, for the first time, limit the number of calories children consume daily.
The proposed changes don't say anything about protein and seem to be removing any trace of fat, healthy or otherwise. This could possibly be a step up from pizza and french fries, but it's nowhere near what kids, or anyone, needs to fully function throughout the day.
Be sure and read the part that says we want healthy kids so we can send them to the military...
i hate how many of my girlfriends are signing up for weight watchers every january. they probably lose 10 or 15 pounds, then fall off the wagon. all they talk about are "points" and fat-free this and sugar-free that. they tell me about every component of their nutritionally void meals with a hungry gleam in their eye. they are obsessed with food, like someone whos been in a POW camp. they tie their emotional well being to how many points they ate that day, then feel depressed, despondent and hopeless when, come march, they are off the program. they are ashamed that they "failed" (again) so they keep it all a secret. i hate watching them spiral up and down, emotionally and weight-wise, for the first three months of every year.
an old friend just proudly told me about her first meal on The Program this morning- one cup of skim milk, one cup of cheerios, one slice of whole wheat toast with 1tbs peanut butter. then, one of her other WW friends talked her out of the peanut butter because "it has too many points."
they dont strive for strength, speed, health or long life; they want to be skinny. they want to look 20 again, erasing all evidence of their child rearing and aging. they just want to look like the airbrushed woman on the cover, and as long as their goals are that unrealistic and that unattainable, they will continue to feel like failures and i hate that. they are wonderfully beautiful, strong women who deserve health and vitality. ive mentioned paleo to them, but they are set in their ways. i hope someday they will hear me.
ETA: i have a friend who i have been trying to convince to go paleo, who is obese and MISERABLE and tired. i sent her all the info, she was psyched. on facebook she posted a picture of her dinner- a hugel pile of pasta, meat sauce and garlic bread. i said, "so much for paleo, hu?" and she replied, "Yeh i did it for almost three days and felt so sick by the third day. Very lethargic and my tummy was upset. I have to have carbs (as in grains) I just dont think its for me but i wanted to try it to see. Moderation is key...its just a matter of being able to apply that discipline ...the battle for most of us. But when i couldnt go to the bathroom i know its not good for me. I cant say whose way is right or wrong. Weight is an issue for alot of us...i am hypoglycemic..i could feel my sugar was extremely low and was shaking headache dizzy...once i had some sugar it was like someone flipped the switched. Im sure what i was experiencing was a combination of detox symptoms..but im not one who really eats meat..and i dont eat fish..except maybe some shrimps once in a great while. Im trying to incorporate a variety but within moderation. I did however, use whole grain pasta, organic beef and tomato sauce and some spices. The garlic bread was not though..but i just had one piece and cut my spaghetti serving in half and drank water and small glass of red wine...but that was all i ate today except my morning coffee and rasberry iced tea midday. I never eat breakfast. We all have different body types. Now to just get my ass off the sofa."
so, then your body type is UTTER DENIAL?
ETA: umm, can i edit this AGAIN? i just saw a yoplait yogurt commercial. "you can lose five pounds in two weeks by just replacing breakfast and lunch with a fruit, a grain and a low fat yoplait light!" i bet i can also lose weight if i ate one twinkie a day, or on a diet of chocolate-dipped crickets. this might fall under the category of "just be cause you can, doesnt mean you should."
I detest The New Year Cleanse-Fest that most healthy magazines go on around now. I hate it. "Eat nothing but grapes for a week and hot water with lemon, then slowly build yourself up again with a green salad in the afternoon from day 7, then introduce one piece of LEAN chicken breast on day 10. Don't forget to drink plenty of water" Even men's magazines seem to be great advocates of The Cleanse.
Why do we need a cleanse in the first place, because we ate bad things at Christmas? Chips? Cookies? Cake? Chocolates?
I wish I could post this photo in every magazine I see (but of course never buy) at this time of year. Perhaps one day I will take out an ad.......what horror it would create. If only people realise that fat is the greatest cleanser of all......
I think they are drinking BABYCHAM........
"Choose brightly colored fruits and vegetables plus the brown of whole grains. Your diet should look like a rainbow with a complement of brown, says Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis and the voice of the syndicated radio show Eating Right Minute." - Web MD
At the risk of being scatalogically vulgar, that "complement of brown" might as well be another brown substance...neither is food.
The "Special K" challenge is 'specially horrifying. It's as mainstream as they come and it's a perfect storm of mindless consumerism and empty "nutritional" advice.
Basically, you buy Kelloggs products and eat them morning, noon, and night for 14 days to lose up to 4.8 pounds. Almost all contain HFCS and are processed, packaged, and designed to fill you up for about 15 minutes, until you start craving another "snack".
Here's a great criticism of the program:
Check out the meal plan. Little of this is actually food:
Terrifying and sad.
"High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar that is handled by your body like sugar or honey." covered in detail by this website: http://www.sweetsurprise.com/learning-center/what-is-hfcs
They have experts: "... to read quotes about high fructose corn syrup from the American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association, the Food and Drug Administration, medical doctors, registered dietitians, academic researchers and consumer advocates" http://www.sweetsurprise.com/experts-on-hfcs
Click here for THE BENEFITS OF HFCS http://www.sweetsurprise.com/learning-center/hfcs-benefits
My teenage daughter showed me this website and passed it onto me. This sickens me and I think she learned about it at school ???? errr!
I have finally gotten my hands on the evil Women's World magazine my MIL adores. My biggest problem is that they take bits and pieces of things and turn them into MIRACLES! and cover them in EXCLAMATIONS POINTS! and by the time you are done reading the magazine you have no idea what to do first, so you do nothing.
My first pick:
The 12 cent pill that firms you up!
Feel sore after a workout? Pop an ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) Not only do they ease pain, they also boost muscle mass after resistance training! Ball State University Researchers found that these painkillers promote metabolic changes that allow the body to add more protein to muscles, bulking them up!
or how about...
Tone Muscles with Milk!
Been doing resistance training exercises such as lifting weights, but haven't seen the body toning results you want? Here's the problem: As you get older it gets harder for your body to build muscle at any age - sip milk! In their recent study, women who drank 2 cups of what free milk within one hour of doing resistance training exercises gained more muscle and lost more fat after 12 weeks than women who didn't! Milks secret power: It could be that the combo of calcium, protein and vitamin D in milk delivers cell building nutrients to muscles, says lead study author Stuart Phillips, Ph. D.
The lead study author doesn't even know why it works? I hate that it is skim milk. And I hate that they talk about the "secret power".
Inducing drowsiness with oatmeal
Eating a bowl of carb rich oatmeal or whole grain toast just before bed will dampen the production of stress hormones, triggering relaxation and drowsiness in 20 minutes.
Except they don't mention the part will you will probably wake up hungry due to the insulin bomb you delivered right before you went to bed.
OH NO. Page 18 DR. OZ REVEALS THE NEW OBESITY CURE!
"Want to take the fight out of your most stubborn flab? Dr. Oz is here to tell you how! We blame weight game on eating too many burgers and getting too little exercise, but scientists are discovering that chemicals we are exposed to every day could be a big part of the problem. Sounds a little scary, but it's actually good news. Because simply knowing about these sneaky substances called "obesogens" means we can easily avoid them.
OBESEGENS? REALLY? Okay. Moving on...
I'll give him his #1 suggestion, cut out HFCS. His #2 suggestion? Outsmart super bad fat. Pesticides used on farms can end up trapped in the cells of farm animals, so these foods can be loaded with obesogens. "Choosing lean meats helps limit exposure. The most budget friendly option: Enjoy more vegetarian meals"
It's just so half assed. It's no wonder my MIL won't listen to me about Paleo eating! Dr. Oz is telling her about the obesegens! It's not her fault! ITS IN THE FOOD!!
TURN THE PAGE...
"Good times Guide"
Invite the gang over for chocolate fondue! Choose decadent dippers and toppings cake cubes, biscotti, doughnut holes, rice krispies squares, brownies The best toppings crushed cereal, sprinkles, pretzels, graham crackers
So, screw what Dr. Oz told you on the last page! To have Good Times you must have all this HFCS GARBAGE.
And then they try to have decent advice, but screw it up!
Surprising Sneaky ways to stay healthy all winter.
EATING A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
A slew of studies have confirmed the immunity enhancing propercties of cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods filled with probiotics or good bacterial. When good bugs attach to the lining of the digestive tract the interact with the immune system stimulating it, says Allison Tannis author or Probiotic Rescue "To make it work for you" Have a serving of any naturally aged, nonpasturized cheddar daily, such as gouda, emmentaker, cheddar or colby.
I mean, seriously? WHY take the good advice and wrap it around a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich? You know most of these women will take their Wonder bread and Kraft singles and think they are "doing something sneaky to stay healthy all winter".
And the whole damn magazine is littered with ads for losing weight without any effort:
SENSA from GNC
FASTIN novel fat burner taking industry by storm!
I didn't even mention everything in this one issue. If you could see the pictures, it's even worse.
I actually just got a diet advice newsletter from my health-care provider, Kaiser Permanente, which was written by an RDA (never a good sign). Of course, she uses Ancel Keys' discredited "Seven Country Study" as the basis for her recommendations of such things as soy products, whole grains, low-fat/non-fat dairy, canola oil, and limiting red meat to only 1 or 2 times a month!
I guess Kaiser is trying to stay in the sick-care business.
Like most people, I make a list of New Year's resolutions every year—stop watching so much TV, get more exercise, eat fewer cookies—only to pretty much forget about them by Valentine's Day. The one resolution I've never had trouble keeping was cutting meat, eggs, and dairy products out of my diet. If you're not yet vegan, that should be your number one resolution for 2011: You'll save more than 100 animals a year, improve your health, and help Mother Earth—plus you can eat all the cookie dough you want without worrying about salmonella poisoning.
In short: Why do you have cookie dough as a goal anyway!?!?
However, Once we get to my eating of the happy animals, I'm going to be in the line that is ordering up the bacon. The bacon and other meats from happy animals is going to be my fountain of health.
Sidenote: I agree with PETA that factory farms and CAFOs are evil, that's why I support my local ranchers and farmers as best I can, and don't eat sick and/or unhappy animals.
Unlike other weight-loss plans that restrict carbohydrates, at least initially, the core of the CarbLovers diet is carbs and resistant starch, an ingredient in bananas, oatmeal, beans and lentils, wholegrain pasta, barley, brown rice, peas, polenta, potato chips and rye and pumpernickel bread -- foods the authors have been dubbed "carbstars."
see Bolded: I dont even need to explain why this is TERRIBAD advice.
The 28-day diet includes a kickstart phase with carb-filled recipes totaling 1200 calories a day, followed by a 21-day immersion plan during which foods such as steak, french toast and chocolates are reintroduced.
1200 calories? thats how it works, its a poison/starvation diet! French toast! sigh. At least steak is on the list. probably some deck of cards nonsense.
"It's that visceral belly fat that hugs your internal organs, causing diabetes, increasing your risk of stroke and even cancers," Stork said in an interview.
im sorry, what do they think these foods DO to humans? Its why they have those problems in the first place!!!
Adults who ate three or more servings of whole grains per day, and limited their refined grains to less than one serving per day, had 10 percent less belly fat than those who did not follow this diet, study researcher Nicola McKeown, a scientist with the USDA Human Nutrition Researcher Center on Aging at Tufts University, said in a statement.
So... someone who ate less poison was less poisoned than someone that ate more poison? Brilliant Detective work Watson!
Whole Grain Tips for Children Set a good example for children by eating whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let children select and help prepare a whole grain side dish. Teach older children to read the ingredient list on cereals or snack food packages and choose those with whole grains at the top of the list.
I died a little inside.
The Cookie diet killed me, sorry. Perhaps another incarnation will resume my internet ramblings in the future.