First take note that I didn’t disparage all “calorie counting” I purposefully used the term “HYPER CONCERNED”. I am well aware of the new studies that are coming out about how the human animal was built to fend off starvation with fat storage. I recently saw coverage about how certain people have a specific gene that would have been very beneficial even two hundred years ago that causes them to retain body fat but now that we have all these technological conveniences (cars instead of walking, washing machines that need no hand crank, food supply that doesn’t require direct labor to procure, etc) are causing other health problems such as obesity. Maybe we saw the same documentary. And you’re right, it may yet be handy again real soon.
I get that weight is a real health issue. I merely want to point out that it is on BOTH ends of the spectrum. And I whole heartedly stated that I do have reason (from personal experience) of being vigilant about the thin/malnourished end of the spectrum. It’s my ax and I’ll grind it if I want to:D. And I should state that I would no more push a high calorie food on an obese person than I would push an allergen onto someone with the peanut allergy. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t politely offer a slice of cake to a portly friend, maybe they want some and who am I to judge? I’m a picky eater myself and hate to tell someone that I wouldn’t eat the garbage (IMO) they call food after they push me to try their newest SPAM casserole. So I’d be a giant hypocrite if I tried to pressure someone into eating something they, for what ever reason, have declined.
As Koukouvagi pointed out there are all sorts of unhealthy societal influences to be thin. Thin or fat shouldn’t be about value judgment of a person’s worth. Ironically our national diet (I know that most folks visiting this forum eat a much better quality than most because of our shared love of cooking, so please ya’ll: I’m not talking about you.) is one that lacks nutrition while having calories, and often lots of them. And yes if you look to the lower socio-economic groups you can find studies reporting malnourished obese kids.
My own family carries a rare gene that causes an endocrine disorder called hypoparathyroidism. This means that members of my family have trouble maintaining proper levels of vitamin D and calcium. The therapy is high levels of D and Calcium, in essence a nutritional therapy. The symptoms of being deficient in these two items are broad: my brother’s seizures, my sisters anxiety and panic attacks, my uncle’s need for leg braces (it was misdiagnosed as mild MD), my oldest child’s abnormal bone growth in her feet, my second child’s behavior and cognitive delay, my dental problems…I could go on. They actually call this disorder “the great pretender” because it looks like so many other conditions neurological, muscular, dermatological and so forth. In my research I found a case study in which a male in his late 30’s had been living with a schizophrenia diagnosis all of his adult life. Misdiagnosis… it was hypoparathyroidsm and he was “cured” with massive D and calcium supplements. I have learned far more than I ever wanted to know about the importance of vitamin D and calcium.
Hence my statement that eating healthy is not equal to eating to be thin. While they are certainly not always mutually exclusive, all too often proper nutrition isn’t considered when people endeavor to loose weight even when they really do need to loose weight. Tack onto the argument the fact that the BMI is a more than questionable indicator of proper height weight ratio and we have a bunch of people who think they are fat but are actually quite healthy and you’ve got people restricting their diets for all the wrong reasons.
I know that when I am at the high end of a “normal” BMI weight I look like a cancer patient. I’m 5’3” and a size 10/12 on bottom and size 8/10 up top, I’ve got wide pelvic bones (I’m a breeder with 5 younguns to show for it!) My measurements are 37-30-41 (I only know that off the top of my head because I’m a seamstress and sew my own clothes, I’ll be sure to post pics of the ball gown I’m making for myself.) and according to the BMI I’m 27.5. “Over weight” is 25.0-29.9 “obese” starts at 30. I ask you, even though this baby has some “back” (for all you Sir Mix-a-lot fans out there) do I sound over weight to you? According to the BMI I need to loose 20-25 pounds. (Quick like a bunny everybody google a BMI chart to see how much I weigh:lol:)
If we did see the same documentary on weight and genetics, did you see the portion where they discussed Sumo wrestlers? Guess what, they use nutrition and training to pack on the pounds but the fat is distributed in such a manner that they are far healthier than people who are MUUUUCCCH thinner. (Disclaimer: Sumo wrestlers use ancient and proven methods of weight gain under strict supervision and are professional athletes. This is not permission to over eat and wear funny looking jock straps to justify it.)
As I said, I realize that obesity is a problem, a very real one. However, more often than not the baby is being thrown out with the bath water when it comes to dieting. Furthermore there is real long standing evidence to show that even a short period of being malnourished can lead to permanent neurological damage. Because of my personal experience (and that ax I’m so fond of talking about) I never pass up an opportunity to discuss good nutritional habits especially when it comes to weight loss. Does that mean I live on an extreme diet? Heck no I love junk food as much as the next gal, but all things in moderation.
As to the moral of my personal anecdote about loving husbands and their wives appearance…..for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health… marriage is a team sport and hard work. If you can’t communicate and work with the person who is supposed to be your best friend, most intimate partner and the soul you turn to when the chips are both up and down, then maybe you’re not married to that person after all.
One thing I love about this forum is our ability to discuss how many strands of angel hair pasta can dance on the head of a pin. I see the issues of health and diet to be part of a vital discussion about how those here (both the pros and the at homes) prepare and offer food to others. The at homes are feeding families and friends, the people we love. The pros feed loved ones plus a lot more folks. In fact, health issues with food is probably far more important to the pros than some might think.
Some time in the last year or so I was reading an industry article (before our current economic woes) that said only one segment of the food industry was growing more than “gourmet” and that was “specialized diets”. From vegan to gluten free to low carb to nut free to you name it. Catering (pardon the pun) to the ever growing number of specialized diets (both for health and life style choice) is apparently where the new money is going to be for a while, especially given the Boomer’s numbers and how they are increasingly being made aware of their health needs. Given the nature of today’s economy it might be doubly important for professional food service people to be well versed in several “specialized” diet regimes.
The only other thing I can add (what she still has something to say, I bet she never shuts up;)) is that anyone considering restricting their diet needs to pay as much attention to daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and proteins as they do to calories and carbs because sometimes the "cure" is worse than the disease.